Imágenes de páginas

Note 19. Stanza xli.

The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust

The iron crown of laurel's mimick'd leaves.
Before the remains of Ariosto were removed from the

The event

we examine the whole anecdote as reported by Olivet.' in Scrassi's life of the poet. But Tiraboschi had before The sentence pronounced against him by Bohours 2 is laid that rivalry at rest,' by showing, that between recorded only to the confusion of the critic, whose pa- Ariosto and Tasso it is not a question of comparison, linodia the Italian makes no effort to discover, and but of preference. would not perhaps accept. As to the opposition which the Jerusalem encountered from the Cruscan academy, who degraded Tasso from all competition with Ariosto, below Bojardo and Pulci, the disgrace of such opposition Benedictine church to the library of Ferrara, his bust, must also, in some measure, be laid to the charge of which surmounted the tomb, was struck by lightning, Alphonso, and the court of Ferrara. For Leonard Sal- and a crown of iron laurels melted away. viati, the principal and nearly the sole origin of this has been recorded by a writer of the last century. The attack, was, there can be no doubt, influenced by a transfer of these sacred ashes on the 6th of June, 1801, hope to acquire the favour of the House of Este: an was one of the most brilliant spectacles of the shortobject which he thought attainable by exalting the repu- lived Italian Republic, and to consecrate the memory of tation of a native poet at the expense of a rival, then a the ceremony, the once famous fallen Intrepidi were prisoner of state. The hopes and efforts of Salviati revived and re-formed in the Ariostean academy. The must serve to show the cotemporary opinion as to the large public place through which the procession paraded nature of the poet's imprisonment; and will fill up the was then for the first time called Ariosto Square. The measure of our indignation at the tyrant jailor. In author of the Orlando is jealously claimed as the Hofact, the antagonist of Tasso was not disappointed in the mer, not of Italy, but Ferrara.' The mother of Arireception given to his criticism; he was called to the osto was of Reggio, and the house in which he was court of Ferrara, where, having endeavoured to heighten born is carefully distinguished by a tablet with these his claims to favour, by panegyrics on the family of his words: “Qui nacque Laulovico Ariosto il giorno 8 di sovereign,' he was in his turn abandoned, and expired Settembre dell' anno 1474." But the Ferrarese make in neglected poverty. The opposition of the Cruscans light of the accident by which their poet was born was brought to a close in six years after the commence- abroad, and claim him exclusively for their own. They ment of the controversy; and if the academy owed its possess his bones, they show his arm-chair, and his first renown to having almost opened with such a para-ink-stand, and his autographs. dox, it is probable that, on the other hand, the care of his reputation alleviated rather than aggravated the imprisonment of the injured poet. The defence of his The house where he lived, the room where he died, are father and of himself, for both were involved in the designated by his own replaced memorial, and by a censure of Salviati, found employment for many of his recent inscription. The Ferrarese are more jealous of solitary hours, and the captive could have been but little their claims since the animosity of Denina, arising from embarrassed to reply to accusations. where, amongst a cause which their apologists mysteriously hint is not other delinquencies, he was charged with invidiously unknown to them, ventured to degrade their soil and omitting, in his comparison between France and Italy, climate to a Bocotian incapacity for all spiritual producto make any mention of the cupola of St. Maria del tions. A quarto volume has been called forth by the Fiore at Florence." The late biographer of Ariosto detraction, and this supplement to Baretti's Memoirs seems as if willing to renew the controversy by doubting of the illustrious Ferrarese, has been considered a trithe interpretation of Tasso's self-estimation, related umphant reply to the "Quadro Storico Statistico dell' Alta Italia."

1 Histoire de l'Académie Francaise, depuis 1652 jusqu'à 1700, par l'abbé d'Olivet, p. 181. édit. Amsterdam, 1730. Mais, ensuite, venant à l'usage qu'il a fait de ses talens, j'aurais montré que le bon sens n'est pas toujours ce qui domine chez lui," p. 182. Boileau said he had not changed his opinion: "J'en aisi peu changé, dit-il," etc. p. 181.

hic illius arma,

Hie currus fuit.

Note 20. Stanza xli.

For the true laurel-wreath which glory weaves
Is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleaves.

The eagle, the sea-calf, the laurel, and the white vine, were amongst the most approved preservatives 2 La maniére de bien penser dans les ouvrages de l'esprit, against lightning: Jupiter chose the first, Augustus Csec. dial. p. 89. édit. 1692. Philanthes is for Tasso, and says. sar the second,' and Tiberius never failed to wear a in the outset, "de tous les beaux esprits que l'Italie a portès, le Tasse est peut-être celui qui pense le plus noblement." wreath of the third when the sky threatened a thunderBut Bohours seems to speak in Eudoxus, who closes with storm. These superstitions may be received without a the absurd comparison, "Faites valoire le Tasse tant qu'il vous plaira, je m'en tiens pour moi à Virgile," etc. ib. p. 102. 3 La Vita, etc. lib. iii. p. 90, tom. ii. The English reader may see an account of the opposition of the Crusca to Tasso, in Dr. Black, Life, etc. cap. xvii. vol. ii.

4 For further, and, it is hoped, decisive proof, that Tasso was neither more nor less than a prisoner of state, the reader is referred to "Historical Illustrations of the IVth Canto of Childe Harold," p. 5, and following.

5 Orazioni funebri.... Delle lodi di Don Luigi Cardinal d'Este. . . . Dette lodi di Donno Alfonzo d'Este. Seo La Vita, lib. iii. pag. 117.

6 It was founded in 1589, and the Cruscan answer to Pellegrinol's Caraffa or epica poesia, was published in 1584. 7 "Cotanto poté sempre in lui il veleno della sua pessima volontà contro ala nazion Fiorentana." La Vita, lib. iii. pp. ge 98. tom. i.

3 La Vita di M. L. Ariosto, scritta dall' Abate Giro lamo Baruffaldi giuniore, etc., Ferrara, 1807. lib. ii. page 262. Bee Historical Illustrations, etc. p. 26.

1 Storia della Lett., etc. lib. iii. tom. vii. par. iii. p. 1220 sect. 4.

2 Mi raccontarono que' monaci, ch' essendo caduto un fulmine nella loro chiesa schiantó esso dalle tempie la corona di lauro & quell' immortale poota." Op. di Bianconi, vol. 14. p. 176. ed. Milano, 1802, lettera al Signor Guido Savini. Arcifisiocritico, sull' indole di un fulmine caduto in Dresda P anno 1759.

3 "Appassionato ammiratore ed invitto apologista dell' Omero Ferrarese." The title was first given by Tasso, and is quoted to the confusion of the Tassisti, lib. iii. pp. 22 265. La Vita di M. L. Ariosto, etc.

4" Parva, sed apta mihi, sed nulli obnoxia, sed non Sordida, parta meo sed tamen are demus."

5 Aquila, vitu'us marinus, et laurus, fulmine non feriuntur Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. cap. Iv.

6 Columella, lib. x.

7 Sueton. in Vit. Augnet. cap. xc
8 id. in Vit. Tiberii, cap. lxix.

meer in a country where the magical properties of the Alas! how do we poor mortals fret and vex ourselves if lazer-twig have not lost all their credit; and perhaps the any of our friends happen to die or be killed, whose reader may not be much surprised to find that a com-life is yet so short, when the carcasses of so many noble mentator on Suetonius has taken upon himself gravely cities lie here exposed before me in one view."1 to disprove the imputed virtues of the crown of Tibenus, by mentioning that, a few years before he wrote, a laurel was actually struck by lightning at Rome. Note 21. Stanza xli.

Know that the lightning sanctifies below.

Note 24. Stanza xlvi.
-and we pass

The skeleton of her Titanic form.

It is Poggio, who, looking from the Capitoline hill upon ruined Rome, breaks forth into the exclamation,

The Curtian lake and the Ruminal fig-tree in the "Ut nunc omni decore nudata, prostrata jacet, instar Forum, having been touched by lightning, were held gigantei cadaveris corrupti atque undique exesi."2

Note 25. Stanza xlix.

There, too, the goddess loves in stone.
The view of the Venus of Medicis instantly suggests

sacred, and the memory of the accident was preserved by a puteal, or altar, resembling the mouth of a well, with a little chapel covering the cavity supposed to be made by the thunderbolt. Bodies scathed and persons the lines in the Seasons, and the comparison of the obstruck dead were thought to be incorruptible;2 and a

stroke not fatal conferred perpetual dignity upon the

Ject with the description proves, not only the correctness of the portrait, but the peculiar turn of thought, man so distinguished by Heaven.3 Those killed by lightning were wrapped in a white and, if the term may be used, the sexual imagination of the descriptive poet. The same conclusion may be degarment, and buried where they fell. The superstition duced from another hint in the same episode of Musiwas not confined to the worshippers of Jupiter: the Lombards believed in the omens furnished by lightning, love must have been either very primitive, or rather dora; for Thomson's notion of the privileges of favoured and a Christian priest confesses that by a diabolical skill deficient in delicacy, when he made his grateful nymph n interpreting thunder, a seer foretold to Agilulf, duke inform her discreet Damon that in some happier moTurin, an event which came to pass, and gave him a ment he might perhaps be the companion of her bath: queen and a crown. There was, however, something "The time may come you need not fly." equivocal in this sign, which the ancient inhabitants of Rome did not always consider propitious; and as the The reader will recollect the anecdote told in the fears are likely to last longer than the consolations of life of Dr. Johnson. We will not leave the Florentine superstition, it is not strange that the Romans of the age gallery without a word on the Whetter. It seems strange of Leo X. should have been so much terrified at some that the character of that disputed statue should not be misinterpreted storms as to require the exhortations of entirely decided, at least in the mind of any one who

a scholar, who arrayed all the learning on thunder and Eghtning to prove the omen favourable; beginning with Le dash which struck the walls of Velitræ, and includng that which played upon a gate at Florence, and betold the pontificate of one of its citizens.'

Note 22. Stanza laii.

Italia, oh Italia, etc.

The two stanzas, XLII. and XLIII., are, with the exetion of a line or two, a translation of the famous Manet of Filicaja:

"Italia, Italia, O tu cui feo la sorte."
Note 23. Stanza xliv.

Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him,
The Roman friend of Rome's least mortai mind.
The celebrated letter of Servius Sulpicius to Cicero, on
the death of his daughter, describes as it then was, and
w is, a path which I often traced in Greece, both by
sex and land, in different journeys and voyages.

On my return from Asia, as I was sailing from Fgina towards Megara, I began to contemplate the ect of the countries around me: gina was behind, Hara before me; Piraus on the right, Corinth on the

;al which towns, once fainous and flourishing, now overturned and buried in their ruins. Upon this sight, I could not but think presently within myself,

1 Nove 2. pag. 100. edit. Lugd. Bat. 1657.
evd. J. C. Bullenger, de Terræ motu et Falminibus, lib.
3. Ουδείς κεραυνωθεὶς ἄτιμος ἐστὶ, ὅθεν καὶ ὡς θεὸς
Plut. Sympos., vid. J. C. Bulleng. ut sup.

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4 Pauli Disconi, de gestis Langobard. lib. iii. cap. xiv. fo.

I nit. Taurin. 1527.

51. P. Valeriani, de fulminum significationibus declamatio. Grey, Antiq. Rom. tom. v. p. 593. The declamation is addressed to Julian of Medicis,

has seen a sarcophagus in the vestibule of the Basilica of St. Paul without the walls, at Rome, where the whole group of the fable of Marsyas is seen in tolerable preservation; and the Scythian slave whetting the knife is represented exactly in the same position as this celebrated masterpiece. The slave is not naked: but it is easier to get rid of this difficulty than to suppose the knife in the hand of the Florentine statue an instrument for shaving, which it must be, if, as Lanzi supposes, the man is no other than the barber of Julius Caesar. Winkelmann, illustrating a bas-relief of the same subject, follows the opinion of Leonard Agostini, and his authority might have been thought conclusive, even if the resemblance did not strike the most careless observer."

Amongst the bronzes of the same princely collection, is still to be seen the inscribed tablet copied and commented upon by Mr. Gibbon. Our historian found some difficulties, but did not desist from his illustration: he might be vexed to hear that his criticism has been thrown away on an inscription now generally recognised to be a forgery.

Note 26. Stanza li.
-his eyes to thee upturn,
Feeding on thy'sweet cheek.
ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐστιᾷν.

"...Atque oculos pascat uterque suos."-Ovid. Amor. lib. n

1 Dr. Middleton-History of the Life of M. Tullius Cicero sect. vii. pag. 371, vol. n.

2 De fortune varietate urbis Romæ et de ruinis ejusdem descriptio, ap. Sallengre, Thesaur. tom. i. pag. 501.

3 See Monim. Ant. ined. par. i. cap. xvii. n. xlii. pag. 50 and Storia delle arti, etc. lib. xi. cap. i, tom. ii. p. 314. not. B 4 Nomina gentesque Antiquæ Italiæ, p. 204. edit. oct.

Note 28. Stanza liv.

Note 27. Stanza liv.

-here repose

Angelo's, Alfieri's bones.

In Santa Croce's holy precincts lie. This name will recall the memory, not only of those whose tombs have raised the Santa Croce into the Alfieri is the great name of this age. The Italians, centre of pilgrimage, the Mecca of Italy, but of her without waiting for the hundred years, consider him as whose eloquence was poured over the illustrious ashes," a poet good in law."-His memory is the more dear and whose voice is now as mute as those she sung. to them because he is the bard of freedom; and because, CORINNA is no more; and with her should expire the as such, his tragedies can receive no countenance from fear, the flattery, and the envy, which threw too daz-any of their sovereigns. They are but very seldom, and zling or too dark a cloud round the march of genius, but very few of them, allowed to be acted. It was oband forbad the steady gaze of disinterested criticism. served by Cicero, that nowhere were the true opinions We have her picture embellished or distorted, as friend- and feelings of the Romans so clearly shown as at the ship or detraction has held the pencil: the impartial theatre. In the autumn of 1816, a celebrated improv portrait was hardly to be expected from a contempo- visatore exhibited his talents at the Opera-house of Mirary. The immediate voice of her survivors will, it is lan. The reading of the theses handed in for the subprobable, be far from affording a just estimate of her jects of his poetry was received by a very numerous au ⚫ingular capacity. The gallantry, the love of wonder, dience, for the most part in silence, or with laughter; and the hope of associated fame, which blunted the but when the assistant, unfolding one of the papers, exedge of censure, must cease to exist.-The dead have claimed, "The apotheosis of Victor Alfieri," the whole no sex; they can surprise by no new miracles; they theatre burst into a shout, and the applause was concan confer no privilege: Corinna has ceased to be a tinued for some moments. The lot did not fall on Alwoman-she is only an author: and it may be foreseen fieri; and the Signor Sgricci had to pour forth his exthat many will repay themselves for former complai- temporary commonplaces on the bombardment of Alsance, by a severity to which the extravagance of pre- giers. The choice, indeed, is not left to accident quite vious praises may perhaps give the colour of truth. so much as might be thought from a first view of the The latest posterity, for to the latest posterity they will ceremony; and the police not only takes care to look assuredly descend, will have to pronounce upon her at the papers beforehand, but, in case of any prudential various productions; and the longer the vista through after-thought, steps in to correct the blindness of which they are seen, the more accurately minute will be the object, the more certain the justice of the decision. She will enter into that existence in which the great writers of all ages and nations are, as it were, associated in a world of their own, and from that superior sphere shed their cternal influence for the control and consolation of mankind. But the individual will gradually disappear as the author is more distinctly seen: some one, therefore, of all those whom the charms of involuntary wit, and of easy hospitality, attracted within the friendly circles of Coppet, should rescue from oblivion those virtues which, although they are said to love the shade, are, in fact, more frequently chilled than excited by the domestic cares of private life. Some one should be found to portray the unaffected graces with which she adorned those dearer relationships, the performance of whose duties is rather discovered amongst the interior secrets, than not have been put above the sentence which alludes seen in the outward management, of family interand which, indeed, it requires the delicacy of course; genuine affection to qualify for the eye of an indifferent spectator. Some one should be found, not to celebrate, but to describe, the amiable mistress of an open mansion, the centre of a society, ever varied, and always pleased, the creator of which, divested of the ambition and the arts of public rivalry, shone forth only

to give fresh animation to those around her. The mo

chance. The proposal for deifying Alfieri was received with immediate enthusiasm, the rather because it was conjectured there would be no opportunity of carrying it into effect.

Note 29. Stanza liv.

Here Machiavelli's earth return'd to whence it rose.

The affectation of simplicity in sepulchral inscriptions which so often leaves us uncertain whether the structure before us is an actual depository, or a ceno

taph, or a simple memorial not of death but life, has
the place or time of the birth or death, the age or pa-
given to the tomb of Machiavelli no information as to
rentage, of the historian.

There seems at least no reason why the name should

to it.

It will readily be imagined that the prejudices which have passed the name of Machiavelli into an epithet proverbial of iniquity, exist no longer at Florence. His memory was persecuted as his life had been for an attachment to liberty, incompatible with the new system of despotism, which succeeded the fall of the free goring a "libertine," that is, for wishing to restore the reernments of Italy. He was put to the torture for bepublic of Florence; and such are the undying efforts

ther tenderly affectionate and tenderly beloved, the friend unboundedly generous, but still esteemed, the charitable patroness of all distress, cannot be forgotten their liberties. Titus, the friend of Antony, presented them 1 The free expression of their honest sentiments survived by those whom she cherished, protected, and fed. Her with games in the theatre of Pompey. They did not suffer the loss will be mourned the most where she was known brilliancy of the spectacle to efface from their memory that the man who furnished them with the entertainment had mur the best; and, to the sorrows of very many friends and dered the son of Pompey. They drove him from the theatre with curses. The moral sense of a populace, spontaneously more dependants, may be offered the disinterested re-expressed, is never wrong. Even the soldiers of the triumvirs gret of a stranger, who, amidst the sublimer scenes of the Leman lake, received his chief satisfaction from contemplating the engaging qualities of the incompa-pnn. C. Vell. Paterculi Hist. lib. ii. cap. lxxix, pag. 78. edit

table Corinna.

joined in the execration of the citizens, by shouting round the chariots of Lepidus and Plancus, who had proscribed their brothers, De Germanis non de Gallis duo triumphant Ca sules; a saying worth a record, were it nothing but a good Elzevir. 1639. Ibid. lib. ii. cap. lxxvii.

of those who are interested in the perversion not only the injustice of his fellow-citizens. His appeal to Floof the nature of actions, but the meaning of words, rence was accompanied by another to the Empero that what was once patriotism, has by degrees come to Henry, and the death of that sovereign, in 1313, was spy deuch. We have ourselves outlived the old the signal for a sentence of irrevocable banishment. He mezning of "liberality," which is now another word for had before lingered near Tuscany, with hopes of recall, treason in one country and for infatuation in all. It then travelled into the north of Italy, where Verona serons to have been a strange mistake to accuse the au- had to boast of his longest residence, and he finally tor of the Prince, as being a pander to tyranny; and settled at Ravenna, which was his ordinary but not to think that the inquisition would condemn his work constant abode until his death. The refusal of the Vefor such a delinquency. The fact is, that Machiavelli, netians to grant him a public audience, on the part of isual with those against whom no crime can be Guido Novello da Polenta, his protector, is said to have proved, was suspected of and charged with atheism; been the principal cause of this event, which happened and the first and last most violent opposers of the Prince in 1321. He was buried ("in sacra minorum æde,”) were both Jesuits, one of whom persuaded the inqui- at Ravenna, in a handsome tomb, which was erected sition "benchè fosse tardo," to prohibit the treatise, by Guido, restored by Bernardo Bembo in 1483, pretor and the other qualified the secretary of the Florentine for that republic which had refused to hear him, again republic as no better than a fool. The father Possevin restored by Cardinal Corsi in 1692, and replaced by a was proved never to have read the book, and the father more magnificent sepulchre, constructed in 1780 at the Lacchesini not to have understood it. It is clear, how- expense of the Cardinal Luigi Valenti Gonzaga. The ever, that such critics must have objected not to the offence or misfortune of Dante was an attachment to a savery of the doctrines, but to the supposed tendency defeated party, and, as his least favourable biographers of a lesson which shows how distinct are the interests allege against him, too great a freedom of speech and of a monarch from the happiness of mankind. The haughtiness of manner. But the next age paid honours Jesuits are re-established in Italy, and the last chapter almost divine to the exile. The Florentines, having in of the Prince may again call forth a particular refuta- vain and frequently attempted to recover his body, on, from those who are employed once more in crowned his image in a church,' and his picture is still moulding the minds of the rising generation, so as to one of the idols of their cathedral. They struck medals, receive the impressions of despotism. The chapter they raised statues to him. The cities of Italy, not bears for title, "Esortazione a liberare la Italia dai Bar-being able to dispute about his own birth, contended bari," and concludes with a libertine excitement to the for that of his great poem, and the Florentines thought future redemption of Italy. "Non si deve adunque it for their honour to prove that he had finished the ar passare questa occasione, acciocchè la Italia seventh Canto, before they drove him from his native gga dopo tanto tempo apparire un suo redentore. city. Fifty-one years after his death, they endowed a passo esprimere con qual amore ei fusse ricevuto in professional chair for the expounding of his verses, and tate quelle provincie, che hanno patito per queste il- Boccaccio was appointed to this patriotic employment. latoni esterne, con qual sete di vendetta, con che os- The example was imitated by Bologna and Pisa, and the tata fede, con che lacrime. Quali porte se li serre- commentators, if they performed but little service to Teleno? Quali populi li negherebbeno la obbedienza? literature, augmented the veneration which beheld a Que Italiano li negherebbe l' ossequio? AD OGNUNO sacred or moral allegory in all the images of his mystic PUZZA QUESTO BARBARO DOMINIO."! muse. His birth and his infancy were discovered to have been distinguished above those of ordinary men ; Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar. the author of the Decameron, his earliest biographer, Dante was born in Florence in the year 1261. He relates that his mother was warned in a dream of the bught in two battles, was fourteen times ambassador, importance of her pregnancy; and it was found, by and once prior of the republic. When the party of others, that at ten years of age he had manifested his Charles of Anjou triumphed over the Bianchi, he was precocious passion for that wisdom or theology which, went on an embassy to Pope Boniface VIII. and was under the name of Beatrice, had been mistaken for a condemned to two years' banishment, and to a fine of substantial mistress. When the Divine Comedy had fight thousand lire; on the non-payment of which he been recognised as a mere mortal production, and at 2 further punished by the sequestration of all his the distance of two centuries, when criticism and comproperty. The republic, however, was not content with petition had sobered the judgment of Italians, Dante das satisfaction, for in 1772 was discovered in the was seriously declared superior to Homer, and though chives at Florence a sentence in which Dante is the the preference appeared to some casuists "a heretical eventh of a list of fifteen condemned in 1302 to be blasphemy worthy of the flames," the contest was vigburnt alive; Talis perveniens igne comburatur sic quod orously maintained for nearly fifty years. In later tur. The pretext for this judgment was a proof times, it was made a question which of the lords of of unfair barter, extortions, and illicit gains: Baracte-Verona could boast of having patronized him, and the rarum iniquarum, extorsionum, et illicitorum lucro-jealous scepticism of one writer would not allow Ra rar, and with such an accusation it is not strange that venna the undoubted possession of his bones. Even Dante should have always protested his innocence, and the critical Tiraboschi was inclined to believe that the


Note 30. Stanza lvii.

!!! Principe di Niccolo Machiavelli, etc., con la prefazione
note storiche e politiche di M. Amelot de la Houssaye, e
me e confutazione dell' opera.... Cosmopoli, 1769.
Storia della Lett. Ital. tom. v. lib. iii. par. 2. pag. 448.
boschi is incorrect: the dates of the three decrees against
ate are A. D. 1302, 1314, and 1316


1 So relates Ficino, but some think his coronation only an allegory. See Storia, etc., ut aup. p. 453.

2 By Varchi, in his Ercolano. The controversy continued from 1570 to 1616. See Storia, etc., tom. vii. lib. i'i, par i p. 1280. 3 Gio. Jacopo Dionisi canonico di Verona. Serie di Anod doti, n. 2. Sec Storia, etc,, tom. v. lib. i. par. p. 24.

poet had foreseen and foretold one of the discoveries of service. "I have submitted,” replied the magnanimous Galileo. Like the great originals of other nations, his republican, "I have submitted to your deliberations popularity has not always maintained the same level. The last age seemed inclined to undervalue him as a model and a study; and Bettinelli one day rebuked his pupil Monti, for poring over the harsh and obsolete extravagancies of the Commedia. The present generation, having recovered from the Gallic idolatries of Cesarotti, has returned to the ancient worship, and the Danteg gaire of the northern Italians is thought even indiscreet by the more moderate Tuscans.

There is still much curious information relative to the life and writings of this great poet, which has not as yet been collected even by the Italians; but the celebrated Ugo Foscolo meditates to supply this defect; and it is not to be regretted that this national work has been reserved for one so devoted to his country and the cause of truth.

Note 31. Stanza lvii.

Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore;
Thy factions, in their worse than civil war,
Proscribed, etc.

The elder Scipio Africanus had a tomb, if he was not buried, at Liternum, whither he had retired to voluntary banishment. This tomb was near the sea-shore, and the story of an inscription upon it, Ingrata Patria, having given a name to a modern tower, is, if not true, an agreeable fiction. If he was not buried, he certainly

lived there.1

In cosi angusta e solitaria villa

without complaint; I have supported patiently the pains of imprisonment, for they were inflicted at your conmand: this is no time to inquire whether I deserved them-the good of the republic may have seemed to require it, and that which the republic resolves is always resolved wisely. Behold me ready to lay down my life for the preservation of my country." Pisani was appointed generalissimo, and, by his exertions, in conjunction with those of Carlo Zeno, the Venetians soon recovered the ascendancy over their maritime rivals.

The Italian communities were no less unjust to their citizens than the Greek republics. Liberty, both with the one and the other, seems to have been a national, not an individual object: and, notwithstanding the boasted equality before the laws, which an ancient Greek writer considered the great distinctive mark between his countrymen and the barbarians, the mutual rights of fellow-citizens seem never to have been the principal scope of the old democracies. The world may have not yet seen an essay by the author of the Italian Republics, in which the distinction between the liberty of former states, and the signification attached to that word by the happier constitution of England, is ingeniously developed. The Italians, however, when they had ceased to turbulence, when every citizen might rise to a share of be free, still looked back with a sigh upon those times of sovereign power, and have never been taught fully to appreciate the repose of a monarchy. Sperone Speroni, when Francis Maria II. Duke of Rovero proposed the question, "which was preferable, the republic or the principality-the perfect and not durable, or the less perfect and not so liable to change," replied, "that our happiness is to be measured by its quality, not by its duration; and that he preferred to live for one day like a man, than for a hundred years like a brute, a stock,

Era 'I grand' uomo che d'Africa s'appella Perché prima col ferro al vivo apprilla. 2 Ingratitude is generally supposed the vice peculiar to republics; and it seems to be forgotten, that, for one instance of popular inconstancy, we have a hundred examples of the fall of courtly favourites. Besides, a people have often repented-a monarch seldom or never. Leaving apart many familiar proofs of this fact, a short story may show the difference between even or a stone." This was thought, and called, a magan aristocracy and the multitude.

nificent answer, down to the last days of Italian ser

Note 32. Stanza lvii.
-and the crown

Vettor Pisani, having been defeated in 1354 at Porto-vitude.2 longo, and many years afterwards in the more decisive action of Pola, by the Genoese, was recalled by the Venetian government, and thrown into chains. The Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wore, Avvogadori proposed to behead him, but the supreme Upon a far and foreign soil had grown. tribunal was content with the sentence of imprisonThe Florentines did not take the opportunity of Peinent. Whilst Pisani was suffering this unmerited dis- trarch's short visit to their city, in 1350, to revoke the grace, Chioza, in the vicinity of the capital, was, by decree which confiscated the property of his father, the assistance of the Signor of Padua, delivered into who had been banished shortly after the exile of Dante. the hands of Pietro Doria. At the intelligence of that His crown did not dazzle them; but when, in the next disaster, the great bell of St. Mark's tower tolled to year, they were in want of his assistance in the formation arms, and the people and the soldiery of the galleys of their university, they repented of their injustice, and were summoned to the repulse of the approaching Boccaccio was sent to Padua to entreat the laureat to enemy; but they protested they would not move a conclude his wanderings in the bosom of his native step, unless Pisani were liberated, and placed at their country, where he might finish his immortal Africa, and head. The great council was instantly assembled: the enjoy, with his recovered possessions, the esteem of all prisoner was called before them, and the Doge, Andrea classes of his fellow-citizens. They gave him the opContarini, informed him of the demands of the people tion of the book, and the science he might condescend and the necessities of the state, whose only hope of to expound: they called him the glory of his country, safety was reposed on his efforts, and who implored him to forgive the indignities he had endured in her

1 Vitam Literni egit sine desiderio urbis. See T. Liv. Hist. lib. xxxviii. Livy reports that some said he was buried at Liternum, others at Rome. Ib. cap. lv.

2 Trionfo della Castità.

3 See note to stanza XIII.

who was dear, and would be dearer to them; and they added, that if there was any thing unpleasing in their letter, he ought to return amongst them, were it only to

1 The Greek boasted that he was loovopos.-See the last chapter of the first book of Dionysius of Halicarnassus,

2 "E intorno alla magnifica risposta," etc. Serassi, Vita del Tasso, lib. iii. pag. 149. tom. ii. edit. 2, Bergano

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