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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 ? 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, linolia the Italian makes no effort to discover, and but of preference. would not perhaps accepi. As to the opposition which
Note 19. Stanza xli. the Jerusalem encountered from the Cruscan academy, The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust
The iron crown of laurel's inimick'd leaves. who degraded Tasso from all competition with Ariosto,
Before the remains of Ariosto were removed from the 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. The event viaci, 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 Ilouse 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 1 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 paradent nature of the poet's imprisonment; and will fill up the
was then for the first time cailed 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 hini exclusively for their own. They ment of the controversy; and if the academy owed its first renown to having almost opened with such a para- ink-stand, and his autographs.
possess his bones, they show his arn-chair, and hus dox, it is probable that, on the other hand, the care
hic illius arma, of his reputation alleviated rather than aggravated the
llic currus fuit. ... 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, 4 and by a censure of Salviati, found employment for many of his recent inscription. The Ferrarcse are more jealous of solitary hours, and the captive could have been but little their claims since the animosity of Denina, arising froma embarrassed to reply to accusations, where, amongst a cause which their apologisis inysteriously 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 Bæotian incapacity for all spiritual producto make any mention of the cupola of St. Maria del tions. A quarto volune 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 deil
Alia Italia," 1 Histoire de l'Académie Francaise, depuis 1652 jusqu'à
Note 20. Stanza xli. 1700, par l'abbé d'Olivel, p. 181. édit. Amsierdan, 1730.
For the true laurel-wreath which glory weavcs "Mais, ensuite, venant à l'usage qu'il a fait de ses talens,
is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleares. j'aurais montré que le bon sens n'est pas toujours ce qui do
The eagle, the sea-call, the laurel," and the white mine chez lu," p. 182. Boileau said he had no changed his opinion : "J'en aisi peu change, dit-il," etc. D. 181. vine, were amongst the most approved preservatives
2 La maniero do bien penser dans los outrnges de l'esprit. against lightning: Jupiter chose the first, Augustus Cr sec. dial. p. 29. édit. 1692. Philanthes is for Tasso, ani says, sar the second,' and Tiberius never failed to wear a in the outset, " de tous les beaux esprits que l'Italie a portés: wreath of the third when the sky threatened a thunderle Tasse est peut-être celui qui pense lo plus moblement." But Bohours seems to speak in Ewluxus, who closes with storm. These superstitions may be received withou a the absurd companson, “Faites valoire le Tarre tant qu'il vous plaira. je m'en tions pour moi à Virkile," etc. ib. p. 102. 1 Storia della Lett., etc. lib. iii. tom. vii. par. iii. p. 120
3 La Vita, etc, lib. iii. p. 90, tom. ii. The English reader sect. 4. may see an account of the opposition of the Crusca tu Tasso, 2 " Mi raccontarono que' monaci, ch' essendo caduto ur in Dr, Black, Life, etc. cap. xvii. vol. 1i.
fulmine nella loro chiesa schianto esso dalle temple la corona 4 For further, and, it is hoped, decisive proof, that Tasso di lauro a quell' immortale poota." O. di Biancurni, vol. iu was neither more nor less than a prisoner of state, the reader p. 176. ed. Milano, 1202, lettera al Signor Guido Savini An is referred to " Historical Iliustrations of the IVth Canto of cifisiocritico, sull' indole di un fulmine caduto in Dresda i Childollarold," p. 5, and following.
anno 1759. 5 Orazioni funebri. ... Delle lodi di Don Luigi Cardinal 3 “ Appassionato ammiratore ed invitto apologista dell d'Esto. ... Dele lodi di Dongo Alfonzo d'Este. Seo Omoro Ferrarise." The title was first viven by Tasso, as, Vita, lib. iii. pag. 117.
is quoted to the confusion of the Tessisti, lib. iii. pp. 22 6 It was founded in 1599, and the Cruscan answer to Pel- 20.5. La Vita di M. L. Ariosto, etc. legrinol's Caraffa or epica poesia, was published in 1544. 4 " Parva, seri apta mihi, sed nulli obnoxin, sed non
7 “Cotanto pare sempre in lui il veleno della sua peraima Sordida, parta mured tamen pre domus." rolontà contro alia nazion Fwrontana." La Vita, lib. iii. pp. 5 Aquila. vi'u'us marinus, et laurus. sulmude don fonuntur 94 08. tom. i.
Plin. Nat. Bist. lib. ii. cap. lv. 3 La Vita di M. L. Ariosto, scritta dall' Abate Giro lamo 6 Columella, lib. x. Baruffaldi giuniore, etc., Ferrara, 1907. lib. n. page 202. 7 Sucton, in Vir. Auruet. cap. vc bue Historical Illustrations, etc. p. 26.
8 ld. in Vit. Tiberii, cap. Ixix.
meer in a country where the magical properties of the Alas! how do we poor mortals fret and ver ourselves if baze-twig have not lost all their credit; and perhaps the any of our friends happen to die or be killed, whose Peeter may not be much surprised to find that a com- life is yet so short, when the carcasses of so many noble Dentator on Suetonius has taken upon himself gravely cities lie here exposed before me in one view."} to disprove the imputed virtues of the crown of Tibe
Note 24. Stanza xlvi. mms, by mentioning that, a few years before he wrote,
and we pass a laurel was actually struck by lightning at Rome.
The skeleton of her Titanic form.
It is Poggio, who, looking from the Capitoline hill Know that the lightning sanctifies below. 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 sacred, and the memory of the accident was preserved
Note 25. Stanza xlix. by a putent, or altar, resembling the mouth of a well,
There, too, the goddess loves in stone. with a bale chapel covering the cavity supposed to be
The view of the Venus of Medicis instantly suggests made by the thunderbolt. Bodies scathed and persons the lines in the Seasons, and the comparison of the obo struck dead were thought to be incorruptible ;2 and a stroke naof faial conferred perpetual dignity upon the
ject with the description proves, not only the correct
ness of the portrait, but the peculiar turn of thoughly mar so disünguished by Heaven. 3 Those killed by lightning were wrapped in a white the descriptive poet. The same conclusion may be de
and, if the term may be used, the sexual imagination of garment, 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 dora ; for Thomson's notion of the privileges of favoured Lwards believed in the omens furnished by lightning, love must have been either very primitive, or rather ai a Christian priest confesses that by a diabolical skill deficient in delicacy, when he made his grateful nymph an interneting thunder, a seer foretold to Agilulf, duke inform her discreet Damon that in some happier mo
Turin, an event which came to pass, and gave him a ment he might perhaps be the companion of her bath: een and a crown. There was, however, something estasmeal in this sign, which the ancient inhabitants of
• The time may come you need not fly." R me did not always consider propitious; and as the
The reader will recollect the anecdote told in the fears are åkely to last longer than the consolations of life of Dr. Johnson. We will not leave the Florentine spasition, it is not strange that the Romans of the age gallery without a word on the Whetter. It seems strange e Leo X. should have been so much territied at some that the character of that disputed atatue should not be msinterpreted 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 has seen a sarcophagus in the vestibule of the Basilica Etrang to prove the omen favourable; beginning with of St. Paul without the walls, at Rome, where the whole Le dash which struck the walls of Velitræ, and includ- group of the fable of Marsyas is seen in tolerable prea that which played upon a gate at Florence, and servation; and the Scythian slave whetting the knife fluid the pontiñcate of one of its citizens.5
is represented exactly in the same position as this Note 22. Stanza lxii.
celebrated masterpiece. The slave is not naked: but
it is easier to get rid of this difficulty than to suppose Italia, oh Italia, etc. Tee two stanzas, XLII. and XLIII., are, with the ex
the knife in the hand of the Florentine statue an inOon of a line or two, a translation of the famous strument for shaving, which it must be, is, as Lanzi Fabel of Filicaja :
supposcs, the man is no other than the barber of Ju“ lialia, Italia, O tu cui feo la sorte."
lius Cæsar. Winkelmann, illustrating a bas-relief of
the same subject, follows the opinion of Leonard AgosNote 23. Stanza xliv.
tini, and his authority might have been thought conWandering in youth, I traced the path of him, The Runnan friend of Ronie's least mortal mind.
clusive, even if the reseinblance did not strike the most The celebrated letier of Servius Sulpicius to Cicero, on
careless observer." to death of his daughter, describes as it then was, and
Amongst the bronzes of the same princely collection, Box is, 2 path which I ofien traced in Greece, both by is still to be seen the inscribed tablet copied and com** ani land, in different journeys and voyages.
merted upon by Mr. Gibbon. Our historian found *On my return from Asia, as I was sailing from somne difficulties, but did not desist from his illustra.F.giua towards Megara, I begun to contemplate the tion: he might be vexed 10 bear that his criticism has F*the countries around me: Ægina was behind, been thrown away on an inscription now generally reSi ara before me; Piræus on the right, Corinth on the cognised to be a forgery. en; al which towns, once furnous and flourishing, now
Note 26. Stanza li. Resurged and buried in their ruins. Upon this
-hin eyes to thee upturn, sebe, I would not but think presently within myself,
Feeding on thy'sweet cheek.
"...Atque oculos pascat uterque suos."-Ovid. Amor. lib. 11 1d. J. C. Buitenger, de Terræ motu et Falminibus, lib. 3 Oέξεις κεραυνωθείς άτιμος έστι, όθεν και ως θεός
i Dr. Middleton--History of the Life of M. Tullius Cicero Plui. Sympos., vid. J. C. Bulleng. ut sup.
sect. vii. pag. 371, vol. fi. 4 Pauli Dizon, de gestis Langobard. lib. iii. cap. xiv. fo. descriptio, ap. Sallengre, Thesaur. toin. i. pag. 501.
Ve 2. pag. 100. edit. Lugd. Bat. 1687.
2 De fortuna varietate urbis Romæ et de ruinis ejusdem ett. Turin. 13.7. 51 € Valeriui, de fulminum significationibus declamatio,
3 See Monin. Ant. ined. par. i. cap. xvii. n. xli. pag. 50 oy. Gav. An'iq. Rom. tom. v. p. 593. The declamation is and Storia delle arti, etc. lib. xi. cap. i, tom. ii. p. 314. nol. B Kused lo Julian of Malicis,
4 Nomina gentesque Antiquæ Italiæ, p. 204. edit. och
Note 27. Stanza liv.
Note 28. Stanza liv.
Angelo's, Alfieri's bones. 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 selvom, and zling or too dark a cloud round the march of genius, but very few of them, allowed to be acted. It was ob and 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 improvportrait 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 nunerous ar 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 con can 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 er that many will repay themselves for former complai- temporary commonplaces on the bonbardment 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 chance. The proposal for deifying Alferi was received be the object, the more certain the justice of the deci- with immediate enthusiasm, the rather because it was sion. She will enter into that existence in which the conjectured there would be no opportunity of carrying great writers of all ages and nations are, as it were, it into effect. associated in a world of their own, and from that su
Note 29. Stanza liv. perior sphere shed their cternal influence for the con
Here Machiavelli's earth return'd to whence it rose. trol and consolation of mankind. But the individual will gradually disappear as the author is more dis
The affectation of simplicity in sepulchral inscrip
tions which so often leaves us uncertain whether the tinctly seen: some one, therefore, of all those whom the charms of involuntary wit, and of easy hospitality; taph, or a simple memorial not of death but life, has
structure before us is an actual depository, or a cenoattracted within the friendly circles of Coppet, should rescue from oblivion those virtues which, although the place or time of the birth or death, the age or pa
given to the tomb of Machiavelli no information as to they are said to love the shade, are, in fact, more frequently chilled than excited by the domestic cares of rentage, of the historian. private life. Some one should be found to portray
TANTO NOMINI NVLLVM PAR ELOGIVM
NICCOLAVS MACHIAVELLI. the unaffected graces with which she adorned those dearer relationships, the performance of whose duties
There seems at least no reason why the name should is rather discovered amongst the interior secrets, than
not have been put above the sentence which alludes
to it. seen in the outward management, of family intercourse; and which, indeed, it requires the delicacy of
It will readily be imagined that the prejudices which genuine affection to qualify for the eye of an indiffer-have passed the name of Machiavelli into an epithet ent spectator. Some one should be found, not to proverbial of iniquity, exist no longer at Florence. His celebrate, but to describe, the amiable mistress of an memory was persecuted as his life had been for an at. open mansion, the centre of a society, ever varied, and tachment to liberty, incompatible with the new system always pleased, the creator of which, divested of the of despotism, which succeeded the fall of the free gore ambition and the arts of public rivalry, shone forth only ernments of Italy. He was put to the torture for beto give fresh animation to those around her. The mo
ing a “libertine," that is, for wishing to restore the rether tenderly affectionate and tenderly beloved, the public of Florence; and such are the undying efforts friend unboundedly generous, but still esteemed, the charitable patroness of all distress, cannot be forgotten their liberties. Titus, the friend of Antony, presente-1 Those
1 The free exprcesion of their honest sentiments survived by those whom she cherished, protected, and fed. Her with games in the theatre of Pompey. They did not sufferte: loss will be mourned the most where she was known brilliancy of the spectacle to effice from their memory that the
man who furnished them with the entertainment hud mur thic 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, spontaneous more dependants, may be offered the disinterested re-l expressed, is never wrong. Even the soldiers of the iriurn; grel of a stranger, who, amidst the sublimer scenes of joined in the execration of the citizens, by shouting round ta
chariots of Lepidus and Plancus, who had proscribed the ine Leman lake, received his chief satisfaction from brothers, De Germanis non de Gallis duo triumphitri CE contemplating the engaging qualities of the incompa- pun. c. val. Paterculi Hist. lib. ii. cap. lxxix, pag. 78. eura
sules; a snying worth a record, were it nothing but a ga Table Corinna,
Elzevir. 1639. Ibid. lib. ii. cap. lxxvii.
mar those who are interested in the perversion not only the injustice of his fellow-citizens. His appeal to Flo. of the nature of actions, but the meaning of words, rence was accompanied by another to the Emperor that what was once patriotism, has by degrees come to Henry, and the death of that sovereign, in 1313, was nuly dewch. We have ourselves outlived the old the signal for a sentence of irrevocable bapishinent. Ile mu'ng of " liberality," which is now another word for had before lingered near Tuscany, with hopes of recall, trezson in one country and for infatuation in all. It then travelled into the north of Italy, where Verona Skens to have been a strange mistake to accuse the au- had to boast of his longest residence, and he finally tom of the Prince, as being a pander to tyranny; and settled at Ravenna, which was his ordinary but not to link that the inquisition would condemn his work constant abode until his death. The refusal of the Velar such a delinquency. The fact is, that Machiavelli, netians to grant him a public audience, on the part of 23 is usual with those against whom no crine can be Guido Novello da Polenta, his protector, is said to have prore !, 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 bruth Jesuits, one of whom persuaded the inqui- at Ravenna, in a handsome tomb, which was erected sition " benchè fosse tardo, 10 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 bim, again republic as no better than a fool. The father Possevin restored by Cardinal Corsi in 1692, and replaced by a Fas proved never to have read the book, and the father more magnificent sepulchre, constructed in 1780 at the Lucchesini not to have understood it. It is clear, how- expense of the Cardinal Luigi Valenti Gonzaga. The eter, that such critics must have objected not to the offence or misfortune of Dante was an attachment to a szpery of the doctrines, but to the supposed tendency defeated party, and, as his leasi favourable biographers of a lesson which shows how distinct are the interests allege against him, too great a freedom of speech and da 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, ica, 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, Termine 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 Big pres ire questa occasione, acciocchè la Italia seventh Canto, before they drove him from his native tegge dopo tanto tempo apparire un suo redentore. city. Fifty-one years after his death, they endowed a
prido esprimere con qual amore ei fusse ricevuto in professional chair for the expounding of his verses, and tutte quelle provincie, che hanno palito per queste il Boccaccio was appointed to this patriotic employment. tariani esterne, con qual sete di vendetta, con che 08- The example was imitated by Bologna and Pisa, and the tuua fete, con che lacrime. Quali porte se li serre- commentators, if they performed but little service to Helena? Quali populi li negherebbeno la obbedienza ? literature, augmented ihe veneration which beheld a Gazte Italiano li negherebbe l' ossequio ? AD OGNUNO sacred or moral allegory in all the images of his mystic PIZZA QUESTO BARBARO DOMINIO." !
His birth and his infancy were discovered to Note 30. Stanza lvii.
have been distinguished above those of ordinary men; L'ngrateful 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 koght in two battles, was fourteen tines 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 Anjog triumphed over the Bianchi, he was precocious passion for that wisdom or thcology which, dent on an embassy to Pope Boniface VIII. and was under the name of Beatrice, had been mistaken for a ondernned to two years' banishment, and to a fine of substantial mistress. When the Divine Comedy had eight thousand lire; on the non-payment of which he been recognised as a mere mortal production, and at u further punished by the sequestration of all his the distance of two centuries, when criticism and comproperty. The republic, howcver, was rot content with petition had sobered the judgment of Italians, Dante la satisfaction, for in 1772 was discovered in the was seriously declared superior to Homer,' and though arthrives at Florence a sentence in which Dante is the the preference appeared to some casuists “ a heretical teventh of a list of fifteen condemned in 1302 to be blasphemy worthy of the flames,” the contest was vigwrat alive; Tulis perveniens igne comburatur sic quod orously maintained for nearly fifty years. In later Bastidw. The pretext for this judgment was a proof times, it was made a question which of the lorus of of unfair barter, extortions, and illicit gains: Baracte- Verona could boast of having patronized him, and the marum iniquarum, extorsionum, et illicilorum lucro-jealous scepticism of one writer would not allow Ra remo and with such an accusation it is uot 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 ? | Prinrio di Nicco's Machiavelli, etc., con la prefazione allegory. Se Storia, etc., ut aup. p. 453.
I So relates Ficino, but some think his coronation only an te oriche e politiche di M. Amelot de lit Houssaye, e 2 By Varchi, in bis Ercolano. The controversy continuer me confutazione dell'opera.... Cosmopoli, 1769. from 1570 to 1616. See Storia, etc., tom. vii. lib. ii. par ui
Storia della Lett. Ital. tom. v. lib. iii. par. 2. pag. 448. I p. 120. bohi is correct: the dates of the three decrecs against 3 Gio. Jacopo Dionisi canonico di Verona. Serie di Anod That are A. D. 1302, 1314, and 1316
I doti, n. 2. Sec Storia, etc,, tom. v. lib. .. pai.
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. without complaint ; I have supported patiently the pains The last age seemed inclined to undervalue him as a of imprisonment, for they were inflicted at your conmodel and a study; and Bettinelli one day rebuked his mand: this is no time to inquire whether I deserved pupil Monti, for poring over the harsh and obsolete them—the good of the republic may have seemed to extravagancies of the Commedia. The present genera- require it, and that which the republic resolves is always tion, having recovered from the Gallic idolatries of resolved wisely. Behold me ready to lay down my lie Cesarotti, has returned to the ancient worship, and the for the preservation of my country.” Pisani was apDanteggaire of the northern Italians is thought even pointed generalissimo, and, by his exertions, in conjuncindiscreet by the more moderate Tuscans.
tion with those of Carlo Zeno, the Venetians soon reThere is still much curious information relative to covered the ascendancy over their maritime rivals. the life and writings of this great poet, which has not The Italian communities were no less unjust to their as yet been collected even by the Italians; but the cele- citizens than the Greek republics. Liberty, both with brated Ugo Foscolo meditates to supply this defect; the one and the other, seems to have been a national, and it is not to be regretted that this national work not an individual object : and, notwithstanding the boasthas been reserved for one so devoted to his country ed equality before the laws, which an ancient Greek and the cause of truth.
writer' considered the great distinctive mark beiseen Note 31. Stanza lvü.
his countrymen and the barbarians, the mutual rights Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore;
of fellow-citizens seem never to have been the principal Thy factions, in their worse than civil war, Proscribed, etc.
scope of the old democracies. The world may have not The elder Scipio Africanus had a tomb, if he was not yet seen an essay by the author of the Italian Republics, buried, at Liternum, whither he had retired to volun- in which the distinction between the liberty of former tary banishment. This tomb was near the sea-shore, states, and the signification attached to that word by the and the story of an inscription upon it, Ingrata Patria, happier constitution of England, is ingeniously develhaving given a name to a modern tower, is
, if not true, aped. The Italians, however, when they had ceased to an agreeable fiction. If he was not buried, he certainly
be free, still looked back with a sigh upon thuse times of lived there."
turbulence, when every citizen might rise to a share of
sovereign power, and have never been taught fully to
when Francis Maria II. Duke of Rovero proposed the Ingratitude is generally supposed the vice peculiar to question, " which was preferable, the republic or the republics; and it seems to be forgotten, that, for one principality-the perfect and not durable, or the less instance of popular inconstancy, we have a hundred perfect and not so liable to change," replied, " that our examples of the fall of courtly favourites. Besides, a happiness is to be measured by its quality, not by its people have often repented_a monarch seldom or duration ; and that he preferred to live for one day like never. Leaving apart many familiar proofs of this faci, a man, than for a hundred years like a brute, a stock, 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 Vettor Pisani, having been defcated in 1354 at Porto- vitude.? longo, and many years afterwards in the more decisive
Note 32. Stanza lvii. action of Pola, by the Genoese, was recalled by the
-and the crown 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 suil had grown. tribunal was content with the sentence of imprison
The Florentines did not take the opportunity of Pe inent. Whilst Pisani was suffering this unmerited dis- trarch's short visit to their city, in 1330, 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 io 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 al 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 condescens 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 who was dear, and would be dearer to them; and the him to forgive the indignities he had endured in her added, that if there was any thing unpleasing in the
letter, he ought to return amongst them, were it only to 1 Vitam Literni egit sine desiderio urbis. See T. Liv. Hist. lib. xxxvii. Livy reports that some said he was buried at 1 The Greek boasted that he was looropos.-See the la Liternum, others at Rome. Ib. cap. Iv.
chapter of the first book of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 2 Trionfo della Castità.
2 "E intorno alla magnifica risposta," etc. Serassi, Vi 3 See note to stanza XIII.
del Tasso, lib. iii. pag. 149. tom. ii. edit. 2. Bergana