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For an impetuous saini, upraised his keys,
Who fell like Phaeton, but more at case,
A different web being by the destinies
But soon rose to the surface-like himself:
By their own rottenness, light as an elf,
Or wisp that fits o'er a morass: he lurks,
It may be, still, like dull books on a shelf,
of this true dream, the telescope is gone
And show'd me what I in my turn have shown:
Was, that King George slipp'd into heaven for one,
1 A drowned body lies at the bottom till rotten; it then Boats, as most people know.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN OF PULCI.
the version is faithful to the best of the translator's ability in combining his interpretation of the one lan
guage with the not very casy task of reducing it to The Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of which the same versification in the other. The reader is rethis translation is offered, divides with the Orlando In- quested to reinember 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 100 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
are questions which the public will decide. He was Boiardo's poem, has corrected the other. Pulci may be induced to make the experiment partly by his love for, considered as the precursor and model of Berni al- and partial intercourse with, the Italian language, or 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, have courted her longest. The translator wished also are to be traced to the same source. It has never yet to present in an English dreas a part at least of a poem been decided entirely, whether Pulci's intention was or never yet rendered into a northern langırage: at the was not to deride the religion, which is one of his fa
same time that it has been the original of some of the vourite topics. It appears to me, that such an intention most celebrated productions on this side of the Alps, would have been no less hazardous to the poet than to as well as of those recent experiments in poetry in the priest, particularly in that age and country; and England which have been already mentioned. the permission to publish the poem, and its reception among the classics of Italy, prove that it neither was nor is so interpreted. Thai he intended to ridicule 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
CANTO 1. hem of irreligion on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple,
I. and the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild,—or Scott, for the in the beginning was the Word next God; exquisite use of his Covenanters in the “ Tales of my God was the Word, the Word no less was he; Landlord.”
This was in the beginning, to my mode
IX. And thou, oh Virgin! daughter, mother, bride, 'T was Christmas-day; in Paris all his court of the same Lord, who gave you
Charles held; the chief, I say, Orlando was, Of heaven, and hell, and every thing beside,
The Dane; Astolfo there too did resort, The day thy Gabriel said, “ All hail!” lo thee, Also Ansuigi, the gay time to pass Since to thy servants pity's ne'er denied,
In festival and in triumphant sport, With flowing rhymes, a pleasant style and free, The much renovnid Saint Dennis being the cause ; Be to my verses then benignly kind,
Angiolin of Bayonne, and Oliver,
And gentle Belinghieri too came there:
Avolio, and Arino, and Othone Weeps with her sister, who remembers and
Of Normandy, and Richard Paladin, Deplores the ancient woes which both befell,
Wise Hamo, and the ancient Salemone, And makes the nymphs enamour'd, to the hand Walter of Lion's Mount, and Baldovin, Of Phaeton by Phæbus loved so well
Who was the son of the sad Ganellone, His car (but temper'd by his sire's command) Were there, exciting too much gladness in Was given, and on the horizon's verge just now The son of Pepin :—when his knights caine hither, Appear’d, so that Tithonus scratch'd his brow; He groan'd with joy to see them altogether. IV.
XI. When I prepared my bark first to obey,
But watchful fortune lurking, takes good heed As it should still obey, the helm, my mind,
Ever some bar 'gainst our intents to bring. And carry prose or rhyme, and this my lay
While Charles reposed him thus in word and deed, or Charles the Emperor, whom you will find
Orlando ruled court, Charles, and every thing; By several pens already praised; but they
Curs! Gan, with envy bursting, had such need Who to diffuse his glory were inclined,
To vent his spite, that thus with Charles the king, For all that I can see in prose or verse,
One day he openly began to say, Have understood Charles badly—and wrote worse.
“ Orlando must we always then obey ? V.
XII, Leonardo Aretino said already,
“ A thousand times I've been about to say, That if, like Pepin, Charles had had a writer
Orlando too presumptuously goes on; Of genius quick, and diligently steady,
Here are we, counts, kings, dukes, to own thy sway, No hero would in history look brighter;
Hamo, and Otho, Ogier, Solomon, He in the cabinet being always ready,
Each have to honour thee and to obey ; And in the field a most victorious fighter,
But he has too much credit near the throne,
By such a boy lo be no longer guided.
" And even at Aspramont thou didst begin The abbey no great way from Manopell,
To let him know he was a gallant knight, Erected in the Abruzzi to his glory,
And by the fount did much the day to win; Because of the great battle in which fell
But I know who that day had won the fight A pagan king, according to the story,
If it had not for good Gherardo been: And selon people whom Charles sent to hell :
The victory was Almonte's else; bis sight And there are bones so many, and so many,
He kept upon the standard, and the laurels Near them Giusaffa's would seem few, if
In fact and fairness are his earning, Charles.
“If thou rememberest being in Gascony, His virtues as I wish to see them: thou,
When there advanced the nations out of Spain, Florence, by his great bounty don't arise,
The Christian cause had suffered shamefully, And hast, and may have, if thou wilt allow,
Had not his valour driven them back again. All proper customs and true courtesies :
Best speak the truth when there's a reason why:
O'er which I cross-d with two and sixty counts.
So that each here may have his proper part,
For the whole court is more or less in grief: In Roncesvalles, as the villain plannid too,
Perhaps thou deem'st this lad a Mars in hea..? While the horn rang so loud, and knell'd the doom Orlando one day heard this speech in brief,
or their sad rout, though he did all knight can do, As by himself it chanced he sate apart: And Dante in his comedy has given
Displeased he was with Gan because he said it, To him a haz.py seat with Charles in heaven. But much more still that Charles should give him credit
These mountains, albeit that they are obscure,
As you perceive, yet without fear or blame And thus at length they separated were.
They seem'd to promise an asylum sure : Orlando, angry too with Carlornan,
From savage brutes alone, too fierce to tame, Wanted but little to have slain him there;
'T was fit our quiet dwelling to sec'ire ; Then forth alone from Paris went the chief,
But now, if here we'd stay, we needs must çuard And burst and madden'd with disdain and grief. Against domestic beasts with watch and ward. XVII.
XXIV. From Ermellina, consort of the Dane,
“ 'These make us stand, in fact, upon the watch, He took Cortana, and then took Rondell,
For late there have appear'd three giants rough ; And on towards Brara prick'd him o'er the plain ;
What nation or what kingdom bore the batch And when she saw him coming, Aldabelle
I know not, but they are all of savage stuff"; Stretch'd forth her arms to clasp her lord again :
When force and malice with some genius match, Orlando, in whose brain all was not well,
You know, they can do all—we are not enough: As “Welcome my Orlando home," she said,
And these so much our orisons derange,
I know not what to do till matters change.
“Our ancient fathers living the desert in, On Gan in that rash act he seem'd to take,
For just and holy works were duly fed ; Which Aldabella thought extremely strange,
Think not they lived on locusts sole, 't is certain But soon Orlando found himself awake;
That manna was rain'd down from heaven instead ;
But here 't is fit we keep on the alert in and his spouse took his bridle on this change, And he dismounted from his horse, and spake
Our bounds, or taste the stones shower'd down fur
bread, Of every thing which pass'd without demur, And then reposed himself some days with her.
From off yon mountain daily raining faster,
And jung by Passamont and Alabaster.
"The third, Morgante,'s savagest by far; he And far as Pagan countries roam'd astray,
Plucks up pines, beeches, poplar-trees, and oaks, and while he rode, yet still at every pace
And flings them, our community to bury, The traitor Gan remember'd by the way;
And all that I can do but more provokes." And wandering on in error a long space,
While thus they parley in the cemetery, An abbey which in a lone desert lay,
A stone from one of their gigantic strokes, Midst glens obscure, and distant lands he found,
Which nearly crush'd Rondell, came tumbling over,
The manna's falling now," the abbot cried : of a great mountain's brow the abbey stood, ". This fellow does not wish my horse should feed, But certain savage giants look'd him over!
Dear abbot," Roland unto him replied ; One Passamont was foremost of the brood,
“Of restiveness he'd cure him had he need; And Alabaster and Morgante hover
That stone seems with good-will and aim applied.”
They 'll one day fing the mountain, I believe.”
And also made a breakfast of his own :
Who flung at my good horse yon corner-stone." Enter'd, he said that he was taught to adore Said the abbot, “Let not my advice seem shallow, Him who was born of Mary's holiest blood,
As to a brother dear I speak alone ;
As knowing sure that you will lose your life.
Such slings, clubs, ballast-stones, that yield you must, With us in Mary Mother's son divine;
You know that giants have much stouter hearts And that you may not, cavalier, conceive
Than us, with reason, in proportion just; The cause of our delay to let you in
If 30 you will, guard wel' against their arts, To be rusticity, you shall receive
For these are very barbarous and robust." The reason why our gate was barr'd to you; Orlando answer'd, “ This I'll see, be sure, Thus those who in suspicion live must do.
And walk the wild on foot to be secure."
“ Then go you with God's benison and mine ;" And Alabaster he found out below, Orlando, after he had scaled the mount,
Doing the very best that in him lay As the abbot har directed, kept the line
To root from out a bank a rock or two. Right to the usual haunt of Passamont;
Orlando, when he reach'd him, loud 'gan say, Who, seeing nim alone in this design,
“ How think'st thou, glutton, such a stone to throw ?" Survey'd him fore and aft with eyes observant, When Alabaster heard his deep voice ring, Then asked him, “If he wish'd to stay as servant ?" He suddenly betook him to his sling, XXXI.
XXXVIII. And promised him an office of great ease;
And hurl'd a fragment of a size so large, But, said Orlando, “ Saracen insane!
That if it had in fact fulfill'd its mission, I come to kill you, if it shall so please
And Roland not avail'd him of his large, God, not to serve as footboy in your train;
There would have been no need of a physician. You with his monks so oft have broke the peace- Orlando set himself in turn to charge,
Vile dog! 't is past his patience to sustain." And in his bulky bosom made incision
However by no means forgot Macone.
Who had not moved him from the spot, and swinging Composed of branches, logs of wood, and earth,
And shut himself at night within his birth.
Orlando knock'd, and knock'd again, to goad And head, and set both head and helmet ringing, The giant from his sleep; and he came forth, So that he swoon'd with pain as if he died,
The door to open, like a crazy thing,
And Mahomet he calld, but Mahomet Disarm me: why such craven did I fight ?"
Is nothing worth, and not an instant back'd him; But Christ his servants ne'er abandons long, But praying blessed Jesu, he was set Especially Orlando, such a knight,
At liberty from all the fears which rack'd him; As lo desert would almost be a wrong.
And to the gate he came with great regretWhile the giant goes to put off his defences, “Who knocks here?” grumbling all the while, said he: Orlando has recall'd his force and senses:
" That,” said Orlando, " you will quickly see." XXXIV.
Thou thought'st me doubtless for the bier outlaid; Sent by the miserable monks-repentance;
Condemns the evil done by new acquaintance. 'T was but by treachery thou laid'st mc low.” 'T is writ on high-your wrong must pay another's ; The giant his astonishment betray'd,
From heaven itself is issued out this sentence; And turn'd about, and stopp'd his journey on, Know then, that colder now than a pilaster And then he stoop'd to pick up a great stone. I left your Passamont and Alabaster." XXXV.
XLII. Orlando had Cortana bare in hand,
Morgante said, “O gentle cavalier ! To split the head in twain was what he schemed- Now by thy God say me no villany; Cortana clave the skull like a true brand,
The favour of your name I fain would hear, And pagan Passamont died unredeern'd.
And if a Christian, speak for courtesy."
And most devoully Macon still blasphemed; I by my faith disclose contentedly;
« I have had an extraordinary vision; I know my life was saved by thee from heaven, A savage serpent fell on me alone, Since by the giant I was fairly down'd.
And Macon would not pily my condition; All things by: thee cre measured just and even ; Hence to thy God, who for ye did atone
Gur power without thine aid would nought be found: Vpon the cross, preferr'd I my petition; pray thee take heed of me, till I can
His timely succour set me safe and free, At least relurn once more to Carloman."
And I a Christian am disposed to be."
LI. Orlando answer'd, “Baron just and pious,
“ And here our doctors are of one accord, If this good wish your heart can really move Coming on this point to the same conclusionTo the true God, who will not then deny us That in their thoughts who praise in heaven the Lord Eternal honour, you will go above.
If pity e'er was guilty of intrusion And, if you please, as friends we will ally us, For their unfortunate relacions stored And I will love you with a perfect love.
In hell below, and damn'd in great confusion,Your idols are vain liars full of fraud,
Their happiness would be reduced to nought,
And thus unjust the Almighty's self be thought.
LII. * The Lord descended to the virgin breast
" But they in Christ have firmest hope, and all Of Mary Mother, sinless and divine;
Which seems to him, to them too must appear If you acknowledge the Redeemer blest,
Well done; nor couid it otherwise befall;
If sire or mother suffer endless thrall,
They don't disturb themselves for him or her;
" A word unto the wise,” Morgante said, And made much of his convert, as he cried,
“ Is wont to be enough, and you shall see * To the abbey I will gladly marshal you:”
How much I grieve about my brethren dead; To whom Morgante, “Let us go," replied ;
And if the will of God seem good to me, "I to the friars have for peace to sue."
Just, as you tell me, 't is in heaven obey'd-
I will cut off the hands from both their trunks.
That they are dead, and have no further fear
To wander solitary this desert in,
God is to be minc-your station, By the Lord's grace, who hath withdrawn the curiang And let your name in verity be shown ;
Of darkness, making his bright realm appear.”
And left them to the savage beasts and birds.
Where waited them the abbot in great doubt. Ost, perfect baron! have I heard of you
The monks, who knew not yet the fact, ran thither Through all the different period of my days:
To their superior, all in breathless rout, And, as I said, to be your vassal too
Saying, with tremor, “ Please to tell us whether I wish, for your great gallantry always."
You wish to have this person in or out ?”
Too greatly fear’o, at first, to be compliant.
Orlando, seeing him thus agitated,
Said quickly, “ Abbot, be thou of good cheer; For their decease, I pray you, comforted,
He Christ believes, as Christian must be rated, And since it is God's pleasure, pardon me;
And hath renounced his Macon false;" which hera A thousand wrongs unto the monks they bred, Morgante with the hands corroborated, And our true scripture soundeth openly
A proof of both the giants' fate quite clear: Gond is rewarded, and chastised the ill,
Thence, with due thanks, the abbot God adored,
Saying, “Thou hast contented me, oh Lord!”
LVII. "Because his love of justice unto all
He gazed; Morgante's height he calculated, Is such, he wills his judgment should devour
And more than once contemplated his size, Al who have sin, however great or small;
And then he said, “Oh giant celebrated, But good he well remembers to restore :
Know, that no more my wonder will arise, Nor without justice holy could we call
How you could tear and fling the trees you late did, Him, whom I now require you to adore:
When I behold your form with my own eyes. A! men must make his will their wishes sway, You now a true and perfect friend will show and quickly and spontaneously obey.
Yourself to Christ, as once you were a soe.