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Why in this furnace is my spirit proved,

A poet's wreath shall be thine only crown, Like steel in tempering fire ? because I loved ? A poet's dungeon thy most far renown, Because I loved what not to love, and see,

While strangers wonder o'er thy unpeopled wall's 18 Was more or less than mortal, and than me.

And thou, Leonora ! - thou— who wert ashamed

That such as I could love — who blush'd to hear IX.

To less than monarchs that thou couldst be dear, I once was quick in feeling that is o'er ;

Go ! tell thy brother, that my heart, untamed
My scars are callous, or I should have dash'd

By grief, years, weariness. -and it may be
My brain against these bars, as the sun flash'd A taint of that he would impute to me -
In mockery through them; --If I bear and bore From long infection of a den like this,
The much I have recounted, and the more

Where the mind rots congenial with the abyss, – Which hath no words, - 't is that I would not die Adores thee still; and add that when the towers And sanction with self-slaughter the dull lie

And battlements which guard his joynus hours
Which snared me here, and with the brand of shame Of banquet, dance, and revel, are forgot,
Stamp Madness deep into my memory,

Or left unterded in a dull repose,
And woo Compassion to a blighted name,

This — this — shall be a consecrated spot! Sealing the sentence which my foes proclaim.

But Thou-when all that Birth and Beauty throws No- it shall be immortal !-- and I make

Of magic round thee is extinct-shalt have A future temple of my present cell,

One half the laurel which o'ershades my grave. : Which nations yet shall visit for my sake."

No power in death can tear our names apart, While thou, Ferrara! when no longer dwell

As none in life could rend thee from my heart. The ducal chiefs within thee, shalt fall down,

Yes, Leonora ! it shall be our fate
And crumbling piecemeal view thy hearthless halls, To be entwined for ever- but too late 14

Ode on Venice."

1. On Venice ! Venice! when thy marble walls

Are level with the waters, there shall be
A cry of nations o'er thy sunken halls,

A loud lament along the sweeping sea !
If I, a northern wanderer, weep for thee,
What should thy sons do ? — anything but weep:
And yet they only murmur in their sleep.
In contrast with their fathers — as the slime,
The dull green ooze of the receding deep,
Is with the dashing of the spring-tide foam
That drives the sailor shipless to his home,
Are they to those that were ; and thus they creep,
Crouching and crab-like, through their sapping streets.
Oh ! agony

that centuries should reap
No mellower harvest! Thirteen hundred years
Of wealth and glory turn'd to dust and tears ;

And every monument the stranger meets,
Church, palace, pillar, as a mourner greets;
And even the Lion all subdued appears,
And the harsh sound of the barbarian drum,
With dull and daily dissonance, repeats
The echo of thy tyrant's voice along
The soft waves, once all musical to song,
That heaved beneath the moonlight with the throng
Of gondolas — and to the busy hum
Of cheerful creatures, whose most sinful deeds
Were but the overbeating of the heart,
And flow of too much happiness, which needs
The aid of age to turn its course apart
From the luxuriant and voluptuous flood
Of sweet sensations, battling with the blood.
But these are better than the gloomy errors,
The weeds of nations in their last decay,

1

nationaalist } shall viste for my sake.” — Ms.]

["Which

and justified by Addison in prose, and by Akenside in verse: after days

but there are moments of real life when its miseries and its ? [Those who indulge in the dreams of earthly retribution

necessities seem to overpower and destroy them. The his. will observe, that the cruelty of Alfonso was not left without tory of mankind, however, furnishes proofs that no boduly its recompense, even in his own person. He survived the af suffering, no adverse circumstances, operating on our 13fection of his subjects and of his dependants, who deserted

terial nature, will extinguish the spirit of imagination. Per. him at his death ; and suffered his body to be interred with

haps there is no instance of this

so very affecting and so very out princely or decent honours. His last wishes were neg

sublime as the case of Tasso. They who have seen the dark, lected; his testament cancelled. His kinsman, Don Cæsar, horror-striking dungeon-hole at Ferrara, in which he was shrank from the excommunication of the Vatican, and, after a confined seven years under the imputation of madness, will short struggle, or rather suspense, Ferrara passed away for

have had this truth impressed upon their hearts in a manner ever from the dominion of the house of Este. - Hobhouse.) nover to be erased. In this vault, of which the sight makes

the hardest heart shudder, the poet employed bimself in 3 [In July, 1586, after a confinement of more than seren nishing and correcting his immortal epic poem. Lord Byron's years, Tasso was released from his dungeon. In the hope of “ Lament” on this subject is as sublime and profound a les. receiving his mother's dowry, and of again beholding his sis son in morality, and in the pictures of the recesses of the ter Cornelia, he shortly after visited Naples, where his pre human soul, as it is a production most eloquent, most pathetic, sence was welcomed with every demonstration of esteem and most vigorous, and most elevating among the gifts of the admiration. Being on a visit at Mola di Gaeta, he received Muse. The bosom which is not touched with it the fancy the following remarkable tribute of respect. Marco di Sciarra, which is not warmed, – the understanding which is not enthe notorious captain of a numerous troop of banditti, hearing lightened and exalted' by it, is not fit for human intercourse. where the great poet was, sent to compliment him, and of I'Lord Byron had written nothing but this, to deny him the fered him not only a free passage, but protection by the way, praise of a grand poet would have been flagrant injustice or and assured him that he and his followers would be proud to

gross stupidity. - BRYDGES.] execute his orders. See Manso, Vita del Tasso, p. 219.1

5 [This Ode was transmitted from Venice, in 1819, along • [The "pleasures of imagination" have been explained with "Mazeppa."]

When Vice walks forth with her unsoften'd terrors, Citles and generations — fair, when free-
And Mirth is madness, and but smiles to slay; For, Tyranny, there blooms no bud for thee !
And Hope is nothing but a false delay,
The sick man's lightning half an hour ere death,

III.
When Faintness, the last mortal birth of Pain, Glory and Empire ! once upon these towers
Add apathy of limb, the dull beginning

With Freedom-godlike Triad ! how ye sate ! Of the cold staggering race which Death is winning, The league of mightiest nations, in those hours Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away ;

When Venice was an envy, might abate, Yet so relieving the o'er-tortured clay,

But did not quench, her spirit; in her fate To him appears renewal of his breath,

All were enwrapp'd : the feasted monarchs knew And freedom the mere nunbness of his chain ;

And loved their hostess, nor could learn to hate, And then he talks of life, and how again

Although they humbled — with the kingly few He feels his spirits soaring - albeit weak,

The many felt, for from all days and climes And of the fresher air, which he would seek ;

She was the voyager's worship ; - even her crimes And as he whispers knows not that he gasps,

Were of the softer order - born of Love, That his thin finger feels not what it clasps,

She drank no blood, nor fatten'd on the dead, And so the film comes o'er him--and the dizzy But gladden'd where her harmless conquests spread; Chamber swims round and round and shadows busy, For these restored the Cross, that fronı above At which he vainly catches, flit and gleam,

Hallow'd her sheltering banners, which incessant Till the last rattle chokes the strangled scream,

Flew between earth and the unholy Crescent, And all is ice and blackness, - and the earth

Which, if it waned and dwindled, Earth may thank That which it was the moment ere our birth. The city it has clothed in chains, which clank

Now, creaking in the ears of those who owe
II.

The name of Freedom to her glorious struggles ; There is no hope for nations ! - Search the page Yet she but shares with them a common woe,

Of many thousand years — the daily scene, And call'd the “ kingdom” of a conquering foe, The flow and ebb of each recurring age,

But knows what all — and, most of all, we know. The everlasting to be which hath been,

With what set gilded terms a tyrant juggles !
Hath taught us nought or little : still we lean
On things that rot beneath our weight, and wear

IV.
Our strength away in wrestling with the air ;

The name of Commonwealth is past and gone For 't is our nature strikes us down: the beasts

O'er the three fractions of the groaning globe ; Slaughter'd in hourly hecatombs for feasts

Venice is crush'd, and Holland deigns to own
Are of as high an order — they must go (slaughter. A sceptre, and endures the purple robe ;
Even where their driver goads them, though to If the free Switzer yet bestrides alone
Ye men, who pour your blood for kings as water, His chainless mountains, 't is but for a time,
What have they given your children in return ? For tyranny of late is cunning grown,
A heritage of servitude and woes,

And in its own good season tramples down
A blindfold bondage, where your hire is blows, The sparkles of our ashes. One great clime,
What! do not yet the red-hot ploughshares burn,

Whose vigorous offspring by dividing ocean
O'er which you stumble in a false ordeal,

Are kept apart and nursed in the devotion And deem this proof of loyalty the real ;

Of Freedom, which their fathers fought for, and Kissing the hand that guides you to your scars,

Bequeath'd

I-a heritage of heart and hand, And glorying as you tread the glowing bars ?

And proud distinction from each other land,
All that your sires have left you, all that Time Whose sons must bow them at a monarch's motion,
Bequeaths of free, and History of sublime,

As if his senseless sceptre were a wand
Spring from a different theme!-- Ye see and read, Full of the magic of exploded science-
Admire and sigh, and then succumb and bleed ! Still one great clime, in full and free defiance,
Save the few spirits who, despite of all,

Yet rears her crest, unconquer'd and sublime,
And worse than all, the sudden crimes engender'd Above the far Atlantic ! - She has taught
By the down-thundering of the prison-wall,

Her Esau-brethren that the haughty flag,
And thirst to swallow the sweet waters tender'd, The floating fence of Albion's feebler crag,
Gushing from Freedom's fountains — when the crowd, May strike to those whose red right hands have bought
Madden'd with centuries of drought, are loud,

Rights cheaply earn'd with blood.-Still, still, for ever And trample on each other to obtain

Better, though each man's life-blood were a river, The cup which brings oblivion of a chain

That it should flow, and overflow, than creep
Heavy and sore, -in which long yoked they plough'd | Through thousand lazy channels in our veins,
The sand, - or if there sprung the yellow grain, Damm'd like the dull canal with locks and chains,
'T was not for them, their necks were too much bow'd, And moving, as a sick man in his sleep,
And their dead palates chew'd the cud of pain : Three paces, and then faltering :- better be
Yes! the few spirits — who, despite of deeds

Where the extinguish'd Spartans still are free,
Which they abhor, confound not with the cause In their proud charnel of Thermopylæ,
Those momentary starts from Nature's laws,

Than stagnate in our marsh, - or o'er the deep
Which, like the pestilence and earthquake, smite Fly, and one current to the ocean add,
But for a term, then pass, and leave the earth

One spirit to the souls our fathers had, With all her seasons to repair the blight

One freeman more, America, to thee ! With a few summers, and again put forth

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in his continuation, by a judicious mixture of the ADVERTISEMENT.

gaiety of Pulci, has avoided the one; and Berni, in The Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of which his reformation of Boiardo's poem, has corrected the this translation is offered, divides with the Orlando other. Pulci may be considered as the precursor Innamorato the honour of having formed and sug and model of Berni altogether, as he has partly been gested the style and story of Ariosto.

The great

to Ariosto, however inferior to both his copyists. He defects of Boiardo were his treating too seriously the is no less the founder of a new style of poetry very narratives of chivalry, and his harsh style. Ariosto, lately sprung up in England. I allude to that of

· [The following translation was executed at Ravenna, in February, 1820, and first saw the light in the pages of the unfortunate journal called “ The Liberal." The merit of It, as Lord Byron over and over states in his letters, consists in the wonderful verbum pro verbo closeness of the version. It was, in fact, an exercise of skill in this art, and cannot be fairly estimated, without continuous reference to the original Italian, which the reader will therefore now find placed opposite to the text. Those who want full information, and clear philosophical views, as to the origin of the Romantic Poetry of the Italians, will do well to read at length an article on that subject, from the pen of the late Ugo Foscolo, in the forty-second number of the Quarterly Review. We extract from it the passage in which that learned writer applies him. self inore particularly to the Morgante of Pulci. After showing that all the poets of this class adopted as the groundwork of their fictions, the old wild materials which had for ages formed the stock in trade of the professed story-tellers, - in those days a class of persons holding the same place in Christendom, and more especially in Italy, which their brothers still maintain all over the East, – Foscolo thus proceeds:

The customary forms of the narrative all find a place in romantic poetry: such are the sententious reflections suggested by the matters which he has just related, or arising in anticipation of those which he is about to relate, and which the story-teller always opens when he resuines his recitations; his defence of his own merits against the attacks of rivals in trade; and his formal leave-taking when he parts from his audience, and invites them to meet him again on the morrow. This method of winding up each portion of the poem is a favourite among the romantic poets; who constantly finish their cantos with a distich, of which the words may vary, but the sense is uniform.

'All'altro canto ve farò sentire,

Se all' altro canto mi verrete a udire,' - ARIOSTO. Or at the end of another canto, according to Harrington's translation,

I now cut off abruptly here my rhyme,

And keep my tale unto another time.' “ The forms and materials of these popular stories were adopted by writers of a superior class, who considered the vulgar tales of their prede. cessors as block's of marble finely tintel and variegated by the hand of nature, but which might afford a masterpiece, when tastefully worked and polished. The romantic poets treated the traditionary tictions just as Dante did the legends invented by the monks to maintain their mastery over weak minds. He formed them into a poem, which became the admi. ration of every age and nation; but Dante aud Petrarca were poets, who, though universally celebrated, were not universally understood. The learneri found emplovment in writing comments upon their poems; but the nation, without even excepting the higher ranks, knew them only by

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, a few obscure authors began to write romances in prose and in rhyme, taking for their subject the wars of Charlemagne and Orlando, or sometimes the adventures of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. These works were so pleasing, that they were rapidly multiplied: but the bards of romance cared little about style or rersitication, -- they sought for adventures, and enchantments, and miracles. We here obtain at least a partial explanation of the rapid decline of Italian poetry, and the amazing corruption of the Italian language, which took place immediately after the death of Pe. trarch, and which proceeded from bad to worse until the era of Lorenzo de Medici.

" It was then that Pulci composed his Morgante for the amusement of Madonna Lucrezia, the mother of Lorenzo; and he use I to recite it at table to Ficino, and Politian, and Lorenzo, and the other illustrious charac. ters who then flourished at Florence: yet Pulci adhered strictly to the original plan of the popular story tellers : and if his successors lave em. bellished them so that they can scarcely be recognised, it is certain that in no other poem can they be found so genuine and native as in the Mor. gante. Pulci accommodated himself, though sporiively, to the genius of his age; classical taste and sound criticism began to prevail, and great endeavours were making by the learned to separate historical truth from the chaos of fable and tradition : so that, though lulci introduced the mert extravagant fables, he affected to complain of the errors of his predecers. I grieve,' he said, ' for my emperor Charlemagne: for I see that his history has been badly written and worse understood.'

E del mio Carlo imperador m'increbbe ;
E' stata questa istoria, a quel ch'io reggio,

Di Carlo, male intesa e scritta peggio.' " And whilst he quotes the great historian Leonardo Aretino with respect, he professes to believe the authority of the holy Archbishop Turpin, who is also one of the heroes of the poem. In another passage, where he imitates the apologies of the story.tellers, he makes a neat allusion to the taste of his audience. ' I know, he s15%, 'that I must proceed straight. forward, and not tell a single lie in the course of iny tale. This is not a

story of mere invention : and if I go one step out of the right road, one chastises, another criticises, a third scolds - they try drive me mad but in fact they are out of their senses.'

"Pulci's versification is remarkably fluent. Yet he is deficient in me lody; his language is pure, and his expressions flor naturally; bat his phrases are abrupt and unconnected, and he frequently writes ungram 12tically. His vigour degenerates into harshness; and his lore of breath prevents the derelopement of his poetical imagery. He bears all the marks of rude genius; he was capable of delicate pleasantry, yet his smals are usually bitter and severe. His humour never aries froin points, bet from unexpected situations strongly contrasted. The Emperor Charle magne sentences King Marsilius of Spain to be hangel for high treason; and Archbishop Turpin kindly offers his services on the occasion.

E' dice: lo vo', Marsilio, che tu muoja
Dore tu ordinasti il tradimento.
Disse Turpino: lo voglio fare il boja.
Carlo rispose : Ed io son ben contento
Che sia trattato di questi due cani

L'opera santa con le sante mani.' " Here we have an emperor superintending the execution of a king, sho is hanged in the presence of a vast multitude, all of whom are greatly edi. fied at beholding an archbishop officiating in the character of a finisher of the law. Before this adventure took place, Caradoro had despatched an ambassador to the emperor, complaining of the shameful conduct of a wicked Paladin, who had seduced the princess his daughter. The arater does not present himself with modern diplomatic courtesy.

Macon t'abbatta come traditore,
O disleale e ingiusto imperadore !

A Caradoro è stato scritto, O Carlo,
o Carlo! O Carlo! (e crollava la testa)
De la tua corte, che non puoi negarlo,

De la sua figlia cosi disonesta.'
"O Charles,' he cried, Charles, Charles ! - and as he cried

He shook his head - ' a sad complaint I bring
Of shameful acts which cannot be denied :
King Caradore has ascertained the thing,
Which comes moreover prosed and verified
By letters from your own side of the water

Respecting the behaviour of his daughier. "Such scenes may appear somewhat strange; but Caradoro's embasst, and the execution of King Marsilius, are told in strict conformity to the notions of the common people, and as they must still be cesetih if we wished to imitate the popular story-tellers. If Pule be occasi inal y refined and delicate, his snatches of amenity resulted from the national cha racter of the Florentines, and the revival of letters. But at the sune time, we must trace to national character, and to the influence of his daily consi panions, the buttoonery which, in the opinion of fureigners, frequent ds. graces the poem. M. Ginguené has criticised Pulci in the usual style of his countrymen. He attributes modern manners to ancient times, and takes it for granted that the individuals of every other nation think and act like modern Frenchmen. On these principles, he concludes that Pulc, boh with respect to his subject and to his mode of treating it, intended only to write burlesque poetry ; because, as he ways, such burtwners could do have been introduced into a composition recited to Lorenzo de' Media and his enlightened guests, if the author had intended to be in eamest. In the tine portrait of Lorenzo given by Machiavelli at the end of his Florentine history, the historian complains that he took more pleasure in the company of jesters and buffoons than beseemed such a man. It is a little star that Benedetto Varchi, a contemporary historian, makes the streeplaint of Machiavelli himself. Indeed, many known anecdotes of Mobi selli, no less than his fugitive pieces, prore that it was only when he was acting the statesman that he wished to be grave; and that he cou'd lausch like other men when he laid aside his dignity. We do not think te was in the wrong. But, whatever opinion may be formed the subject we shall yet be forced to conclude that great men may be come ad te blame the manners of their times, without being able to withstand their influence. In other respects, the poem of l'ulci is serious, both in subject and in tone. And here we shall repeat a general observation, bich ve advise our readers to apply to all the romantic poenus of the Itabase That their comic humour arises from the contrast berrers the cum deatours of the writers to adhere to the forms and subject of the most story-tellers, and the efforts muide at the same time by the goiss the rriters to render such materials interesting and sublime.

“ This simple elucidation of the causes of the poetical character of the Morgante has been overlooked by the critics; and they have therefore is. puted with great earnestness during the last two centuries, whether the Morgante is written in jest or earnest; and whether l'ulai is not an atheist, who wrote in verse for the express purpose of scoffing at all reinic Mr. Merivale inclines, in his Orlando in Roncesvalles, to the opinio M. Ginguéné, that the Morgante is decidedly to be considered as a bus lesque poem, and a satire against the Christian religion. Yet Mr. Men vals himself acknowledges that it is round up with a tragical effect, diguified by religious sentiment; and is therefore forced to leave the question amongst the unexplained, and perhaps inexplicable, phenees of the human mind." If a similar question bad not been already derdinde both in regard to Shakspeare and to Ariosto, it might be still a subote? dispute whether the former intended to write tragedies, and whether the

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the ingenious Whistlecraft.

The serious poems on ability in combining his interpretation of the one Roncesvalles in the same language, and more par- language with the not very easy task of reducing it ticularly the excellent one of Mr. Merivale, are to to the same versification in the other. The reader, be traced to the same source. It has never yet been on comparing it with the original, requested to decided entirely whether Pulci's intention was or remember that the antiquated language of Pulci, was not to deride the religion which is one of his however pure, is not easy to the generality of favourite topics. It appears to me, that such an in- Italians themselves, from its great mixture of Tuscan tention would have been no less hazardous to the proverbs; and he may therefore be more indulgent poet than to the priest, particularly in that age and to the present attempt. How far the translator nas country; and the permission to publish the poem, succeeded, and whether or no he shall continue the and its reception among the classics of Italy, prove work, are questions which the public will decide. that it neither was nor is so interpreted. That he He was induced to make the experiment partly by intended to ridicule the monastic life, and suffered his love for, and partial intercourse with, the Italian his imagination to play with the simple dulness of language, of which it is so easy to acquire a slight his converted giant, seems evident enough; but knowledge, and with which it is so nearly impossible surely it were as unjust to accuse him of irreligion for a foreigner to become accurately conversant. on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his The Italian language is like a capricious beauty, Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple, and who accords her smiles to all, her favours to few, the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild, — or Ścott, for the and sometimes least to those who have courted her exquisite use of his Covenanters in the “ Tales of longest. The translator wished also to present in my Landlord.”

an English dress a part at least of a poem never yet In the following translation I have used the liberty rendered into a northern language ; at the same of the original with the proper names; as Pulci uses time that it has been the original of some of the Gan, Ganellon, or Ganellone ; Carlo, Carlomagno, or most celebrated productions on this side of the Carlomano ; Rondel, or Rondello, &c., as it suits his Alps, as well as of those recent experiments in convenience : so has the translator. In other respects poetry in England which have been already menthe version is faithful to the best of the translator's tioned.

other did not mean to burlesque bis heroes. It is a happy thing that, with regard to those two great writers, the war has ended by the fortunate inter. vention of the general body of readers, who, on such occasions, form their judgment with less erudition and with less prejudice than the critics, But Pulci is little read, and his age is little known. We are told by Mr. Merivale, that the points of abstruse theology are discussed in the Morgante with a degree of sceptical freedom which we should imagine to be altogether remote from the spirit of the fifteenth century.' Mr. Merivale folloss M. Ginguené, who follows Voltaire. And the philosopher of Ferney, who was always beating up in all quarters for allies against Christianity,col. lected all the scriptural passages of Pulci, upon which he commented in his own way. But it is only since the Council of Trent, that any doubt which might be raised on a re'igious dogma exposed an author to the charge of irapiety; whilst, in the fifteenth century, a Catholic might be sincerely dereat, and yet allow himself a certain degree of latitude in theological doubt. At one and the same time the Florentines might well believe in the Gospel and laugh at a doctor of divinity: for it was exactly at this era that they had been spectators of the memorable controversies between the representatives of the eastern and western churches. Greek and Latin bishops from every corner of Christendom had assembled at Florence for the purpose of trying whether they could possibly understand each other ; and when they separated, they hated each other worse than before. At the very time when Pulei was composing his Morgante, the clergy of Florence protested against the excommunications pronounced by Sixtus IV., and with expressions by which his holiness was anathematised in his turn. During these proceedings, an archbishop, convicted of being a papal emis. sary, was hanged from one of the windows of the government palace at Florence: this erent may have suggested to Pulci the idea of converting another archbishop into a hangman. The romantic poets substituted literary and scientific observations for the trivial digressions of the story. tellers. This was a great improvement; and although it was not well managed by Pulci, yet he presents us with much curious incidental matter. In quoting his philosophical friend and contemporary Matteo Palmieri, he explains the instinct of brutes by a bold hypothesis -- he supposes that they are animated by evil spirits. This idea gave no offence to the theologians of the fifteenth century, but it excited much orthodox indignation when Father Bougeant, a French monk, brought it forward as a new theory of his own. Mr. Merivale, after observing that Pulci died before the discovery of America by Columbus, quotes a passage' which will become a very in teresting document for the philosophical historian.' We give it in his prose translation: - The water is level through its whole extent, although, like the earth, it has the form of a globe. Mankind in those ages were much more ignorant than now. Hercules would blush at this day for having fixed his columns. Vessels will soon pass far beyond them. They may soon reseb another hemisphere, because every thing tends to its centre ia like manner as, by a divine mystery, the earth is suspended in the midst of the stars; here below are cities and empires, which were ancient. The iababitants of those regions were called Antipodes. They have plants and animals as well as you, and wage wars as well as you.'- Morgante, c. XXV. $ 229, &e.

" The more we consider the traces of ancient science, which break in transient flashes through the darkness of the middle ages, and which gradually re-illuminated the horizon, the more shall we be disposed to adopt the hypothesis suggested by Bailly, and supported by him with seductive eloquence. He maintained that all the acquirements of the Greeks and Romans had been transmitted to them as the wrecks and fragments of the knowledge once possessed by primaval nations, by empires of sages and philosophers, who were afterwards swept from the face of the globe by some overwhelming catastrophe. His theory may be considered as ex. travagant; but if the literary productions of the Romans were not yet extant, it would seem incredible, that, after the lapse of a few centuries, the civilisation of the Augustan age could have been succeeded in Italy by och barbarity. The Italians were so ignorant, that they forgot their family names, and before the eleventh century individuals were known only by their Christian names. They had an indistinct idea, in the middle ages, of the existence of the antipodes; but it was a reminiscence of ancient knowledge. Dante has indicated the number and position of the stars composing the polar constellation of the Austral hemisphere. At the same üme he tells us, that when Lucifer was hurled from the celestial regions, the arch-devi transfixed the globe; half his body remained on our side of

the centre of the earth, and half on the other side. The shock given to
the earth by his fall drove a great portion of the waters of the ocean to the
southern hemisphere, and only one high mountain remained uncovered,
upon which Dante places his purgatory. As the fall of Lucifer happened
before the creation of Adam, it is evident that Dante did not admit that
the southern hemisphere had ever been inhabited ; but, about thirty years
afterwards, Petrarch, who was better versed in the ancient writers, ventured
to hint that the sun shone upon mortals who were unknown to us.

Nella stagion che il ciel rapido inchina
Vers' occidente, e che il dì nostro vola

A gente che di là forse l' aspetta.'
“In the course of half a century after Petrarch, another step was gained.
The existence of the antipodes was fully demonstrated. Pulci raises a devil
to announce the fact; but it bad been taught to him by his fellow-citizen
Paolo Toscanelli, an excellent astronomer and mathematician, who wrote
in his old age to Christopher Columbus, exhorting him to undertake his
expedition. "A few stanzas have been translated by Mr. Merisale, with
some slight variations, which do not wrong the original. They may be
considered as a specimen of Pulci's poetry, when he writes with imagination
and feeling, Orlando bids farewell to his dying horse.

His faithful steed, that long had served him well
In peace and war, now closed his languid eye,
Kneeld at his feet, and seern'd to say Farewell!
I've brought thee to the destined port, and die.'
Orlando felt anew his sorrows swell
When he beheld his Brigliadoro lie
Stretch'd on the fidd, that crystal fount beside,
Stiffen'd his limbs, and cold his warlike pride :
And, O my much-loved steed, my generous friend,
Companion of my better years!' he said;

And have I lived to see so sad an end
Of all thy toils, and thy brave spirit tied.
O pardon me, if e'er I did oflend
With hasty wrong that mild and faithful head!'-
Just then, his eyes a momentary light

Flash'd quick ; – then closed again in endless night.
" When Orlando is expiring on the field of battle, an angel descends to
him, and promises that Alda his wife shall join him in paradise.

Bright with eternal youth and fadeless bloom,
Thine Aldabella thou shalt behold once more,
Partaker of a bliss beyond the tomb
With her whom Sinai's holy hills adore,
Crown'd with fresh flowers, whose colour and perfume
Surpass what Spring's rich bosom ever bore
Thy mourning widow here she will remain,

And be in Heaven thy joyful spouse again.'
“ Whilst the soul of Orlando was soaring to heaven, a soft and plaintire
strain was heard, and angelic voices joined in celestial harmony. They
sang the psalm, When Israel went out of Egypt;' and the singers were
known to be angels from the trembling of their wings.

. Poi si sentì con un suon dolce e fioco
Certa armonia con si soavi accenti
Che ben parea d' angelici stromenti.

In exitu Israel, cantar, de Ægypto,
Sentito fu dagli angeli solenne

Che si conobbe al tremolar le penne.'
" Dante has inserted passages from the Vulgate in his Divina Commedia;
and Petrarch, the most religious of poets, quotes Scripture even when he
is courting. Yet they were not accused of impiety. Neither did Pulci incur
the danger of a posthumous excommunication until after the Reformation,
when Pius V. (a Dominican, who was turned into a saint by a subseg ent
pope) promoted the welfare of holy mother church by burning a few wicked
books, and hanging a few troublesome authors. 'The notion that Pulci
was in the odour of heresy intluenced the opinion of Milton, who only
speaks of the Morgante as a sportful romance.' Milton was anxious
prove that Catholic writers had ridiculed popish divines, and that the Bible

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El Morgante Maggiore.

The Morgante Maggiore.'

CANTO PRIO.

CAXTO THE FIRST.

I.
. In principio era il Verbo appresso a Dio;

Ed era Iddio il Verbo, e'l Verbo lui:
Questo era nel principio, al parer mio ;
E nulla si può far sanza costui :
Però, giusto Signor benigno e pio,
Mandami solo un de gli angeli tui,
Che m'accompagni, e rechimi a memoria
Una famosa antica e degna storia.

II.
E tu Vergine, figlia, e madre, e sposa

Di quel Signor, che ti dette le chiave
Del cielo e dell'abisso, e d'ogni cosa,
Quel dì che Gabriel tuo ti disse Ave!
Perchè tu se' de' tuo' servi pietosa,
Con dolce rime, e stil grato e soave,
Ajuta i versi miei benignamente,
E’nfino al fine allumina la mente.

III.
Era nel tempo, quando Filomena

Con la sorella si lamenta e plora,
Che si ricorda di sua antica pena,
E pe' boschetti le ninfe innamora
E Febo il carro temperato mena,
Che 'l suo Fetonte l'ammaestra ancora ;
Ed appariva appunto all'orizzonte,
Tal che Titon si graffiava la fronte.

IV.
Quand'io varai la mia barchetta, prima

Per ubbidir chi sempre ubbidir debbe
La mente, e faticarsi in prosa e in rima,
E del mio Carlo Imperador m'increbbe;
Che so quanti la penna ha posto in cima,
Che tutti la sua gloria prevarrebbe :
E stata quella istoria, a quel ch'i' veggio,
Di Carlo male intesa, e scritta peggio.

V.
Diceva già Lionardo Aretino,

Che s'egli avesse avuto scrittor degno,
Com'egli ebbe un Ormanno il suo Pipino
Ch'avesse diligenzia avuto e ingegno;
Sarebbe Carlo Magno un uom divino;
Però ch'egli ebbe gran vittorie e regno,
E fece per la chiesa e per la fede
Certo assai più, che non si dice o crede.

I.
Is the beginning was the Word next God;

God was the Word, the Word no less was be:
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 flee,
One only, to be my companion, who
Shall help my famous, worthy, old song through.

II.
And thou, oh Virgin! daughter, mother, bride

Of the same Lord, who gave to you each key
Of heaven, and hell, and everything 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.

III.
'Twas 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 band Of Phaeton by Phæbus 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:

IV.
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.

V.
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.

had been subjected to private judgment, notwithstanding the popes had prohibited the reading of it. His ardour did not allow him to stop and er. amine whether this prohibition might not be posterior to the death of Pulci. Milton had studied Pulci to advantage. The knowledge which he ascribes to his devils, their despairing repentance, the lofty sentiments which he bestows upon some of them, and, above all, the principle that, not with standing their crime and its punishment, they retain the grandeur and per. fection of angelic nature, are all to be found in the Morgante as well as in Paradise Lost. Ariosto and Tasso have imitated other passages. When kreat poets borrow from their inferiors in genius, they tum their acquisi. tions to such advantage that it is difficult to detect their thefts, and still more difficult to blame them.

“ The poem is filled with kings, knights, giants, and devils. There are many battles and many duels. Wars rise out of wars, and empires are conquered in a day. Pulci treats us with plenty of magic and enchantment. His love adventures are not peculiarly interesting; and, with the exception of four or five leading personages, his characters are of no moment. The fable turns wholly upon the hatred which Ganellon, the felon knight of Maganza, bears towards Orlando and the rest of the Christian Paladins. Charlemagne is easily practised upon by Ganellon, his prime confidant and man of business. So he treats Orlando and his friends in the most scurvy manner imaginable, and sends them out to hard service in the wars against France. Canellon is despatched to Spain to treat with King Marsilius, being also instructed to obtain the cession of a kingdom for Orlando; but he concerts a treacherous device with the Spaniards, and Orlando is killed

at the battle of Roncesvalles. The intrigues of Ganellon, his pite, patience, his obstinacy, his dischaulation, his affected humility, and his inexhaustible powers of intrigue, are admirably depicted; and his character constitutes the chief and finest feature in the poem. Charlestone is a worthy monarch, but easily gulled. Orlando is a real hero, chiste and disinterested, and who fights in good earnest for the propagation of the faith. He baptizes the giant Morgante, who afterwards Sy hins like a faithful squire. There is another giant, whose name is Manit, Morgante falls in with Margutte; and they become sworn brothers Mas gutte is a very infidel giant, ready to confess his failings, and full of droly. He sets all a-laughing, readers, giants, devils, and heroes, and he faisha his career by laughing till he bursts.)

1 [" About the Morgante Maggiore, I won't have a line omitted. It may circulate or it may not, but all the criticism on earth sha'n't touch a line, unless it be because it is badly translated. Now you say, and I say, and others say, that the translation is a good one, and so it shall go to press as it is Pulci must answer for his own irreligion : I answer for the translation only." - Lord Byron to Mr. Murray, 1820. “Why don't you publish my Pulci,- the best thing I ever wrote." - Ib. 1821.]

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