Imágenes de página


LXXI. Satan replied, “ To me the matter is

“Foolish, no doubt, and wicked, to oppress. Indifferent, in a personal point of view :

A poor, unlucky devil, without a shilling:;: I can have fifty better souls than this

But then I blame the man himself much less. With far less trouble than we have gone through Than Bute and Grafton, and shall be unwilling Already; and I merely argued his

To see him punish'd here for their excess, Late majesty of Britain's case with you

Since they were both damn'd long ago, and still in Upon a point of form: you may dispose

Their place below: for me, I have forgiven, Of him; I've kings enough below, God knows!” And vote his 'habeas corpus' into heaven.” LXV.

LXXII. Thus spoke the Demon, (late call'd "multifaced" " Wilkes,” said the Devil,““ I understand all this;

By multo-scribbling Southey.) - Then we'll call You turn'd to half a courtier ere you died, One or two persons of the myriads placed

And seem to think it would not be amiss Around our congress, and dispense with all To grow a whole one on the other side The rest," quoth Michael : 66 Who may be so graced Of Charon's ferry; you forget that his

As to speak first ? there's choice enough-who shall Reign is concluded; whatsoe'er betide,
It be?” Then Satan answer'd, “There are many; He won't be sovereign more ; you've lost your labor
But you may choose Jack Wilkes as well as any.” For at the best he will but be your neighbor.

A merry, cock-eyed, curious-looking sprite, |“ However, I knew what to t'ink of it,
Upon the instant started from the throng,

When I beheld you in your jesting way
Drest in a fashion now 'forgotten quite;

Flitting and whispering round about the spit For all the fashions of the flesh stick long

Where Belial, upon duty for the day, By people in the next world; where unite

With Fox's lard was basting William Pitt, All the costumes since Adam's, right or wrong, His pupil ; I knew what to think, I say: From Eve's fig-leaf down to the petticoat,

That fellow even in hell breeds farther ills; Almost as scanty, of days less remote.

I'll have him gagg'd'twas one of his own bills. LXVII.

LXXIV. The spirit look'd around upon the crowds

“Call Junius!” From the crowd a shadow stalk'de Assembled, and exclaim'd, “My friends of all And at the name there was a general squeeze, The spheres, we shall catch cold among these clouds ; So that the very ghosts no longer walk'd

So let's to business: why this general call ? In comfort, at their own aërial ease, If those are freeholders I see in shrouds,

But were all ramm’d, and jamm'd, (but to be balk'd And 'tis for an election that they bawl,

As we shall see,) and jostled hands and knees, Behold a candidate with unturn'd coat!

Like wind compress'd and pent within a bladder, Saint Peter, may I count upon your vote?Or like a human colic, which is sadder.



LXXV. “Sir,” replied Michael, “ you mistake: these things The shadow came-a tall, thin, gray-hair'd figure, Are of a former life, and what we do

| That look'd as it had been a shade on earth; Above is more august; to judge of kings

Quick in its motions, with an air of vigor, Is the tribunal met: so now you know.”

But nought to mark its breeding or its birth; " Then I presume those gentlemen with wings,” Now it wax'd little, then again grew bigger,

Said Wilkes, “are cherubs; and that soul below With now an air of gloom, or savage mirth, Looks much like George the Third, but to my mind But as you gazed upon its features, they A good deal older_Bless me! is he blind ?” Changed every instant-to what, none could say LXIX.

LXXVI. “He is what you behold him, and his doom The more intently the ghosts gazed, the less Depends upon his deeds,” the Angel said.

Could they distinguish whose the features were ; " If you have aught to arraign in him, the tomb The Devil himself seem'd puzzled even to guess;

Gives licence to the humblest beggar's head | They varied like a dream-now here, now there ; To iift itself against the loftiest."-"Some,” And several people swore from out the press,

Said Wilkes, don't wait to see them laid in lead, They knew him perfectly; and one could swear For such a liberty--and I, for one,

He was his father : upon which another Have told them what I thought beneath the sun." Was sure he was his mother's cousin's brother:

LXX. “ Abole the sun repeat, then, what thou hast

Tourge against him," said the Archangel. “Why,” Replied the spirit, “ since old scores are past,

Must I turn evidence? In faith, not I.
Besides, I beat him hollow at the last,

With all his Lords and Commons: in the sky
I don't like ripping up old stories, since
His conduct was but natural in a prince.

Another, that he was a duke or knight,

An orator, a lawyer, or a priest,
A nabob, a man-midwife; but the wight,

Mysterious changed his countenance at least
As oft as they their minds: though in full sight

He stood, the puzzle only was increas'd;
The man was a phantasmagoria in
Himself-he was so volatile and thin.


The moment that you had pronounced him one, At length with jostling, elbowing, and the aid

Presto! his face changed, and he was another; Of cherubim appointed to that post,
And when that change was hardly well put on, The devil Asmodeus to the circle made

It varied, till I don't think his own mother His way, and look'd as if his journey cost (If that he had a mother) would her son

Some trouble. When his burden down he laid, Have known, he shifted so from one to tother: 1 “What's this?” cried Michael ; "why, 'tis not a Till guessing from a pleasure grew a task,

“I know it," quoth the incubus; but he [ghost ?” At this epistolary "Iron Mask.”

Shall be one, if you leave the affair to me.

For sometimes he like Cerberus would seem " Confound the renegado! I have sprain'd

"Three gentlemen at once,” (as sagely says My left wing, he's so heavy; one would think Good Mrs. Malaprop ;) then you might deem Some of his works about his neck were chain'd.

That he was not even one; now many rays | But to the point : while hovering o'er the Brink Were flashing round him; and now a thick steam Of Skiddaw, (where as usual it still rain'd,)

Hid him from sight-like fogs on London days; I saw a taper, far below me, wink,
Now Burke, now Tooke, he grew to people's fancies, And stooping, caught this fellow at a libel-
And certes often like Sir Philip Francis.

No less on history than the Holy Bible.

I've an hypothesis'tis quite my own;

|" The former is the devil's scripture, and I never let it out till now, for fear

The latter yours, good Michael; so the affair Of doing people harm about the throne,

Belongs to all of us, you understand. And injuring some minister or peer,

I snatch'd him up just as you see him there, On whom the stigma might perhaps be blown. And brought him off for sentence out of hand: It is my gentle public, lend thine ear!

I've scarcely been ten minutes in the air'Tis, that what Junius we are wont to call

At least a quarter it can hardly be:
Was really, truly, nobody at all.

I dare say that his wife is still at tea "

I don't see wherefore letters should not be Here Satan said, “I know this man of old,

Written without hands, since we daily view And have expected him for some time here:
Them written without heads; and books, we see, A sillier fellow you will scarce behold, .
Are fill'd as well without the latter too:

Or more conceited in his petty sphere: And really till we fix on somebody

But surely it was not worth while to fold For certain sure to claim them as his due,

Such trash below your wing, Asmodeus dear : Their author, like the Niger's mouth, will bother We had the poor wretch safe (without being bored The world to say if there be mouth or author. With carriage) coming of his own accord. LXXXII.

LXXXIX. " And who and what art thou ? " the Archangel said. “But since he's here, let's see what he has done."

“For that you may consult my title page,” | “Done!” cried Asmodeus, “he anticipates Replied this mighty shadow of a shade:

The very business you are now upon, “If I have kept my secret half an age,

And scribbles as if head clerk to the Fates. I scarce shall tell it now.”—“Canst thou upbraid,” Who knows to what his ribaldry may run,

Continued Michael, “ George Rex, or allege 1 When such an ass as this, like Balaam's, prates ?" Aught further ?” Junius answer'd, “ You had better " Let's hear," quoth Michael, “what he has to say, First ask him for his answer to my letter:

You know we're bound to that in every way."

[ocr errors]

LXXXIII. " My charges upon record will outlast

Now the bard, glad to get an audience, which The brass of both his epitaph and tomb.”

By no means often was his case below, “ Repent'st thou not,” said Michael, “ of some past Began to cough, and hawk, and hem, and pitch

Exaggeration ? something which may doom His voice into that awful note of wo
Thyself if false, as him if true? Thou wast To all unhappy hearers within reach
Too bitter-is it not so ?-in thy gloom

Of poets when the tide of rhyme's in flow,
Of passion ? "_"Passion!” cried the phantom dim, But stuck fast with his first hexameter,
I loved my country, and I hated him.

Not one of all whose gouty feet would stir.
" What I have written, I have written : let But ere the spavin'd dactyls could be spurr'd

The rest be on his head or mine!” So spoke Into recitative, in great dismay
Old “ Nominis Umbra ;” and while speaking yet, Both cherubim and seraphim were heard
Away he melted in celestial smoke.

To murmur loudly through their long array: Then Satan said to Michael, “Don't forget [Tooke, And Michael rose ere he could get a word

To call George Washington, and John HorneOf all his founder'd verses under way, best And Franklin ;”—but at this time there was heard And cried, “For God's sake stop, my friend! 'twere A cry for room, though not a phantom stirr'd. 'Non Di, non homines--you know the rest."

[ocr errors]


Fed, paid, and parper'd by the very mer A general bustle spread throughout the throng,

| By whom his muse and morals had been maul'd Which seem'd to hold all verse in detestation;

He had written much blank verse, and blanker prose The angels had of course enough of song

And more of both than any body knows.
When upon service; and the generation
Of ghosts had heard too much in life, not long

Before, to profit by a new occasion: (what! He had written Wesley's life :-here, turning round
The monarch, mute till then, exclaim'd, “ What! To Satan,“ Sir, I'm ready to write yours,
Pye come again? No more--no more of that!” In two octavo volumes, so nicely bound,

With notes and preface, all,that most allures XCIII.

The pious purchaser; and there's no ground The tumult grew; an universal cough

For fear, for I can choose my own reviewers: Convulsed the skies, as during a debate,

So let me have the proper documents, When Castlereagh has been up long enough,

That I may add you to my other saints." (Before he was first minister of state, soff!”

C. I mean-the slaves hear now ;) some cried, “Off!

Satan bow'd, and was silent. “Well, if you, As at a farce; till grown quite desperate, The bard Saint Peter pray'd to interpose

With amiable modesty, decline (Himself an author) only for his prose.

My offer, what says Michael ? There are few

Whose memoirs could be render'd more divine. XCIV.

Mine is a pen of all work; not so new

As it was once, but I would make you shine The varlet was not an ill-favor'd knave;

Like your own trumpet. By the way, my own A good deal like a vulture in the face,

Has more of brass in it, and is as well blown. With a hook nose and a hawk's eye, which gave A smart and sharper looking sort of grace

CI. To his whole aspect, which, though rather grave,

“ But talking about trumpets, here's my Vision Was by no means so ugly as his case;

Now you shall judge, all people; yes, you sha w But that indeed was hopeless as can be,

Judge with my judgment, and by my decision Quite a poetic felony de se.

Be guided who shall enter heaven or fall.

I settle all these things by intuition,

Times present, past, to come, heaven, hell, and ull Then Michael blew his trump, and still'd the noise Like King Alfonso.* When I thus see double,

With one still greater, as is yet the mode I save the Deity some worlds of trouble.”
On earth besides ; excépt some grumbling voice,
Which now and then will make a slight inroad

Upon decorous silence, few will twice

He ceased, and drew forth an MS. ; and do Lift up their lungs when fairly over-crowd;

Persuasion on the part of devils, or saints, And now the bard could plead his own bad cause, Or angels, now could stop the torrent; so With all the attitudes of self-applause.

He read the first three lines of the contents;

But at the fourth, the whole spiritual show

Had vanish’d, with variety of scents,
He said-(I only give the heads)-he said,

Ambrosial and sulphureous, as they sprang,
He meant no harm in scribbling : 'twas his way Like lightning, off from his "melodious twang."
Upon all topics ; 'twas, besides his bread,
Of which he butter'd both sides ; 'twould delay

Too long the assembly, (he was pleased to dread,) Those grand heroics acted as a spell :
And take up rather more time than a day,

The angels stopp'd their ears and plied their pinion, To name his works-he would but cite a few The devils ran howling, deafen'd, down to hell; Wat Tyler-Rhymes on Blenheim-Waterloo. The ghosts filed, gibbering, for their own dominion,

|(For 'tis not yet decided where they dwell, XCVII.

And I leave every man to his own opinion ;) He had written praises of a regicide;

Michael took refuge in his trump-but lo! He had written praises of all kings whatever;

His teeth were set on edge, he could not blow! He had written for republics far and wide,

су. And then against them bitterer than ever; For pantisocracy he once had cried

Saint Peter, who has hitherto been known Aloud, a scheme less moral than 'twas clever For an impetuous saint, upraised his keys, Then grew a hearty antijacobin

And at the fifth line knock'd the poet down ;
Had turn'd his coat-and would have turn d his skin. | Who fell like Phaeton, but more at ease,

Into his lake, for there he did not drown,

A different web being by the Destinies

Woven for the laureate's final wreath, whene'er He had sung against all battles, and again

Reform shall happen either here or there.
In their high praise and glory; he had call'd
Reviewing* " the ungentle craft,” and then

• King Alfonso, speaking of the Ptolomean system, said, that “had ho Become as base a critic as e'er crawl'da

been consulted at the creation of the world, he would have spared the Maker some absurdities."

† See Aubrey's account of the apparition which disappeared “ with a curl • See “ Life of H. Kirke White."

Tous perfume and a melodious twang;” or see the Antiquary, vol. I.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


He first sank to the budtom-like his works, As for the rest, to come to the conclusion

But soon rose to the surface-like himself; Of this true dream, the telescope is gone
For all corrupted things are buoy'd, like corks,* Which kept my optics free from all delusion,
By their own rottenness, light as an elf,

And show'd me what I in my turn have shown; Or wish that flits o'er a morass : he lurks,

All I saw farther, in the last confusion, [one, It may be, still, like dull books on a shelf, 1 Was, that King George slipp'd into heaven for In his own den, to scrawl some“ Life,” or “ Vision,” And when the tumult dwindled to a calm, As Welborn says the devil turn'd precisian.” I left him practising the hundreth psalm.

• A drowned body lies at the bottom till rotten ; it then floats, as most peome now.





¡the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild-or Scott, for tno

exquisite use of his Covenanters in the “Tales of 'THE Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of my Landlord.” which this translation is offered, divides with thel In the following translation I have used the Orlando Innamorato the honor of having formed liberty of the original with the proper names ; and suggested the style and story of Ariosto. The as Pulci uses Gan, Ganellon, or Ganellone ; Carlo, great defects of Boiardo, were his treating too seri-Carlomagno, or Carlomano; Rondel, or Rondello, ously the narratives of chivalry, and his harsh style. &c., as it suits his convenience; so has the transAriosto, in his continuation, by a judicious mixture lator. In other respects the version is faithful to of the gayety of Pulci, has avoided the one; and the best of the translator's ability in combining his Berni, in his reformation of Boiardo's poem, has interpretation of the one language with the not corrected the other. Pulci may considered as the very easy task of reducing it to the same versificaprecursor and model of Berni altogether, as he has tion in the other. The reader, on comparing it partly been to Ariosto, however inferior to both his with the original, is requested to remember that copyists. He is no less the founder of a new style the antiquated language of Pulci, however pure, of poetry very lately sprung up in England. I is not easy to the generality of Italians themselves, allude to that of the ingenious Whistlecraft. The from its great mixture of Tuscan proverbs; and serious poems on Roncesvalles in the same lan- he may therefore be more indulgent to the present guage, and more particularly the excellent one attempt. How far the translator has succeeded, of Mr. Merivale, are to be traced to the same and whether or no he shall continue the work, are source.

questions which the public will decide. He was It has never yet been decided entirely whether induced to make the experiment partly by his love Pulci's intention was or was not to deride the for, and partial intercourse with, the Italian lanreligion which is one of his favorite topics. It guage, of which it is so easy to acquire a slight appears to me, that such an intention would have knowledge, and with which it is so nearly imposbeen no less hazardous to the poet than to the sible for a foreigner to become accurately conversant. priest, particulary in that age and country; The Italian language is like a capricious beauty, and the permission to publish the poem, and its who accords her smiles to all, her favors to few, reception among the classes of Italy, prove that it and sometimes least to those who have courted her neither was nor is so interpreted. That he intended longest. The translator wished also to present in to ridicule the monastic life, and suffered his imagi- an English dress a part at least of a poem' never yet nation to play with the simple dulness of his rendered into a northern language; at the same converted giant, seems evident enough; but surely time that it has been the original of some of the it were as unjust to accuse him of irreligion most celebrated productions on this side of the on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his Alps, as well of those recent experiments in poetry Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple, and in England which have been already mentioned.

[ocr errors]

But the world, blind and ignorant, don't prize

His virtues as I wish to see them: thou,
Florence, by his great bounty don't arise

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

Whate'er thou hast acquired from then till now,

With knightly courage, treasure, or the lance, CANTO I.

Is sprung from out the noble blood of France.

VIII. In the beginning was the Word next God;

Twelve paladins had Charles' in ccurt, of whom God was the word, the word no less was he: The wisest and most famous was Orlando; This was in the beginning, to my mode

Him traitor Gan conducted to the tomb Of thinking, and without him nought could be ; | In Roncesvalles, as the villain plannid too, Therefore, just Lord! from out thy high abode, While the horn rang so loud, and knell'd the doom Benign and pious, bid an angel flee,

Of their sad rout, though he did all knight can do, One only, to be my companion, who

And Dante in his comedy has given
Shall help my famous, worthy, old song through, To him a happy seat with Charles in heaven.

And thou, oh Virgin ! daughter, mother, bride, \'Twas Christmas-day; in Paris all his court

Of the same Lord, who gave to you each key 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!” to thee, Also Ansuigi, the gay time to pass Since to thy servants pity's ne'er denied,

In festival and in triumphal sport, With flowing rhymes, a pleasant style and free, The much-renown'd St. Dennis being the cause; Be to my verses then benignly kind.

Angiolin of Bayonne, and Oliver, And to the end illuminate my mind.

And gentle Belinghieri too came there:

[ocr errors]

III. 'Twas in the season when sad Philomel

Weeps with her sister, who remembers and Deplores the ancient woes which both befel,

And makes the nymphs enamor'd, to the hand 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;

Avolio, and Arino, and Othone

Of Normandy, and Richard Paladin,
Wise Hamo, and the ancient Salamone,
1 Walter of Lion's Mount, and Baldovin,
Who was the son of the sad Ganellone,
| Were there, exciting too much gladness in
The son of Pepin :-when his knights came hither,
He groan'd with joy to see them altogether.



When I prepared my bark first to obey,

But watchfnl 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, Of Charles the Emperor, whom you will find Orlando ruled court, Charles, and every thing; By several pens already praised; but they

Curst 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 ?

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 honor thee and to obey; And in the field a most victorious fighter,

But he has too much credit near the throne, Who for the church and Christian faith had wrought Which we won't suffer, but are quite decided, Certes far more than yet is said or thought. By such a boy to be no longer guided. VI.

ΧΙΙΙ. You still may see at Saint Liberatore

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 felon people whom Charles sent to hell; The victory was Almonte's else; his 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 any. In fact and fairness are his earning, Charles.

« AnteriorContinuar »