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"...... Hic Qlius arma
Hic currus fuit ......
dere can be no doubt,* influenced by a hope to ac- these words : “Qui nacque Ludovico Ariosto al quire the favor of the House of Este; an object giorno 8 di Settembre dell' anno 1474." But the which he thought attainable by exalting the reputa- Ferrarese make light of the accident by which their tion of a native poet at the expense of a rival, then poet was born abroad, and claim him exclusively for a prisoner of state. The hopes and efforts of Sal- their own. They possess his bones, they show his viati must serve to show the cotemporary opinion arm-chair, and his inkstand, and his autographs. as to the nature of the poet's imprisonment; and will fill up the measure of our indignation at the tyrant jailer.# In fact, the antagonist of Tasso was not dissappointed in the reception given to his
The house where he lived, the room where he eriticism; he was called to the court of Ferrara, died, are designated by his own replaced memorial, where having endeavored to heighten his claims to and by a recent inscription. The Ferrarese are favor by panegyrics on the family of his sovereign, more jealous of their claims since the animosity of he was in turn abandoned, and expired in neglected Denina, arising from a cause which their apologists poverty. The opposition of the Cruscans was mysteriously hint is not unknown to them, ventured brought to a close in six years after the commence; to degrade their soil and climate to a Bæotian incament of the controversy; and if the academy owed pacity for all spiritual productions. A quarto vol its first renown to having almost opened with such ume has been called forth by the detraction, and e parodox, it is probable that, on the other hand, this supplement to Barotti's Memoirs of the illusthe care of his reputation alleviated rather than ag- trious Ferrarese has been considered a triumphant gravated the imprisonment of the injured poet. reply to the “Quado Storico Statistico dell' Alta The defence of his father and of himself, for both Italia." were involved in the censure of Salviati, found em
20. ployment for many of his solitary hours, and the captive could have been but little embarassed to For the true laurel-wreath which Glory weaves reply to accusations, where, amongst other delin- Is of the tree no bolt of thunder cleaves. quences, he was charged with invidiously omitting,
Stanza xli. lines 4 and 5. in his comparison between France and Italy, to make any mention of the cupola of St. Maria del white vine, I were among the most approved pre
The eagle, the sea calf, the laurel,+ and the Fiore at Florence. The late biographer of Ariosto servatives against lightning; Jupiter chose the first, seems as if willing to renew the controversy by Augustus Cæsar the second, and Tiberius never doubting the interpretation of Tasso's self-estima- failed to wear a wreath of the third when the sky tion related in Serassi's life of the poet. But threatened a thunder-storm.|| These superstitions Tiraboschi had before laid that rivalry at rest, ** by may be received without a sneer in a country where showing, that between Ariosto and Tasso it is not a the magical properties of the hazel twig have not question of comparison, but of preference.
lost all their credit; and perhaps the reader may
not be much surprised to find that a commentator 19.
on Suetonius has taken upon himself gravely to The lightning rent from Ariosto's bust disprove the imputed virtues of the crown of TibeThe iron croion of laurels mimic'd leaves. rius, by mentioning that a few years before he wrote Stanza xli. lines 1 and 2.
a laurel was actually struck by lightning at Rome. Before the remains of Ariosto were removed from
21. the Benedictine church to the library of Ferrara, his bust, which surmounted the tomb, was struck by Know that the lightning sanctifics below. lightning, and a crown of iron laurels melted away.
Stanza xli. line 8. The event has been recorded by a writer of the last
The Curtian lake and the Ruminal fig-tree in the century.ttThe transfer of these sacred ashes on Forum, having been touched by lightning, were the 6th of June, 1801, was one of the most brilliant held sacred, and the memory of the accident was spectacles of the short-lived Italian Republic; and
preserved by a puteal or altar, resembling the mouth to consecrate the memory of the ceremony, the of a well, with a little chapel covering the cavity once famous fallen Intrepidi were revived and re- supposed to be made by the thunderbolt. Bodies formed into the Ariostean academy. The large scathed and persons struck dead were thought to public place through which the procession paraded be incorruptible ;** and a stroke not fatal conferred was then for the first time called Ariosto Square. perpetual dignity upon the man so distinguished by The author of the Orlando is jealously claimed as the heaven.tt Homer, not of Italy, but Ferrara. It The mother of
Those killed by lightning were wrapped in a Ariosto was of Reggio, and the house in which he white garment, and buried where they fell. The was born is carefully distinguished by a tablet with superstition was not confined to the worshippers of
Jupiter; the Lombards believed in the omens fur• La Vit, &c., lh. ii. p. 90, tom. The English reader may we an nished by lightning, and a Christian priest confesses count of the opposition of the Crusea to Tasso, in Dr. Black, Life, &c., that, by a diabolical skill in interpreting thunder, a kap. xvi. vol. fi.
seer foretold to Agilulf, Duke of Turin, an event For further, and, it is hoped, decisive proof, that Tasso was neither more which came to pass, and gave him a queen and a wat less than a prisoner of sease, the reader in referred to " Historien. Ilus crown. It There was, however, something. equivo, 1 Orazioni funetari ... delle loli Don Luigi Cardinal d'Este ... delle lodi cal in this sign, which the ancient inhabitants of 1 Donno Afonso d'Este. See La Vita, lib. iii. p. 117.
Rome did not always consider propitious : and as $ It was founded in 1532, and the Cruscan answer to Pellegrino's Caraga the fears are likely to last longer than the consolaatopica poesia was published in 1584.
1 “Cotanto poté sempre in lui il veleno della sua pessiina volontà contro alle mazioa Fiorentina." La Vita, lib. iii. p. 95, 9s, tom. ti.
• "Parva sed apla mihi, sed nulli obnoxia, sed non La Viu di M. L. Ariosto, scritta dall' Abase Giorlamo Baroffaldi Giun
Sordida, parta meo sed tamen are domus." lore, &en, Ferrara, 1807, lib. fii. p. 262. Soe Historical Illustrations, &c.,
† Aquila, vitulus marinus, et laurus, fulmine non feriunter. Plin. Nal
Hist. lib. ii. cap. I. ** Storia della Lett. &c., lib, fi. tom, vil. par. lii. p. 1220, sect. 4.
Columella, lib. 1. It * Mi raccontarono quel monaci, ch' essendo caduto un fulmine nella
$ Surton, in Vit. August. cap. xe. Laro chiesa schianto esso dalle tempie la coronna di lauro à quell' immortalo
| Sueton, in Vit. Tiberii, cap. lxix. potr." Op di Bianconi, vol. ill. p. 176, ed. Milano, 1802; lettera al Signor
Note 2, p. 409, edit, Lugrt. Bal. 1667. Guido Savini Arcifstocritico, sull' indole di un fulmine caduto la Dresda l'anno ** Vid. J. C. Bullenger, de Terra Motu et Fulminib. lib. v. cap xl.
ft Ουδείς κεραυνωθείς άτιμος έστι, όθεν και ως θεός τι11 " Appassionato ammiratore ed invitto apologista dell' Omero Ferra utal. Plut. Sympos. vid. J. C. Bulleng. ut sup. m." The title was first given by Tasso, and is quoted to the confusion of 11 Pauli Diaconi, de Gestis Langobard. lib. l. cap. xiv. fo. 15, exil the Toasisa, lib. i. pp. 282, 255, La Vita di M. L. Ariosto, to.
tions of superstition, it is not strange that the Ro-, seems strange that the character of that disputed mans of the age of Leo X. should have been so statue should not be entirely decided, at least in the much terrified at some misinterpreted storms as to mind of any one who has seen a sarcophagus in the require the exhortations of a scholar, who arrayed vestibule of the Basilica of St. Paul without the all the learning on thunder and lightning to prove walls, at Rome, where the whole group of the fable the omen favorable; beginning with the flash which of Marsyas is seen in tolerable preservation ; and struck the walls of Velitræ, and ineluding that the Scythian slave whetting the knife is represented which played upon a gate at Florence, and foretold exactly in the same position as the celebrated masterthe pontiticate of one of its citizens.
piece. The slave is not naked; but it is easier to
get rid of this difficulty than to suppose the knife 22.
in the hand of the Florentine statue an instrument Italia! oh Italia! &c.
for shaving, which it must be, if, as Lanzi supposes, Stanza xlii. line 1.
the man is no other than the barber of Julius Cæsar: The two stanzas, XLII. and XLIII., are, with subject, follows the opinion of Leonard Agostini,
Winkelmann, illustrating a bas relief of the same the exception of a line or two, a translation of the and his authority might have been thought conclu. famous sonnet of Fillicaja :
sive, even if the resemblance did not strike the "Italia, Italia, O tu cui leo la sorte."
most careless observer.*
Among the bronzes of the same princely collec23.
tion is still to be seen the inscribed tablet copied Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him,
and commented upon by Mr. Gibbon.t Our histoThe Roman friend of Rome's least mortal mind. rian found some difficulties, but did not desist
from Stanza xliv. lines 1 and 2.
his illustration: he might be vexed to hear that his
criticism has been thrown away on an inscription The celebrated letter of Servius Sulpicus to now generally recognized to be a forgery. Cicero on the death of his daughter describes it as it then was, and now is, a path which I often traced in Greece, both by sea and land, in different journeys and voyages.
His cyes to thee upturn, On my return from Asia, as I was sailing from
Feeding on thy sweet cheek. Ægina towards Megara, I began to contemplate the
Stanza li. lines 6 and 7. prospect of the countries around me : Ægina was behind, Megara before me; Piræus on the right,
Οφθαλμούς εστιαν. Corinth on the left; all which towns, once famous
" Atque oculos paucat uturque suos. and flourishing, now lie overturned and buried in
Ovid. Amor. lib. Il their ruins. Upon this sight, I could not but think presently within myself, Alas! how do we poor
27. mortals fret and vex ourselves, if any of our friends In Santa Croce's holy precincts lie. happen to die or to be killed, whose life is yet so
Stanza liv. line I. short, when the carcasses of so many noble cities lie
This name will recall the memory, not only of here exposed before me in one view." +
those whose tombs have raised the Santa Croce into 24.
the centre of pilgrimage, the Mecca of Italy, but of
her whose eloquence was poured over the illustrious And we pass
ashes, and whose voice is now mute as those she The skeleton of her Titanic form
sung. CORINNA is no more; and with her should Stanza xlvi. lines 7 and 8.
expire the fear, the flattery, and the envy, which It is Poggio who, looking from the Capitoline threw too dazzling or too dark a cloud round the hill upon ruined Rome, breaks forth into the excla- march of genius, and forbade the steady gaze of mation, “Ut nunc omni decore nudata, prostrata disinterested criticism. We have her picture emjacet, instar gigantei cadaveris corrupti atque un bellished or distorted, as friendship or detraction dique exesi.”
has held the pencil: the impartial portrait was 25.
hardly to be expected from a contemporary. The
immediate voice of her survivors will, it is probable, There, too, the Goddess loves in stone.
be far from affording a just estimate of her singular Stanza xlix. line 1.
capacity. The gallantry, the love of wonder, and The view of the Venus of Medecis instantly sug- the hope of associated" fame, which blunted the gests the lines in the Seasons, and the comparison edge of censure, must cease to exist. The dead of the object with the description proves not only have no sex; they can surprise by no new miracles; the correctness of the portrait, but the peculiar they can confer'no privilege; Corinna has ceases turn of thought, and, if the term may be used, the to be a woman-she is only an author: and it may sexual imagination of the descriptive poet. The same be foreseen that many will repay themselves for conclusion may be deduced from another hint in the former complaisance, by a severity to which the exsame episode of Musidora; for Thomson's notion of travagance of previous praises may perhaps give the the privileges of favored love must have been either color of truth. The latest posterity, for to the very primitive, or rather deficient in delicacy, when latest posterity they will assuredly 'descend, will he made his grateful nymph inform her discreet have to pronounce upon her various productions ; Damon that in some happier moment he might, and the longer the vista through which they are perhaps, be the companion of her bath :
seen, the more accurately minute will be the object,
the more certain the justice, of the decision. She " The time may come you need not fly."
will enter into that existence in which the great The reader will recollect the anecdote told in the ciated in a world of their own, and, from that supe
writers of all ages and nations are, as it were, assoLife of Dr. Johnson. We will not leave the Flor: rior sphere, shed their eternal influence for the conentine gallery without a word on the Whetter. It trol and consolation of mankind. But the individ
ual will gradually disappear as the author is more • 1. P. Valeriana de fulminum significationibus declamatio, ap. Græv. distinctly seen : some one, therefore, of all those Antiq. Rom. tom. V. p. 593. The declamation is addressed to Julian of whom the charms of involuntary wit, and of easy Medecis.
| Dr. Middleton-History of the Life of M. Tullius Cicero, sect. vii. p. 371, vol. i.
• See Monim. Ant. ined. par. I. ap. xvi. D. xliii. pag. 50; and Storia De fortunæ varietate urbis Rome, et de ruinis ejusdem descriptio, ap. delli Arti, &c., lib. xi. cap. 1. tom. fi. pag. 314. not. B. Hellebgre, Thcmar. tom. I. p. 1,
† Nornina gentesque Antiquæ Italia, p. 206, edit och
hospitality, attracted within the friendly circles of The affectation of simplicity in sepulchral inscrip Coppet, should rescue from oblivion those virtues tions, which so often leaves us uncertain whether which, although they are said to love the shade, the structure before us is an actual depository, or a are, in fact, more frequently chilled than excited by cenotaph, or a simple memorial not of death but the domestic cares of private life. Some one life, has given to the tomb of Machiavelli no inshould be found to portray the unaffected graces formation as to the place or time of the birth or with which she adorned those dearer relationships, death, the age or parentage, of the historian. the performance of whose duties is rather discovered among the interior secrets, than seen in the TANTO NOMINI NFLLVM PAR ELOGIVM outward management, of family intercourse; and
NICCOLAVS MACHIAVELLI. which, indeed, it requires the delicacy of genuine affection to qualify for the eye of an indifferent There seems at least no reason why the name should spectator. Some one should be found, not to cele- not have been put above the sentence which alludes brate, but to describe, the amiable mistress of an to it. open mansion, the centre of a society, ever varied, It will readily be imagined that the prejudices and always pleased, the creator of which, divested which have passed the name of Machiavelli into an of the ambition and the arts of public rivalry, shone epithet proverbial of iniquity, exist no longer at forth only to give fresh animation to those around Florence. His memory was persecuted as bis life her. The mother tenderly affectionate and tenderly had been, for an attachment to liberty incompatible beloved, the friend unboundedly generous, but still with the new system of despotism, which succeeded esteemed, the charitable patroness of all distress, the fall of the free governments of Italy. He was cannot be forgotten by those whom she cherished, put to the torture for being a “libertine,” that is, and protected, and fed. Her loss will be mourned the for wishing to restore the republic of Florence; and most where she was known the best; and, to the such are the undying efforts of those who are inSOTTOws of very many friends and more dependants, terested in the perversion not only of the nature of may be offered the disinterested regret of a stranger, actions, but the meaning of words, that what was who, amid the sublimer scenes of the Leman lake, once patriotism, has by degrees come to signify de received his chief satisfaction from contemplating bauch. We have ourselves outlived the old meanthe engaging qualities of the incomparable Corinna. ing of “liberality,” which is now another word for
treason in one country and for infatuation in all. It 28.
seems to have been a strange mistake to accuse the Here repose
author of the Prince, as being a pander to tyranny; Angelo's, Alfieri's bones.
and to think that the Inquisition would condemn Stanza liv. lines 6 and 7. his work for such a delinquency. The fact is that Alfieri is the great name of this age. The Ital. Machiavelli, as is usual with those against whom
no crime can be proved, was suspected of, and sider him as “a poet good in law.”—His memory violent opposers of the Prince were both Jesuits, isns, without waiting for the hundred years, con-charged with, atheism; and the first and last most is the more dear to them because he is the bard of freedom; and because, as such, his tragedies can fosse tardo,” to prohibit the treatise, and the other
one of whom persuaded the Inquisition “benché receive no countenance from any of their sovereigns. qualified the secretary of the Florentine republic as They are but very seldom, and but very few of
no better than a fool. The father Possevin was them, allowed to be acted. It was observed by proved never to have read the book, and the father Cicero, that nowhere were the true opinions and Lucchesini not to have understood it. It is clear, feelings of the Romans so clearly shown as at the however, that such critics must have objected not theatre. In the autumn of 1816, a celebrated im- to the slavery of the doctrines, but to the supposed provisatoire exhibited his talents at the opera-house tendency of a lesson which shows how
distinct are of Milan. The reading of the theses handed in for the interests of a monarch from the happiness of the subjects of his poetry was received by a very mankind. The Jesuits are restablished in Italy, numerous audience, for the most part in silence, or and the last chapter of the Prince may again call with laughter; but when the assistant, unfolding forth a particular refutation, from those who are one of the papers, exclaimed, " The Apotheosis of employed once more in moulding the minds of the
the whole theatre burst into a rising generation, so as to receive the impressions shout, and the applause was continued for some of despotism. The chapter bears for title, "Esormoments. The lot did not fall on Alfieri; and the tazione a liberare la Italia dai Barbari," and con. Signor Sgricci had to pour forth his extemporary cludes with a libertine excitement to the future recommon-places on the bombardment of Algiers. demption of Italy. “Non si deve adunque lasciar The choice, indeed, is not left to accident quite so much as might be thought from a first view of the passare questa occasione, acciocchè la Italia vegga ceremony; and the police not only takes care to look dopo tanto tempo appaire un suo redentore. N2 at the papers beforehand, but in case of any pru- tutte quelle provincie,
che hanno patito per queste ness of chance. The proposal for deifying Alfieri elluvioni esterne, con qual sete di rendetta, con che was received with immediate enthusiasm, the rather ostinata fede, con, che lacrime. Quali porte se li because it was conjectured there would be no oppor-enza? Quale Italiano li negherebbe l'ossequio? AD
serrerebeno? Quali popoli li negherebbenó la obbeditunity of carrying it into effect.
OGNUNO MUZZA QUESTO BARBARO DOMINIO. 29.
30. Here Machiavelli's earth returned to whence it rose.
Stanza liv. line 9.
Stanza lvii. line 1. The free expression of their honest sentiments survived their liberties.
Dante was born in Florence in the year 1261. He Titans, the friend of Antony, presented them wiih games in the theatre of fought in two battles, was fourteen times ambassaPornper. They did not suffer the brilliancy of the spectacle to efface from dor, and once prior of the republic. When the their memory that the man who furnished them with the entertainment had party of Charles of Anjou triumphed over the Bimurdered the son of Pompey; they drove him from the theatre with curaes. anchi, he was absent on an embassy to Pope Boni. The mori sense of a populace, spontaneously expreasext, is never wrong. face VIII., and was condemned to two years' ban. Even the soldiers of the triumvirs joined in the execration of the citizens, by shooting mund the chariots of Lepidus and Pianorus, who had proscribed Creir brothers, De Geriminis non de Callis duo triumphant Consulea; a • Il Principe di Niccolò Machiavelli, &c., con la prevazione e le note isto kaying worth a record, were it nothing but a good pun. IC. Vell. Paterculi riche e politiche di Mr. Amelot de la Houssaye e l' esanne e confutazione dell Huse. B. L. cap. lxxix, png, 78, edit. Elzevir, 1639. INI, ..ü. cap. laxvi.l'opert. ....Casmopoli, 1769.
ishment and to a fine of cight thousand lite ; on non- of having patronized him, and the jealous skeptipayment of which he was further punished by the cism of one writer would not allow Ravenna the sequestration of all his property. The republic, undoubted possession of his bones. Even the crithowever, was not content with this satisfaction, for ical Tiraboschi was inclined to believe that the poet in 1772 was discorered in the archives at Florence a had foreseen and foretold one of the discoveries of sentence in which Dante is the eleventh of a list of Galileo.-Like the great originals of other nations, fifteen condemned in 1302 to be burnt alive; Talis his popularity has not always maintained the same perveniens igne comburatur sic quod moriatur. The level. The last age seemed inclined to undervalue pretext for this judgment was a proof of unfair him as a model and a study; and Bettinelli one day barter, extortions, and illicit gains. ‘Baracteriarum rebuked his pupil Monti, for poring over the harsh iniquarum, extorsionum, et illicitorum lucrorum, * and obsolete extravagances of the Commedia. The and with such an accusation it is not strange that present generation, having recovered from the Gal. Dante should have always protested his innocence, lic idolatries of Cesarotti, has returned to the anand the injustice of his fellow-citizens. His appeal cient worship, and the Danteggiare of the northern to Florence was accompanied by another to the Italians is thought even indisereet by the more Emperor Henry; and the death of that sovereign moderate Tuscans. in 1313, was the signal for a sentence of irrevocable There is still much curious information relative banishment. He had before lingered near Tuscany to the life and writings of this great poet which has with hopes of recall; then travelled into the north not as yet been collected even by the Italians; but of Italy, where Verona had to boast of his longest the celebrated Ugo Foscolo meditates to supply this residence; and he finally settled at Ravenna, which defect, and it is not to be regretted that this netional was his ordinary but not constant abode until his work has been reserved for one so devoted to ws death. The refusal of the Venetians to grant him country and the cause of truth. a public audience, on the part of Guido Novello da Polenta, his protector, is said to have been the
31. principal cause of this event, which happened in 1321. * He was buried (" in sacra minorum æde")
Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore;
Thy factions, in their worse than civil war, Rt Ravenna, in a handsome tomb, which was erected by Guido, restored by Bernardo Bembo in 1483,
Stanza lvii. lines 2, 3, and 4. prætor for that republic which had refused to hear him, again restored by Cardinal Corsi in 1692, and The elder Scipio Africanus had a tomb if he was replaced by a more magnificent sepulchre, con- not buried at Liternum, whither he had retired to structed in 1780, at the expense of the Cardinal voluntary banishment. This tomb was near the Luigi Valenti Gonzaga. The offence or misfortune sea-shore, and the story of an inscription upon it, of Dante was an attachment to a defeated party, Ingrata Patria, having given a name to a modern and, as his least favorable biographers allege against tower, is, if not true, an agreeable fiction. If he him, too great a freedom of speech and haughtiness was not buried, he certainly lived there. of manner. But the next age paid honors almost
In eosi angusta e solitaria villa divine to the exile. The Florentines, having in
En 'l grand' uomo che d'Africa s'appella vain and frequently attempted to recover his body,
Perche prima col ferro al vivo aprilla.. crowned his image in a church,+ and his picture is still one of the idols of their cathedral. They Ingratitude is generally supposed the vice peculiar struck medals, they raised statues to him. The to republics; and it seems to be forgotten that for cities of Italy, not being able to dispute about his one instance of popular inconstancy, we have a own birth, contended for that of his great poem, hundred examples of the fall of courtly favorites. and the Florentines thought it for their honor to Besides, a people have often repented-a monarch prove that he had finished the seventh canto before seldom or never. Leaving apart many familiar they drove him from his native city. Fifty-one proofs of this fact, a short story may show the difyears after his death, they endowed a professorial ference between even an aristocracy and the multichair for the expounding of his verses, and Boccac- tude. cio was appointed to this patriotic employment. Vettor Pisani, having been defeated in 1354 at The example was imitated by Bologna and Pisa, Potolongo, and many years afterwards in the morr and the commentators, if they performed but little decisive action of Pola, by the Genoese, was recalled service to literature, augmented the veneration by the Venetian government, and thrown into which beheld a sacred or moral allegory in all the chains. The Avvogadori proposed to behead him, images of his mystic muse. His birth and his in- but the supreme tribunal was content with the senfancy were discovered to have been distinguished tence of imprisonment. Whilst Pisani was sufferabove those of ordinary men; the author of the De- ing this unmerited disgrace, Chioza, in the vicinity cameron, his earliest biographer, relates, that his of the capital, s was, by the assistance of the Signor mother was warned in a dream of the importance of of Padua, delivered into the hands of Pictro Doria. her pregnancy: and it was found, by others, that at At the intelligence of that disaster, the great bell ten years of age he had manifested his precocious of St. Mark's tower tolled to arms, and the people passion for that wisdom or theology, which, under and the soldiery of the galleys were summoned to the name of Beatrice, had been mistaken for a the repulse of the approaching enemy; but they substantial mistress. When the Divine Comedy protested they would not move a step, unless Pisani had been recognized as a mere mortal production, were liberated and placed at their head. The great and at the distance of two centuries, when criticism council was instantly assembled; the prisoner was and competition had sobered the judgment of Ital- called before them, and the Doge, Andrea Contaians, Dante was seriously declared superior to rini, informed him of the demands of the people Homer: I and, though the preference appeared to and the necessities of the state, whose only hope of some casuists “an heretical blasphemy worthy of safety was reposed on his efforts, and who implored the flames," the contest was vigorously maintained him to forget the indignities he had endured in her for nearly fifty years. In later times it was made a service. * I have submitted," replied the magnanquestion which of the Lords of Verona could boast imous republican, “I have submitted to your delib
• Storia della Lett, Ital. tom. V. lib. ill. par. 2, p. 448. Tiraboschi is incor- • Gio. Jacopo Dionisi Canonico di Verona. Serie di Avedotto, n. 2. See 'ct: the dates of the three decrees against Dante Are A. D. 1302, 1314, and Staria, &c., tom. , lib. I. par. I. p. 24. 1816.
† Vitam Litemi egit sine desideio urbis, See T. Liv. Hist. lib. xxxvL † So mlates Ficino, largone think his coronation only an allegory. See Lávy reports that some said he was buried al Liternum, others at Rome Bloria, &c., ut sup. p. 453.
By Varchi in his Ercolano. The controversy continued from 1570 to 1 Trionfo della Castita. 116. See Storia, &c., tom. vii ib. lii. par. lü. D. 1250
$ See note 8, rage 62.
matie ns without complain*; I have supported pa-| Boccaccio was buried in the church of St. Michael tiently the pains of imprisonment, for they were and St. James, at Certaldo, a small town in the inflicted at your command : this is no time to in- Valdelsa, which was by some supposed the place of
quire whether I deserved them—the good of the re- his birth. There he passed the latter part of his · public may have seemed to require it, and that life in a course of laborious study, which shortened which the republic resolves is always resolved wisely. his existence; and there might his ashes have been Behold me ready to lay down my life for the preser- secure, if not of honor, at least of repose. But the vation of my country.” Pisani was appointed gen- " hyæna bigots" of Certaldo tore up the tombstone eralissimo, and by his exertions, in conjunction with of Boccaccio, and ejected it from the holy precincts those of Carlo Zeno, the Venetians soon recovered of St. Michael and St. James. The occasion, and, the ascendancy over their maritime rivals.
it may be hoped, the excuse, of this ejectment was The Italian communities were no less unjust to the making of a new floor for the church ; but the fact their citizens than the Greek republics. Liberty, is, that the tombstone was taken up and thrown both with the one and the other, seems to have aside at the bottom of the building. Ignorance been a national, not an individual object: and, not- may share the sin with bigotry. It would be painful withstanding the boasted equality before the laws, to relate such an exception to the devotion of the which an ancient Greek writer * considered the Italians for their great names, could it not be acgreat distinctive mark between his countrymen and companied by a trait inore honorably conformable to the barbarians, the mutual rights of fellow-citizens the general character of the nation. The principal seem never to have been the principal scope of the person of the district, the last branch of the house old democracies. The world may have not yet seen of Medicis, afforded that protection to the memory an essay by the author of the Italian Republics, in of the insulted dead which her best ancestors had which the distinction between the liberty of former dispensed upon all cotemporary mcrit. The Marstates, and the signification attached to that word chioness Lenzoni rescued the tombstone of Boccacby the happier constitution of England, is ingeni- cio from the neglect in which it had some time lain, ously developed. The Italians, however, when they and found for it an honorable elevation in her own had ceased to be free, still looked back with a sigh mansion. She has done more: the house in which upon those times of turbulence, when every citizen the poet lived has been as little respected as his might rise to a share of sovereign power, and have tomb, and is falling to ruin over the head of one nerer been taught fully to appreciate the repose of indifferent to the name of its former tenant. It a monarchy. Sperone Speroni, when Francis Maria consists of two or three little chambers, and a low II. Duke of Rovere proposed the question, “which tower, on which Cosmo II. affixed an inscription. was preferable, the republic or the principality-the This house she has taken measures to purchase, perfect and not durable, or the less perfect and not and proposes to devote to it that care and consider: so liable to change," replied, “that our happiness ation which are attached to the cradle and to the is to be measured by its quality, not by its duration ; roof of genius. and that he preferred to live for one day like a man, This is not the place to undertake the defence of than for a hundred years like a brute, a stock, or a Boccaccio; but the man who exhausted his little stone." This was thought, and called, a magnificent patrimony in the acquirement of learning, who was answer, down to the last days of Italian servitude.t among the first, if not the first, to allure thc sci
ence and the poetry of Greece to the bosom of 32.
Italy ;-who not only invented a new style, but And the crown
founded, or certainly fixed, a new language; who, Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wore, besides the esteem of every polite court of Europe, Upon a far and foreign soil had growon. was thought worthy of employment by the predom
Stanza lvii. lines 6, 7, and 8. inant republic of his own country, and, what is The Florentines did not take the opportunity of more of the friendship of Petrarch, who lived the Petrarch's short visit to their city in 1350 to revoke life of a philosophor and a freeman, and who died the decree which confiscated the property of his
in the pursuit of knowledge,-such a man might father, who had been banished shortly after the
have found more consideration than he has met with exile of Dante. His crown did not dazzle them; from the priest of Certaldo, and from a late English but when in the next year they were in want of his traveller, who strikes off his portrait as an odious, conassistance in the formation of their university, they should be suffered to rot without a record. That
temptible, licentious writer, whose impure remains to Padua to entreat the laureate to conclude his English traveller, unfortunately for those who have wanderings in the bosom of his native country,
to deplore the loss of a very amiable person, is bewhere he might finish his immortal Africa, and yond all criticism; but the mortality which did not enjoy with his recovered possessions, the esteem of protect Boccaccio from Mr. Eustace, must not deall classes of his fellow-citizens. They gave him iend Mr. Eustace from the impartial judgment of the option of the book and the science he might his errors; and it may be modestly pronounced that
may canonize his virtues, not condescend to expound: they called him the glory of his country, who was dear, and would be dearer he transgressed, not only as an author, but as a to them; and they added, that if there was anything man, when he evoked the shade of Boccacio in com unpleasing in their letter, he ought to return among pany with that of Aretine, amidst the sepulchres them, were it only to correct their style.f Petrarch of Santa Croce, merely to dismiss it with indignity. seemed at first to listen to their flattery and to the As far as tespects entreaties of his friend, but he did not return to
" Il flagello de' Principi, Florence, and preferred a pilgrimage to the tomb of Laura and the shades of Vaucluse.
• Classical Tour, cap. ix, vol. ii. p. 355, elit. 31. "Of Boccaccio, the 33.
modern Petronius, we say nothing; the abuse of genins is more odious and
more contemptible than its absence; and it imports little where the impuro Boccaccio to his parent earth bequeathed remains of a licentious author are consigne i to their kindred dust. For the
His dust. Stanza lviii. lines 1 and 2. same reason the traveller my pass tmuoticed the tomb of the malignant The Greek Wasted that he was icyvóhos. See the last chapter of the This dulsous phrase is harily enough to save the tourist from the guspicioa Erst book of Dicnysius of Halicarnassia.
of another blunder respecting the burial-place of Antine, whose toub wis in "E intorno alla magnifica risposta," &c. Serasi Vita del Takso, Ib. the church of St. Luke at Venice, and gave rise to the famous controversy of li. pag. 149, tom. li. edit. 2. Bergamo.
which some notice is taken in Bayle. Now the words of Mr. Eustace would * " Accingiu innoltre, se ci è lecito ancor l'esortarti, a compire l'Immortal lead us to think the tomb was at Florence, or at least was to be somewhere tuua Africa. ... Se ti avvienne d'incontrare nel nostro stile cosa che u disp. recognized. Whether the inscription so much dispinted was ever written oo accia, cio debbe essere un altro motivo ad esaudire i den der della tua patria." the tomb cannot now be decided, for all inemorial of this author has diup Etoca della lett, l'al. tom. I. par. L lib. I. pag. 70.
peand from the church of St. Luke.
Il Divin Pietro Aretino,"