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No other coincidence could assimilate the tombs of Petrarch and Archilochus. The revolutions of centuries have spared these sequestered vallies, and the only violence which has been offered to the ashes of Petrarch was prompted, not by hate, but veneration. · An attempt was made to rob the sarcophagus of its treasure, and one of the arms was stolen by a Florentine through a rent which is still visible. The injury is not forgotten, but has served to identify the poet with the country where he was born, but where he would not live. A peasant boy of Arquà being asked who Petrarch was, replied, “thas the people of the parsonage knew all about him, but that he only knew that he was a Florentine.”
Mr. Forsyth " was not quite correct in saying that Petrarch never returned to Tuscany after he had once quitted it when a boy. It appears he did pass through Florence on his way from Parma to Rome, and on his return in the year 1350, and remained there long enough to form some acquaintance with its most distinguished inhabitans. A Florentine gentleman, ashamed of the aversion of the poet for his native country, was eager to point out this trivial error in our accomplished traveller, whom he knew and respected for an extraordinary, capacity, extensive erudition, and refined taste joined to that engaging simplicity of manners which has been so frequently recognized as the surest, though it is certainly not an indispensable, trait of superior genius'
Every footstep of Laura's lover has been anxiously traced and recorded. The house in which he lodged is
* Remarks, etc. on Italy, p. 95, note, and. edit.
shewn in Venice. The inhabitans' of Arezzo, in order to decide the ancient controversy between their city and the neighbouring Ancisa, where Petrarch was carried when seven months old, and remained until his seventh year, have designated by a long inscription the spot where their great fellow citizen was born. A tablet has been raised to him at Parma, in the chapel of St. Agatha, at the cathedral, I because he was archdeacon of that society, and was only snatched from his intended sepulture in their church by a foreign death. Another tablet with a bust has been erected to him at Pavia, on account of his having passed the autumn of 1368 in that city with his son in law Brossano. The political condition which has for ages precluded the Itallans from
+ D. Q. M.
S. P. Q. R. laurea donato,
: H. M. P.
Si Parmae occumberet
the criticism of the living, has concentrated their attention to the illustration of the dead.
Note 17, page 110, line 1. .
Or it may be with daemons. The struggle is to the full as likely to be with daemons as with our better thoughts. Satan chose the wilderness for the temptation of our Saviour. And our unsullied John Locke preferred the presence of a child to complete solitude.
Note 18, page 112, lines 6 and 7.
And Boileau, whose rash envy, etc. Perhaps the couplet in which Boileau depreciates Tasso, may serve as well as any other specimen to justify the opinion given of the harmony of French verse.
A Malerbe, à Racan, préférer Theophile,
Sat. ix. vers. 176. The biographer Serassi, 1 out of tenderness to the reputation cither of the Italian 'or the French poet, is eager to observe that the satirist recanted or explained away this censure, and subsequently allowed the author of the Jerusalem to be a "genius, sublime, vast, and happily born for the higher flights of poetry.” To this we will add, that the recantation is far from satisfactory, when we examine the whole anecdote as
? La vita del Tasso, lib. iii. p. 281. tom. ii. odit. Bergamo 1790,
reported by Olivet, ' The sentence pronounced against him by Bohours, 2 is recorded only to the confusion of the critic, whose palinodia the Italian makes no effort to discover, and would not perhaps accept. As to the opposition which the Jerusalem encauntered from the Cruscan academy, who degraded Tasso from all com: petition with Ariosto, below Bojardo and Pulci, the disgrace of such opposition must also in some measure be laid to the charge of Alfonso, and the court of Ferrara. For Leonard Salviati, the principal and nearly the sole origin of this attack, was, there can be no doubt, 3 influenced by a hope to acquire the favour of the House of Este : an object which he thought attainable by exalting the reputation of a native poet at the expense of a rival, then a prisoner of state. The hopes and efforts of Salviati must serve to show the co
I Histoire de l'Academie Françoise depuis 1632, jusqu'à 1700, par l'abbé, d'Olivet, p. 181, edit. Amsterdam 1730. b. Mais, ensuite, venant à l'usage qu'il a fait de ses talens, j'aurois montré que le bons sens n'est pas toujours ce qui domine chez lui,' p. 182. Boileau said he had not changed his opinion. "J'en ai si peu changé, dit il,” otc. pag. 181.
% La manière de bien penser dans les ouvrages d'esprit, sec. dial. p. 89, edit. 1692. Philanthes is for Tasso, and says in the outset, "de tous les beaux esprits que l'Italie à portés, le Tasse est peut être celui qui pense le plus noblement." But Bohours seems to speak in Eudoxus, who closes with the absurd comparison; " Faites valoir le Tasse tant qu'il vous plaira, je m'en tiens pour moi à Virgile," etc. ibid. p. 102.
$ La Vita, etc. lib. iii. p. 90. tom. ii. The English reader may see an account of the opposition of the Crusca to Tasso, in Dr. Black, Life, etc, cap. xvii. vol. ii,
temporary opinion as to the nature of the poet's imprisonment; and will fill up the measure of our indignation at the tyrant jailer. 4 In fact, the antazonist of Tasso was not disappointed in the reception given to his criticism; he was called to the court of Ferrara, where, having endeavoured to heighten his claims to favour, by panegyrics on the family of his sovereign ; ? he was in his turn abandoned, and expired in neglected poverty. The opposition of the Cruscans was brought to a close in six years after the commencement of the controversy; and if the academy owed its first renown to having almost opened with such a paradox, 3 it is probable that, on the other hand, the care of his reputation alleviated rather than aggravated the imprisonment of the injured poet. The defence of his father and of himself, for both were involved in the censure of Salviati, found employment for many of his solitary hours, and the captive could have been but little embarrassed to reply to accusations, where, amongst other delinquencies, he was charged with invidiously omilting, in his comparison between France and Italy, to make any mention of
* For further, anıl, it is hoped, decisive proof, that Tasso was neither more nor less than a prisoner of state, the reader is referred to “HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE IVth CANTO OF CHILDE HAROLD,” pag, 5. and following,
4 Orazioni funebri · · delle lodi di Don Luigi Cardinal d'Este .... delle lodi di Donno Alfonso d'Este. See La Vite, lib. iii. page 117.
* Is was founded in 1582, and the Cruscan answer to Pellegripo's Caraffa or epica poesia was published in 1581.