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the cupola of St. Maria del Fiore at Florence. - The late biographer of Ariosto seems as if willing to renew the controversy by doubting the interpretation of Tasso's self-estimations 2 related in Serassi's life of the poet. But Tiraboschi had before laid that rivalry at rest, 3 by showing, that between Ariosto and Tasso it is not a question of comparison, but of preference,
Note 19, page 113, lines 10 and 11:
The iron crown of laurel's mimic'd leaves: Before the remains of Ariosto were removed from the Benedictine church to the library of Ferrara, his bust, which surmounted the tomb, was struck by lightning, and a crown of iron laurels melted away. The event has been recorded by a writer of the last century. 4 The transfer of these sacred ashes on the 6th of iune 1801 was one of the most brillant specta
I « Cotanto potè sempre in lui il veleno della sua pessima volontà contro alla nazion Fiorentina." La Vita, lib. iii. p. 96. 98: tom. ii. ·
2 La Vita di M. L. Ariosto, scritta dall' Abate Girolamo Baruffaldi Giuniore, etc., Ferrara 1807, lib. iii. p. 262. See Historical Illustrations, etc. p. 26.
• Storia della Lett. etc: lib. iii. tom. vii. par. iii. pag. T220. sect. 4.
4 “Mi raccontarono que' monaci, ch' essendo caduto un fulmine nella loro chiesa schiantò esso dalle tempie la corona di lauro a quell' immortale poeta.”. Op. di Bianconi, vol. ii. p. 176. ed Milano, 1802; lettera al Signor Guido Savini Arcifisiocritico, sull'indole di un fulmine caduto in Dresda l'anno 1759.
cles of the shord - lived Italian Republic, and to consecrate the memory of the ceremony, the once famous fallen Intrepidi were revived and reformed into the Ariostean academy. The large public place through which the procession paraded was then for the first time called Ariosto Square. The author of the Orlando is jealously claimed as the Homer, not of Italy, hut Ferrara. " The mother of Ariosto was of Reggio , and the house in which he was born is carefully distinguished by a tablet with these words: “Qui nacque Ludovico Ariosto il giorno 8 di Settembre dell' anno 1474." But the Ferrarese make light of the accident by which their poet was born abroad, and claim him exclusively for their own. They possess his bones, they show his arm - clair, and his inkstand ,'and his autographs.
“...... Hic illius arma
Hic currus fuit......» The house where he lived, the room where he died, are designated by his own replaced memorial, 2 and by a recent inscription. The Ferrarese are more jealous of their claims since the animosity of Denina, arising from a cause which their apologists mysteriously hint is not unknown to them, ventured to degrade their soil and climate to a Boeotian incapacity for all spiritual productions. A quarto volume has been called forth by
“Appassionato ammiratore ed invitto apologista dell' Omero Ferrarese.” The title was first given by T'asso, and is quoted to the confusion of the Tassisti lib. iii. pp. 262. 265. La Vita di M. L. Ariosto, etc. a “Parva sed apta mihi, sed nulli obnoxia, sed non
Sordida, parta meo sed tamen aere domnis.»
the detraction, and this supplement to Baretti's Memoirs of the illustrious Ferrarese has been considered a triumphant reply to the “ Quadro Storico Statistico dell' Alta Italia.
the varese Halsment to Bar
Note 20, page 113, lines 13 and 14.
The eagle, the sea calf, the laurel, and the white vine, 2 were amongst the most approved preservatives against lightning: Jupiter chose the first, Augustus Caesar the second, 3 and Tiberius never failed to wear a wreath of the third when the sky threatened a thunder-storm. 4 These superstitions may be received without a sneer in a country where the magical properties of the hazel twig have not lost all their credit; and perhaps the reader may not be much surprised to find that a commentator on Suetonius has taken upon himself gravely to disprove the imputed virtues of the crown of Tiberius, by men.
ioning that a few years before he wrote a laurel was actually struck by lightning at Rome. S
Note 21, page 113, line 17. '
The Curtian lake and the Ruminal fig-tree in the Forum, having been touched by lightning, were held sa
* Aquila, vitulus marinus, et laurus, fulmine non foriuntur. Píin. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. cap. Ir.
2 Columella, lib. x.
Note 2. pag. 409. edit. Lugd. Bat. 1667.
cred, and the memory of the accident was preserved by a puteal, or altar, resembling the mouth of a well, with a little chapel covering the cavity supposed to be made by the thunderbolt Bodies scathed and persons struck dead were thought to be incorruptible; ' and a strocke not fatal conferred perpetual dignity upon the man so distinguished by heaven. 2
Those killed by lightning were wrapped in a white garment, and buried where they fell. The superstition was not confined to the worshippers of Jupiter: the Lombards believed in the omens furnished by lightning, and a Christian priest confesses that, by a diabolical skill in interpreting thunder, a seer foretold to Agiluf, duke of Turin, an event which came to pass, and gave him a queen and a crown. 3 There was, however, something equivocal in this sign, which the ancient inhabitants of Rome did not always consider propitious; aud as the fears are likely to last longer than the consolations of superstition, it is not strange that the Romans of the age of Leo X. should have been so much terrified at some misinterpreted storms as to require the exhortations of a scholar who arrayed all the learning on thunder and lightning to prove the omen favourable: beginning with the flash which struck the walls of Velitrae , and including that which played upon a gate at Flo
rence, and foretold the pontificate of one of its citizens. I
Note 22, page 114, line 1. i Italia, oh Italia, etc. The two stanzes, XLII. and XLIII. are with the exception of a line or two, a translation of the famous sonnet of Filicaja :
" Italia, Italia, O tu cui feo la sorte.”
Note 23, page 115, lines 1. and 2. Wandering in youth, I traced the path of him,
The Roman friend of Rome's least mortal mind. The celebrated letter of Servius Sulpicius to Cicero on the death of his daughter, describes 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.
“On my return from Asia, as I was sailing from Aegina towards Megara, I began to contemplate the prospect of the countries around me: Aegina was behind, Megara before me; Piracus on the right, Corinth on the left; all which towns, once famous and flourishing, now lie overturned and buried in their ruins. Upon this sight, I could not but think presently within myself, Alas! how do we poor mortals fret and vex ourselves if any of our friends happen to die or be killed,
1 I. P. Valeriani, de fulminom significationibus declamatio, ap. Graev. Antiq. Rom. tom. v. pag. 593. The declamation is addressed to Julian of Medicis.