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fåte which threatened him. Many be wounded by the Duke. “He is tall were the notices he received of the and powerful," added thetimid Henry, plot against his life, but all were treat- “ and I should be sorry if he injued with a similar disregard. Once in red any of you.” The members all particular, the night before his death, being assembled, and the Duke not he found a note under his cover at arrived, the King's restlessness, which, supper, containing these significant as De Thou remarks, was always in-: expressions, “ Take care-they are creased to madness in frosty weather, about to play you an ugly trick.” He grew so insupportable, that he sent to read this billet-wrote at the bottom, command the attendance of the Duke, “ They dare not,” and then threw it who almost immediately followed the under the table.

royal message. On his arrival he sat The night of the 22d was passed by some time in the council-chamber, the King in a state of extreme anxiety conversing with the gentlemen till the and restlessness. The weakness of his King sent to desire his presence in his mind was struggling with the great- cabinet; he rose to obey the mandate, ness of his enterprize, and his coward- and, stooping down to raise the curtain ice with his extreme desire of revenge. before the door, received at that moHe arose by day-break, and dressing ment the swords of the conspirators in himself in great hurry and trepida- his body; he made some desperate tion, assembled the members of his but ineffectual struggles, and fell dead private councils, and urged them by at the foot of the King's bed, heaving every argument he could

suggest, not only one deep sigh. to fail in the purpose for which they Such was the miserable death of were met. He told them that that day the ambitious Duke of Guise. The must be the last of his life, or that of particulars of this transaction, as relac' the Duke of Guise. It depended upon ted by Raynouard, we forbear to give, them, he said, whether he or his re- as they are detailed more clearly in bellious subject was to be the victim. the informations made at Paris, with Public duties, he remarked, he knew translations of which we shall hereafa they would willingly pay, but he now ter present our readers, as they conrequired more, a proof of their attach- tain much curious matter, together ment to himself, as well as regard for with the opinions of both parties upon their suffering country, and which the subject, and something, (in the eould only be evinced by the death of papers of Miron, the King's physician) the Duke of Guise from their hands, which is intended to be a justification He then distributed poniards, adding, of Henry's conduct upon this occasion. “ It is I, your lawful sovereign, who For the present, we will trespass no authorise you to use them against the longer upon the patience of our readtraitor who bras sworn his destruction." ers, which we would not have done co He then retired to his cabinet, where much, had it been possible to have he continued pacing backwards and compressed the long notice of Raynforwards in great anxiety; and pre- ouard into a smaller compass, without sently opening the door of the council- any injustice to himself and the usechamber, he exhorted the gentlemen fulness of his researches. assembled not to suffer themselves to

LETTER FROM SIGNOR -, TOUCHING SOME POINTS OF ITALIAN

LITERATURE. In my last, I gave you a short account origin, progress, and perfect develop of my lately published Biographical ment of some of the principal European Treatise on the Writers of Italian Li- languages, a subject of inquiry, which, terary History; and as you have been as you well know, when directed topleased to say, that whatever concerns wards the elucidation of our own som myself and my pursuit of letters, will norous tongue, alike so beautiful and be interesting to you, I make no fur- majestic, has occupied, perhaps, too ther apology for continuing in the great and too exclusive a share of our same somewhat egotistical strain. I literary labours, and has not yet ceased not long ago published two volumes of to be a matter of acrimonious dispute. Essays and Researches, regarding the I dedicate my first volume almost

entirely to the Italian language, to such early convention, but sought that language which is at once the their precepts from amongst the anglory of our own country and the de- cient Tuscan authors. And for what light of the intellectual stranger, and motive, it may be asked, was this lanfrom which so many thousand times guage created'? Learned men disdainhave flowed,

ed to write regarding the sciences, ex“ Più che mel dolci d'eloquenza i fiumi.” cept in Latin. The vernacular tongue

was destined to subjects which they I commence by reasoning on its ori- esteemed of little moment

love verses, gin and chief merits, and then treat chronicles, romances, novels, books on of the question, whether in literary horsemanship, farriery, and the like, composition use ought to be made, for the untutored. The fragments of and in what way, of the vulgar tongue. history printed by Muratori, in the Such discussion naturally leads me to Antichità Italiana, are written in the inquire, if there may be in Italy a writ- Neapolitan dialect, or one very simiten language different from the spoken lar to the Neapolitan. The Venetian tongue; that is, a language which authors of the chronicle cited by Foslearned and elegant writers adopted, carini, have used their common tongue, and which differs from all the dialects and their travellers have done the spoken in the various parts of Italy. same. It appears to me, that these In regard to this I do not hesitate to writers would have acted otherwise if assert, that the pure written language there had been a language common to differs in no respect from that spoken the whole of Italy, and designed, by in Tuscany by cultivated persons. For universal consent, for literary produewe must bear in mind, that some slight tions. Tuscany, incomparably beyond difference, in a few instances, in the con- every other part of Italy, furnished jugation of the verbs, is not what con- authorst ******** and these wrote stitutes the diversity of a language. Be in their common dialect, which quicksides, I would ask, when did

they form ly led to that perfection which we see this language which they call written? in the 13th century, by the labour of What ancient documents can be pro- some who knew how to select the fiduced in evidence of the fact? How nest forms of expression from those was it accomplished ? Perhaps ' many used by the people. Strangers, enlearned men met together in congress; chanted by that style, soon began to but of this no chronicle or history has imitate it, and with the greatest sucspoken. Perhaps the Italians dispersed cess, perhaps, at Bologna. The lanthroughout Italy determined the lan- guage, which some call common, is no guage- yet this appears to me to be other than the language of Tuscany impossible, nor does any nation, an- freed from mere Tuscanisms, and the cient or modern, offer an example of irregularities of the vulgar. so singular an occurrence. And if That I may not be said to dwell dispersed Italians did create this lan- solely upon my own lucubrations, alguage so very different, as it is said, low me, in continuation of a subject from the native, it may be supposed which I know you once regarded with they would have been solicitous to considerable interest, to present you write its rules, in other words, to com- with an extract of a letter by Professor pose a grammar- yet the first Italian Ciampi, whose learning and character grammars are of the 15th century, as stand deservedly high in your esteem. every body knows from the works of His sentiments are contained in the Fortunio and Bembo. These first following:grammarians knew nothing of any

+ A few words of our manuscript being here illegible, we thought it as well to leave them untranslated.

* The Bolognese dialect is now one of the worst in Italy.

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IDEE SU L'ORIGINE DELLA LINGUA ITALIANA. I never, my dear friend, entertain- where we have the Italian article, and ed any doubt of your having seen all in those others fue barbano, that is that has been written upon the sub- zio paterno, (paternal uncle) we have ject by our authors; but, to say the words altogether Italian. In another truth, I cannot agree with them, for instrument in the same work p. 275, I have formed a system of my own, of the year 767, we find “ locus qui which it will not be difficult for me appellatur ducenta excepto cafagio illo on some future occasion to develope in integrum ad catarattula da padule more fully. You ought to pay espe- quod nobis reservamus, et insuper cacial attention (which, in your esteem- sa quod habere visi sumus quod nobis ed favour, you do not seem to have de Guillerard gastaldio in cambio evendone with sufficient care) to that which ne ;" and a little above, “ excepta silI wrote to you regarding the barba- va illa qui fue de ipsa curtes." rous Latin of the diplomatic monu- In a document given as belonging to ments of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, the year 953, p. 285, the expression, and 11th centuries, which was not at “ da uno capo, da ipso lato," is many that time the common language, but many times repeated. You may here only that of diplomacy and of the se- call to mind the examples given in my nate, where they still wished to main- former letter, in loco qui dicitur la tain an obscure Latin, not knowing any Ferraria, written in the year 793, and better. We are not to believe that La plebe di radicata, written in the the few words of the Italian language year 1094, with those others which I which we there find scattered, are the need not now repeat. Indeed you will only ones which existed, as if they were constantly find the use of the article the germes of a future tongue, but ra- in the common speech sometime bether that they had been introduced into fore the 10th century; and as we have the written documents from the com- already seen the terminations of nouns mon language of the people ; more es- and verbs according to the vernacular pecially the proper names of bounda- Italian, fue avenne, &c., what more is ries, castles, cities, &c. which may be wanted to assert that the language of found inflected just as they would be the vulgar was the same as that which pronounced at the present day. Thus was afterwards so greatly improved in in a document of the year 940, pub- the 13th century? Will any one aslished by Zaccharia ( Anectoda Medii sert that the use of these articles, of Aevi) p. 281, Turin edition, we read these terminations, both of nouns and as follows: “ Locus qui dicitur Vin- of verbs, were restricted to theexamples cio. Locus qui dicitur Casule.In an- which we find in such writings ? We other document of the year 1067, pub- might advert to the terminations in us lished in the same work, page 321, we and um changed into o, as rivus rivo, read : “Prima villa qui dicitur Celle .i caput capo, romanus romanum romano, tertia villa quæ vocatur Petriolo. Quar- and many others, which the celebrated ta quæ vocatur S. Giusto ; 5. quæ di- Lanzi has well observed in his “ Essay citur Montagnana; 6. quæ vocatur on the Tuscan Tongue.” But I will Campilia ; 7. quæ dicitur Mumigno; also produce another sufficiently deci8. quæ vocatur Fagno ... 11. quæ vo- sive example to shew that the lancatur Fabrica ; 16. villa quæ vocatur guage which diplomatists wrote was Gugliano.And that these notaries different from that of the vulgar, In who wrote a barbarous Latin frequent- a document of Zaccharia (p. 289) of ly adopted words and expressions in the year 1022, I read in Ecclesia et douse by the vulgar, is manifest from a mui Sancti Zenonis sito Pistoia ; and thousand examples; and among others, yet, in the cotemporary monuments, we may cite an instrument of the year one reads Pistoria. What does this 775, printed by Zaccharia, p. 277. indicate? That the popular word Pisa “Idem casa Massericie sunt in primis toia had escaped from the notary incasa gadiperti di Calamicca. . Casa stead of the more legal one Pistoria. Istavili de Calamecca; Casa Crespuli But it may be asked, did they not conde Freaniano excepto sorte Fosculi qui tinue in diplomacy to write in this bar. fue barbano ejus." In these instances barous Latin also in the 12th, 13th, and the notary departed from the barbar. 14th centuries, when they had already ous Latin in the words di Calamicca, written in the common Italian tongue? If writers had not then begun to adopt Pisan territory, and in the city, they the latter language in matters not di- spoke the vulgar tongue even from plomatic or connected with the Senate that period ; but I do not clearly see House, we should still have continued that any argument ought to be drawn ignorant of what had been then the lan, therefrom, to prove that it was spoken guage of the common people, in like in Pisa earlier than elsewbere, because manner as we are ignorant of what it the monuments of all the other Tuswas previous to the 13th century. One can cities of the times anterior to the may conclude then, that from the 10th century, abound in so many more words scattered among the diplomatic Italian words, as assuredly to prevail documents of the ages prior to the against the very few made use of in 10th century, may be deduced the ex- that inscription. At farthest, the conistence of a vulgar dialect, which was clusion may be drawn, that the Pisans our common Italian, but extremely were among the first to write it without unpolished, and abounding with lac any intermixture of barbarous Latin, tinisms vulgarly inflected.

or even that they were the first to write For the above reasons, I know not the vulgar tongue, and here would be how to accord either with yourself or confirmed the boast of the supporters others, who allege that it was to- of Lucio Druso. Nor do I refuse to wards the close of the 12th century yield to them the glory that from that the Italian language was pro- among the citizens of Pisa have sprung duced, and that Lucio Druso was the various of our prime poets, of many first to conceive the arduous design of of whom mention is made by Allaci, forming a third dialect jointly from and also by myself, with numerous the Latin and the vulgar tongue. illustrations, in a letter to Signor This third dialect resulted specially Gaetano Poggiali, inserted in the from the use of the article, and the Giornale Encyclopedica of Florence. change in the terminations of nouns Thus, my dear Sir, I have repeated and verbs, which had taken place, as to you, with somewhat greater extenwe have already seen, prior to the sion, my sentiments upon a subject time of Lucio Bruso. Besides, it is which has greatly occupied our literary not in the power of any single indi- men, whose opinions are not found to vidual to accustom a people in the accord, because they forsook the true short space of a few years to the use path, believing that the written lanof a new tongue. He may have been guage of the monuments of the so among the first to adopt it in poetry, called barbarous ages, was the comand other branches of literature ; and mon language, and that those other he may have been the first who thought words commingled with it, were so of ennobling it by uniting the dialect many disconnected materials, which, of Sicily with that of Tuscany, but I combined with the remnants of the cannot grant him more ; let the praise vulgar Latin, afterwards originated which has been given him in the oft- and gave place to the language of the quoted sonnet suffice. To conclude, 12th century; whereas, such words it is one thing to say that the Italian belonged to the language in common language existed before the 10th cen- use, ough not admitted in writing, tury, uncultivated it is true, and not especially diplomatical, unless when subjected to fixed rules ; another, introduced through the ignorance of that it originated about the end of the the notaries, who, when they were at 12th, when, in fact, they only began a loss for a Latin or Latinized word to write it generally, and sought to for their law courts, made use of the polish, and in some measure regulate vulgar. By inadvertence, too, these it, until Guido d'Arezzo, Messer Cino, common words may have sometimes Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch, ren- crept in, whilst, for a matter of form, dered it perfect. The inscription of they continued to write a language Verruca, near Pisa, shews, that in the worse than the vernacular tongue.

Thus far our excellent and vener- by us in Italy. As you know I am able friend, Professor Ciampi. With a no critic, you must excuse the dryview, I suppose, of forming an opi- ness of a mere catalogue, while I mennion regarding our present taste in li- tion the names of such works as have terature, you desire me to inform you been translated within these last few what English authors are most read years. Our chief translator of poetry

is the Signor Leoni, who is very re- to bave conspired against the arts of gular in harnessing (the English word imagination. Political agitation has harrassing would also do) my Lord given another tendency to the human Byron's Pegasus after the Italian fac spirit. Society here occupies itself shion. Listen—

more willingly in the consideration of “ i stood in Venice, on the bridge of sighs, national rights, of commerce, mechaniA palace and a prison on each hand.”

cal inventions, and the progress of

manufactures, than in madrigals, son« Sopra il Veneto, ponte de' sospiri, Infra un palagio e un aprigion m'arresto." nets, and canzonettes. In poetry it

self, we love politics and philosophy; I intended to have transcribed a few and the productions of the nineteenth pages for your amusement, but I find century bear about them a character Í have lost or mislaid my copy, and of reasoning power which separates alas ! for our remembrance of com- them from the greater part of those of mon verse, I can get no farther than the preceding age. In criticism we the initiatory lines of the first stanza. are somewhat improved, being more Shall I send you a sheet of it some pithy, and less mild than of old; but day by the courier of your kind and we do not make use of personal satire, noble Ambassador ?

nor apply the reductio ad absurdum to Besides the fourth canto of Childe men whose character and opinions are Harold, (published under the name of deserving of reverence, as is so often Italia), the following are also among done in your English Review.-(RiLeoni's translations: 11 Saggio Sulle vista Inglese.*) I think it is one of Uomo of Pope, La Scuola della Mul- your own great writers who asserts, dicenza of Sheridan, several Tragidie that there is so much room in the di Shakespeare, Pope's Lettera d'Eloisa world for the serious and the gay toad Abelardo, Gray's Elegia, Una Scele gether, that we might impose it upon ta di Poesie Inglesi, ï Lamenti del ourselves as a law, never to trifle with Tasso of Byron, some miscellaneous what is worthy of our veneration, and translations

from Ossian, Otway, Gold- yet lose nothing by so doing of the smith, and Thomson, La Storia d'Ing- freedom of pleasantry. Still the anahilterra of Hume, volume ist, and on thema of Horace against mediocrity in Paradiso perduto of Milton, which poetry is with us more in vigour than last translation falls greatly behind the heretofore; and it is now no longer admirable one already executed in allowed to appear before the public blank verse by Papi.

with a volume of mere verses, if they Count Luigi Bossi has published a are not presented in the spirit of hutranslation of Roscoe's Vita di Leon X, mility, and with a prayer for grace. and Signor Torri a polyglott edition of I hear that you have lately had exGray's Elegy. Lord Byron's Giaurro ecuted in your country a good translawas translated by Rossi, and Il Cor- tion of our Dante-a most arduous unsaro (anonymously) at Turin. Lala dertaking for an Englishman, even Rook racconta orientale in prose ed in supposing him as well versed in the versi di Thomaso Moore, appeared in language and literature of Italy as 1818 by the hand of Tito Povirio Matthias or Roscoe. In the meantime, Catti, and 11 Saggio dell' Intendimento I beg leave to call your attention to Umano of Locke in the following year. the following little critical discovery New editions were also produced of which has been recently made regardLe Quattro Stagioni of Pope, and by ing our great “ Signor del Altissimo the same author (G. Vincenzo Benini,) Canto.” an admirable translation of Il Riccio Those two verses in the Divina Rapito, (the Rape of the Lock) a great Commedia, spoken by Nembrotte and favourite among the Italians, who pos- Pluto, so long the despair of commensess the model from which it was ta- tators, and a stumbling-block in the ken, the Secchia Rapita of Tassoni. way of all interpretation, have become Finally, there was published by Gher. in the hands of the Abae Lanci, two ardini of Milan, Darwin's Amori Delle oriental jewels of the first order, and Piante.

a new proof of the immense knowof our original works in poetry of ledge of Dante. the present day I shall say nothing. In

Raphel mai amech zabi almi Italy the genius of the times seeins Pape Satan, pape Satan aleppe.

*We presume the blue and yellow is here meant.

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