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fate which threatened him, Many be wounded by the were the notices he received of the and powerful, addu plot against his life, but all were treat: "and I should ber ed with a similar disregard. Once in red any of you. Then particular; the night before his death, being assembled, and these he vfound a note under his cover at arrived, the King's restlessness supper, containing these significant as De Thou, remarks, was always in expressions, 4,44 Take care they are creased to madness in frosty weather,

about to play you an ugly trick.” He grew so insupportables that he sent to I read this billetit-wrote at the bottom, command the attendance of the Dukes

They dare not,” and then threw it who almost immediately followed the # under the table.

royal message. On his arrival be sat The night of the 22d was passed by some time in the council-chambers the King in a state of extreme anxiety conversing with the gentlemen till the and restlessness. The weakuess of his King sent to desire his presence in his

mind was struggling with the great cabinet; he rose to obey the mandate, i ness of his enterprize, and his coward- and, stooping down to raise the curtain

ide with his extreme desire of revenge. before the door, received at that mot He 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 i private councila, 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 rela

the Duke of Guise. It depended upon ted by Raynouard, we forbear to give, 8. 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 hereafs they would willingly pay, but he now ter present our readers, as they conDequired 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 subjeet, and something (in the could 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 Hethen distributed poniards, adding, of Henry's conduct upon this occasión. "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 read traitor who has sworn his destruction.” ers, whieh we would not have done so 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

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LETTER FROM SIGNOR

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TOUCHING SOME POINTS OF ITALIAN

LITERATURE. Immy last, I gave you a short account origin, progress, and perfect develops of my lately published Biographicalment of some of the principal European Treatise on the Writers of Italian Li- languages, a subject of inquiry, which;

terdry History; and as you have been as you well know, when directed tow? ' pleased 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 fura majestic, has occupied, perhaps, too: thesh apology for continuing in the great and too exclusive a share of our same, somewhat egotistical strain. I literary labours, and has not yet ceasedo not long ago published two volumes of to be a matter of acrimonious disputes Essays and Researches, regarding the I dedicate my first volume almost

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enurely to the lian language, to such early convention, but sought

uge dich is at once the their precepts from amongst the an

country and the de- cient Tuscan authors. And for what

intellectual stranger, and motive, it may be asked, was this lanwhich so many thousand times guage created'? Learned men disdain at has haya fowed, ritust tungt

ed to write regarding the sciences, ex« Pid 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, magful 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 Antichita 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 commontongue, 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 beter i in Tuscany by cultivated persons. For universal consent, for literary producwe must bear in mind, that some slight tions. Tuscany, incomparably beyond thich we 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 quicka be there sides, 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 fie duced in evidence of the fact? How nest forms of expression from those was it accomplished ? Perhaps many used by the people. Strangersy 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 I 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

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+ 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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brade Inread .: 4 Prima villa qui dicitur Celle .. caput capo, romanusromanum romano,

-Ne ultirs, IDEE SU L'ORIGINE DELLA LINGUA ITALIA Andere istL NEVER, my dear friend; entertain- where we have the It muti ed any doubt of your having seen all in those others fue lan meant that has been written upon the sub- zio paterno," (paternal uncia Reject by our authors ;-but, to say the words altogether Italian. In anul truth, I cannot agree with them, for instrument

in the same work p.275, wat have formed a system of my own, of the year 767, we find “ locus qui har wbich it will not be difficult for me appellatur ducenta excepto cafagio illo

con some future occasion to develope in integrum ad catarattula da padule

more fully. You ought to pay espe- quod nobis reservamus, et insuper cafra leial attention (which, in your esteem- sa quod habere visi sumus quod nobis ratuit sed favour, you do not seem to have de Guillerard gastaldio in cambio evene

sdone with sufficient care) to that which 'ne;" and a little above; of excepta sil

I wrote to you regarding the barba- va illa qui fue de ipsa curtes." open rous Latin of the diplomatic monu In a document given as belonging to -ments of the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, toth, 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 i obe * 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 1084, with those others which' I bwhich 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 it Aevi) p. 281, Turin edition, we read these terminations, both of nouns and yras follows: “ Locus qui dicitur Vin- of verbs, were restricted to theexamples silcio 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 Alished in the same work, page 321, we and um changed into o, as rivus rivo,

tertia villa quæ vocatur Petriolo. Quare and many others, which the celebrated si ta quæ vocatur S. Giusto"; 5. quæ di- Lanzi has well observed in his “Essay un citur Montagnana; 6. quæ vocatur on the Tuscan Tongue." But I will "Campilia ; 7. quæ dicitur Mumigno; also produce another sufficiently đèci18. quæ vocatur Fagno di 11. quæ voś sive example to shew that the lanscatur Fabrica ; 16. villa quæ vocatur guage which diplomatists wrote was 16 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 barfue 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?

14

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If writers had not chen begun to adope Pisan territory, and in the city, they the latter language in matters not dis 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 Test was 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 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 lao any intermixture of barbatous 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 ducell, 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 Druso. Besides, it is which has greatly occupied our literary that with 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, though 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 Petrareh, 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 ara able friend, Professor Ciampi. With a no critic, you must excuse the dry view, I suppose, of forming an opi- ness of a mere catalogue, while I mentnion regarding our present taste in li- tion the names of such works as bave terature,

you desire me to inform you been translated within these last few wzi what English authors are most read years. Our chief translator of poetry

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ale by a

pour les Smith, and Thomson, La Storia d'Inge freedom of pleasantry. Still the ana

is the Signor Leoni, who is very re to have conspiredit
gular in harnessing (the English word imagination. Polithe bo
harrassing would also do) my Lord given another tendency
Byron's Pegasus after the Italian fa- spirit. Society here occupied
shion. Listen

more willingly in the consideratioyo! ben bere "I stood in Venice, on the bridge of sighs, national rights, of commerce, mechamer De Bézis A palace and a prison on each hand.*** cal inventions, and the progress of i Veneto, ponte de' sospiri,

setts manufactures, than in madrigals, sonIniha ub palagio e un aprigion m'arresto. nets, and canzonettes. In poetry

itu!

self, we love politics and philosophy;" I intended to have transcribed a few and the productions of the nineteenth nages for your amusement, but I find century bear about them a character I 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, de la noble Ambassador ?

nor apply the reductio ad absurdum tó Besides the fourth canto of Childe men whose character and opinions are stre Harold, (published under the name of deserving of reverence, as is so often et de ziediu), the following are also among done in your English Review.-(Ri

Leoni's translations: Il Saggio Suli vista Inglese.*) I think it is one of Voma of Pope, La Scuola della Mal- 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 Scel- gether, that we might impose it upon ta di Poesie Inglesi, 1 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 hilterra of Hume, volume Ist, and I 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 I Cor. tion of our Dante-a most

arduous unsaro (anonymously) at Durin. 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 almirable 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 becomes Finally, there was published by Ghere 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 know. Of 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 seems :** Pape Satan, pape Satan aleppe. «":11:3áls!

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*We presume the blue and yellow is here meant.

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