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Atone the evil, and resolve me back
This blasphemous apostrophe leads on to reflections of a singularly appalling character, in which the original non-existence of the Universe is considered as an entire and beautiful perfection that was broken at the creation.
While he stands venting these wild victor demon to resign his prize, who and desperate fancies, the demon comes in the meantime had fallen asleep. to him again, and urges him to self- The gracious influences of the celestial destruction ; but he rejects this coun visitant are shed over Cain as he lies selling with a stern and sublime ve on the ground, and when he awakes hemence.--In this crisis he hears the he discovers a fresh and
flowery scene, voice of the venerable Adam at a dis- glittering with sunny dewdrops, and tance calling on him to return, and joyous with the melody of birds. His smitten with the sense of guilt, and frenzy has subsided, and melted to huconscious of the sorrow he has occa- mility by the universal benevolence sioned, he rushes from the spot, pur- that breathes and smiles around him, sued by the fiend, and the scene changes he kneels, and with a lowly and conto a dark and woody valley where he trite spirit, confesses his guilt and unenters, and exhausted by fatigue and worthiness, and resigns himself unto agitation, sinks upon the ground. The the compassion of his Maker, whom, demon believes him dying, and exult- in the delirium of remorse, he had so ing in having gained his soul, sum- awfully defied. His prayer and penimons together the evil spirits who are tence are accepted, and the spirit of abroad on the earth, to bear it-their Abel, in the glorious vestment of its first trophy-in triumph to perdition. heavenly change, invites him to para But while they are gathering in, and take of the joys of the celestial parahovering and gloating over their prey, dise. The penitent, thus assured of a sudden brightness opens in the skies, pardon and mercy, dies in the confiand the angel of mercy descending, dent expectation of a happy resurrecdisperses the fiends, and compells the tion.
** Notwithstanding the gravity with which this critique is managed, we suspect that the author intends it for an anticipatory quiz of Lord Byron's forthcoming Poem of Cain.
And not a star lights up the heavy gloom;
And all is sad and silent as the tomb;
Of earthly doubt; and through futurity
The weary heart oppress.-Mid solitudes,
O'er blasted heath, or under forest gloom,
Serpent and beckoning forms, the vision broods,
ON THE DECLINE OF THE TUSCAN ASCENDENCY IN ITALIAN
The infinite superiority attained by the Tuscan writers, over all the other Italian authors in the early ages of their literature, and successfully maintained for a period of four hundred years, had inspired a general belief that the highest excellence in composition, and the utmost originality in point of thought, must, with few exceptions, be sought for in vain at a distance from the banks of the Arno. In Tuscany more especially, the pride of a noble literary ancestry had blinded all classes to the decline of their ancient fame, and insensible to the long and death-like torpidity of the Academicians, they still continued to dream over the time when the chiefs of the famous “ Quatordici Ambasciatori” might be numbered among the citizens of Florence. More lately, however, the zeal and ability displayed throughout the Lombard states, and in other districts of Italy, has greatly tended to dispel this illusion, and the Tuscans find that something more substantial than a proud reference to the deeds of other days, must be exhibited as a proof of their existing superiority. The director of the Biblioteca Italiana, a Milanese Journal, has been among the most active and successful in his endeavours to break the sceptre of the Tuscans, and to assert not only the equality, but the superiority of the other Italian states for more than a hundred years. The countrymen of Dante and Boccacio were, of course, horror-struck, and considered such an assertion as little less than heresy. Much idle disputation followed, in which there was, perhaps, on both sides somewhat more of declamation than of argument. Yet to an indifferent spectator, facts seem to do more for the Lombard party, than for the standard-bearers of the Cruscan Academy. А long letter was written by a gentleman of Empoli, accusing the director of the Biblioteca Italiana, of blind injustice in thus invading the majesty of Florence. To this the director replied by a statement of his reasons for lowering the Tuscans in the ranks of modern literature, and we have translated the most material part of it, that our readers may judge for themselves, whether some of the other Italian states have not now an equally good claim to literary pres cedence.
The defence by the Tuscan of Em- interest to another. Italy in the 18th poli has greatly deceived my expecta- and 19th centuries, has greatly excel tions. By placing before me his much led the preceding ages in every branch boasted literary riches, of which I, in of useful discipline ; but Tuscany has common with all Italy, had hitherto not taken in that elevation the part remained ignorant, he would have in- which she held of old, and which she creased the patrimony of our common ought to have retained, in order to country, for we have a community in preserve her right to that precedency interests and cares. Whatever is the and importance to which it seems both cause of detriment to him and his she and her Academy still consider brethren, is equally hurtful to the na themselves as entitled. “The Tuscans tional honour, of which all good Ita- appear to have remained stationary amid lians should be alike regardful. It is, the advancement of the other provinces therefore, far from being an agreeable of Italy, and especially of those of the task for me to confute him, and to north. For some time past, the best Ita bring forward proofs which may prove lian poets and prose writers have not hurtful to the splendour of Tuscany, been from Tuscany; and this truth, which forms so beautiful and so illus- not easily comprehended by the Tustrious a portion of our peninsula. It cans, must have greatly contribuis this reflection alone which consoles ted to lessen that authority which the me, that by shewing how other parts tribunal of the Crusca enjoyed in the of Italy have attained a rank equal to days of Magalotti, Salvini and Redi. if not higher than that from which the people of Tuscany are the best Tuscany has fallen, I convert the par- speakers, and its literary men the tial loss into a national gain, or at least worst writers in Italy."
These are prove that what has been abstracted my assertions, and they have for a from one side, has been added with foundation our modern literary hise
tory. The hasty and general nature of by De Angelis, and some few things my proæmium necessarily debarred by the Canonico Moreni, whose princime from entering into any thing like a pal merit consists not so much in the detail of circumstances. But I am style, as in his great tenderness for the now forced to follow another course, sacred office of the Inquisition. To and we must proceed to facts. Let us these works we may well
those take a rapid glance of the literary his- of Signorelli, Foscarini, Ticozzi, Maytory of Italy, from the commencement er, and many others. of the 18th century down to the pre And now that we speak of the fine sent time. One hundred and twenty arts, by whom is the only History of years is a good tract of time, and of Music which Italy can yet boast of ? him who has slept during all that By a Bolognese, the Father Martini. period it is surely no calumny to own And who is the author of those Letthat he has “ slept a long sleep.” tere (Haydine) Sulla Estetica Musi
Now it may be asked, where were cale, which all classes have read with the flowers of all knowledge to be so much delight? One of our own found during this long period ? In all Milanese, G. Carpani. other parts of Italy sooner than in To whom has been granted the first Tuscany. Who were the greatest and rank among the writers of the literary most learned men? Gravina, Muratori, history of Italy? No Tuscan will dare Maffei, Corvini, Pacciaudi, Saverio, to contend with Tiraboschi, the BerMattei, &c. &c. not one of whom is gamasque. And all the other works Tuscan. Who was the Prince of An- of the same class, which preceded and tiquaries ? Ennio Quirino Visconti, a followed that of Tiraboschi, from Roman. Who is the chief of the living whence have they proceeded? Cresarchæologists and lapidaries? The cimbeni's is from Macerata, QuadAbate Morcelli, provost of Chiari. Who rio's from the Valtellina, Bettenelli's attained the highest rank as a writer from Mantova, Signorelli's from Naof political history during the above ples, Foscarini's from Venice, Mazzumentioned period? Will the Tuscans chelli's and Corniani's from Breschia, name as such their Galluzzi, their Serassi’s from Bergamo; and so it may Cambiaso, their Pignotti? But who be said of many other works, which would place these names in competi- we here omit, per brevita. tion with the great luminaries of his If we turn our regards upon philotory, with Bianchini, Giannone, Mura- sophy, we shall find, that the first and tori, Denina ? And who is our most deepest thinkers have been produced illustrious living historian, proclaimed out of Tuscany. It would suffice to as such by the voice of the whole Ita name Vico alone, without alluding to lian nation? Without any doubt Botta Genovesi, Stellina, Pietro Verri, and the Piedmontese.
others. And if to philosophy we add In the history of the arts, Tuscany politics, and the principles of legislawas wont to boast of Vasari, Baldi- tion, where is the Tuscan name which nucci, Dati, now almost forgotten and can stand to be confronted with Graneglected; and the lead in that de- vina, Niccola Spedalieri, Filangeri, partment of literature has long been Beccaria? In political economy, no Itataken from the Tuscans. The Storia lian writer equals Genovisi, Galiani, della pittura of the Abate Lanzi—the Pietro Verri, and no Tuscan can be Cose del Milizia—the Lettere Senesi of measured with our Gioja. Indeed, P. della Valle—the Cenacolo of Leo- this part of philosophical discipline, nardo, by the painter Bossi—the Sto- prior to and since the time of Pomria della Sculturu of Cicognara-the peo, Neri, was entirely neglected in Enciclopedia Metodica Critico-rugi- Tuscany, but has, on the contrary, onata of the Abate Zani, are among been cultivated with success and hothe greatest and most remarkable nour among ourselves, by Mangotti, works of the times, and their authors Valeriani, Cagnazzi, Bosellini, Ressi, are all from other districts than Tus- Beretta, Padovani, and many others. cany. The Tuscans have only the Sacred eloquence does not boast a works of Gori Gandellini, augmented single' writer of celebrity in Tuscany.
• Discorso Proemiale premesso al Volume XVII. del Giornale Letterario-Scienti. fico intitolato Biblioteca Italiana. Di Guiseppe Acerbi. Milano, 1820.
All those who have distinguishsd which a reverend instructor of youth themselves during the period of which ought not to remember with praise we speak, have been foreign to the from the chair of an academy. banks of the Arno. Tornielli is a But if Pignotti should be brought Novarese; Quirico Rossi, a Vicentine; forward, who remains to compare with Granelli, a Genovese ; and Turchi is Savioli the Bolognese ; with Gherardo from Parma. If the Tuscans boast of Rossi and Rolli the Romans ; with SaOrsi among the Cardinals, we shall landri of Mantua ; with Minzoni of remember us of Bentivoglio, Alberoni, Ferrara ; with Bertola of Rimini ; with and Gerdil; and that, since the days Cerretti of Modena ; with Lamberti of of Leo X., no Tuscan has added the Reggio ; with Mazza of Parma ; with glory of letters to the splendour of Cesarotti of Padua, and a hundred the triple crown, and that such Popes others? And what living Tuscan poet as have since built to themselves a can be opposed to Pindemonte of Vename as literati or politicians, have rona; to Arici of Brescia ; to Foscolo been either Bolognese, like Benedict of the Ionian Isles ; to Paradisi (I XIV. or from Rimini, like Clement mean Giovanni) of Reggio; to Forti ; XIV., or from Cesena, like Pius the to Manzoni of Milan; and especially VI.
to the illustrious compatriot of Ariosto, The further we proceed, the strong- Monti ? er the arguments become in favour of Among the translators in verse,
the my assertions. Dramatic, tragic, and Tuscans have Marchetti ; but are they comic poetry, exhibit in Tuscany a ignorant to whom we owe Porpora, mighty blank. All the reformers of the translator of Statius, and all the the Italian theatres—all the greatest others, the first of their day? such as writers, the capiscuola, have flourished Manara, Bondi, Vincenzi, Solari, Gheout of Tuscany. Apostolo Zeno was a rardini,(Gio.)Leoni, Pindemonte, FosVenetian ; the alone* Metastasio was colo, Strocchi, Venini, Bellotti, Monti? a Roman; the author of Merope, Maf- In matters satyrical, they had indeed fei, was a Veronese ; the mighty Alfieri Menzini. (Settano need not be menwas from Asti; the Moliere of Italy, tioned, as he wrote in Latin.) But du. Goldoni, was Venetian, as was also his ring the period which we are discussrival Gozzi ; the first of those now li- ing, they have no poet in that departving, the advocate Nota, is a Piedmon- ment to compare with Parini and Zatese; Giraud, his competitor, is a Ro- noja; and that may be said wit out man ; Albertoni is from Bologna, and any disrespect to D'Elci, though he, Federici from Turin. Indeed, it is among the living, is certainly good. much to be lamented that comedy, In didactic poetry, Tuscany can which might have attained so much of name neither the best, nor the good, grace from the lips of the Tuscan peo- nor the middling, and ple, more especially in the embellishment of familiar dialogue, should have
Quella cetra gentil che sulla riva
Cantò di Mincio Dafne e Melibeo, been a field fruitful only beyond the Tuscan territory; and where the write ten language is not to be found, except Poichè con voce piu canora e viva. in the pens of the literati.
Celebrato ebbe Pale ed Aristeo, Let us pass to the lyric poets of this when taken from Alamanni and Rucand the preceding century, and inquire cellai, from the ancient oak on which who can be put in competition with it had been suspended, was by no other Manfredi of Bologna; with Frugoni of Genoa ; with Varano of Romagna; Tuscany ; and to Spolverini alone did
poet saving these two, even touched in with Agostino Paradisi of Reggio; with it answer not disdainfully. Indeed, Bondi of Mantua; and, above all, with
so enchanted was the didactive muse Parini of Milan ? Will the Tuscans with the verses which sung, speak of their Pignotti ? Their own Abate Cardella, Professor in the semi
66 Il dono almo del Ciel candido riso," nary of Pisa, would fain class among the best writers Battacchi and Casti- that she never more abandoned this names at which modesty blushes, and northern part of Italy; and from