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' Anno proximo scilicet 1350 in vigilia Natalis de vespera rumor infelicissimus
... Jacobi de Carraria Dni Paduæ Dni et benefactoris mei singularis, cujus nunquam sine suspiriis recordabor.
* Dns Jacobinus Bossius vir probus et sapiens et mihi carissimus obiit 1357 Novembr 25. Quod mihi redeunti a missa Katherinæ Virginis ab Ecclesiâ. Nbr non sine gravi vulnere mentis innotuit.
All these circumstances agree perfectly with the other writings of the poet, and with historical fact; nor is it credible that would fabricate such documents, in order to make the note on Laura more plausible.—The very minute circumstances of time and place when the events happened, give this document an air of originality.
We have already said that Filelfo lived near enough to the time of the poet, to be considered as a writer of authority. Peranzone, who republished his Commentary in 1515, remarks, Son. 158, • Una candida cerva,'. O quanto e malinteso in parechi luoghi questo nostro Poeta; e per non avere vedute le opere sue molti che non sanno quello che dicano, qui reprendono M. F. Filelfo perche lui dice Madonna Laura aver avuto marito. Si come fu vero ne altrimente questo si puo intendere.—On referring to Son. 49. Pt. 1. (Se voi poteste,) we find this Commentary of Filelfo---dice Petrarca che se lei potesse per questi suoi tali sdegni o per altri ingegni et arte far
si che lui non l'amasse, loderebbe tali suoi sdegni perche Misser Francesco habitava presso di lei ella fece tanto col suo marito che gli tolse una stanza a un altra contrada d'Avignone piu frequentata e piu notabile e questo solo per fuggire ogni calunnia.
The article of the sonpet and medal is perhaps the weakest link in the chain of the Abbé de Sade's argument, but the author is not justified in calling the verses a' rapturous love elegy.' The very tirst line is an attestation of Laura's chastity; and if the husband had as much reason to believe, as the world did, that Petrarch's attachment was pure and honourable, how could he consider this certificate the last insult a husband could sustain ?'
The verses are indeed very indifferent, and that circumstance would rather
that they were made in the short space of time between Laura's death and burial; besides, such a sonnet might be made as soon as a coffin; nor is it just to talk of the difficulty of engrossing fairly on parchment a sonnet of fourteen lines, as one of the proofs that it is a forgery. The argument drawn from the 'perishable materials on which the sonnet was written is not conclusive, unless the author can prove that all parchment buried with a dead body for many years must necessarily perish, and the writing upon it be illegible; Cicely, the consort of Richard Duke of York,
who died in 1459, had about her neck, when taken up in the chancel of Fotheringay, in the reign of Elizabeth, a silver ribbon with a pardon from Rome, penned in a very fine Roman hand, and as fair and as fresh to be read as if it had been penned yesterday. Mr. Gough, who records the fact, adds that she was buried in a leaden coffin, but this would not preserve the parchment from the juices of a putrifying carcase. The author, arguing upon the improba bility that either sonnet or niedal was found in the grave, says, p. 93, thata medal of bronze, with a sculptured image and inscription, should have been moulded and cast in the space of a few hours, is a fact that we may fairly pronounce to exceed all belief.' The author would mislead his readers if he wished them to suppose
that the engraved medallion, p. 116, is a faithful representation of the medal said to be found. Gabrielle Symeon, who visited Avignon in 1557 twenty-four years after the discovery, says, p. 13, of his Illustres Observations Antiques en son dernier voyage d'Italie, 'Mais que dirons nous d'une si bonne ville que celle d'Avignon? là où je ne trouvai chose quelconque antique, sinon depuis deux cens ans ença le sepulcre de Laura descouvert par le commandement du feu Roi François et une sienne medaille de plomb que l'on trouva sous son chef lors qu'elle fut desenterrée, de laquelle je prins le double tel que l'on voit par la presente figure.' She is there represented with her right hand on her breast, and her left extended and holding a scroll containing the letters M LAL. She appears a picciolissima donna. As it was customary, in the fourteenth century, to put pieces of money into the mouths of the dead, and as this leaden medal (for it was not of bronze) was found sous son chef, under her head, having dropped through; may we not hazard a conjecture, and say that this was a coiu usually buried with the dead, and no portrait of Laura ? The impression of the letters, as given by Symeon, is different from that of the author. Any one conversant in books' de re diplomatica' knows that the letters may have been MVMV (which Symeon reads MLAL, and Maurice de Seves ML MI,) and may mean Maria Virgo, Maria Virgo ; or if Symeon mistook the I for a V, Maria Virgo, Mater Jesu.
The translations of the sonnets, which are referred to in the course of the work, are executed with considerable fidelity and elegance. We select the following as no unfavourable specimen.
. On the Prospect of Vaucluse.
Valle che de lamenti miei se' piena.
Of tender youth, I breath'd my amorous pain:
Thy murmurs joining to my sorrowing strain;
• () green
"O green-clad hills, familiar to my sight!
O well-known paths, where oft I wont to rove,
Musing the tender accents of my love!
No more that angel-form which beauty shed
Oft trod your paths: here rests in hallow'd earth her head ! We will only remark that the game accusation which has been made against the Abbé de Sade may be rétorted on the author, for he has interpreted a passage with direct reference to his own argument, which the original will not authorize. Why does he translate the mere matter of fact that she died and was buried,'
onde al ciel nuda è gita Lasciando in terra la sua bella spoglia,
Here rests in hallowed earth her head ? The Postscript contains sonje information respecting the embellishments of this little volume, which are appropriate, and very beautifully executed. We protest against the authenticity of the portrait of Laura, p. 12; it has no air of originality, if we may judge from the engraving, and is so unlike all those of the 14th and 15th centuries prefixed to the manuscripts of Petrarch in the Laurentian Library at Florence, that we are surprised the essayist could admit it as a genuine representation; and still more, that when he looked at the print (if it be a faithful copy) he could say that the style and execution bear the marks of an early period of the art of painting. We beg leave to subjoin, that when Padre della Valla, the editor of the Lettere. Sanesi, caused inquiries to be made at Avignon in 1782 after the portraits of Petrarch and Laura, he was informed that none existed either in the family of Sade or in the convent where Laura is supposed to be buried which could be called original. In the house of Pietro Bembo at Padua was a picture of St. Margaret copied from a fresco at Avignon, and said to be a portrait of Laura. The intelligent and accurate Morelli says, in his Notizie di Opere di Disegno, questa notizia riesce nuova.' In the collection of the late Cardinal Zelada at Rome were two portraits of Petrarch and Laura which came from Avignon: though confessedly copies, made 200 years after the death of Simon Memmi, they retain his manner. Laura holds a flower like a poppy in her hand. Baldinucci, in his account of Memmi's fresco in the church of Santa Maria Novella at Florence, says that a passage in the 27th Canzone of Petrarch, hitherto misinterpreted, may be illustrated by the portrait of Laura, for, upon examination,
he found her green drapery very elegantly spotted, as it were,
with little flowers like violets.
• Negli occhi hò pur le violette e'l verde
Amor armato si, ch' ancor mi sforza.' Having given this statement of the argument in question, and offered such remarks as occurred to us, we leave the dispute to those who feel interested for the reputation of Laura, and who are of opinion that, after a lapse of 400 years, it is a question of critical inquiry whether she were a coquetting maid or a prudish wife.
Art. XIII. Mr. Madison's War. A dispassionate Inquiry into
the Reasons alleged by Mr. Madison for declaring an offensive and ruinous War against Great Britain; together with some Suggestions as to a peaceable and constitutional Mode of averting that dreadful
Calamity. By a New England Farmer. Second Edition. Boston. 1812.
ter of the American war, the pamphlet now before us enables us fully to make up our minds on those points. We were always of opinion, from the general conduct of Mr. Madison, coupled with his well known predilection for French principles, that a se-cret understanding existed between him and Buonaparte. The New England Farmer' roundly asserts it, and proves the assertion. We consider his pamphlet as a production of no ordinary cast; it is evidently the offspring of a powerful mind, accustomed to think deeply, and reason soundly. The author of it is no theorist, no speculator in politics; he deals in broad facts, and the conclusions which he draws are irresistible. He has not thought fit to give his name; but the man who has designated himself so clearly as he has done in the following passage, can neither be unknown in America, nor wish that he should be unknown.
. I have been in my early days honoured by my fellow citizens with the office of a representative in the legislation of my native state, a state dear to me by early associations, by having been the place of my nativity, by containing the ashes of my revered ancestors through six successive generations, by possessing within its bosom all the fruits of my own and their industry, and upon the prosperity of which state, my children, yet in their infancy, depend for their hopes of future success. These solemn considerations have created an attachment to it, which neither the frowns of men in power, nor the temporary, and I hope re, mediable misfortunes into which our rulers are about to plunge it, can VOL. VIII. NO, XV.
essentially weaken or impair. The oath administered to me in my capacity of a legislator was, “ that the state of Massachusetts is, and of right ought to be, a free, sovereign, and independent state;" and this solemn oath, 'taken before an assembled people, and in the presence of the Supreme Being, I consider a sacred pledge that I will defend, uphold, and maintain the rights and interests of this state against all hostile attempts whatsoever. To me it is a matter of indifference, whether the attack upon these rights proceeds directly and openly from the Great Usurper and common enemy of all civilized states, or whether the same be made through the partiality or the mistakes of the men whom a majority of our citizens have unfortunately elevated to ill-deserved power.' page 1.
Before our · New England farmer proceeds to examine the gross partiality for France displayed in Mr. Madison's manifesto, and the “ black and bloody representation' therein made of the conduct of Great Britain, for the unworthy purpose of gratifying the malice of Buonaparte, he deems it proper to glance at some of the events in the history of Mr. Madison's public character and conduct, which, we perfectly agree with him, are the more important to be known, as they tend to shew an habitual inclination to the views and interests of the tyrant of Europe; and to satisfy every reasonable man, that this war of Mr. Madison is, to all intents and purposes, a French war, and not an American one: that he has plunged into it, as we have said, for French interests; nay more, that he has plunged into it in conformity with repeated orders from France.
Mr. Madison, we are told, was, in early life, a leading man of the French party in the revolutionary congress, which endeavoured to bend all the efforts and energies of America to the views of the French cabinet. Mr. Madison was of the party who instructed the American ministers abroad to make no peace without the consent and concurrence of France; he was one of those who opposed the treaty of peace made by Mr. Jay and Mr. Adams; wbo, in compliance with the wishes of France, attempted a censure upon those ministers for having dared to negociate a most advantageous and honourable treaty without the consent of the French government. True to his first opinions, Mr. Madison was resolutely bent, at a subsequent period, to promote the views and interests of revolutionary France. In 1794 he strenuously opposed General Washington's pacific mission to England; he was in favour, as he has uniformly been, of direct hostility with Great Britain; he was in favour of the sequestration of British property; and opposed every measure that tended to heal the breach between the two countries. To please the revolutionary rulers of France, he proposed a warfare on British commerce. The resolutions which be then brought forward were the same, in character, with