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infirmity, since the composition must remain deprived of those poetic ornaments so dear to the muses ; deprived of the power to draw comparifons from implements of art, introduced in the course of years, fince in the time of the first man there was no such thing; deprived also of naming (at least while Adam speaks, or discourse is held with him) for example, bows, arrows, hatchets, urns, knives, swords, spears, trumpets, drums, trophies, banners, lifts, hammers, torches, bellows, funeral piles, theatres, exchequers, infinite things of a like nature, introduced by the necessities of fin; they ought not to pass through the mind, or through the lips of Adam, although he had knowledge infused into him, as one who lived most happy in a state of innocence; deprived, moreover, of introducing points of history, sacred or profane, of relating fictions of fabulous deities, of rehearsing loves, furies, arms, sports of hunting, or fishing, triumphs, shipwrecks, conflagrations, inchantments, and things of a like nature, that are in truth the ornament and the soul of poetry ; difficult from not knowing in what stile Adam ought to speak, since, in respect to his know. ledge, it might be proper to assign to him verses of a high, majestic, and flowing stile; but considering him as a shepherd, and an inhabitant of the woods, it appears that he should be simple and sweet in his discourse, and I endeavoured on that account, to render it such, as much as I could, by variety of versification ; and here, taking courage in my greatelt doubt, I formed, I know not how, a beginning; I advanced, if I may say so, without any de


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senza mezo seguendo : e guinsi al fine nè me ne avvide. Onde ho da credere che la bonta di Dio, risguardando piu tosto l'affetto bono che i miei diffetti, (si come retira spesso il cuor dell'huomo dall' opre male, cosi l' induce insensibilemente ancora alle buone) foffe quella che mi movesse la mano, e che 1

opera mi terminasse. Dunque a lei fola debbo le grazie de quella poca che peraventura si trova nella presente fatica: sapendo che l'omnipotenza sua, avezza a trarre maraviglie dal rozo e informe chaos, cosi da quello molto piu rozo e informe della mia mente, habbia anche tratto questo parto, si non per altro, per esser facro, e perche, per cosi dire, parlasse un mutolo in persona mia, per la ingegno come suole al incontro far amutire le pia felici lingue quando s' impiegano in cose brutte e profane. Vedasi dunque con l'occhio de la discrezione, ne si biasimi peravventura la poverta dello stile, la poca gravita nel portar delle cose, la sterilita de concetti, la debolenzza de gli spiriti, gli insipidi, fali, gli stravaganti episodii, come a dire (per lasciare una infinita d'altre cose) che il mondo, la carne, e 'l diavolo per tentare Adamo, in forma humana gli s'appresentino, poi ch' altro huomo né altra donna non v'era al mondo, poiche il ferpente fi mostrò pure ad Eva con parte humana; oltre che fi fa questo, perche le cose fieno piu intese dall' intelletto con que mezi, che a sensi s' aspettano : poscia che in altra guisa come le tante tentazioni che in un punto fostennero Adamo ed Eva, furono



of my

termined plan, and arrived at the end before I was

Whence I am inclined to believe, that the favour of God, regarding rather my good intentions than my defects (for as he often withdraws the heart of man from evil, fo he conducts ît infenfibly to good) gave direction to my hand, and completed my work. Wherefore to that alone I am indebted for the little grace that may perhaps be found in the present labour; knowing that as omnipotence is accustomed to produce wonders from the rude and unformed chaos, fo from the still ruder chaos

mind it may have called forth this production, if not for any other purpose, yet to be sacred, and to make, as it were, a mute speak in my person, in despight of poverty of genius, as on the other hand it is accustomed to strike mute the most eloquent tongues, when they employ themselves on subjects low and profane. Let it be surveyed, therefore, with an eye of indulgence, and blame not the poverty of ftile, the want of dignity in the conduct of the circumstances, fterility of conceits, weakness of {pirit, infipid pleasantries, and extravagant episodes ; to mention, without speaking of an infinitude of other things, that the world, the flesh, and the devil, present themselves in human shapes to tempt Adam, since there was then in the universe no other man or woman, and the serpent discovered himfelf to Eve with a human fimilitude ; moreover, this is done that the subject may be better comprehended by the understanding, through the medium of the senses; since the great temptations that Adam and

nell'interno della lor mente, cofi non ben capir lo spettalor le poteva, Ne fi de credere che passaffe il serpente con Eva disputa lunga poiché la tentò in un punto piu nella mente che con la lingua dicendo quelle parole ; “ Nequaquam moriemịni et eritis ficut Dii,” &c. et pur fara di mestieri, per esprimere quegli interni contrasti, meditar qualche cose per di fuori rappresentarli. Ma fe al pittor poeta muto, è permesso con carratteri di colore l’ esprimer l'antichita di Dio in persona d'huomo tutto canuto, e dimostrare in bianca colomba la

purita dello spirito, e figurare i divini messaggi che sono gli angeli in persona de giovani alati ; perche non è permesso al poeta, pittor parlante, portar nella tela del theatro altra huomo, altra donna, ch' Adamo ed Eva ? è rappresentare quegli interni contrasti per mezo d' immagini, e voci pur tutte humane? Oltre che par piu tolerabile l'introdurre in quest' opera il demonio in humana figura, di quel che fia ľ introdur nell' iftefla il Padre eterno et l'angelo stesso; e pur se questo e permesso, e si vede tutto giorno espresso nelle rapprezentazioni' sacré, perche non si ha da permettere nella presente dove se il maggior si concede, si dè conceder parimente il minor male; fimira dunque lettor benigno piu la sostanza, che l' accidente, per cosi dire, contemplando nell'opera il fine di portar nel theatro dell anima la miseria, ed il pianto d'Adamo, e farne


Eve at once fustained, were indeed in the interior of their own mind, but could not be so comprehended by the spectator; nor is it to be believed that the serpent held a long dispute with Eve, fince he tempted her rather by a suggestion to her mind, than by conference, saying these words, “ Nequaquam moriemini, et eritis sicut Dii, fcientes bonum et malum;" and yet it will be necessary, in order to express those internal contentions, to find some expedient to give them an outward representation; but if it is permitted to the painter, who is a dumb poet, to express by colours God the Father, under the person of a man filvered by age; to describe, under the image of a white dove, the purity of the spirit; and to figure the divine messengers, or angels, under the shape of winged youths, why is it not permitted to the poet, who is a speaking painter, to represent, in his theatrical production, another man and another

besides Adam and Eve, and to represent their internal conflicts through the medium of images and voices entirely human, not to mention that it appears more allowable to introduce in this work the devil under a human shape, than it is to introduce into it the eternal Father and an angel; and if this is permitted, and seen every day exhibited in facred representations, why should it not be allowed in the present, where, if the greater evil is allowable, surely the less should be allowed: attend therefore, gentle reader, more to the substance than to the accident, considering in the work the great end of introducing into the theatre of the soul the misery and lamentation of



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