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lotined at Paris by the terrorists under Robespierre's rule. Her imprudence seems to have been her crime. She was walking out in the streets of Paris on those fatal days when the mob of that distracted city crowded out from its haunts, drunk with the power of doing evil with impunity, the only real power their congenial tyrants allowed them; the miscreants pressed round the fair stranger with their accustomed bacchanalian shouts of liberty, and death to the aristocrats ; she could not restrain her indignation, and some expression of sarcasm escaped her against that sovereign people; for this rash momentary effusion she was taken before à revolutionary tribunal, where she might have saved herself by retracting or qualifying the imputed expressions, but she disdained purchasing her life at the expense of a falsehood, even before iniquitous judges, and a mock appearance of justice. She boldly avowed she had spoken irreverently of their liberty. She was taken to the scaffold; her head fell under the guillo tine. “Wert thou,” exclaims the poet, “wert thou weary of life in those abominable times, and had the lurid light of day become hateful to thee?” A short season previous to her fate, our author had seen her the admiration of all Paris, the beauty of crowded assemblies, flattered and praised for her wit, for the elegance with which she expressed herself in a language not her own, and respected for her acts of beneficence. Her remains were thrown in the common charnel-house, where all the victims of that epoch were huddled promiscuously.
There are several other epistles, addressed to Vittorelli, Benoit de Chateauvieux, G. dal Pozzo, Elisabetta Mosconi, and Countess Albrizzi, all friends of the author. One is devoted to the memory of the amiable Bertola, the poet, whose acquaintance with Pindemonte had begun at Naples, and who had endeared himself to our author by his congenial mind and the qualities of his heart.
We come now to the Sermoni, which was the next work of our author ; they are poems of a didactic nature, in the style of those compositions of Horace which bear the same name. In them the poet portrays the follies of the age, not with the bile of Juvenal, but with the pencil of ridicule. Italian literature, in this respect, may be said to be now at the same point in which the English was towards the middle of the last century. Didactic works, sermons, moral epistles, and essays, may be said to be now in England works of supererogation, but they suit Italy yet : indeed, they may be said to have materially contributed to redeem that country from the sonnetteering manía, from Arcadian insipidity, and from the vitiated taste of amorous and licentious poetry : they keep the medium between the scicentisti and the powerful stern minds of Alfieri and his school, which cannot suit the majority. The former effeminate school has been, thanks to good
taste, long on the decline, and may be said now to have been
E più non vuol sentir belar l'agnelle
E che 'l saperle infin monta pur poco. Passeroni, Gaspare Gozzi, Zanoja, Parini, have excelled in the Horatian satirical style, in which Ariosto was the first among the moderns : Parini, however, forms a separate class by himself, having mixed with bis satirical much of the epic vein. Other satirists, like Rosa, Menzini, Alfieri, have a greater affinity with Juvenal. Our Pindemonte belongs to the first class. More serious and less a courtier than Horace, he reprehends with urbanity; and his morality has over that of Horace the advantage of being consistent, sincere, and practical. Pindemonte has
perceived that much must be done among his countrymen by individual reformation, and that there exists among them more folly than real vice; that their faults lie more in the head than in the heart. The titles he has prefixed to his Sermoni will serve to convey an idea of their tenor :-The Discourteous Civility; the Poet; the Vision of Parnassus; the Inconveniences of Beauty; the True Merit; the Praise of Obscurity; the Good Resolve; on Political Opinions; on Travels: the last two are perhaps the most remarkable.
The author's moderation, with regard to political opinions, and his recommending the same sobriety to his countrymen, drew upon him some remarks from the Biblioteca Italiana, which Pindemonte interpreted as a charge of apathy and indifference.
To repel an accusation, which he felt he did not deserve, our author, in his following little poem, Il Colpo di Martello, which we proceed to notice, explained his meaning under the form of a Vol. III. PART II.
gentle reproof to the editor, who, he thought, had misunderstood him : after saying he had often remained silent to the censures of other critics ; but lo! where the capital of Insubria, Milan, now the seat of learning, raises its lofty head.
Ecco voce scoccar, che, benche annica,
Reggimento civil. To this candid, and at the same time gentle remonstrance, Acerbi, the editor of the Biblioteca Italiana, replied, by an honourable disavowal of having imputed to our poet sentiments so selfish and ignoble, as to have meant that the forms of ment do not influence the happiness of nations. No, says Acerbi, we never laid such a charge to him: the following is the sentence in which we endeavoured to express in prose the philosophical sentiment of his verse:-_Unless we could alter the eternal laws of the universe, as well as the nature and the habits of man, it will ever be impossible to root out from this earth the evils, partly real and partly fictitious, with which our life is embittered ; let the commonwealth be orderly; happiness lies within us if we know how to find it. It is clear, adds Acerbi, that these expressions exclude naturally every disorderly form of government, where injustice prevails, and where individuals are exposed to insecurity. We are not adepts of the stoic philosophy; but we contend, that, under any regular and well-ordained form of government, man, individually speaking, may be happy.
We will leave the philosophy of the above sentence to the judgment of the reader, and return to Pindemonte's poem, Il
Colpo di Martello, or the stroke of the bell from the tower of St. Mark at Venice. It was published in 1820, and the circumstance which called forth this new poetical effusion of our author, was the establishment of a watch on the celebrated belfry of St. Mark, to look out if fires should break out in any part of Venice. Every quarter of an hour the man on duty strikes the bell to prove his vigilance. The circumstance, trifling as it may seem, was well adapted from its fitness to allegory, as well as from local remembrances, to awaken the vein of soft melancholy in our poet. And we confess that the impression the poem has left on our minds seems to us a proof of the inspired feelings of the writer. It sounds ominous as the farewell warning of a revered sage; and while, from the associations of ideas and localities, his plaintive muse carries us back to the times of yore, when the standards of the conquered east floated beneath that tower,—when the subject Adria seemed to worship its queen; then, as if by disenchantment, we are re-instated in the sad reality of present decay, which seizes on those marble ruins, and we feel our very heart thrilling at the author's warning, that we should not lose one atom of those particles of time which the bell of St. Mark's tower marks out with its iron sound. We have no space to enter into an analysis of this poem,
one of the loftiest and most truly-inspired effusions of our poet. The concluding confession is in the most impressive strain of sacred poetry :
Troppo mi piacque quest' esiglio, è vero,
Di Babilonia lo splendor gli brilli. Here we shall conclude our review; we have gone through it, con amore, as the Italian expression is, and we hope without fatiguing the attention of our readers. Our poet's spirit, character, and genius, we have deduced from his works; the blemishes of his style we have also noticed. His imagination is by no means deficient in energy, although he has sometimes diluted this
energy by a too great fondness for illustrating a favourite idea. Some of his blank verse, also, has been accused of want of harmony,-a very essential, but in him not common, fault. Upon the whole, however, Pindemonte is, as we said at first, one of the most conspicuous among the Italian writers who belong to both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Besides the original works we have mentioned, he has written some other light effusions; and lately he has published his translation of the Odyssey, a work he had attended to for several years, and bestowed great pains upon; and which seems to have been well received by the Italian public for its eloquence and accuracy.
A PROPHETIC ACCOUNT OF
A GRAND NATIONAL EPIC POEM,
TO BE ENTITLED
56 THE WELLINGTONIAD,”
AND TO BE PUBLISHED A, D. 2824.
How I became a prophet it is not very important to the reader to know. Nevertheless I feel all the anxiety which, under similar circumstances, troubled the sensitive mind of Sidrophel; and, like him, am eager to vindicate myself from the suspicion of having practised forbidden arts, or held intercourse with beings of another world. I solemnly declare, therefore, that I never saw a ghost, like Lord Lyttleton ; consulted a gypsey, like Josephine; or heard my name pronounced by an absent person, like Dr. Johnson. Though it is now almost as usual for gentlemen to appear at the moment of their death to their friends,
as to call on them during their life, none of my acquaintance have been so polite as to pay me that customary attention. I have derived my knowledge neither from the dead nor from the living ; neither from the lines of a hand, nor from the grounds of a tea-cup; neither from the stars of the firmament, nor from the fiends of the abyss. I have never, like the Wesley family, heard “that mighty leading angel,” who “ drew after him the third part of heaven's sons," scratching in my cupboard. I have never been enticed to sign any of those delusive bonds which have been the ruin of so many poor creatures; and, having always been an indifferent horseman, I have been careful not to venture myself on a broomstick.