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" Paradiso :"-" Virgin mother, daugh- to the honourable testimony of the Atheter of thy fon! lowly, yet exalted above nian judges, on the integrity of Xenoall created beings!' ultimate object of crates : the parallel is equally overlooked eternal wisdom ; thou art she who haft by the laborious and learned Castlevetro, fo ennobled nature, that her creator has though he relates two or three anecdotes not disdained to become one of her pros of this philosopher, when thus respectably ductions*."
noticed by Petrarch himself : * XenoHe palliates the insipidity of his " Para.
crates, more impenetrable than a stone, difo” in one of the most animated passages whom no force could bend to meanness*." of his work ; which is very pretty as an These favourable impressions of Peexcuse for failing in the attempt, but trarch still farther exalted my expectations would have been still more admirable as from his work; but, in the scale of hope, an apology for not undertaking it. I like that which Petrarch affixes to the could point out other beauties that are " Triumphal Arch of Love," we find fprinkled up and down the work; but “ false opinions in the gate, and flipping though not “ too tedious to mention,” expectation on the steps." With the they are perhaps too trivial to particu. erection of any such allegorical or metalarize ; and, like a glow-worm, would phorical edifice, our author very seldom probably lose much of their lustre, it indulges his readers : the present is one drawn from the darkness with which they of his greatest flights in that part of his are surrounded. Such, indeed, has been works, where alone he attempted it. The the fate of Dante himself. He shone with plan of his “ Trionfi," indeed, was fuffplendour in the unenlightened ages of Eu. ceptible of much allegorical beauty; and rope ; but, when the vanity of his coun where he enumerates the attendants of the trymen, or the obstinacy of the blind several triumphs, much room was open idolators of antiquity, will drag him to pay many elegant tributes to historical forth into the blaze of modern literature characters, or to exhibit beautiful and and refinement, we cannot be surprized sublime seutinents on historical facts :if he falls by a stroke of the sun.
But no !-the facts are nightly glanced After this critique on the “ Comedia at in mere matter-of-fact sentences; and Divina" of Dante, I will not trouble the name of the hero is recorded as one of a the reader with remarks on his “Cenvito,” catalogue. An obfcure allufion is someor “ Rime Liriche."-We will pass on to times added, as in the instance of Xeno
PETRARCH.-I had formed great ex crates, who is said to be “firmer than a pectations of this celebrated poet and lover. stonet,” because, says Castelvetro, a I read the history of his life ; and, on courtezan, who had engaged to corrupt fiich a subject, even Beccatelli could be him, and found that he refifted all her interesting; for he was the biographer allurements, exclaimed, “ I thought I of a man who seems never to have been had to do with a man, and not a statue :" known but to be respected and beloved ; or, as when he mentions Cicero and and who, in perpetually acquiring new Virgil, with this elegant metaphorical friends, was never accused of neglecting addition—" These are the eyes of our the old. The early respectability of tonguet." Petrarch's character is adınirably exem His forte was certainly in the fonnata, plified in the following well-known anec
canzone, balatta, festina, &c. If a few dote :-" While he was yet a youth, in of these were selected, they would be well the family of Cardinal Colonna, the lat- worthy the perusal of one who had already ter had occafion to assemble every inmate been so imprudently laborious as to learn of his house, and require them to con the Italian language ; because it would be firm individually, by oath, the truth of hard, indeed, if he were deprived of any the answers they should give to his inter- thing the language can give him: but it rogatories. From this obligation not certainly would not be worth his trouble even the Bishop of Luna, the Cardinal's to read the whole in order to find these own brother, was exempt. When Pe- much less for another to acquire the lan. trarch, in his turn, approached to lay guage for that purpose. The multiplihis hand on the facred volume, the Car- city of pieces, under these several names, dinal, who held it, drew it back; and, tui ning to the assembled household, ex
* “ Senocrate piu faldo," &c.-Trionfo claimed, “ the word alone of this man is
della Fama, cap. 3d. lufficient." It is fingular, that Becca
+ " Piu faldo ch'un sasso."-Trionf. del'
Fam. cap. 3d. telli does not notice the similarity of this
1 “ Questi son gli occhi della lingua nof* Virgine Madre ! Figlia del tuo figlio." tra."-Ibid, id.
455 is truly astonishing ; especially when we tion in this description of pieces. And consider the fameness of subject that per- yet, what school-boy, that was able to vades the whole, and constitutes what we versify, would not have taught his imagimay call a monotony of thought. To nation to soar as far as “ (vid's Metathis circumscription of subject, we may morphoses,"-augment their extravagance add the rigid rules of the fonnet, which by accumulating them on one person, and admits only the introduction of one successively relate his own transformation thought; and, whether that thought re into a laurel, a rock, a river, a hart, a quires condensation or expansion, will swan, &c.—in short, into every thing but allow neither more nor less than fourteen a poet. In the same spirit is the 2d Son, lines to be employed in its expression; net of the fame part: but fortunately the and, of each of these, the termination is rules of the Sonnet are, here, of some use, restricted to one of four sounds, which is fince they forbid his being changed into all the variety of rhyme admitted in such more monsters than one at a time. This compositions. The consequence is, that perpetual rccurrence to the Katterfelto of when the author does strike out a bright antiquity, might be construed as the prejuthought, the effect is generally lost by dice of the age. But, when the author being beaten out into a blunt surface, draws from his own sources, his imaginainstead of being sharpened into a point ; tion still appears to have been in pursuit or, perhaps, the luminous point appears rather of the strange, than the beautiful; in the middle, with a dull tag at the end, or if he ever pursued the latter, he seems, as in fonnets of part 2d; but examples of at least, to have been very unfortunate in such tags are not very easy to refer to; the search. When any thing but the art there is in general no point for them to . of versification is exerted, extravagance is hang by. The sonnet immediately suc- the usual consequence. Hence the crowd ceeding that,which I have last cited, affords of the blessed, when Laura dies, will be an example still less easy to refer to, equal fo great, as to discolour the face of the beauty of sentiment and construction, and sun: (Sen. 24. p. 1.) hence the heart, yet this beauty is not of a very superior which is burnt by the flames of love, is kind. Tafso, however, has thought it preserved from total consumption, by worth imitating in “ Gier. Lib. c. iii. the cold blood of fear : (Canz. 8. ibid.) It. 68."
hence, too, Laura, in her grief, utters The festina is regulated by laws still words that make the mountains walk and more puerile than the sonnet. It gene- the rivers stand still : (Sonn. 123. ibid.)-rally consists of fix ftanzas, each of six splitting of stones is a very common effect lines ; and every line of the last five stan- of grief:--nay, in Seltin. 7., fighs and zas must conclude with some word that tears rise into wird and rain that shake terminates a line in the first stanza ; but the woods and deluge the grass *. subjected to this additional restriction, A person subject to such violence of that the terminating word of the first line grief, would be a most dangerous neighin each stanza must be the same as the boui' in a cultivated country ; where he, last word in the stanza preceding. If you indeed, might expect very particular atread a stanza separately there is no rhyme; tention to preserve him in cheerfulness and if two are read in immediate succession, it good humour, left, in some gloomy fits, is not rhyme that is perceived, but re he should convert arable, meadow, and petition.
pasture-land, into a falt water lake f. Had Petrarch confined himself to the But wind and rain are not the only masonnet and the feftina, we might have terials of a storm, which Laura can furattributed the defects of his productions nish—" as with thunder and lightning to the defective laws of versification. But in the same instant, so was I once overthe looser texture of the canzone, and come by two bright eyes, and a gentle ballata, seems to give no fcope to his falutation 1." fancy ; but rather adds to the indistinct
* Sospir del petto, et degli occhi escono onde, diffusiveness of his style and conceptions :
Da bagnar l'erbe, et da crollar i borlike a form, that after having been dark.
chi”-it p. ly, and sometimes brightly, pourtrayed t « Or vorria trar degli occhi noftri un in a cloud, diffolves into a mist, which lago.” Sonn. 204. fometimes, too, reflects the sun-beams, I 66 Come col balenar tona in un punto, but in shapeless luftre.
Cofi fu’io da' begli occhi lucenti The first canzone, of the first part, ap E d'un dolce faluto, insieme agyunto." pears to have been his favourite produc
Son. 87. p. 1.
Perhaps the thunder in Italy may mo- je ne sais quoi of Laura's eyes ? -" that dulate its voice to the musical ears of the can make honey bitter, or wormwood natives; but certainly an Englishman sweet."-But the Sonnct insisted on havdoes not associate much of the " dolce ing a fourteenth line, and “ Silenzio" insaluto *" with the idea of thunder, and fitted on that line ending with a sound . would be apt to translate the passage, in that should rhyme to itself, the poet pathe words of a countryman of his own. tiently submitted and wrote * If she all hearts with love surprize,
“ E'l mel amaro ed addolcir l'affentio.” Pray where's the mighty wonder?
If every folly, however, were as amply She bears Jove's lightning in her eyes, repaid, Petrarch would be another ShakAnd in ber voice his thunder !"
fpeare. The name of Laura seems as But, I suppose, if you would exprels fluent a source of pains to Petrarch, as your objeftions on these subjects, he the cuckold's horn to our Bard: and, would antwer, as he does on the other in his grief for the loss of his friend, perfections of his mifirefs :
he never forgets that colonna is a column, “ And he that will not believe, let him
as well as a cardinal. But of all puerilicome and see her,
ties, the 5th Sonnet of the rit Part, affords " E chi nol crede venga egli e vedella."
one of the most contemptible examples : An appeal equal to that on the wonder vided into fyllables !-a degree even be
- Sonnet on the name of Lauretta, diful ram ot Derby. “ And indeed, iir, it is true, fir, I never
low the lowly acrostic !—for the author was used to lic,
contents himlelf with introducing the “ And if you'd been at Derby you'd seen component fyllables in any part of the it as well as I."
notable composition : thus we find Lau
dando in one line, real in another, and Perhaps it would not be Otrictly just to taci in a third !-But, what is ftill more accufe Petrarch of all the insipidity of the common place phrales and fentis abfurd, the ingenious author has not been ments, of which his pieces generally con
succesful, even in this miferable conceit:
for the letters that he has made thus confift. For perhaps the celebrity of his pro- fpicuous, fall short of the intended word, ductions "rendered common-place many by the deficiency of a T, -as the critical modes of expreffion, which, in him, were
acumen of his erudite commentator has original. But sweet bitters, and bitter
discovered. fweets; burning ice, and frozen fire, are
From an author, who could so perpevery common phenomena in his land of
tually plume himself on the adoption, or wonders. In Sonn. 124, he undertakes
invention of such frivolities, we cannot to describe the charins of Laura, feparate- expect much delicacy of sentiment, or ly considered :
:-now hearken to the bright imagination of the elegant Pe- ceived to be the characteristics of Petrarch.
taste :--and yet these are what I had contrarch! Her head is fine gold-her face Sometimes, no doubt, they do appear ;warm snow-ebony her eye-brows--and but they are not the predominant traits ; her eyes two stars-pearls and vermillion and render themselves remarkable rather roses form her words of grief-flame are
by the rarety, than the beauty of their her sighs--and chrystal are her tears t. Laura in the tru« lpirit of poetry. (Sonn. times," a column in a melancholy Another character, however, is given of appearance : -a fine paffage in his works
stands, like the poet himfelf in his own 1798, p. 1.) But when the charaèter he
waste !" has drawn of his mistrets, justifies, in the the reader's mind, the enı bulialm with fication is uniformly musical : though
In the first two parts, at least, the versiwhich he adds" and there is an inde. fcribeable fomething in her eyes, that can, failed in his trionfi, and to have worn out
even in this quality, he appears to have in a moment, cloud my day, or illumine the patience of the patient Castelvetro. my night"-who would not execrate the Upon the whole, the 2d part of his Sonfonnetteering bathos, that thus concludes the climax of wonders performed by the mind of the author seems to have been
nets, &c. is to me the most pleasing : the
foftened into more sentiment, by the death * The expression might be vindicated on of Laura-and, for the age in which he the Franklinian hypothesis; for furely a lived, his sentiment, his expression, and « sweet kiss” might have an electrical effect, his vertification, are certainly of a very on such a heart as Petrarch's.
V. F. + La testa or fino, e calda neve il volto, therefore, praise him, as if he were fuper
extraordinary character : but I would not, rior to all that succeeded mor as if the
1799] Hand Millstones.....Mr. Housman's Tour.
457 time and application, that are necessary to finished. It is intended to be carried on to read his works, in the original, might Kendal, and will be extremely useful to not be more pleasingly and more usefully the country, when completed. Its prinemployed, in perusing the productions of cipal object seems to be the conveyance of those, for whom he only prepared the way lime and coal. Westmoreland abounds in the wilderness : it was his successors with limestone, and Lancashire with coal, that made it to bloom.
confequently the exchange will be conve. April 30, 1799:
G. T. nient and profitable to each county:-Lan(To be continued.)
cashire is famous for its manufacture of To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
cottons that inanufacture is not confined
to large towns, but is spread through every SIR,
village and hamlet in the greateit part of EING upon the north-border of the county.--The surface in general is
with some labourers employed in clearing and in the north-west corner is extremely away a large heap of stones overgrown rocky, even on the low grounds; so much with bushes, &c. fituated upon a hill in so, that I have seen some places covered the midst of a wood, where they dug up with rock to such a degree, that scarce a a great many hand millstones, some of blade of grass could be produced.-- Coal limestone, but principally of freestone; is found in abundance in many parts of as there are no conjectures respecting this Lancashire. In the farming department, place either in history or tradition, I should cheese is the principal object of the farmer, be glad if any of your correspondents and that article is generally very good in would favour your readers with some ac- quality : the cattle of this county are long count respecting the time and way how the horned, and allowed by mort judges of feveral sorts of mills for grinding grain, that species of animals, to be, at lait, whether worked by the hand, water, or equal to any breed in the kingdom; and wind, came into ufe.
still capable of great improvement, which Homerton.
J. A. Mr. Bakewell, who got his breeders from TOUR OF ENGLAND.
hence, has Mewn. Fields and farms are
small, and rather decreasing in size, in (Continued from page 374.) Journal of a Tour through almost every county and increase the rentals.-Here are several
order to accomodate the manufacturers, in England, and part of Wales, by Mr. JUAN Housman, of Corby, near Carlile; who great extents of peat moss, foine of which was engaged to make the Tour by a gentle have been improved to great advantage, mar of distinction, for zhe purpose of col. and others are still under the hands of the lecting authentic' information relative to agriculturist.--- Buildings, in general, are the state of the poor. The Journal com
very good. The pronunciation of the comprizes an account of the general appearance mon people is well known ; I thought it of the country, of the soil, surface, build- the most disagreeable dialect in the king. ings, &c. with observations agricultural, dom. I have again reached Kendal, ivhich commercial, &c.
place I visited at the commencen ent of my ECEMBER 14. From Lancaster to 'Tour; and Dec. 15, I left that place, and -About half of this diftri&t is in Lanca Westmoreland affords the finest flate in fhire, and the other in Westmoreland : that the kingdom ; a great deal of which is in Lancashire is level, but the other rather sent to London, and other distant parts. uneven, and high hills appear at a little Moft part of the county consists of high distance ; some of which are wholly com and barren mountains, but supporting a posed of limestone, particularly that moun- few sheep and plenty of grouse. The valfain called Failton Knot. The whole ex- leys produce a little wheat and bailey, tent of this district is a farming courtry; but oats is the principal sort of grain culthe farms and fields are finall; the soil tivated here. However, the farmer usually rather gravelly and dry; and the produce has the greatelt part of his farm in grafs, wheat, barley, oats, and grass; but most for hay and pasture. --Buildings are very of the latter, especially towards the extre- good, and covered with blue llate; farms mities.--On the Westmoreland part of and fields are finall, and the latter mostly this district the road crofles large, dry, divided with stone walls. The foil dry and green commons, which are very suf- and gravelly ; rivers, brooks, and 1prings ceptible of improvement. The new canal, in abundance; the air tharp and healthy which I saw in different parts of Lancashire, enough, but subject to much wet from the appears also here, but is far from being mountains attracting the atmosphere. MONTHLY MAG. NO XLVI.
December 16, I left Penrith, and ar. ceptions.-Newcastle is the only place rived at Corby in Cumberland, where my where manufactures are carried on to any tour commenced.
extent: these are principally glass works, I afterwards spent a few months in vi- potteries, founderies, forges, and fail fiting different parts of Cumberland, Nor- cloth. The population of Newcastle, its thumberland, Durham, and the North fuburbs, and Gateshead, is estimated at Riding of Yorkihire, on the fame business, 40,000 : its trade in coals is immense ; but kept ro regular journal. I thall, how. not only fupplying the capital with that ever, endeavour, in a few words, to give article, but all the country along the eayour readers a general idea of these coun stern coast. The lower parts of the town, ties, or districts.
near the river, are dirty and disagreeable Northumberland is a very large and in the extreme ; but most of the other mountainous county, but contains leveral streets are clean and well aired. Newcastle fruitful plains and vallies, which produce contains four churches, is in general well a great quantity of corn of all sorts. built, but too crowded, a circumstance I Farms are very large, particularly towards have often noticed in seaport towns; and the northern extremity, and the farmers is abundantly fupplied with all forts of very industrious and excellent agricultu- provisions. In no part of my tour I ever rists, as well as breeders of stock. The met with a more sensible and liberal vale of Cocket, near Wooler, is extensive, minded gentleman than I had the good and perhaps the most fertile in the county. fortune to find in the person of Ralph AtTurnips and clover are cultivated to great kinson, Esq. of this town : the fingnlar perfection here; the former is mostly
dril- kindness and attention I received from that ied, and horse and hand hoed.-On strong very public fpirited gentleman, during clayey foils, wheat and oats are most at my itay at Newcaitle, I wish to acknowtended to by the farmer ; but in sandy ledge in the warmelt manner. His affiand gravelly districts turnips, clover, bar- duity in procuring me every desired in. ley and sheep are their chief dependance. formation, I am assured was prompted by This last lystem is practised with the the most disinterested zeal to promote greatest advantage, and carried to the the general good of the community. highest pitch of excellence by some far --Newcastle is about 7 or 8 miles from mers, among whom, Mr. Culley, of East. the sea at Shields, but the large river field, near Berwick, so well known in all Tyne affords an excellent communication the principal farming counties, and author therewith.–From Newcastle I went to of the “ Treatise on live Stock,” is among Shields, along a fine road, and level fertile the foremost. That gentleman got his country, with coal pits finoking on every best sheep from the late Mr. Bakewell, of fide. This town is divided into North Dishley in Leicestershire, the original im- and South Shields by the Tyne.. The poprover of that valuable breed. Mr. Cul- pulation of North Shields is estimated at ley's stock continue to gain admirers, and 10,000, and that of South Shields at the demand for his tups to increase in pro- 15,000 fouls, the greatest part of whom are portion. We also find a better fort of supported by the coal trade. The town Theep on the mountains, than is to be met stands in a narrow vale, and part of it with on the hills of a similar nature in rises up the hill on each side: those streets other northern counties. The Northum. near the water fide must be most lucrative berland cattle are the large, heary, short habitations, as nothing else could possibly horned, or Dutch breed; of the value of induce people to relide in such filthy, which, compared with the Lancashire and stinking, confined places. It must, howLeiceltershire cattle, authors and graziers ever, be allowed, that some of the higher disagree. Single horse carts, and plough- : streets afford pleasant dwellings. The ing with a pair of horses a-breaft, are usual diet of the common people in Normaking their way into this county very thumberland, is barley and rye bread; faft. The hills afford great quantities of oat meal, made into hasty pudding, or grouse. This county is well watered, crowdie ; potatoes, butter, cheese, milk, has a cold air, but abounds with coals in and lately butcher's meat, tea, sugar, and many parts, particularly about Newcastle. beer, have become more commonly made The roads are good, as well as most of use of. the buildings: but the greateft part of the The county of Durham enjoys a milder county is very naked; wants wood, and air, its surface is more regular and even often, instead of thorn hedges, stone walls than tbose of its northern neighbours ; the are substituted. The vale formed by the soil also, taken generally, is more fertile ; 'Tyne, and some other districts, are ex. the country better clothed with wood