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PARINI'S GIORNO. . It is much easier to draw up an opi- of the subject, and confining our ob nion of what we but half know, than servations to generalities, seldom beo of that which we are perfectly ac- come very absurd. But when people, quainted with. The whole truth con- enter into exquisite dissertations on cerning any subject is a most perplexă the beauties of foreign poets, as some ing possession,--an unarrangeable mass wights in these countries have done, of contraries and shades of difference, and in type too, we must confess, they dove-tailed into one another beyond weave terrible nonsense. Unable to the power of criticism to distinguish. define or mark out singly the character It presents so many faces and outlines, of the muse they contemplate, recourse that we can seize but one or two, and must be had to comparison, which in these merging the rest, endeavour enables them to tell what it is not. to generalize, with these awkward ex- Thus, for the most part, all the esticeptions sticking out in spite of us. mates and opinions of genius, which 2. For examples of this, we need but look we gather from books, have no founda at the criticisms on Shakespeare and' ation but upon one another. We have the great epic poets, where the writers no idea of Dante, but that he is more: D tossed up and down the contraries stern and sublime thán Petrarch, and
of antithesis, like a ship on what ma- none of Petrarch, but that he is more - riners call a chopping, sea.
The first tender than Dante. Their relative * sentence
the launch is bold, and sent proportions and distances are carefully førth with confidence, after which it marked out, but of the real excellence is all fret, but, and although, to the end of any one of them, we are informed of the chapter.' Continually in dread nothing. We see them twinkle, like 3 of coming in contact with this fact,' the stars, above us, some bright, some
and that received opinion, they are dim; but of their substances, their i compelled every moment to return outlines, or their laws, we are left tosa upon their steps, explain away and tally ignorant. The superficial me
contradict, till the sum of their opi- thod, however, has its advantages,nions,--annihilating each other,-is it is light, airy, and unburdensome, o nothing
and affords elegant matter for periodiFar different is the happy course of cals and conversation,-it makes lite those, who have to do with what they rature popular, and refines and intelscarce know any thing about; young lectualizes life ; while the contrary black-letter men of research and short- method of theory and rational investie sight, recurring every second to their gation would confine it to the closet,
alphabets and glossaries ; critics, and and make it altogether a scholastic translators of foreign poets, with their pursuit. Nor would this be likely to grammars and dictionaries under their produce much effect, since Alison himarms; and reviewers of political eco- self has scarce left a vestige of inflụa. pomy, deep in the first book of Adam' ence on the criticism of the age, Smith and Madame Marcet's “ Con- But when unable to define the pe-, versations." These have the happy, culiar excellencies of our own literaknack of assuring themselves, that ture, how can we be expected to ap-, what is new to them, must be new to preciate justly those of others ? For, all
. And they deal out their crude in fact, a man can know but one lanopinions in the glow of unrepressed guage-that in which he thinks. Those admiration, and in the confidence and subtle links between words and ideas, singleness of first impression, while which it requires such a length of those who have long studied the works years at first to establish, cannot be in question, and long digested their applied, when we will, to a new truths or beauties, hesitate and find it tongue. Dictionaries are cold and impossible to hazard one simple ques- unnatural preceptors; we may gather tion concerning them.
by their help, historical knowledge The convenience of superficial know- from plain narratives of fact; but to ledge, is nowhere more manifest than catch the spirit of poetry with such in criticisms on the literature of fo- auxiliaries, is impossible. Words, in reign languages. We are rarely trou- our own classic verse, come to our e rs, bled with too clear and extensive a view conveyed in a tone, and accompanicd
by associations, which it would be in passages, and allegories, and at timer vain endeavouring to explain to a fo- exceedingly humorous, in spite of the reigner. And this is much more the dulness which necessarily attends a case with them ;-read Petrarch's “Ze- train of irony continued through five firo torna," and it is as common-place or six thousand lines. The poem is a piece of verse as ever was written : rather tedious and pedantic, its author hear Foscolo repeat it, and the memory being fond of displaying classical knowof its tone and feeling shall never fade ledge. Serious irony, verging upon bitfrom your ear. In the “Giorno” that terness, is not exactly the tone suitable lies, before us, and which gave birth to to the ridicule of dandyism and effethis article, we dwell with delight on minacy. On the whole, it would such lines as these :
make but a very sorry figure, in com“Quella rosa gentil che fu già un tempo parison with Pope's Rape of the Onor de belle donne, all' Amor cara,
Lock," or Luttrel's “Advice to Julia." E cara all' Onestade: ora ne' campi
Our intentions of extract and transCresce solinga, e tra i selvaggi scherzi lation were at first huge ; but vihen Alle rozze yillane il viso adorna." we considered that all young ladies But translate them, and they are no- blank verse requires to be very poig.
can translate Italian, and that wit in thing If ever that sublime piece of extra. nant, we have without much reluct
ance confined ourselves to the followvagance,
6 Oh! that I were The viewless spirit of a lovely sound, “Already do the gentle valets hear A living voice, a breathless harmony, Thy tingling .summons, and with zealous A bodiless enjoyment, born and dying speed With the blest note that made me;". Haste to unclose the barriers that exclude if ever this was realized, it has been in The garish day, yet soft and warily, the Italian Muse, of which Petrarch Lest the rude sun perchance offend thy
sight. is the true father ;-in philosophy Now raise thee gently, and recline upon contemptible, in feeling frigid, and in Th’ obsequious pillow that doth woo thy ornament pedantic, still his verse
weight; speaks—it has the tone of “ a broken Thine hand's forefinger lightly, lightly spirit,
,” if it has not the language, and pass it excites poetical ideas, even where it O’er thine half-open'd eyes, and chacefrom
thence presents none. If Dante had not been first, he had never been—at least not The curst Cimmerian, that durst yet re.
main ; under his existing character. A language may become refined and ener. Indulge thee in a graceful yawn betimes.
And bearing still in mind thy delicate lips, vated, but it never ebbs towards In that luxurious act if once beheld strength and rudeness,once emascu. By the rude captain, who the battling lated, its virility is not to be recovered.
ranks The followers of Petrarch are often Stentorian-like commands, what shame happier than their great prototype, would seize while the revivers of the school of On the ear-rending boist'rous son of Mars? Dante have utterly failed. For my Such as of old pipe-playing Pallas felt, part (in such hazardous assertions it when her swoll'n cheek and lip the fount is but fair to drop the plural,) I could
betray'd. never discover poetry in the dry com- But now behold, thy natty page appears, positions of Alfieri, whatever I might Anxious to learn what beverage thou in his life :-- like a contemporary of would'st sip. ours, he was a great poet in every If that thy stomach need the sweet ferment, thing but making verses.
Restorative of heat, and to the powers
choose, I pray, ing mighty things, that we pitched up- The tawny chocolate on thee bestowa on the Giorno of Parini. It is a Day By the black Caribb of the plumed crown.
Or should the hypochondria vex my lord, spent by an Italian nobleman, to whom the bard acts as ironical preceptor, and
Or round his tapering limbs the encroach. describes the routine of toilette, visits, Unwelcome gather, let his lip prefer
ing flesh and gallantry, in all the minuteness The roasted berry's juice, that Moca and mock grandeur of the burlesque. sends, It is interspersed with some sweet Moca, that of a thousand ships is proud.
'Twas fate decreed, that from the ancient Ah! wretched bard, who knew not yet to world
mix Adventurers should sail, and o'er the main, The Gallic graces with thy rude discourse; 'Gainst storm and doubt, and famine and That so to delicate spirits thou might'st be despair,
Not grating as thou art, and barbarous. Should have achieved discovery and con. quest:
“ Fast with this pleasant choir fits on the 'Twas fate ordain'd, that Cortez should morn, despise
Unvex'd by tedium or vacuity, *! The blood of sable man; and through it While 'twixt the light lips of the fragrant wade,
cup, O'erturning kingdoms and their generous Is pleasantly discussed, what name shall kings,
bear, That worlds, till then unkown, their fruits Next season, the theatric palm away? and flowers
And is it true that Frine has returned ? Should cater to thy palate, gem of heroes! She that has sent a thousand dull Milords, But Heaven forfend, that at this very hour Naked and gulled, unto the banks of To coffee and to breakfast dedicate,
Thames. Some menial indiscreet should chance ad. Or comes the dancer, gay Narcissus, back, mit
(Terror of gentle husbands,) to bestow The tailor, who, alas ! is not contented Fresh trouble to their hearts, and honours To have with thee divided his rich stuffs, to their heads ?” - And now with infinite politness comes, Handing his bill. Ahimé! unlucky,
Our poet has all the Anti-Gallican The wholesome liquor turns to gall and humour of Alfieri ; who carried it so spleen,
far, as not to see any beauty in the And doth at home, abroad, at play or Eloise, though of a nature, as he tells park,
appassionatissimo." Disorganize thy bowels for the day.
The ironic preceptor continues. But let po portal e'er be closed on him, 6 Remove yon glossy volume from the Who sways thy toes, professor of the shelf, dance.
And yawning ope at random; or where He at his entrance stands, firm on the left, threshold ;
The index ribbon marks the favourite page. Up mount his shoulders, and down sinks And thou, Voltaire, the Proteus wit of his neck,
France, Like to a tortoise, while with graceful bow Who knew so well to cater to the taste His lip salutes his hat’s extremity. Of simple palates ; and to make mankind, Nor less be thy divine access denied Like to thyself ; o'er wise, do thou rehearse To the sweet modulator of thy voice, The tale of her, the virgin, that in life Or him for whom th' harmonious string Did England's valiant Henry overcome, vibrates,
And still more wonderful, untamed in death, Waked into music by his skilful bow. Thine own heroic Henry vanquisheth.* But above all let him not fail to join And thou ! Ninon, the new Aspasia, The chosen synod of my lord's levee, Thais of Gallic Athens, to my lord Professor of the idiom exquisite : Proffer thy noble precepts ;-feed his mind. He, who from Seine, the mother of the With all that purity that made thee spurn Graces,
The license of Certaldo's bard, Comes generous, laden with celestial sounds, And the wild poet of the furious Count.
To.grace the lips of nauseous Italy. Be these thy favourite authors; Gallic e'er Lo! at his bidding our Italian words Should be the studies of the Italian lord. Dismember'd yield the place unto their The sapient histories of crafty slaves,
Of turban'd Sultans, and of Persian Kings; interest And at his harmony ineffable,
Of all forlorn and wandering Arab maids ; Lo! in thy patriot bosom rises strong And these, that with a liberal pen bestow Hate and disgust of that ignoble tongue, Reason to dogs and couches ; feasts to Which in Valclunsa to the echoes told, The lament and the praise of hopeless love. And turkeys, learned in the art of love."
* The Pucelle, infamous as it is, is generally considered much superior to the Henriade, or to any other work of Voltaire's : such, indeed, was the opinion of the poet himself.
, Lanzi v
ON THE ITALIAN SCHOOLS OF PAINTING.
Italian schoc No. I.
te wu enab! On the Storia Pittorica of the Abate Lanzi, and the Works of Andrea
arvation. del Sarto, and his Followers. ALTHOUGH Italy was well provided different periods of the art, and had ase shoo with historical treatises on the lives its partial fulfilment in so far as re
to epochs e and productions of individual painters, gards the Venetian school in work kaites in there was still wanting a general his- of Antonio Zanetti, Sulla Pittura Venetory of the art, disencumbered from ziana. But its finaland complete accom
en illustri the useless and idle trifles with which plishment was reserved for the Abate modern writers had loaded their bio- Lanzi, in his celebrated Storia Pitton * di legi graphy, and which the ancients scarce- rica della Italia.* This excellent work l Tey pe ly, deemed admissible in writing the may be regarded as a luminous com
as the ci lives of their inightiest heroes; a his- pendium of whatever was valuable in tory which, throwing the chief light the guide-books, catalogues, descriptor upon the great professors of the art, tions of churches and palaces, and in and placing those of minor excellence the lives of the different painters in less prominent positions, would ad- throughout the whole of Italy. He mit nothing more than a mere sketch divides his subject into the follows into of the inferior classes. Such history ing schools, viz. : Florence, Sien-led for tracing at the same time the causes of na, Rome, Naples, Venice, Mantua, the advancement or decline of painting Modena, Cremona, Milan, Parma, Boin certain periods, would contribute to logna, Ferrara, Genoa, and Piedmont, preserve the lustre of the fine arts, to to the number, as already said, of fourwhich example is so much more use- teen, many of which are again subdiful than precept; and would greatly vided into several periods, in which can facilitate the study of the various mana the various transitions from one den ners, of which some are very similar, gree of excellence to another, are carethough by different hands, and others fully and clearly described. widely different, though painted by the Of the above mentioned schools, same master. No other work held out those of Lombardy are, perhaps, the let he such flattering prospects to the self- most indebted to Lanzi, because, prior love of Italy, because, however equals to his time, their history was the least led or eclipsed she might have been in known. That northern part of Italy, the the progress of ultramontane science, during the first times of painting, was she was still, and for ever, to be re- divided into many states, each of which thered garded as unrivalled in the arts of ge- had its own capital, where flourished as the nius. The difficulties of such an un- a different school of art ; from whence a vida dertaking were, however, to be suffi- it happens that the characteristic style pay in ciently estimated only by those who of one place is often very different the end had devoted the greater part of their from that of its neighbours. Now, lives to the study of painting; for it one great merit of Lanzi consists ir must have included a period of more his having detected the falseness of the than six hundred years, and the his- principle by which these various styles tory of fourteen distinct schools, re- had previously been considered and garding several of which scarcely any classed as the same, under the sweepnotices of real value, were to be found ing denomination of the Lombard in the works of the earlier authors. school. He distinguishes each under
Our own Richardson had long ago its own proper head, or chief repredesired to see united the various sentative, and writes for it a separate sources of information on painting history. Of these, he may be said to which lay scattered here and there, have extricated almost from utter and its progress and declension in darkness the school of Ferrara, of every age, described and illustrated. which, befo his time, little or noThis was slightly done by Mengs, in thing was satisfactorily known. With the letter in which he marks out the the exception of the kingdom of Na.
• Storia Pittorica della Italia dal risorgimento delle belle arti fin presso al fine del xviii secolo. Dell'Ab. Luigi Lanzi Antiquario I. E. R. in Firenze.
ples, Lanzi visited each and all of the mens of life, will flourish for ever in a Italian schools; and thus, besides the higher or less dignified state, according vast resources of his book-learning, to the nature of the times, and the he was enabled to judge from personal taste of the people; and their professors observation.
will accordingly, though in different He gives the general character of degrees, deserve sufficiently well of soevery school, distinguishing the vari- ciety, as to have a place assigned them ous epochs of each, according to the in the histories of their respective dechanges in taste and style, which he partments. perceives it to have undergone. Cer- The plan adopted by Lanzi in comtain illustrious painters, who in their piling his History of Italian Painting own time exercised almost a new spe- seems to have been as follows: He cies of legislation, stand at the head places in the first rank of preference of every period, and of these prime such few opinions as have been handspirits the characters are usually drawn ed down to us by the great professat greater length. To the history of ors of the art-by Da Vinci, Michael the higher artists he annexes notices Angelo, Raffael, Titian, Poussin, and of their pupils and followers, referring others, because he concludes wisely, at the same time to the nature and that he who performs in the highest extent of the changes introduced by style, will probably judge in the wisest these into the style of their respective manner. He relies, in the second chiefs. For the sake of greater clear- place, on the judgments of Vasari, ness, he usually holds separate from Lomazzo, Ridolfi, Boschini, Zanotti, the painters of history, those of the less and Crespi, regarding them as compedignified classes, such as portrait and tent judges of their art, but having an landscape - painters, and the painters eye, at the same time, when necessaof animals, flowers, and fruit, and he ry, on their national partialities and presents us with occasional notices of the spirit of party. He estimates, in those artful labours-so nearly allied the third place, the authority of Belto painting, viz. engraving, inlaid lori, Malvasia, Tassi, and others of work, mosaic, and embroidery. It the same class, who, although themwas a matter of doubt with Lanzi selves dilletanti, united, as it were, whether he ought to introduce such the judgment of professors with that inferior painters as may be said to have of the public. He has also collected attained a place neither in the senato- the opinions of the intelligent, as relarial, nor the equestrian, nor the popu- ted by the general historian, when lar order, in the republic of painting ; such appeared to be authentic and imbut he decided upon introducing them partial, and has not seldom availed aloug with their superiors in brief out- himself of criticisms by authors of aclines, with a view to maintain a greater knowledged judgment and abilitycontinuity in his history--thus imita- such as Borghini, Fresnoy, Richardting the examples of Homer and of son, Bottari, Algarotti, Lazzarini, Cicero, who mention alike the “ gene- Mengs, and others. Moreover, he reral camp," and the kings of the Greek quested the opinions of various living confederacy--the orators of the Roman artists of Italy; subjeeting his unpubradicals, and the “ lords of the lofty lished work to their inspection, and
consulting them on the more difficult Nor did Lanzi deem it just that such points of painting, concerning which inferior artists should be excluded by a proper knowledge can exist only the rigid maxim of Bellori, that in the with those who are practically aceomfine arts, as in poetry, mediocrity is plished in the art. Finally, he conintollerable. Horace, I presume, was
versed much with the most learned the first who gave.currency to the ex- dilletanti, who, in some respects, from pression, and he intended it for poetry their better education and more genealone, which perishes, if it does not ral knowledge, see more clearly than delight. But it is far otherwise with the artists themselves. the fine arts, which to pleasure join It is remarked by Boni, in his Eloutility and convenience. Sculpture and gio, as a felicitous circumstance, that painting exhibiting to us illustrious à history planned so skilfully, and men, and glorious actions, and useful conducted with such diligence and fa
inventions, and architecture providing tigue, should have been followed out f us with so many of the pleasant agree to its completion by a man so tempered