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PARINI'S GIORNO. : Ir is much easier to draw up.an opi- of the subject, and confining our obnion of what we but half know, than servations to generalities, seldom bed 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,-anunarrangeable 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 hat we can seize but one or two, and must be had to comparison, which n tỉese merging the rest, endeavour enables them to tell what it is not. o generalize, with these awkward ex- Thus, for the most part, all the estieptions sticking out in spite of us. mates and opinions of genius, which 'or examples of this, we need but look we gather from books, have no foundt the criticisms on Shakespeare and' ation but upon one another. We have ne great epic poets, where the writers no idea of Dante, but that he is more e tossed up and down the contraries stern and sublime thán Petrarch, and ‘antithesis, like a ship on what ma- none of Petrarch, but that he is more ners call a chopping sea. The first tender than Dante. Their relative ntence
the launch is bold, and sent proportions and distances are carefully th with confidence, after which it marked out, but of the real excellence all fret, but, and although, to the end of any 'one of them, we are informed the chapter. Continually in dread nothing. We see them twinkle, like coming in contact with this fact, the stars, above us, some bright, some ( that received opinion, they are dim ; but of their substances, their pelled every moment to return outlines, or their laws, we are left ton their steps, explain away and tally ignorant. The superficial metradict, till the sum of their opi- thod, however, has its advantages,
,-annihilating each other,-is it is light, airy, and unburdensome, ning
and affords elegant matter for periodi. ar different is the happy course of cals and conversation,-it makes lite , who have to do with what they rature popular, and refines and intele know any thing about; young lectualizes life ; while the contrary -letter men of research and short method of theory and rational investi- recurring every second to their gation would confine it to the closet, bets and glossaries ; critics, and and make it altogether a scholastic ators of foreign poets, with their pursuit. Nor would this be likely to nars and dictionaries under their produce much effect, since Alison him
and reviewers of political eco- self has scarce left a vestige of inflųdeep in the first book of Adam'ence on the criticism of the age, and Madame Marcet's “ Con- But when unable to define the peons. These have the happy, culiar excellencies of our own litera
of assuring themselves, that ture, how can we be expected to aps new to them, must be new to preciate justly those of others ? For, nd they deal out their crude in fact, a man can know but one lans in the glow of unrepressed guage-that in which he thinks. Those tion, and in the confidence and subtle links between words and ideas, ess of first impression, while which it requires such a length of ho have long studied the works years at first to establish, cannot be tion, and long digested their applied, when we will, to a new r beauties, hesitate and find it tongue.
Dictionaries are cold and le to hazard one simple ques- unnatural preceptors; we may gather cerning them.
by their help, historical knowledge nvenience of superficial know- from plain narratives of fact; but to
nowhere more manifest than catch the spirit of poetry with such sms on the literature of fo- auxiliaries, is impossible.' Words, in guages. We are rarely trou- our own classic verse, come to our e: rs,
too clear and extensive a view conveyed in a tone, and accompanied
by associations, which it would be in passages, and allegories, and at times 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 “Zen train of irony continued thčough 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 u pon 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 when Alle rozze villane il viso adorna.
we considered that all young ladies
can translate Italian, and that wit in But translate them, and they are no
blank verse requires to be very poigthing If ever that sublime piece of extra. nant, we have without much reluct
ance confined ourselves to the followvagance,
ing: 66 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,
Lest the rude sun perchance offend thy the Italian Muse, of which Petrarch is the true father ;-in philosophy Now raise thee gently, and recline upon
sight. 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 languuge, and pass it excites poetical ideas, even where it O’er thine half-open'd eyes, and chace from
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 swoi'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 It was with the anticipation of doa Digestive so propitious
choose, I pray, ing mighty things, that we pitched up
The tawny chocolate on thee bestow'd on the Giorno of Parini. It is a Day By the black Caribb of the plumed crown. spent by an Italian nobleman, to whom Or round his tapering limbs the encroachthe bard acts as ironical preceptor, and 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
“ Fast with this pleasant choir flits 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,
appassionátissimo." Disorganize thy bowels for the day. The ironic preceptor continues. ut let no portal e'er be closed on him, 6 Remove yon glossy volume from the Who isways thy toes, professor of the shelf, dance.
And yawning ope at random ; or where e at his entrance stands, firm on the left, threshold;
The index ribbon marks the favourite page. mount his shoulders, and down sinks And thou, Voltaire, the Proteus wit of his neck,
France, se to a tortoise, while with graceful bow Who knew so well to cater to the taste - lip salutes his hat's extremity. Of simple palates ; and to make mankind, e less be thy divine access denied Like to thyself; o'er wise, do thou rehearse the sweet modulator of thy voice, The tale of her, the virgin, that in life him for whom th’ harmonious string Did England's valiant Henry overcome, vibrates,
Andstillmore wonderful, untamed in death, ked into music by his skilful bow. Thine own heroic Henry vanquisheth.* above all let him not fail to join And thou! Ninon, the new Aspasia, chosen synod of my lord's levee, Thais of Gallic Athens, to my lord essor of the idiom exquisite :
Proffer thy noble precepts ;-feed his mind. who from Seine, the mother of the With all that purity that made thee spurn Graces,
The license of Certaldo's bard, s generous, laden with celestial sounds, And the wild poet of the furious Count. ace the lips of nauseous Italy. Be these thy favourite authors; Gallic e'er et his bidding our Italian words Should be the studies of the Italian lord. ember'd yield the place unto their The sapient histories of crafty slaves, oe;
Of turban’d Sultans, and of Persian Kings; t his harmony ineffable,
Of all forlorn and wandering Arab maids ; 2 thy patriot bosom rises strong And these, that with a liberal pen bestow end disgust of that ignoble tongue, Reason to dogs and couches ; feasts to
in Valclunsa to the echoes told, ment and the praise of hopeless love. And turkeys, learned in the art of love."
ne Pucelle, infamous as it is, is generally considered much superior to the Hen-r to any other work of Voltaire's : such, indeed, was the opinion of the poet
ok Lan ON THE ITALIAN SCHOOLS OF PAINTING.
del Sarto, and his Followers. Although Italy was well provided different periods of the art, and had with historical treatises on the lives its partial fulfilment in so far as reand productions of individual painters, gards the Venetian school in the work is an there was still wanting a general his- of Antonio Zanetti, Sulla Pittura Vene- sites ! tory of the art, disencumbered from ziana. But its final and complete acomia the useless and idle trifles with which plishment was reserved for the Abate 5 modern writers had loaded their bio- Lanzi, in his celebrated Storia Pittography, and which the ancients scarce. rica della Italia.* This excellent work te ly, deemed admissible in writing the may be regarded as a luminous comlives of their inightiest heroes ; a his- pendium of whatever was valuable in tory which, throwing the chief light the guide-books, catalogues
, descript upon the great professors of the art, tions of churches and palaces, and in der pup and placing those of minor excellence the lives of the different painters flat sama in less prominent positions, would ad- throughout the whole of Italy. He dit mit nothing more than a mere sketch divides his subject into the follow- 14 20 of the inferior classes. Such history ing schools, viz. : Florence, Sien les to tracing at the same time the causes of na, Rome, Naples, Venice, Mantas
, and is the advancement or decline of painting Modena, Cremona, Milan, Parma, Boin certain periods, would contribute to logna, Ferrara, Genoa, and Piedmont, sade 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 facilitate the study of the various mane 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, hy met same master. No other work held out those of Lombardy are, perhaps, the heat 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 feedia led or eclipsed she might have been in known. That northern part of Italy, 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 garded as unrivalled in the arts of ge- had its own capital, where flourished nius. The difficulties of such an un- a different school of art ; from whence dertaking were, however, to be suffi- it happens that the characteristic style gay ciently estimated only by those who of one place is often very different de ce 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 in 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 sweet po notices of real value, were to be founů 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 repres desired 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, before his time, little or which This 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 Nu
Storia Pittorica della Italia dal risorgimento delle belle arti fin xviii secolo. Dell'Ab. Luigi Lanzi Antiquario I. E. R. in Firenze.
al fine del
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 Tanely 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 soi dit every school, distinguishing the vari- ciety, as to have a place assigned them iw ous epochs of each, according to the in the histories of their respective deshake changes in taste and style, which he partments. beita perceives it to have undergone. Cer- The plan adopted by Lanzi in com
tain 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 vork, mosaic, and embroidery. It the same class, who, although themvas a matter of doubt with Lanzi selves dilletanti, united, as it were, hether he ought to introduce such the judgment of professors with that aferior painters as may be said to have of the public. He has also collected tained a place neither in the senato- the opinions of the intelligent, as relaal, nor the equestrian, nor the popu- ted by the general historian, when
order, in the republic of painting ; such appeared to be authentic and im+ he decided upon introducing them partial, and has not seldom availed ng with their superiors in brief out- himself of criticisms by authors of acs, with a view to maintain a greater knowledged judgment and abilitytinuity in his history--thus imita- such as Borghini, Fresnoy, Richard
the examples of Homer and of son, Bottari, Algarotti, Lazzarini, ro, who mention alike the “ gene- Mengs, and others. Moreover, he reamp," and the kings of the Greek quested the opinions of various living ederacy-the orators of the Roman artists of Italy; subjeeting his unpubals, and the “ lords of the lofty lished work to their inspection, and le.
consulting them on the more difficult rdid Lanzi deem it just that such points of painting, concerning which or artists should be excluded by a proper knowledge can exist only gid maxim of Bellori, that in the with those who are practically aceomrts, as in poetry, mediocrity is plished in the art. Finally, he conrable. Horace, I presume, was versed much with the most learned st who gave.currency to the ex- dilletanti, who, in some respects, from ], and he intended it for poetry their better education and more genewhich perishes, if it does not ral knowledge, see more clearly than
But it is far otherwise with the artists themselves. arts, which to pleasure join It is remarked by Boni, in his Elond convenience. Sculpture and gio, as a felicitous circumstance, that exhibiting to us illustrious
us illustrious å history planned so skilfully, and i glorious actions, and useful conducted with such diligence and faes, and architecture providing tigue, should have been followed out o many of the pleasant agré- to its completion by a man so tempered