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June 9. Continued Lycophron.
18. Continued Lycophron; and read the first two books of Paradise Regained.
19. Continued Lycophron.
20. Concluded Lycophron. Potter has taken every pains to render this obscure poet as little difficult as possible ; but still, in perusing him, I have found the toil exceed the pleasure.
24. Read the Preface to Sir W. Raleigh's History of the World.
28 to July 2. At Lichfield. Read Hayley's Essay on Sculpture, just published.
3. Began Godwin's St. Leon. 4. Finished St. Leon.
5. Began Berkeley's Minute Philosopher; and Rapin's History of England, with Jane.
7. Continued Berkeley's Minute Philosopher.
8. Continued Berkeley. Read Preface to vol. v. of Tiraboschi Storia della Letteratura Italiana, ed. Rome, 1783. This preface chiefly relates to the Abbé de Sade's work on Petrarch, in which he seems to detect some errors with too much pleasure, though he gives it high commendation on the whole. The Abbé, indeed, had thrown down the gauntlet to the Italian critics.
9. Continued Berkeley.
10. Continued Berkeley; and began vol. vii. part üü. of Tiraboschi.
July 11. Finished Berkeley's Minute Philosopher; and continued Tiraboschi.
12 and 14. Continued Tiraboschi.
15. Continued Tiraboschi; and finished Jago's: Edge-hill. This poem is too long for a descriptive poem, and the numbers are seldom
free musical ; yet it has some pleasing descriptive passages, and cannot fail to interest one who knows the country which it describes.
16 and 17. Continued Tiraboschi to the end of chap. iii. This chapter, of which I have made an abstract, contains a review of Italian poetry during the sixteenth century.
18. Continued Tiraboschi in the following chapter.
21. Read the Farmer's Boy, a poem newly published, by Robert Bloomfield, who was himself a Farmer's Boy.
22. Continued Tiraboschi to the end of chapter iv. This chapter contains a review of the Latin poetry of the Italians during the sixteenth century. Began chapter v.
23. Continued Tiraboschi to the end of the fifth chapter, which contains an account of the Grammarians and Rhetoricians in Italy during the sixteenth century. Began chap. vi.
25. Continued Tiraboschi, chaps. vi. and vii., which concludes the third part of vol. vii. Chapter vi. is on the Eloquence, and chap. vii. on the Fine Arts of the sixteenth century.
The last are but
slightly treated of, and indeed an elaborate account of them does not seem properly to enter into the plan of a Literary History.
July 26. Began vol. ii. of Tiraboschi, and read to
27. Continued Tiraboschi, to p. 72, being the conclusion of book i. This book contains the literary history of Italy from the fall of the Western Empire in 476 to the
553. 31. Read the Stepmother, a tragedy, just published, by the Earl of Carlisle. The plot is confused and wants interest, the blank verse is often of a very indifferent structure, but there are passages of great beauty.
August 1. Read the Ajax of Sophocles to v. 830.
2. Finished the Ajax ; and read the tenth and eleventh of Sir J. Reynolds' Discourses.
3. Read the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and part of the fifteenth of Reynolds' Discourses.
5. Concluded Reynolds' Discourses. Resumed Tiraboschi, and continued to p. 84.
6. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 123.
7. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 140, being the end of book ii., which comprises the literary history of Italy from 553 to 774.
8. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 172, and resumed the translation of Macchiavelli's first book of the History of Florence after an interval of eight or nine years, to which I have added notes from Tiraboschi.
Aug. 9. Continued the translation of Macchiavelli ; and began Kirwan's Geological Essays, with Jane. 10. Continued Tiraboschi to p.
205. 11. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 242, being the end of book iii., and containing the literary history from 774 to 1002, and Kirwan's Geological Essays, with Jane.
12. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 263; and Kirwan's Geological Essays, with Jane.
13 and 15. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 316.
16. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 357;—and Kirwan's Geological Essays, with Jane.
17. Continued Kirwan's Geological Essays.
18. Continued Tiraboschi to the end of vol. iii., which brings the history of Italian literature to 1183, the year of the Peace of Constance.
19. Read in Sir J. Reynolds' Discourses ;—and continued Kirwan's Geological Essays, with Jane. Concluded Kirwan's Geological Essays.
These Essays are intended to show that Moses' account of the creation of the earth is fully confirmed by geological observations. The hypothesis displays considerable genius, but I am too much a stranger to such matters to decide whether it has even a great share of probability. The mineralogical details I am utterly incompetent to understand.
21. Began Tiraboschi, vol. v., and read to p. 42.
22. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 115 ;-and Reynolds' Discourses, with Jane. These discourses I have now read through a third or fourth time with fresh pleasure.
Aug 23. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 209;—and read Burke's pamphlet entitled “ Thoughts on the Prospect of a Regicide Peace,” with Jane.
24. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 300.
25. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 391. He makes an apology for the tediousness of his two chapters on the Lawyers, civil and ecclesiastical. He might have added almost all the remainder of this second book which begins at p. 115, except the last chapter, which is on the Historians. Read Burke's Tract on the advantages of Natural Society, with Jane. This is an admirable piece of irony directed against the sophistical reasoning of Lord Bolingbroke.
26. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 426.
29. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 445 ;—and began Davenant's Gondibert, with Jane.
30. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 491;—and Davenant, with Jane.
31. Continued Tiraboschi to p. 508.
September 1. Continued Tiraboschi to end of vol. v. This volume contains the history of Italian literature from 1300 to 1400—a splendid period, in which the Tuscan language in the hands of Dante, Petrarch, Boccacio, the Villani and some others, all at once obtained a perfection and purity, that has never since been excelled nor perhaps equalled. Tiraboschi is diligent in ascertaining the facts he relates, and clear in his manner of stating them. He does not, like many who are engaged in such researches, wander from his subject in order to display his know