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upon it, we adınire the painting much. We admire the to that event been living in terms of open enmity with his receding bills, the expanse of water that loses itself among brother ; but during all that period he had maintained them, and the bold sky above. We admire, above all, the habits of the closest intimacy with Auchindrayne, and fine sunny effect of the whole picture.
actually joined him in various hostile enterprises against the There is some rich colour in Paris Bordone's “ Lady Earl. The occurrence of the Laird of Culzean's murder was at her Toilet ;” but it is any thing but a good picture embraced by their mutual friends as a fitting opportunity The unfeminine coarseness of the principal figure, and to effect a permanent reconciliation between the brothers; the decided ugliness of her companion, almost incline us “ bot (as the Historie' quaintly informs us) the cuntry to be sceptical as to the worth of the documents sub-thocht that he wald not be eirnist in that cause, for the scribed by certain " persons of honour" in Piedmont, and auld luiff betuix him and Aucbindrayne."* The unnow in the hands of the Directors, bearing testimony to principled Earl, (whose sobriquet, and that of some of the authenticity of this, and some of the other pictures. his ancestors, was King of Carrick, to denote the boundWe apply the same remark to that brick-dust coloured, in- less sway he exercised over his own vassals in that disanimale-looking gentleman, who has been christened “A trict,) relying on his brother's necessities, held out the Portrait, by Titian,” (No. 6.)
infamous bribe contained in the bond, to induce the MasThe “ Bacchus and Ariadne," by Sebastian del Piombo, ter to murder his former friend, the Laird of Auchin(No. 7,) is not likely to find many admirers, and perhaps draync. Though there be honour among thieves, it does not deserve them. But as we feel a sneaking kind- would seem that there is none among assassins; for the ness for the work, we must be allowed to say a word in younger brother insisted upon having the price of blood its defence. The Bacchus a lumpish commonplace assured to him by a written document. Judging by the mortal—the Cupid is a Dutchman—the colours of the Earl's former and subsequent history, he probably thought landscape are unnatural. But regard the deep slumbrous that, in either event, he would " kill two dogs with one look of the Ariadne; mark the fine feeling with which stone;" and it is but doing justice to the Master's acutethe painter has brought a sleepy shadow over her head, ness, and the experience acquired under his preceptor while on the other side of the picture the small white Auchindrayne, to conjecture, that, on his part, he would waves laugh in the sun. There is true poetry in this hold his bond to be used as a check-mate against his brosentiment, and that makes amends for a world of faults. ther, should he think fit afterwards to turn his heel upon
The only other picture deserving a particular notice is him. The following is a correct copy of the bond granted a “ Saint Jerome," by Franceschini, (No. 16.) It is a by the Earl, as transcribed from the original : fine bold picture. The “ Architectural Subject," by “ We, Joanne ERLE of Cassillis, Lord Kennedy, &c., Delen, (No. 10,) is good of its kind, but too much of the bindis and oblisis ws, that howsovne our broder, Hew porcelain style of painting for our taste. “Christ driving KENNEDY of Brounstoun, with his complices, taikis the the sellers from the Temple,” by Benvenuto Garafalo, Laird of AUCHINDRANEIS lyf, that we sall mak guid and (No. 9,) and “ The Adoration of the Shepherds,” by thankfull payment to him and thame of the sowme of Palmo Vecchio, (No. 15,) neither need nor deserve com- Tuelff hundreth merkis yeirly, togidder with corne to ment.
sex horsis ; ay and qubill we ressaw thame in houshald We shall resume this subject as soon as the remainder with our self: Beginning the first payment immediatlie of these pictures arrive. Judging by those which are efter thair committing of the sad deid. AtTour, howalready here, we should augur well of them as the com- sovne we ressaue thame in houshald, we sall pay to the mencement of a National Gallery, were we only secure twa serwing gentillmen the feis yeirlie, as our awin housthat the undertaking was in the hands of adequate hald serwandis. And beirto we obliss ws vpone our homanagers.
SUBSCRYVIT with our hand, at Maybale, the ferd day of September, 1602.
(Signed) THE GOOD OLD TIMES.
“ Jonne Erle Of Cassillis." We owe the following curious illustration of the moral sense of our ancestors to the kindness of the erudite editor of the " Criminal Trials." We believe it is the first time that any of our readers LONDON GOSSIP ON LITERATURE AND ART. have seen a bill in which the value received was the life of a man. It is a curious question before what tribunal its payment could
London, 25th January. have been enforced.--Ed. Lit. Jour.)
Southey and Wordsworth have lately visited us. The In my Collection of Criminal Trials, and also in the latter staid a week, the former a month : their comHistorical and Genealogical Account of the principal pany was much in request. There was something of a Families of the Name of Kennedy, recently published, all jubilee among our London bards on the occasion ; neverthe incidents then discovered relative to the accumulated theless, the great Lakers kept themselves much apart acts of villainy perpetrated by the Laird or Aucuin- from the thousand-and-one bards of the metropolis, and IRAYNE and his son bave already been disclosed. As the appeared but to a few. Southey has a poem, the scene public are, moreover, already in possession of the leading of which is laid in Sherwood Forest, more than half features of this extraordinary case, from the graphic pen finished ; and Wordsworth, from a hint which I heard of Sir WALTER Scott, who has pretixed an introductory him drop, has been prevailed on by the persuasive Rogers notice to his dramatic poem, “ Auchindrain, or the Ayr- to send a short piece to the press through the hands of shire Tragedy,” it seems unnecessary to attempt a sketch Moxon. They were both in good health, and promise of their lives and crimes.
to live long. Rogers is much pleased with the success The historical account and the collection above referred of his Italy, so splendidly illustrated by Stothard and to, contain a great variety of documents, which have been | Turner, and thinks of doing the same kind turn to brought forward, alike to illustrate the Trials of the the rest of his poems. I hope he will do it; for you Lairds of Auchindrayne, and the extraordinary state of must know that in art he has the best taste of all our society and manners in the important district of Carrick. poets. He is a fine sample of the old gentlemanly But no papers hitherto discovered appear to afford so stri- English school-full of fine wit and ready humour, and king a picture of the savage state of barbarism into which abounding in anecdotes. that country must have been sunk, as the following Bond The Annuals, like other flowers of the field, are now by the Earl of Cassillis to his brother and heir apparent,
no more ; and the Libraries, some of which are beautiHew, Master of Cassillis. The uncle of these young men, fully embellished, are as plentiful as stars in the unclouded Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean, Tutor of Cassillis, &c., sky. Many men of first-rate fame are employed in these was murdered, May 1lth,1602, by Auchindrayne's accomplices. The Master of Cassillis had for many years previous
• Hist. of the Kennedies, p. 59.
Be gentle with your pen,
Willie mine; Be gentle with your pen, On the lads the Muses ken, They are Nature's gentlemen,
Be as sweet as summer's mouth,
Willie mine, Willie mine, Be as sweet as summer's mouth,
Willie mine : Be as sweet as summer's mouth, When the balmy breeze is south, On boy-genius gaining growth,
But knit your brows like cords,
Willie mine, Willie mine,
Willie mine :
periodicals; and our best booksellers are all, more or less, interested in the success and sale. Some seek by skill and activity to advance ; others cover their front, like Napoleon, with a cloud of puffing skirmishers, and endeavour to eke out with cunning what they want in strength. Lockhart, whose prudence is equal to his learning and genius, throws no work rashly upon the waters; and I may safely say, the Family Library bas not yet sent forth a single indifferent book. It has fared otherwise with some of the other Libraries. I cannot, however, join in the sharp condemnation which some have passed on Galt's Byron, nor can I agree entirely in the censure passed on Sherer's Wellington. A change has come over one of our Magazines---the name of Campbell is away from the New Monthly, and the proprietor has lifted up his voice, and uttered praise, loud and long, on the first number from the hand of the new editor. But puffing won't do alone ; indeed, it will not do at all, and cannot fail to annoy sensitive, or rather sensible, contributors, and make them withdraw. Campbell was too fastidious, was coy, and hard, and ill to please ; but his name was high, and no doubt beneficial; his absence will likely be felt. A new Magazine is to come into exist. ence on the 31st of March. It has one proprietor and two editors. There is money and talent enough, I hear : but Success is a coy lady ; Genius sometimes cannot woo her, neither can money buy her. The editors are William Kennedy and Leitch Ritchie, and the booksellers, Hurst and Chance.
Enough of pen and ink; there is, however, but little to be said about art. Wilkie has dipt his brush in Caledonian colours, and is dashing out John Knox preaching one of his fierce sermons to the backsliders of St Andrews. It will be a splendid work. The artist has recovered even more than his original health. I saw him lately engaged in a Scotch reel, and well did he acquit himself. A grand colossal statue of our late King, for your romantic town, is now to be seen in the studio of Chantrey ; it is no less than twelve feet high, carries the sceptre of old Caledonia in the right hand, and looks right royally. I saw a bust of Southey, by the same artist-a very fine performance; the head has a kindly, and yet a proud look. Pickersgill has filled his studio with heads of " lords and ladies of high degree;" one unfinished of Sir George Murray—another of Lord Lyndhurst--both excellent; and, better still, the portrait of the Countess of Pembroke, of the renowned family of the Sydneys.
FROM THE FRENCH OF CHATEAUBRIAND.
« Combien j'ai douce souvenance," &c.
My sister, past.
Be thou my last.
0, sister! those were happy days, When, by the cheerful fagot's blaze, Our mother strain'd us to her breast
In joyful bliss, And we on those white locks impress'd
Our childish kiss.
Mind'st thou the castle by whose si de The clear Adour's swift waters glide; The lonely mouldering Moorish bower,
So worn and grey, From which the trumpet told the hour
Of dawning day;
The mountain lake so calm and bright,
When day was done;
The setting sun ?
ADDRESS TO AN INCIPIENT EDITOR. An Excellent New Song, by Allan Cunningham. HERE's to the critic's taws,
Willie mine, Willie mine,
Who shall restore my love to me,
For ye are past,
Thou hast my last.
LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.
Here's to the critic's ink,
Willie mine, Willie mine, Here's to the critic's ink,
Willie mine; Men wha rhyme and canna think, Of oblivion let them drink, Those wha canna swoom should sink,
MR BOOTH, author of the “ Analytical Dictionary," has in the press, a work on the principles of English Composition.
A work is about to appear, entitled " An Outline of Sematology," which, being interpreted, means, an Essay towards establishing a new Theory of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.
A Series of eight Views in Kensington Gardens, including the Royal Palace, and other picturesque points, engraved from drawings by Mr J. Sargeant, with Historical Mustrations, is on the eve of publication.
We understand that Mr John Surenne has been appointed organist to St Mark's Chapel, Portobello.
Be gentle with your pen,
Willie mine, Willie mine,
tic adventures, and the light which they throw upon the
state of society in which they lived, afford a theme worthy Lives of the Italian Poets. By the Rev. Henry Stebbing.
of an author uniting to the most susceptible imagination, With twenty Medallion Portraits. In three volumes of others, and an unerring judgment in appreciating what
a mind that can read with accuracy the inmost thoughts 12mo. Pp. 343, 365, 361. London : Edward Bull. is really worthy in human nature. The reader will see Edinburgh : Bell and Bradfute. 1831.
that we entertain high notions respecting the genius reThe roll of Italian poets begins with Dante, and we quisite for the proper execution of such a work, and will would say closed with Tasso, had not Alfieri arisen, a be ready to allow Mr Stebbing considerable merit, even lonely and fiercely blazing star, after a long age of mere though he should only approximate to our standard. versifiers. The themes of which the bards of Italy, sung, One qualification which the reverend author has shown are those which have chiefly employed their compeers in himself possessed of in a high degree, is patient research. every quarter of the world—“fierce wars and faithful | His work is not hastily got up, in consequence of a suloves.” But the national, and still more the individual perficial perusal of one or two second-hand authorities character of the Italians, has lent to their poems graces the fashionable practice of the day. He has laboured like peculiar and unrivalled. The features common to all are (no very new simile) the bee, bringing day by day her drops volaptuous sentiment, borne up by a buoyant and cheer- of honey to swell the winter store, carefully refusing every fal temperament. They are a set of practical Epicureans. I thing nauseous or worthless. His taste is no less conspicuous, They enjoy, with a high relish, all the beauties of nature in his selection, than his industry. There is nothing offensive
- they drink deep of the intoxicating dráught of love-in his volume, and much that gives pleasure. His judgbut if they do turn their thoughts to serious reflection, it ments too, although we may sometimes dissent from them, is to lose themselves in the luxurious dreams of a mysti- are always those of a man of sound sense. And there is cal philosophy, most seductive, as it allows full scope to a vein of amiable, ingenuous candour running through the revels of the imagination.
the whole book. But there is a want of nerve and power, A turn of mind, such as we have attempted to de- We have no felicitous expressions suggesting a whole seribe, may be traced in all the Italian poets, but more mine of thought. The author does not vary his style to or less modified and varied. The difference is extreme suit the varying character of the incidents and characters between Dante, the stern and active political partisan, he describes; he is deficient in liveliness and graphic talent. and the dreamer Tasso. Not less wide is the gulf be- He is always correct, and sometimes insipid. tween Petrarch, concentrating with the self-will of pas- From what we have said, our readers will easily infer sion all the wealth of his fancy upon one theme, and that Mr Stebbing is less successful in grappling with the making all his poems one long-drawn sigh, and 'Ariosto, characters of Dante, Boiardo, and Ariosto, than with ever gay, ever laughing—whose'muse, if it ever look de those of Petrarch and Tasso. In his narrative of the lat. mure, is like the girl trembling at the pressure of her ter, indeed, he has outdone himself. He has entered lover's hand, and the next moment breaking the tell-tale with full sympathy, and generous feeling, and exquisite silence by an affectation of redoubled mirth. Yet these tact, into the wayward feelings of this gentle, but waydifferences are all of them what logicians would term ac- ward genius—this bruised and broken reed.
As giving cidental, not essential. The nerves of Dante and Ariosto the fairest specimen of Mr Stebbing's powers, and at the were of a firmer tone than those of their two lacrymose same time as communicating a unity of interest to our countrymen ; the fancy of the latter was more versatile extracts, we select them exclusively from the biography, than that of the former-that was all. In Dante we find of Tasso. The outlines of the poet's history, perhaps warm and glowing passion ; Ariosto's laughter is half more generally known in England than that of any of bypocritical of that kind which is used to cloak deep his great countrymen, free us from the task of a narfeeling; the other two, although like sweet bells jangled rative. out of tune and harsh, broke down from excess of those "Tasso's bóyhood foreboded his future character. feelings, which temper and give a charm to the more “ To this seminary Portia sent her Torquato, soon after manly characters of those we have named.
completing his sixth year, and such was the ardour with The poets we have here selected for the purpose of il- which he attended to the lessons of the fathers, that he was lustrating our position are fair specimens of all. They
never happy except when listening to their instructions. possessed among them the peculiar excellencies of all the Before the day dawned he would leave his bed, and wait so others, wedded to more powerful and loftier minds. Nor winter time, was obliged to send him with a servant and a
anxiously for the hour of school, that his mother, in the is the likeness the mere similarity of kindred; their lighted torch to show him along the neighbouring street. acknowledged superiority enabled them, in some measure, “ By the time he was ten years old, he had not
only made to stamp their image upon the rest.
himself master of Latin, but was far advanced in Greek, and We agree entirely with Mr Stebbing, that the lives of composed orations and verses, which he recited to the satissuch a race of men afford a noble subject for the pen of faction and surprise of all who heard them. His progress also the biographer. A history of their public and private well were his tutors satisfied with his thoughtful and devout
in other kinds of knowledge was equally remarkable, and so life, recording all the outbreaks and Nashes of their spirit, disposition, that they admitted him to the coinmunion when provoked by cross, or won by gentle incidents-notices of he was only nine years of age, and before he understood that their great contemporaries in arts and arms--their roman- in the lost was the real body of Christ.' In the letter
which records this circumstance, he says, that notwith- to the opinion of Pythagoras, Plato, Marcus Tullius, standing his ignorance of the mysterious union, he was Dante, and other philosophers, poets, and theologians, both * moved by a secret feeling of elevation, which the sanctity sacred and profane, there is sound in heaven; and to this and reverence of the place, and the habits and the manner opinion I may refer either as a poet, philosopher, or theoof the congregation, and the beating of the breast had con- logian ; but, abiding by the doctrine of the Peripatetics, I tributed to awaken,' and that having received the elements, deny the consequence, In heaven there is not sound, thereor, according to the erroneous doctrine of his teachers, the fore there are not Muses there. The better argument real body of Christ, he felt within himself he knew not would be, There is not music in heaven, therefore there are what of new and unknown delight.'"
not Muses there. But, if there be musical proportions in
heaven, it must be that the Muses are there; but without His tendency to reverie, and the exclusive cultivation | doubt there are, since the whole world is composed with of his taste, was encouraged by his father.
musical harmony, as Plato shows in Timæus, and Plotinus “ His company, it is said, was all his father required to and others who have philosophized on this matter. Nor complete the comfort he then enjoyed; and he lost no time would Aristotle himself deny that there are intelligible in associating him in his favourite oceupations, frequently proportions in heaven, as Pythagoras also intimates, accordemploying him in copying and correcting parts of his ma- ing to the opinion of the Peripatetic philosopher, Simplinuscripts, but chiefly in the perusal of the best Italian cius, in his first book on heaven, where he treats of this works, both prose and verse. The wisdom of Bernardo, question.' Similar objections and answers appear on other in this respect, is worthy of notice. It was his opinion points, equally trivial; among others, as to the propriety of that nothing could be more absurd than to employ the at- representing the Almighty sending the dream to Godfrey : tention of youths in the study of the classics to the neglect the authority of Aristotle being quoted, “Dreams are not of their own language, making them, he said, citizens abroad sent by God'-To which I answer,' says Tasso, that the and strangers at home. In the study of Italian authors he authority of the Prince of Poets would be sufficient to demade Torquato follow the same plan as is usually contined fend a poet; and Homer represents Jupiter sending a to the perusal of the ancients, teaching him to remark all dream to Agamemnon, the general of the army. But even the delicacies of which the language is capable, the peculiar Aristotle himself, in the very book quoted, makes mention beauties of the different writers, and by what means the of certain divine or demoniacal dreams, sent from demons, most admired had arrived at the art of constructing such or from God, as St Thomas particularly notes in his little sweet and harmonious periods. Dante, Petrarch, and work De Intellectu.' This is sufficient for a specimen of Boccaccio, formed the principal companions of Torquato at the kind of criticism to which the Gerusalemme was subthis period; but as his father wished to make him eminent jected, and to which its author submitted with a degree of for general learning, and a man of business rather than a patience and humility, which proves both his anxiety to poet, he sent him, in November 1560, to Padua, in the hope render his poem as perfect as possible, and the laborious that he would there become a proticient in the civil law. care with which men of genius in former days attended to Had he reflected more carefully on the subject, it is not the revision of their works." unlikely that he would have seen how improbable it was that a youth, who had hitherto been almost solely employed its bias, is a painful subject of contemplation.
The manner in which a mind so delicate swayed from in the study of the poets, and who had shown the most decided inclination to follow their example, would become a "No part of Tasso's life is more melancholy than the very assiduous student of a science so contrary in its nature period at which we are now arrived. He was on the point both to his taste and previous pursuits."
of ushering into the world a work which was destined to
crown him with the greenest laurels the Muse ever wore, But it was only his imagination and passions that were and thus obtain a rich and ample reward for all his labours. infected with this sickly taint-his mind at an early pe- But before he could receive this precious fruit of his toil, he riod showed its ambition and daring.
was becoming the victim of the direst evil to which huma. " He now reverted to the idea of his epic poem, of which pity is liable ;-while the morning of his glory was dawnhe had drawn out the plan at the latter University. His ing around him, darkness was gathering in his soul, and we studies in philosophy and criticism were all directed to this the first hour the world paid universal homage to his
see him become more dependent and helpless than ever, in great purpose, and he collected from the works of the most celebrated writers whatever might assist him in the accom
genius. plishment of his grand design. His ideas on the subject subject, assumed, shortly after his return to Ferrara, a more
“. The melancholy to which he had now been sometime were as yet undetermined—his taste had been formed on the best models of classic composition, but his imagination alarming character. There is no doubt that he suffered was captivated by the romance writers of his own and other many annoyances, and probably injuries, from his rivals at countries. To fix, therefore, his thoughts on the subject had greatly magnified the idea of danger, and led him to
Court, but it also seems likely that his nervous excitement which required such serious consideration, he wrote bis drend an enemy in the most indifferent observer of his accelebrated Discourses on Poetry,' in which he examines tions. Even his servants at last became objects of his fear, the various theories of the critics, and the methods best cal and he wrote to the Marchese del Monte, beseeching him culated to insure the proper objects of the art. The treatise on epic poetry was written expressly with a view to the the Duke of Urbino in threatening the servant with the
to send him one, and to join to his own authority that of • Gerusalemme,' and both that and the others were address weightiest punishment, if he should ever be guilty of any ed to Scipione Gonzaga, as a testimony of the author's re- treachery against him. Shortly after this letter was writspect and gratitude."
ten, the idea recurred, which had troubled his mind some The objections of his confidential critics must bave time before, that he had allowed himself to indulge heretibeen peculiarly annoying to so susceptible a mind. They cal opinions while studying philosophy, and that he was were captious enough.
subject to the wrath of the Inquisition, which he imagined “ The assistance and inspection of the judicious friends, therefore, set out for Bologna, as he had done from similar
his enemies were endeavouring to excite against him. He, to whom Tasso makes allusion in the above letter, proved motives two years since, and presented himself before the a source of the greatest uneasiness to him. His critics, it fathers of the Inquisition, who, tinding nothing in him would appear, disagreed among themselves in all points, deserving of punishment, dismissed him with some profitbut that of discovering defects in the execution of the work. able counsel. His replies to their objections are often very curious and ingenious; and we know not which to regard with greater acquittal. He now determined to preserve a perfect silence,
“ But his fears were not in any way diminished by this wonder, the subtleties of his metaphysical reviewers, or the lest his adversaries should take advantage of some incautious keen scholarship with which he answers them. One or word, and indulged a notion that he had been only suffered two instances will serve to illustrate this subject. The Abate, Niccolò degli Oddi, began bis objections with the
to escape the Inquisition this time, that some more effectual Invocation : It does not appear to me correct that Urania to think that some violent death was preparing for him,
means might be found to ruin him utterly. He also began should be addressed under the name of Muse, and placed and that he must certainly fall a victim either to poison or in heaven-the name of Muse signifying nothing but a the dagger. The Duke and the Princesses did all in their sound or song, which, according to Aristotle, cannot be in power to cure him of these gloomy imaginations, and had heaven ; and sound not being there, the Muses are not
him frequently with them ; but one evening, the 16th of there, and, therefore, the Invocation is not correct.'-' It June, 1577, when in the apartment of the Duchess of Ur
ould be sufficient,' says Tasso, ‘to reply, that, according bino, he suddenly seized a knife, and aimed a stroke at the back of one of the attendants. The alarm occasioned by this tolling of clocks for an hour together. And I have thought circumstance was extreme, and as it was now concluded in my sleep that I was on horseback, and ready to fall and that he must be labouring under insanity, he was arrested, suffer some grievous hurt. I have had pains of the head, and placed in continement in one of the apartments of the but not excessive; of the intestines, the side, and the legs palace court,"
and thighs, but not great; I am greatly weakened by voThe state into which he was reduced by ill-judged mits, a tux of the blood, and fevers; but amid so many terrigour is awful.
rors, and such great afflictions, there appeared to me in the ti It is easy to
air an image of the glorious Virgin with her Son in her magine what an effect these continual arms, in the midst of a circle of colours and vapours; wherealternations of hope and despair must have had on the fore, I ought not to despair of her grace. And although it weakened frame and irritable mind of the more than ever is possible that this was a mere fantasm, as I am phrenetic, unfortunate Tasso. Terrified at one time with the gloom and am almost continually disturbed by various fantasies, of his solitude, and at another provoked by the insolence of and am filled with an infinite melancholy; nevertheless, I his keepers, and the neglect with which he was treated by am able, by the grace of God, to limit my assent, which, the Duke-now suffering all the anxiety of an ill-treated according to Cicero, is the work of a wise man; I ought author, then agitated with sudden intelligence of fame and rather to believe, therefore, that this was a miracle of the success-conversing during the day with the great men, Virgin.' who expressed their highest veneration for the powers of “In writing to Eneas Tasso, he says, “The devil, with his intellect, and left in the full glow of thought as soon as whom I have slept and passed my time, not being able to night began to fall, to be locked up, a maniac among mani-tind that peace with me which he desired, has become a acs, - what a fearfully mingled stream of ideas must have regular robber, and, coming behind me when I am asleep, passed through the mind of this noble, broken-hearted opens the closets which I am unable to keep a watch over ; being! The wonder is, not that his reason sometimes wan- but as he has robbed me thus cunningly, I shall not trust to dered, but that it was not wholly lost : and if we consider his not pilfering me again, and therefore I transmit to your for a moment the terrible trial he had to endure, disposed Excellency the money given me by the Princes of Molfetta as he constitutionally was to melancholy, we shall see and Mantua, and by Signor Paulo Grillo, and the Marquis greater cause than ever to admire the original strength of of, Este, making in all twenty-four scudi of gold, ten zechis intellect, all the powers of which were, no doubt, in- chini, and forty ducats di piastre. I beg you to acknow, stinctively and constantly combating with the terrors which ledge the receipt of this, and to use your exertions that I assailed the very life and being of his spirit.
may escape from the hand of the devil with my books and * He had been now for seven years a captive, and during writings, which are not more secure than my money.' the best part of the time, had been confined in a small and unhealthy cell. Though latterly removed to a somewhat
Mr Stebbing's appreciation of Alfonso's conduct to the less loathsome chamber, and allowed, for a brief period, to poet is just and discriminative. enjoy the free air of the country, he was still treated with “ Alfonso was not long in discovering how Tasso was rigorous austerity, and the hope that solaced him one day vilifying him; and it is at this period of the poet's memoirs only served to deepen the despair of the next. Thus oppress-that the memory of his patron begins to wear the shade that ed, his mind grew more and more willing to indulge in has rendered it so unamiable in the eyes of posterity. the reveries of a disordered fancy; his thoughts became Hitherto, the conduct of Alfonso appears to have been such, visions; the terror of solitude, long suffered, was changed that, had he continued it, he would have merited being into a belief that the air was rife with beings of another placed among the most respected benefactors of genius. He world ; all was confusion in his mind-splendid dreams a had left nothing undone to soothe the irritated mind of resentful (sense of injury-a consciousness of power that Tasso; had taken him with him to his favourite villa, reascarce another human being possessed—and a knowledge soned with him on the folly of his apprehensions, written forced upon him, at the same time, that not another could letters for him when he was distressed respecting the pirated be found more dependent, more afflicted, or bowed nearer edition of his poem, and borne both his melancholy humours to the earth-with all these contradictory emotions in his and even violence with the utmost patience and forbearance; soul, it is little to be wondered at that he every day became so that, up to the present time, he seems to have had a very less capable of distinguishing between the suggestions of fair claim to the gratitude of the unfortunate poet. The imagination and the real objects of sense, feverishly strong severity he was now about to exercise, afforded a terrible and active as was the former, and little as there was in the contrast to his previous kindness. Highly angered at the things around him to awaken any interest or keep alive expressions which Tasso had used against him, or else reany natural sympathy-the only principle in our being that garding them as an additional evidence of his insanity, he can prevent the imagination from gaining dominion over the ordered him to be secured, and immediately conveyed to the
Hospital of St Anna, an institution for lunatics. In which“ Tasso yielded himself a willing victim to his disordered ever light he considered the conduct of the poet, this profancy, and about the period at which we are arrived begancedure was unjustitiable. He has allowed him to return to believe that he was haunted night and day by a mali- to Ferrara, and, sensible as he was of the weak and irritacious spirit, whose sole occupation it was to annoy him. ble condition of his mind, he was bound, by the common We are fortunately able to give his own account of this law of humanity, to do nothing to increase the disposition strange matter, as he did not neglect to mention the new to malady. Instead of which, he treated him in a manner source of affliction to his friend Cataneo, to whom he thus that would have inflamed a much sounder intellect than writes :- I have received two letters from you, but one of poor Tasso's had been for a long time past. To the dethem vanished as soon as I had read it, and I believe the struction of his hopes, he had added the wounds inflicted by goblin has stolen it, as it is the one in which he is spoken a cold and haughty contempt, and he had every reason to of, and this is another of those wonders which I have often expect that the feelings of the injured man would show seen in this hospital. I am sure they are effected by some themselves, in words or actions, different to those of a calm magician, as I could prove by many arguments, but parti- and cunning courtier. But even supposing that the concularly from the circumstance of a loaf having been visibly duct of Tasso was more the effect of lunacy than of passion, taken from me, while my eyes were wide open, and from which certainly ought not to have been punished so severely, a plate of fruit having been taken away in a similar he surely deserved a milder treatment than to be seized and manner the other day, when the amiable young Polacco conveyed to a common madhouse. He had, it is true, no came to visit me. I have been also served thus with other claims upon the kindness of Alfonso, except those which viands when no one has entered the prison, and with let- genius has on all men, and especially on princes; but those ters and books which were locked up in cases, but which I claims are sacred, and Alfonso sinned against the noblest have found scattered about the floor in the morning, and feelings that inspire the human soul, by immuring Tasso in others I have never found.'
a dungeon. His thoughts were dark and bewildered, but “ Nor was this the only torment he experienced from the the light from heaven' was still in his soul, and that ought feverish state of his imagination. Besides the miracles of to have rendered his person as inviolable and sacred as that the goblin I suffer many nocturnal terrors; I have thought of a sovereign-genius being at least as plainly the gift of I saw flames in the air, and sometimes my eyes have spark-God as a crown.” led to such a degree that I feared I should lose my sight,
On the whole, we can recommend this book to the and sparks have visibly flown from me. I have also seen amid the spars of the bed, shadows of rats which could not reading publie, as one which will never lead them astray; naturally be in that place'; I have heard fearful noises, and although the author may sometimes fail to convey to us have felt a whistling in my ears, and a jingling of bells and in their full force the strong characters of old Italy.