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69. 152

Song.-To Mary

76

The Fortunes of Nigel. By the Author of Waverley

77

Song. By T. Campbell

81

The Miraculous Candle

82

On being shewn some beautiful Specimens of Ornamental Porcelain 83

Carch-yard Wanderings

84

Song. By T. Campbell

91

Modern Pilgrimages, No. V. London. No. VI. Coppet. No. VII.
Tivoli

92. 329. 491

Verses to May

96

Sketches of the Irish Bar, No. I. Mr. Plunket. No. II. Mr. Bushe.

No. III. Hall of the Four Courts

97. 289. 481

THE

NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.

ORIGINAL PAPERS.

ITALIAN POETS.

NO. III. - GUIDO CAVALCANTI.

Taus hath one Guido from the other snatch'd
The letter'd prize,—and he perhaps is born
Who shall drive either from their nest.

DANTE. Purg. c. ix. Such is the modest pride with which Dante anticipates the superiority of his own renown ;-adding, however,

The noise
Of worldly fame is but a blast of wind
That blows from divers points, and shifts its name
Shifting the point it blows from. Your renown

Is like the herb, whose hue doth come and go. And yet he endured every suffering to acquire that celebrity which he thus pronounced to be fluctuating and perishable. The two Guidos, who successively inherited and enlarged the domain of the Italian language, had a competitor of the same name, idiomatically called Guittone, born at Arezzo, a short time after the twelfth century. To him is attributed the merit of having reduced the sonnet to the regular form and laws, which it has ever since retained. Among the specimens of his talent, some are wonderful for his age: we refrain from citing them through the fear of becoming accomplices in what we suspect to be an imposture. To prove their authenticity, ancient manuscripts have been referred to, evidently transcribed long before the invention of printing ; but, as the language had attained its height before that event, it would not be surprising if some copyist had ascribed to him, through mistake, the verses of a later poet; or if some wit had written them expressly to sport with the credulity of his contemporaries. But, whether a blunder or a hoax, these fragments have been carefully cherished as testimonies by the Italians, who, not content with possessing a beautiful language, are anxious to prove that it reached perfection a century before Dante, and a century and a half before Petrarch. To these authorities, Italian scholars in England award implicit faith; nor should we be inclined to withhold it, if the rudeness of the other productions of Guittone (the authenticity of which none dispute) did not give the lie to those elegant lines of which the national vanity has availed itself. Besides, if Guittone really composed the verses in question, would Dante have so decidedly written

many of the elder time cried up Guittone, till, truth by strength of numbers vanquished, they gave him the prize.'*

The eldest of the three Guidos was born at Bologna, of the noble

Purgatory. Cant. xxvi.
VOL. IV. No, 19,--1822.

B

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