Imagens das páginas


Virgil is no proof it means him here; for (as I have said commenting it) that'title bright'refers to the elevated nature of the poetry cultivated by the whole group , and not to the individual merit of Virgil; who explains it so himself, saying it

belonged to each of them ciascun meco si

conviene nel nome ec.

Af. xcrx.

My translation answers equally , whether di tanto means di tanto onore, as many think, or di cio, as the Academy decides , or incontinent, de suite, as a French Reviewer contends. Notre ancien Francais disait dans le meme sens a taut: le dictionnaire de Nicol traduit a tant par his'dictis, his peractis: les Espagnols entanto par interea (0. But the same word, interea, is also in the Vocabolario given the same meaning, intanto; so that it seems the Academicians ( with a minuteness of distinction scarcely attainable by an Oltremontano) do not consider intanto and di tanto quite synonimous.

K. cn.

'Who but will admire, if not entirely blind, the modesty of our poet in calling himself only the sixth in a company, where he is really on a perfect equality with the first W

(i) Journal des Savant, i8iR.

(a) Biagioli, Comento, Vol. i. p. 8a.

[ocr errors]

O cxx.

A more characteristic picture in a few words has scarcely ever been drawn of the worthies of Antiquity: it possesses a mild solemnity that I do not find in the Aeneid. But the sketch of the rest (with the exception of the castle) is there. 'The verdant lawn'is'prata recentia rivis; and the 'open, lofty, lightsome hill,'

Hoc superate jugum

» . . camposque nitentes

Desuper ostentat

Et tumulum capit, unde omnes longo online possit Ailversos legere et venientuip discere vultus(i). The imitation however displays the usual sobriety of Dante's judgment: for he quits his original the moment it contains any thing too difficult, or impossible to be reconciled with the tenets of Christianity; and instead of passing in review, like Anchises, both the shades of the dead and of those yet unborn, he limits his observations to the dead.


Electra (avia vetustissima (>)) was the mother, by Jove, of Dardanus founder of Troy;' whence lineally 'Priam, Aeneas, the Caesarian line, and the royal bouse of France,' says Boccaccio run

(i) Aeneid. Lib. TV T. 67i—7*4. (a) Monarcbia Lib. a. p. ii.

<:»hto iv.

ning along the genealogical stem (O. As the great mother of nations, whence all the mightiest families remarkable for either the best or the most evil deeds have sprung, she is appositely placed at the head of the procession:

Dardanus, Iliacae primus pater urbis et auctor,
Electra, ut Graii perhibent, Atlantide cretus
Advehitur Teucros; Electrani maximus Alias
Edidit, aethereos huiuero qui sustiuet oibes (»).

Q. cxxiV.

La Pentesilea (with the article by way of emphasis ) was a Queen slain by Achilles during the Trojan war. . .

R uxxni.

The Gentleman who jocosely explains this line -—(J&ar, a qui re pocte donne les yenxd'un

oiseau de proie C3) if he had ever observed the

fine, flashing eyes of a hawk, and recollected what is come down to us of the wonderful efficacy of Caesar's glance would not have been shocked at the impropriety of the figure. M. Biagioli (connecting armato with oochi ) interprets,' armed with eyes,' ridiculing the drawing of the hero with

(i) Comento Vol. i.p. in. (a) AeneiJ: Lib. Tin. v. iS4.

(3) Giuguene. Hist. Litt. de I'Italic. Vol. ti. p, 4».

(4) Nigris vegetitque oeculis. Suetoaik vita Cat. Cap. 15.

•into Iv.

a helmet on his head and a sword by his side (0; and, if there were no other mode to obviate the supposing of offensive weapons in Caesar's hand , I should follow tha?t interpretation : but by translating armato, not armed , but mailed, every difficulty is removed; for a picture representing a Roman General mailed, that is, in his military robe,and with the insignia of his high rank (though in other respects unarmed and bare-headed) and with an aspect of terrible majesty, would certainly be not liable to an accusation of incongruity. Mr. Cary, by making occhi grifagni " hawk's eye," puts the species for the variety: for grifagno ( in English a soarage) means a young falcon taken from the eyrie when able to fly and after its first mewing, that is, in winter; and it is in contradistinction with nidiaco ( a bowet ), or one caught in the nest still unfledged; and with ramingo {a brancher), or one strong enough to hop about the tree, though not yet quite winged (»). The two latter kinds are very tractable: but the first, when once reclaimed, is far preferable for its strength and prodigious boldness, which are well revealed by the fire of its eyes. Dante is continually showing his familiarity with hawking; of which recreation

(0 Chi intese chc diptnse il Poeta quell' eroe con indosso la corazza « l'eltno in testa , e la spada at fiauco, fec« un bello acappuccio. Coluento. Vol. i. p. 8 J.

(•) TreatUt oo Faulconry etc.


Boccaccio was, I presume, no partaker; for he misinterprets occhj grifagni' eyes of a grifon CO.'

S. cxxiv.

Volsca de gente Camilla

Bellatrix .... pharetrata Camilla (»). The female names that follow are glories of womankind: Lavinia, mother of Rome: the pure,

devoted Marcia, whose prayer to her revered lord is so feelingly dwelt on in the Pharsalia, and the Convito (3). 'While I had the form and spirit of youth, I performed the duties of a wife and mother in all things ohedient to thy will; but now that 1 am bent with years, widowed, and worn out, permit me, o Cato, in recompense of my dutiful affection , to re-ascend thy immaculate couch and to glory once more in the title (it can be only a title ) of being thy spouse a second time, and of having thy name inscribed on my sepulchre W.' Cornelia, daughter of Scipio and mother of the Gracchi, as remarkable for her soundness of understanding

and her eloquence, as for the domestic virtues:

Julia, daughter of Caesar and wife of Pompey, she whose prudence was for a while the only remaining

(i) Comento. Vol. i. p. ai9.

(a) Aeueid. V. 8o3. —Lib. xi. v. 649.

(3) Pag. ao6.

(4) Da feeder* prisri

Illibata thori; da tantum nomen inane
Connubii; liceat tumulo scripsisse Catokis
Mabuu • Pharsalia, Lib. a. v. 344.

« AnteriorContinuar »