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GAN to Iv. names that follow are evidently thrown promis. cuously in the text, as chance and rhyme decided. “Democritus, the laughing philosopher, made himself famous for maintaining the atomical system : of which I shall only say, that it excludes the existence of a Deity, and ascribes the formation of the world to the fortuitous concourse of unperishable atoms endowed with motion. The strange humour and temper of the man is not unsuitable to so strange a doctrine (). " This is well and succintly conveyed by the Italian, il mondo pone a caso. The Stoics, Ionics, and Cynics are represented by Zeno, Thales, Diogenes, and Anaxagoras, master of all-accomplished Pericles. Empedocles was a good poet, physician and sorcerer; in one or other
of which capacities he is said to have resuscitated a young girl. But if he prolonged her life, he balanced the account by shortening his own (*): however not before giving Cleander a splendid Pythagorean entertainment consisting “of an ox all made of paste composed of myrh, frankincense and spice (*). " Heraclitus I pronounce with the penultimate short, as it is in the original, and in Petrarch (4). Dioscorides was the father of botany;
(1) Athenian Letters. Vol. 1. p. 128.
cxx to tw. which Dante somewhat quaintly expresses by “the good collector of qualities. ' The usual reading in verse 141 is Linus; but one old edition (1) has Livius, and it is so much more probable that some early copyist had made a blunder and led others into it, than that Dante should have preferred inserting a half fabulous bard (particularly after having already named one of the same order, Orfeus) rather than the great Roman historian, whose name is pronounced so honourably in another Canto (2), that I do not hesitate to write Livius. Moreover this is a verse with which copyists have certainly tampered : for in the text which Dante's son, Peter, used, there is neither Linus nor Livius, but • Tullio almo e Seneca morale; although indeed Linus be inserted as a various reading in the comment (*). The Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy was to our poet, more than Newton and Herschell are to us. The Spanish-Arabians, or Moors, Avicen and Averroes, were medical sophists. The former did for his Master Galen in physic, what Plato did for Socrates in philosophy, he wrote and explained his precepts. Averroes was however more an astronomer and moralist than a physcian; and translated the works of Aristotle from Greek into Arabic and commented
(1) La Nidobeatina.
them at vast length. That this version of Averroes became familiar among the Italians as early as tooo is equally conclusive of their proficiency in the Oriental tongues, whether they translated it into Latin, or continued to use it in the Arabic: and at last it made such noise that the Council of Vienna prohibited its being used in schools, on account of Mussulman errors thought to be in it: but the book had still more fame when , after Dante's death, it was interpreted by an Italian friar and gave employment to all the philosophers and divines throughout Europe in attack or defence (). Petrarch himself was involved in the controversy: and the literary world, became divided into Averroists and Anti-Averroists; even in a very modern pamphlet I find Averroes quoted three several times in a few pages (°). He was then no common mind; and, however right it be to peruse little of his lore at present, it was fair to number him among the group that waited on that mighty genius, to the interpreting of whose writings he had devoted his labour: so that Monsieur Ginguené might here again have spared a tart observation (3). Neither Religion, nor Government, has suffered any radical alteration amongst the Moors and their superiority to other nations in personal strength and beauty is the same as ever: still are
(1) Tiraboschi. Vol. 5. passim. (a) Bulgarini, Repliche, p. 22–29–74. (3) ... jusqu'à l'Arabe Averroës. Hist. Litt. de l'Italie. Vol. 2. p. 42.
t; onto iv. the philosophers, poets, and warriors degraded into vile, ignorant assassins ().
(1) I was at Tangier in 1815. An inoffensive French gentleman was shot while walking on the roof of his Consul's house; nor was satisfaction expected, nor, I believe, asked for the murder. Even our own government (whose influence was at that time greater than any other Christian one) could have obtained none. Admiral Pearose's surgeon, Mr. Williams, a young man of superior abilities, was assassinated in full view of Gibraltar, at foot of the other pillar of Hercules; and when a naval officer and I returned, with an order from the Pacha himself, to get the canon, anchor, etc, of the wreck of our little gunboat, the same Moors seized and carried me into the hills, where, during seven hours, I had their muskets above an hundred times at my breast; nor do I now well conceive how among so many triggers not one went off. Perhaps in the very wantonness of barbarity they disdained killing a man whom they had so completely in their power; perhaps it was my own composure; but it is not likely such an escape will occur again. They have a fine, fierce breed of black dogs. He who was called their Governor had one, of which, he said, he would make me a present in return for a present of a barrel of gun-powder; for that Moors never sold their dogs. I suspected it was a blood-hound; upon which his Excellency, thinking I asked whether it could kill a man, had a Jew taken (the Captain of the very felucca in which we came from Tangier for the canon) proposing to set his dog fairly at him. If in two minutes the Jew was not dead, I was to have the animal immediately for nothing: otherwise I was to send the gun-powder from Gibraltar, and the bearer of it was to receive the dog: besides (to obviate any complaints to the Pacha) the naval officer and I were to sign a declaration that the Jew was killed by accident in lifting the canon. Waving the trial as superfluous, I closed the bargain. Had I afterwards kept my promise, he would have broken his ; and perhaps murdered the bearer of the gun-powder. It was in escaping from the wreck Williams fell. Four of our sailors too were wounded. There were twelve in a crazy, stoven-in skiff — amid wild waves - still wilder savages firing from the shore-fifteen miles to the nearest refuge. Williams was shot right through the brain; he never moved, but stiffened; so that when we raised him out of the boat at Tangier, he was still sitting with his face turned frowning towards the coast and his arms a-kimbo, exactly as when the volley was fired. His wife was a little Jew girl, whom he had ran away with at Gibraltar and had had baptized on board the Admiral's ship. Though not quite four
Homer, Horace, Ovid and Lucan, like Anchises, remain in Elysium; while Virgil and Dante prosecute their journey, like Aeneas. But the latter returned up to his ships
Ille viam secat ad maves, sociosque revisit (*);
and our pair descend into the second infernal circle, where begins the region of punishment, Hell vulgarly so called, or Tartarus.
teen she was three months advanced towards maternity. Her father, one of the richest on the rock, had disinherited her for changing religion. But, as she was an only child, her mother came to see her in her widowhood; and it was hoped even her father would relent. She had hut one Christian friend; and , when he was lost, she perhaps became Jewess again. She now separated from him for the first time. She followed him to the beach weeping bitterly and was so bent on embarking, that, to get her to return, he had to chide her.Whether it was a presentiment or not, it is certain, that the burthen of her lament was I'll never see you more : one could hear her repeating it even after the boat was pushed off to some distance. We buried Williams in the Swedish Consul's garden. It lies a little without Tangier. He sleeps surrounded with the most beautiful myrtles in the world. There were few handsomer men than Williams; few prettier creatures than his wife. His corpse wrapt in a cloak and borne by those rough, yet sorrowing tars — our slender escort of the Consuls of the place — the splendour of the day—the groups of Moors in their haicks, fine, though ferocious figures, and now quietly looking on—the odours and flowery shrubs of that lovely garden—the touching funeral service read by our Consul, Mr. Green, to whom I was Clerk--at a little distance the sparkling sea, and, beyond it, Gibraltar on whose summit waved the flag, which neither protected, nor avenged him who was now to be interred within view of it—and, with all that, a slight sense of danger to ourselves formed the most impressive whole I ever saw. (1) Aeneid. Lib. vi. v 899.