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cary to cover the jars which had Greek inscriptions, though they were filled with herbs of the country.
Great part of the historical works were excluded from the temple, and destined to make triumphal arches, statues of paper, and other theatrical decorations; those of medicine, not less destructive than engines of war, to make wadding for cannon.
From the north, particularly from France and Italy, came troops of mules loaded with books of politics, social contracts, commentaries on Tacitus, and on the republics of Plato, and Aristotle : a venerable censor received this dangerous merchandize; his severe countenance was expressive of candour and prudence: at their sight, he exclaimed, oh! books, in which virtue and religion serve as conveniences, what tyranny have you not introduced into the world? how many states and kingdoms have been destroyed by your power! On deceit and malice you seek to build their preservation and prosperity, without considering that they cannot last on false foundations.
Nothing is stable but religion and truth, and that prince alone is happy, who is guided by their counsels.
I was much struck with what he said, and expected to see him send them to be used for weathercocks; which move with every wind, and even without wind, or else to make masks; for the chief study of politicians is to cover the face of falsehood, and give it the appearance of truth; but he ordered them all to be burned; and when I inquired the reason of this sentence, he replied, these papers held so much venom that even distributed in small pieces in the shops, they would be dangerous to public tranquillity, and that therefore it was more safe to deliver them to the flames.
I felt so afflicted to see so many works of genius destroyed, that I turned from that quarter, and entering the edifice found myself in a square room, the ceiling of which represented the heavens, with all the constellat ns; the zodiac with the twelve signs, was inclosed by four angles, in which were represented the four principal winds; Eurus, with white clouds; the South, red and furious; the West shedding flowers; and the North shaking hail and snow from his misty mantle. On the four walls was seen the four seasons of the year, Spring crowned with roses; Summer with ears of wheat; Autumn with vines; and Winter with thorns. In the midst of this room hung a great balance, and by its side a small one; in the first they weighed genius by the quintal, in the second judgment by grains and scruples.
By the light of a window, Hernando Herrara compared with great attention the merit of various productions of genius with each other; and I thought he made some errors, for works of genius are not always what they appear to be; some at frist riew, are lively and brilliant,, but of little instrinsic value; others with less show have more solidity. But I wished to learn from him in what estimation he held the Tuscan and Spanish poets; and asking with much humility his opinion, he replied in the following manner:
“ The Roman empire fell, and enveloped in its ruins, fell the sciences and the arts, till divided into separate dominions, governed by different laws, the states of Italy flourished in peace, and Science again raised her head.
Petrarch was the first who pierced the confused clouds of ignorance with sparks of light, drawn from his own genius, and gave lustre to the Tuscan poetry; his spirit, his elegance, his purity, and his grace, rank him with the most celebrated writers of antiquity.
Dante desiring to be thought a poet, ceased to be scientific, and desiring to appear learned, was no longer a poet; he elevated himself above common intelligence, without attaining the power of delighting, the peculiar province of poetry, nor that of imitating, which is its form.
Ariosto, with great genius and facility of invention, broke the laws of epic poetry by neglecting unity in its fables, and by celebrating only one hero, while he celebrated many in an ingenious and variegated piece, but of which the materials are not polished or refined. This license was imitated by Marino, in his Adonis: more attentive to delight than to instruct, his fertility and elegance, form a beautiful garden abounding with parterres of flowers.
More strict in the precepts of the art, was Torquato Ta880; no one can read his book, without respect and reverence.
What has been said of the poets of Italy, may be applied to those of Spain; their necks were bowed beneath the African yoke, and the Muses thought more of concealing themselves in the mountains, than of tuning their shells; till Juan de Mena soothed their fears, and caused them to raise the sweet sound of their voices amid the clangor of arms. In him we find much to admire, but nothing to imitate ; for so great at that time was the aversion to rhymes, that he was obliged to express his ideas in couplets, without their aid.
After him Aourished the Marquis de Santillana Garcia, Sanches Costona, Cartagena, and others, who, by degrees, approached perfection.
In a more polished period, and by the native force of his genius, Garcillasso de la Vega, rose to a very great degree of elevation; he was the prince of Lyric poets. With sweetness, and wonderful purity of expression, he described the sentiments of the soul, and as they are subjects appropriate to songs and eclogues, in them he surpassed himself: painting with elegance, tenderness, and affection, and exciting
them at pleasure: if he is sometimes careless in his sonnets, it is the fault of the times in which he wrote; in his eclogues, he uses a style decorous, simple, and elegant, a medly of rusticity and grace, of modern and antique words, imitating Virgil.
In Portugal flourished Camoens; he was tender and amorous, had a great genius for Lyric and Epic poetry. In the time of Garcillasso, Boscan wrote, who, considering that he was a stranger, merits great praise, and is entitled to much indulgence for his negligence in the choice of words.
To these succeeded Don Diego de Mendoza, full of life, but rude and uncultivated.
Cetino flourished almost at the same time, whose tender and affectionate lines are without nerve or vigor.
Louis de Brabona, was endowed with a more elevated genius, but having had no one to consult, his verses flow without art or elegance.
Juan de Argona, began to translate Statius, and it is to be regretted that he died before it was completed. He showed in the fragment he left, that he neither wanted talents nor spirit; imitating Anguilara in his translation of Ovid.
Don Alphonso de Ercilla, though prevented by his devotion to the profession of arms, from acquiring much knowledge, has given proofs in his Araucana of great facility of invention, and fertility of genius.
In our days Martial of Cordova has been reborn in Don Luis de Gongora, the darling of the Muses, and the favourite of the Graces, great architect of the Spanish Language, with which he knew how to play with incomparable address, and indescribable elegance; even his errors are pardonable, because they are inimitable.
Contemporary with him, was Bartolomeo Leonardo de Argensola, the glory of Arragon, and the oracle of Apollo ; whose fertility, learning, purity, and elevation, will be eternally admired by all, though equalled by few; but his copyists and editors have disfigured his works, because they did not understand them; a danger to which all posthumous works are subject.
Lope de Vega, is a noble valley of Parnassus, so productive that the imagination is dazzled, and Nature herself becomes enamoured of his abundance: despising the dry and narrow rules of art, his works appear like a rich Magazine, where you can choose jewels to your taste, and where all tastes may be satisfied.”
(To be concluded in our next.)
-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
ON THE NATURE AND PROPER USE OF ACCENT.
My last address to you being on Articulation, or the construction and proper use of the organs of speech in producing those various sounds which constitute the human voice, by which the elementary sounds or letters of our language are expressed, and of which elementary sounds, syllables, words and sentences are composed, I shall endeavour in the present lecture to explain to you the nature and proper use of Accent and Emphasis: principles of pronunciation most essentially necessary to convey the truth and force of sentiment.
Confiding in your having acquired, agreeably to my recommendation, a perfect knowledge of the various sounds of the letters according to their several combinations, you must now be informed of the general principles of Accentuation, which affects letters and syllables, and of Emphasis, which distinguishes, by a stress of the voice, one or more words in a sentence from the rest; thereby expressing, with proper precision and effect, the true import and meaning intended to be communicated.
The term accent, means a peculiar manner of expressing one letter in a syllable, or syllable in a word, from the rest, that it may be better heard or distinguished from them. Whether this distinction relates merely to the stress or force of the voice, or to the variation of tone, are questions which have agitated and disturbed the republic of letters for centuries, and opinions very widely different have been held and defended by very learned and able men. It is still, among critics, a source of discussion, nay, of literary warfare, to ascertain what accent is: but in this dispute, as in many others, the subject matter is sufficiently plain, till obscured by the labours of the disputants. No person to whom an English word is shown, with an accentual mark placed over it (as advertisement, or advertisement) feels any doubt in regulating his voice according to that mark. This plain matter then it is, and not any point of subtil inquiry, which it is the object of this lecture to methodize and explain.
Accent, in English, is only a species of emphasis. When one word in a sentence is distinguished by the voice as more important than the rest, we say that it is emphatical, or that an emphasis is laid upon it; when one syllable in a word is distinguished by the voice and more audible than the rest, we say that it is accented, or that an accent is
put upon it. Accent, therefore, is to syllables, what emphasis is to sentences; it distinguishes one from the crowd, and brings it forward to observation.
If this account be right, it naturally follows, that in monosyllables, accent and emphasis must be the same; and that those monosyllables alone have any accent which are capable of being emphatical. Mo nosyllabic nouns and verbs are therefore accented; but particles and other subservient parts of speech are, for the most part, incapable of any accent, if monosyllables. We therefore find them in verse generally disposed in the unaccented part of each foot; as “ Fa'r as the solar wa'lk, or mi’lky wa'y." For the same reason, many monosyllables are occasionally accented, or not, according to their accidental importance, as in these lines, the word must:
Where all must full or not coherent be,
Essay on Man, I. 46.
Remember, man, the Universal Cause
Ib. IV, 35.
Here not is wholly unaccented in the first instance, slightly in the second, and very strongly in the last. The pronoun us is often passed over without much notice, but is strongly brought forward in this line : Better for ús perhaps it might appear.
Ib. 1. 165.
So exactly is accent, in English, the same as emphasis, that when words of different meaning are contrasted, the accent of one is often changed from its natural seat, to that distinctive syllable which the opposition has rendered emphatical. Thus the accent of unso' ciable and intoʻlerable, is regularly upon the syllables so and to; but when we say some men are sociable, others un sociable; some tolerable, others Intolerable ; we usually throw the accent upon un and in the particles upon which the contrast depends.
Such is the general nature of accent among us. Among the ancients the term denoted a very different thing. Accent, with them, signified a musical modulation of the voice, making it higher or lower with re