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EPIGRAM M AT U M
L I BE R.
1. In Proditionem Bombardicam.
NUM fimul în regem nuper satrapasque Britannos
in Ausus es infandum, perfide Fauxe, nefas, Fallor? An et mitis voluisti ex parte videri,
Et pensare mala cum pietate fcelus ? Scilicet hos alti miffurus ad atria cæli,
5 Sulphureo curru, flammivolisque rotis: Qualiter ille, feris caput inviolabile Parcis,
Liquit lördanios turbine raptus agros.
6. Sulpbureo curru flammivolisque rotis.] In PARAD. REG. B. ii, 16.
And the great Tilhbite, who on FiERY WHEELS
Rode up to heaven, &c. And in The PASSION, ft. vi.
See, see the CHARIOT, and those rushing wheels,
That whirl’d the prophet up at Chebar flood.
Vates ut olim raptus ad cælum fenex
II. In eandem.
Iccine tentasti cælo donaffe läcobum,
Quæ septemgemino Bellua monte lates ?
Parce precor, donis infidiofa tuis.
Astra, nec inferni pulveris usus ope.
Et quot habet brutos Roma profana Deos : Namque hac aut alia nisi quemque adjuveris arte,
Crede mihi, cæli vix bene scandet iter.
III. In eandem.
Et fine quo superum non adeunda domus. Frenduit hoc trina monstrum Latiale corona,
Movit et horrificum cornua dena minax.
6 Et fi stelligeras unquam penetraveris arces,
Non nisi per flammas triste patebit iter. quam
funesto cecinisti proxima vero, Verbaque ponderibus vix caritura suis! Nam prope Tartareo sublime rotatus ab igni, Ibat ad æthereas, umbra perusta, plagas.
IV. In eandem.
Uem modo Roma suis devoverat impia diris,
Et Styge damnarat, Tænarioque finu ; Hunc, vice mutata, jam tollere gestit ad astra,
Et cupit ad superos evehere usque Deos.
V. In inventorem bombarda.
Apetionidem laudavit cæca vetustas,
Qui tulit ætheream solis ab axe facem ; At mihi major erit, qui lurida creditur arma,
Et trifidum fulmen surripuisse Jovi.
VI. Ad Leonoram Romæ canentem *
Ngelus unicuique suus, sic credite
gentes, Obtigit æthereis ales ab ordinibus. Quid mirum, Leonora, tibi fi gloria major ?
Nam tua præsentem vox sonat ipsa Deum.
4. Et trifidum fulmen furripuise Jovi.] This thought was afterwards transferred to the Paradise Lost. Where the fallen angels are exulting in their new invention of fire-arms, B. vi. 490.
They shall fear we have disarm’d
The thunderer of his only dreaded bolt. * Adriana of Mantua, for her beauty surnamed the Fair, and her daughter LEONOR A Baroni, the lady whom Milion celebrates in these three Latin Epigrams, were esteemed by their contemporaries the finest fingers in the world. Giovanni Battista Doni, in his book de PRÆSTANTIA MUSICÆ Veteris, published in 1647, speaking of the merit of some modern vocal performers, declares that Adriana, or her daughter Leonora, would suffer injury by being compared to the
Aut Deus, aut vacui certe mens tertia cæli
Per tua secreto guttura serpit agens;
ancient Sappho. Bii. p.57. There is a volume of Greek, Latin, Italian, French and Spanish poems in praise of Leonora, printed at Rome, entitled Applaufi poetici alle glorie della Signora LEONORA BARONI. Nicius Erythreus, in his PINACOTHECA, calls this collection the THEATRUM of that exquisite Songstress Eleonora Baroni,“ in quo, omnes hic “ Romæ quotquot ingenio et poeticæ facultatis laude præftant, carmi. • nibus, cum Etrusce tum Latine scriptis, SINGULARI AC PROPE “ DIVINO MULIERIS ILLIUS canendi artificio, tamquam fauftos quos“ dam clamores et plausus edunt, &c." Pinac. ii. p. 427. Lipf. 1712. 12mo. In the Poesie LIRICHE of Fulvio Testi, there is an encomiaftic Sonnet to Leonora, Poes. Lyr, del Conte Fulvio Testi, Ven. 1691. p. 361.
Se l'angioletta mia tremolo, e chiaro, &c. M. Maugars, Priour of S. Peter de Mac at Paris, king's interpreter of the English language, and in his time a capital practitioner on the viol, has left this eulogy on Leonora and her mother, at the end of his judicious Discours sur la Musique d'Italia, printed with the Life of Malherbe, and other treatises, at Paris, 1672. 12mo. “ Leonora has “ fine parts, and a happy judgement in diftinguishing good from bad “ mufic: Me understands it perfectly well, and even composes, which “ makes her absolute mistress of what she sings, and gives her the “ most exact pronunciation and expression of the sense of the words. “ She does not pretend to beauty, yet she is far from being disagreea“ ble, nor is she a coquet. She fings with an air of confident and “ liberal modefty, and with a pleasing gravity. Her voice reaches “ a large compass of notes, is just, clear, and melodious; and the “ foftens or raises it without constraint or grimace. Her raptures and “ fighs are not too tender; her looks have nothing impudent, nor “ do her gestures betray any thing beyond the reserve of a modelt “ girl. In passing from one song to another, Thews sometimes the “ divisions of the enharmonic and chromatic species with so much " air and sweetness, that every hearer is ravished with that delicate “ and difficult mode of finging. She has no need of any person to “ allilt her with a theorbo or viol, one of which is required to make “ her singing complete ; for the plays perfectly well herself on both “ those instruments. In short, I have been so fortunate as to hear her “ sing several times above thirty different airs, with second and " third stanzas of her own composition. But I must not forget, that
one day the did me the particular favour to fing with her mother “ and her filter: her mother played upon the lute, her filter upon " the harp, and herfelf upon the theorbo. This concert, composed " of three fine voices, and of three different inftruments, fo power
Serpit agens, facilisque docet mortalia corda
Sensim immortali afsuescere poffe sono.
In te una loquitur, cætera mutus habet.
VII. Ad eandem.
Ltera Torquatum cepit Leonora poetam,
Cujus ab insano ceffit amore furens.
Perditus, et propter te, Leonora, foret !
“ fully captivated my senses, and threw me into fuch raptures, that “ I forgot my mortality, et crus etre deja parmi les anges, jouissant des “ contentemens des bienberueux." See Bayle, Dict. BARONI. Hawkins, Hist. Mus. iv. 196. To the excellence of the mother Adriana on the lute, Milton alludes in these lines of the second of these three Epigrams, V. 4.
Et te Pieria fenfiffet voce canentem
Aurea MATERNÆ fila movere LYRÆ. When Milton was at Rome, he was introduced to the concerts of Cardinal Barberini, afterwards Pope Urban the eighth, where he heard Leonora fing and her mother play. It was the fashion for all the ingenious strangers who visited Rome, to leave some verses on Leonora.
1. Angelus unicuique, &c.] See Note on Comus, v. 658.
i. Altera Torquatum cepit Leonora. - ] In the circumstantial account of the Life of Tasso written by his friend and patron G. Battista Manso, mention is made of three different Ladies of the name of LEONORA, of whom Tasso is there said to have been successively enamoured. GIER. LIB, edit. Haym, Lond. 4to. 1724. p. 23. The first was Leonora of Efte, fifter of Alfonfo, Duke of Ferrara, at whose court Taffo resided. This Lady, who was highly accomplished, lived unmarried with her elder fifter D. Lucretia, who had been married, but was separated from her husband the Duke of Urbino. The Countess of San Vitale was the Second Leonora, to whom Taffo was said to be much attached, p. 26. Manso tes, that the Third Leonora was a young lady in the service of the Princess -of Efte, who was very beautiful, and to whom Taffo paid great attention, p. 27. 2942