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tation ! Of them all, how many have reached it? The enumeration is short and easily made. England claims two, Shakspeare and Milton'; France two, Corneille and Racine ; Spain one, Cervantes ; Portugal_one, Camoens ; Italy four, Dante, Petrarch, Tasso, Ariosto. The voice of the present day that upholds their claims to this high eminence is the echo of bygone ages, and if it be true, as Chateaubriand asserts, that there are to be no more universal literary reputations, Italy might rest content with the trophies she has already won in the field of letters..

În civil and political history, her writers have gained their greenest laurels. - Greece produced but five great historians, Rome not so many; England, intellectually rich as she is, did not, eighty. years since, possess one worthy of being ranked with the first masters, while Italy already boasted of a Macchiavelli, a Guicciardini, a Sarpi, a Davila, and a Bentivoglio-each a model. Nor is it of their countrymen alone they have won the suffrages. Bolingbroke compares Davila with Livy, and accords to Guicciardini a higher rank than to Thucydides ; and Gibbon says that Guicciardini, Macchiavelli, Sarpi, and Davila are justly reputed the first historians of modern Europe. At the present day she has Compagnoni, who has written the history of the entire New World, and Botta, who has completed that of his own country commenced by Guicciardini, and has given us one of the best certainly the most impartial, account of our own war of independence.

The literature of any language may be safely challenged to produce an equal amount of beautifully inspired Lyric poetry as enriches the Italian. Here Italy is without a rival: Her favorite Lyric bard is Filicaja. He has. quaffed deep draughts both of Helicon and of

-Siloa's brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God.

He combines energy, sweetness, pathos : and more nearly approaches the language of inspiration than any poet-in our own tongue at least. The fervid strain cf patriotisın in the fourth Canto of Childe Harold' is a literal translation of one of his sonnets. Lord Byron thus renders-it :

Italia! oh Italia ! thou who hast
The fatal gift of beauty, which became
A funeral dower of present woes and past,
On thy sweet brow is sorrow ploughed by shame,
And annals graved in characters of flame.

Oh God! that thou wert in thy nakedness
Less lovely or more powerful, and couldst' claim
Thy right, and awe the robbers back, who press
To shed thy blood, and drink the tears of thy distress;

Then might'st thou more appal; or, less desired,
Be homely and be peaceful, undeplored

For thy destructive charms; then, still untired,
Would not be seen the armed torrents pour'd

Down the deep Alps; nor would the hostile horde
Of many nationed spoilers from the Po
Quaff blood and water; nor the stranger's sword
Be thy sad weapon of defence, and so,
Victor or vanquish'd, thou the slave of friend or foe.

The Italian is the mother tongue of the poetry of Europe, and in it, all nations have found imperishable models of excellence. The obligations to it of English literature in particular, are neither slight nor few, Chaucer, who passed some time with Petrarch in Padua, has transfused much of the taste of Laura's lover into his own poesie,' and several of the finest among his Canterbury tales are taken from Boccacio. The plots of many of Shakspeare's plays, and in some cases, whole scenes, as in All's Well that Ends Well, and in Cymbeline, also come from the Italian. - Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, released English poetry from the forms of the middle ages, and imitated Petrarch's sonnets with such success that the taste for them became general. Spencer copied the form and spirit of their poetical compositions—as his Faery Queene' plainly shows. Wyatt and the Wartons acknowledge their obligations to the Italian. Dryden too, has borrowed from Boccacio. Who has not dwelt long and rapturously on the first lines of Gray's beautiful elegy? They are translated from a stanza of Dante., Milton owes much to Tasso and to his brother poets, and expresses himself to that effect in several passages of his works. Byron too, has freely scattered gems from Pulci, and Berni, and Ariosto over his own luxuriant language.

The belief that the Italian, with all its grace, is wanting either in conciseness or energy, is an erroneous one.

It retains the vigor of the Latin inversions, with the further advantage of more licenses of contraction than any modern language admits of. Dante and Alfieri abound in passages of unsurpassed compactness and, where description 'needs it, of grating harshness, In the opinion of Sismondi, Cæsarotti's poetic translation of Ossian is superior to the English prose, and the Italian version of Tacitus the most sententious of historians—is condensed into a smaller compass than the original. There is, moreover, in their scientific compositions, a vigor and chasteness equally removed from a fondness for flimsy hypothesis and the unprofitable repetition of mere facts. It displays constant elegance, and ingenuity of an elevated cast, joined with rare perseverance in the combination of details. “Nothing," says Lord Brougham, “can be conceived more perfectly rigorous and at the same time more simple and elegant than the geometrical investigations of the Italian mathematicians.”

The subjects left unfinished by Newton have been pursued by the Italian philosophers with an ardor unsurpassed even by his talented successors in England. The works of Beccaria and of Comparetti contain discoveries and materials for discoveries as important to those who follow them as was the great work of Grimaldi to Sir Isaac Newton himself. · Benjamin Franklin had the works of Beccaria translated into English, and Priestly contended that the value of his labors in electricity fár surpassed all that had been done before and after him.

In the prosecution of her scientific inquiries, Italy, like her neighbors, has availed herself of that mighty moral engine-association. Florence, Rome, Bologna, Turin, Padua, Verona—all have their academies of science-independently of a multitude of minor institutions and societies. The researches and transactions of these bodies are published at great expense, and with exceeding regularity at stated periods. The memoirs of the Italian Society of Verona form the most valuable collection among them, and they are frequently referred to by the English and the French mathematicians as high authority.

Italian literature of the present day is full of interest. Of the host of continental imitators who sprung up on the path struck out by Sir Walter Scott, Manzoni and Grossi áre among the most distinguished. Indeed Manzoni's “Promessi Sposi” may not shrink from a comparison with the happiest efforts of the "Ariosto of the north.” Nor have they fallen short of their model in attaining a healthy, manly style. They have not labored to reproduce the sickening horrors that fill the ultra romantic novels of which we have too many in English. Their characteristics and that of the school of which they are the head are, a deep-rooted antipathy to the principle of aristocracy,—an ardent patriotism, and a high moral toné, beautified and set forth in all the richness of their musical language. Guerazzi's Siege of Florence, a late publication," has life enough,” says an English critic, “ for fifty novels, and poetry enough for five poems.”

I cannot here omit a few remarks on the beautiful work of Silvio Pellico. It is the narrative of his imprisonment, related by himself in language redolent of a gentle though eloquent simplicity that presents a refreshing contrast with the convulsionary, charnel house literature under which the French and English presses groan.

Pellico is the great modern dramatic poet of Italy. In 1820, his tragedy of Francesca da Rimini had just been received with a frenzy of enthusiasm from the borders of the Alps to the shores of Sicily. He was laboring in concert with the aristocracy of national genius and acquirement, all sanguine in the success of their country's social reinstatement. He was enjoying the friendship of Schlegel, of Monti, Foscolo, Brougham and Byron. Imagine

him thus, in the vigor of youth, in the first blush of fame, torn from friends, home, and country, and sentenced to endure under “the Leads” of Venice and in the dungeons of Spielberg that most dreadful of earthly calamities-hopeless, solitary imprisonment. Surely, we might say, the victim of such tyranny, on breathing again the free air of heaven, with his foot on his “native heath, would pour forth his eloquence in cries of malediction and vengeance against his oppressors ! He has poured forth his eloquence: but 'tis that of a heart o’errunning with all that is mildest, kindliest, godliest in our nature. There are tears for his brethren in chains-prayers for his jailors-forgiveness for his persecutors. In tones of subdued agony, that resemble the melancholy music of some imprisoned bird, he recounts the sufferings, longings, hopes, of his damp cell. There is no repining, no incoherent raving. They are the glowing outpourings of a soul animated by all that is noble in patriotism, elevated in philosophy,-most admirable in Christianity. Such is the book of Silvio Pellico. The English version of it by Roscoe conveys no idea of the spirit of the original. Neither its elevation nor its delicacy is reproduced --whilst whole pages are omitted.

Of the literatures of Portugal and Spain, I have but little to say. The Portuguese is a contraction of the Castilian, and bears to it nearly the same degree of resemblance as the language of Holland does to that of Germany. It is comparatively unimportant as a tongue of communication, and its literature possesses no attractions

-if we except the Lusiad of Camoens, an epic that has immortalized its author and his nation. It is related of Erasmus that he studied the Portuguese for the sole purpose of reading the comedies of Gil Vicente a writer who preceded the great dramatic authors of France and England. If the merit of any Portuguese work can, at the present day, offer a similar inducement, it is, certainly, the Lusiad.

The Spanish is of importance as the language of a still great European power, of a large portion of South America, several of the principal East and West India islands, Guatemala and Mexico. It is sonorous and majestic,—and, partaking of the nature of its elements, has somewhat of Latin dignity and Arabic ornament. Its literature, although deficient in many branches, is enriched with the masterly productions of Garcilaso de la Vega, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, and Calderon.

The literature of a people is a vivid reflection of its political and social life. Its study is to the intellect a species of foreign travel, and through it we may make ourselves acquainted with the most striking national peculiarities and thus liberalize our views. But why not, it is asked, profit by what is most valuable in foreign literature by means of translations ? I believe it was Cervantes who said that translations bear the same resemblance to the original as does the wrong side of tapestry to the right. The outlines, the leading features are indeed there; but lacking the exquisite grace, the softened finish of the picture. Read an English or any version of the Greek or Roman classic authors ; and although the deadening medium of translation has been vivified by the genius and erudition of nearly two thousand years—although enthusiastic scholars in all enlightened nations have vied with each other in illustrating and enriching them with commentarieswhere is their fire, their melody, their grace?

But, without stopping to particularize the difficulties of translation from a foreign tongue, which are sufficiently appreciated by all who have ever rendered a page from any language into their own, we should consider that we cannot by that means alone keep pace with the intellectual advancement of Europe. The mass of important works is too great, and we would unquestionably find it an economy of time and labor to possess ourselves at once of, at least, one of the leading modern languages.

Periodical literature has done much, of late, to maintain the moral communication of nations. The brightest ornaments of modern letters have enriched its pages with their best efforts. In France, Villemain, Chateaubriand, Guizot, Cousin. In England, Scott, Brougham, Wilson, Carlyle. In Italy, Romagnosi, Di Lucca, Pellico. In Germany, Uhland, Heeren, Schlegel. In the United States, Story, Channing, Everett, Flint, and many others. The periodical press is to literature what the steam engine is to commerce. Time was when great men flourished and faded, and were forgotten in their own country, while beyond its limits their names were never heard. Facts and discoveries in any thing relạting to our material wants—the interchange of the commodities and luxuries of life travel with all the rapidity that modern art can procure; while the thoughts that breathe and the words that burn of the poet,—the industrious research of the historian and the philologist—the systems of the philosopher, take years--aye, ages, to pass the mountains or seas that separate them from other climes. The fact, the physical discovery, is obvious—tangible. The outpourings of eloquence are imprisoned in the niceties of a language understood but by few.

When Bruce.the traveller was in the depths of the deserts of Abyssinia—untrodden before him by the foot of European-he gave to a chief of the country, in recompense for some services rendered him-a bill of exchange on a merchant in England. The savage took it,-sold it to a return caravan. On it passed, through the hands of the Nubian, the Egyptian, the Bedouin, the African,

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