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THE LETTER.

Some future Herring, who, with dauntless breast, " The next we heard that in a neighboring shire,

Rebellion's torrent shall, like him, oppose, That day to church he led a blushing bride, Some mute, unconscious Hardwicke here may A nymph whose snowy vest and maiden fear rest,

Improved her beauty while the knot was tied. Some Pelham dreadful to his country's foes,

“ Now, by his patron's bounteous care removed, From prince and people to command applause,

He roves enraptured through the fields of 'Midst ermined peers to guide the high debate,

Kent,
To shield Britannia's and Religion's laws,
And steer with steady course the helm of state, Yet, ever mindful of the place he loved,

Read here the letter which he lately sent."
Fate yet forbids ; nor circumscribes alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes con-
fines,

In rural innocence secure I dwell,
Forbids in Freedom's veil to insult the throne, Alike to fortune and to fame unknown ;

Beneath her masque to hide the worst designs ; Approving conscience cheers my humble cell,
To fill the madding crowd's perverted mind,

And social quiet marks me for her own. With pensions, taxes, marriages, and Jews,” Next to the blessings of religions truth, Or shut the gates of heaven on lost mankind,

Two gifts my endless gratitude engage, And wrest their darling hopes, their future

A wife — the joy and transport of my youth, views.

Now with a son — the comfort of my age. Far from the giddy town's tumultuous strife,

Their wishes yet have never learned to stray ; Seek not to draw me from this kind retreat, Content and happy in a single life,

In loftier spheres unfit, untaught to move, They keep the noiseless tenor of their way. Content with calm domestic life, where meet

The sweets of friendship and the smiles of love. E'en now,

their books from cobwebs to protect, Inclosed by doors of glass in Doric style, On polished pillars raised with bronzes deckt,

They claim the passing tribute of a smile : SIBERIAN COLD.-A traveller in Siberia during Oft are the authors' names, though richly bound, the winter is so enveloped in furs, that he can

Misspelt by blundering hinders' want of care, scarcely move; and, under the thick fur hood, And many a catalogue is strewed around,

which is fastened to the bear-skin collar, and To tell the admiring guest what books are

covers the whole face, one can only draw in, as there.

it were, by stealth, a little of the external air,

which is so keen that it causes a very peculiar For who, to thoughtless ignorance a prey, and painful feeling in the throat and lungs. The

Neglects to hold short dalliance with a book ? distance from one halting-place to another takes Who there but wishes to prolong his stay, about ten hours, during which time the traveller

And on those cases casts a lingering look ? must always continue on horseback, as the cumReports attract the Lawyer's parting eyes,

brous dress makes it insupportable to wade

through the snow. The Novels Lord Fopling and Sir Plume require,

poor

horses suffer at For Songs and Plays the voice of Beauty cries,

least as much as their riders, for, besides the And Sense and Nature Grandison desire.

general effect of the cold, they are tormented by

ice forming in their nostrils, and stopping their For thee, who, mindful of thy loved compeers, breathing. When they intimate this by a dis

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, tressed snort, and a convulsive shaking of the If chance, with prying search, in future years, head, the driver relieves them by taking out the Some antiquarian should inquire thy fate ; piece of ice, to save them from being suffocated.

When the icy ground is not covered by snow, Haply some friend may shake his hoary head,

their hoofs often burst from the effects of tbe And say, “ Each morn unchilled by frosts he

cold. ran, With hose ungartered o'er yon turfy bed,

The caravan is always surrounded by a thick To reach the chapel ere the psalms began ;

cloud of vapor ; it is not only living bodies

which produce this effect, but even the snow “ There, in the arms of that lethargic chair, smokes. These evaporations are instantly changed

Which rears its old moth-eaten back so high, into millions of needles of ice, which fill the air, At noon he quaffed three glasses to the fair, and cause a constant slight noise, resembling And pored upon the news with curious eye : the sound of torn satin or thick silk. Even the

reindeer seeks the forest to protect himself from “ Now by the fire engaged in serious talk, Or mirthful converse would he loitering stand, there is no shelter to be found, the whole herd

the intensity of the cold. In the Tundras, where Then in the garden chose a sunny walk, Or launched the polished bowl with steady little warmth from each other, and may be seen

crowd together as close as possible, to gain a hand.

standing in this way quite motionless. Only the “ One morn we missed him at the hour of prayer, dark bird of winter, the raven, still cleaves the

Nor in the hall, nor on his favorite green ; icy air with slow and heavy wing, leaving beAnother came ; nor yet within the chair, hind him a long line of thin vapor, marking the

Nor yet at bowls or chapel was be seen. track of his solitary flight.

From the British Quarterly Review. The following passage of Gualterio will 1. Poesie Complete di Giuseppe Giusti. Bastia. illustrate the position and character of Giusti 1849.

among, contemporary authors. The historian 2. Giuseppe Giusti. Cenni di P.L.D.E. Croce is tracing the causes of the Italian movement, di Savoia.

and among its causes, designating the men

who did most to originate it. From prose THE writings of the Tuscan poet whose writers, Gioberti, Balbo, D'Azeglio, and name we have placed at the head of this others, he passes to the poets ; and naming article are not generally known in England, first the illustrious veteran Niccolini, author even among the readers of Italian. To many of Arnaldo di Brescia, he distinguishes four of our readers we can believe that the very others from the mass, Giuseppe Giusti, Tosname is not equally familiar with that of cano; Giovanni Prato, Veneto; Gabriello

, authors in every respect his inferior ; but in Roselli

, Napolitano ; Giovanni Berchet, LomItaly the reputation of Giusti is great and bardo. He then goes on :universal. No modern writer has more deeply impressed his countrymen. Believing that

Giuseppe Giusti was endowed by nature with the impression is just and will be permanent, that uncommon insight which dissects the we are anxious to contribute something to thoughts, opinions, bias, manners, lives, and wards making known to English readers the hearts of men, and the forms and substance of name at least, and if possible something of society, which distinguishes truth from false the peculiar merit and style, of a most genu- exaggerations, knowing the weak point of each,

hood, possibility from chimera, and combats all ine Italian poet.

and reducing it to its natural proportions, so as By one of those general theories to which to annihilate it by making it ridiculous instead many speculators have a fancy for adapting of sublime, as it had appeared to common eyes. facts, it has been maintained that every great Never was a sharper assailant of tyranny and its and marked era in the life of a nation will slaves or interested sycophants. No one with have its great writer or set of writers, to equal force or greater truth scourged that herd inspire, to guide, or to celebrate, its move- which supported the relics of the old system, ment. Either the great man creates the only because no ray of hope shone for them in great impulse, or the great impulse stirs up the new; no one struck so deeply at the ignoand discovers to the world the great man rance of the nobility, the pride of upstarts, or We will not discuss this theory: it is suffi- the follies of the populace

. His sternness tocient to say, as illustrating the light in which wards princes and men in power gave him the Giusti is regarded by his countrymen, that tached to the word :- i. e., a lover of the most

reputation of a republican in the sense now atthe recent Italian movement claims him as comprehensive forms of democracy, and the demits poet. Nor is the claim unfounded. There agogues hoped to see arise in him at the full time can be no doubt that posterity, as well as his a zealous tribune. These, however, while pulling countrymen and contemporaries, will connect down the high, habitually fatter the low; and the name of Giusti with that movement in an them Giusti never flattered ; he held up to scorn especial sense, and more than that of any and condemnation the weakness of the one side, other poet.

as he did the insolence of the other. Italy was As a social and political satirist, he, for a the end of every thought with him, and dear series of years, roused and directed indignation above all, and he was truly grieved to see the against those oppressions, corruptions, and divisions of parties which arose before the revocrimes, which thousands of true and brave lution, and foretold to an observant eye the disItalians, under, alas! more than one banner,

sensions to come. struggled and died in the field to overthrow. His countrymen may overrate the immedi- I mean, that he had greater trust in principle

He was more prone to faith than to illusions; ate consequences upon action of these utter-than in men, of whom he knew thoroughly the ances, but we cannot be mistaken in regard defects and weaknesses ; yet he was not what ing them upon their authority as exponents, you would call a pessimist, nor even a political stimulants, and in part creators, of a general exclusive. His verses will live as the best picfeeling. In that view alone they would be ture of the manners of his times ; of the political important enough to merit examination. passions, and, so to speak, the inflammatory Even for those who believe that the present humors, of the society in which he moved. The reëstablished tyrannies of Italy are to be per- sects (secret societies) and their followers he manent, these poems should have a historic hated, hoping no good from them, but only misinterest, as illustrating the tone of mind fortune for the country. He knew intuitively which prompted the struggle. For those who their incapacity to produce anything, and painted still

believe that Italy has a future, the words them truly, when he called them mules for their of Giusti retain a deeper interest. The in obstinacy and barrenness.

His satire never descended to personalities, dignation is still merited, and the anticipa- except when aimed at the occupants of high tions are not falsified; they are but prophecies places, and then not from envy of their power, of which the fulfilment is deferred.

but so far as their public station brought then

within the jurisdiction of general criticism. similar principle may in some degree apply to His verses aided not a little in preparing the the yet subtler essence of poetry. A poet, Italian movement, and became popular in spite indeed, is born, and it is fortunately as imof the censorship of this there were proofs possible as it would be undesirable, to pre even in the bosom of Lombardy, notwithstanding scribe rules for the birth of this or that kind the anxious precautions of the Austrian police. of poet or poetry. The spirit does not always

His death was not one of the least misfortunes which accompanied or followed close it by calling; but if it is there, it is the more

come when it is called for ; you cannot create upon the memorable defeat of Italy. — Gualterio, likely to come because it is called for. part ii., chap. 44.

Accordingly, it is not in England that we This sketch, which many of his admirers can look for any parallel to Giusti in any would consider as scarcely doing justice to the writings which may seem, by comparison, to Tuscan poet, will give the English reader an illustrate his style and character as a poet. idea of his general scope and characteristic The two contemporary writers who most qualities.

nearly resemble him, are Béranger in France. It is not, however, very easy to classify him and Heine in Germany. To Béranger in as a writer, or to give a notion of his poems particular he has been compared, not only as by description or designation. When their to a similar writer, but as to his prototype popularity as circulated in manuscript, the and model. Yet he would form a most inpublication of the foreign spurious editions, and correct conception of Giusti who should some relaxation of the rules in the censorship, attempt to create one to himself out of his led him first to print a collection, he gave recollections of Béranger or of Heine. These them no other than the modest name of names are mentioned, not so much to illustrate Verses.” We may call them lyrical sat- his individual character as to express the class ires.

to which he belongs. Of the two, widely as The class to which these poems belong is they differ, he approaches more nearly in one which has not, at least of late years, been forin and style to Béranger; yet no view can common in England. Attempts, indeed, have be more incorrect than that which regards not been wanting, but some time has passed him as having made the French poet his since real poetic genius has cared to manifest model. Italian critics disclaim even the itself in this form. An admirable facility similarity; we concur with them in rejecting and humor characterize the versified politics altogether the idea of plagiarism or copying. of the author of the Twopenny Post Bag, and Giusti is thoroughly Italian; far too emsome of these assume the lyric form ; but phatically. Italian to be regarded as they do not come up to the idea of lyrical | Italianized Béranger. He had undoubtedly satire, either in depth of feeling, in passion, read Béranger ; and the influence of a great in ironic force, or in beauty. The only polit. contemporary writer is necessarily felt more ical verses which have of late years excited or less by men of genius, and sometiines much attention, were those contributed to the manifested in their works. It will be most cause of disorder by the patriots of the Na- directly and naturally displayed, of course, by tion. Like their authors, these poems met those whom similarity of genius or circuni

with somewhat more indulgence than they stances directs into the same line of composimerited. They were indiferent enough, tion, unless they should, as is sometimes tho though decidedly more successful than the case, studiously avoid any likeness, however · rebellion to which they incited. In fact, in natural, and so perhaps sacrifice some real a really free country, all the multiplied shapes beauty to the possible suspicion of plagiaof freč discussion supersede the necessity, rism. To this extent, and no more, does without exactly performing the functions of a Giusti remind us of Béranger. The two have satirical poet. A song can be remembered indeed common to them this consequence of and can circulate even where the censorship their genuine worth as poets - that many of

leaves blanks in the journal, or where a their simplest verses, though devoted only to stricter inspection prohibits not only speech, subjects of contemporary interest, will outlive but even such evidence of silenced speech the more ambitious efforts on higher themes There is indeed a degree of tyranny, under of most or all their poetic rivals. But which verse and se, the speech of the Béranger in no way bears to Giusti the c debates, and the mot of the saloons, are alike relation of the master in a school in which silenced by an impartial because all-reaching Giusti is a pupil. terrorism. But the state of things in which The real master, the constant study, we society is, and the leading article is not, has will not say the model, of the Tuscan poet, often been regarded as the very state in which was a far greater than Béranger; the bitterest the epigram of conversation is most in do- of political satirists, the greatest perhaps, mand, and consequently most fully supplied. save one, of European poets the Florentine

The commercial principle is verified even in Dante. the airy manufacture of witticisms, and a We shall not be misunderstood as advancing

an

for him a claim which he would have himself recent writers through the intermixture of treated as sacrilege --a claim to any station foreign terms, he used, whenever it was poson that level, where the voice of mankind has sible, the spoken or vernacular phrase and throned almost unapproached L'Altissimo idiom in preference to book language. “OthPoeta. But this much may be truly said, ers," as he said, “put on their dress coats that the devoted student of Dante was a whenever they sit down to write ; I take off learner from Dante ; and in particular that he my frock coat and put on a blouse." His had learnt from him that great merit, almost consequently frequent use of purely Tuscan lost among his countrymen of modern times words and idioms, combined with the neces

- the merit of condensation. In him, more sarily allusive nature of satirical writing, than in any recent Italian writer, do we find makes him for foreign readers a singularly the short description, which, as it were, em- difficult author. This character is the main phatically outlives the object, the single line cause of the hitherto limited circulation of which brands, the single indelible epithet his works in England; and it will probably which recalls, and seems to comprise, the continue to prevent them from becoming, so character.

to speak, popular out of Italy. Of the leadIt must not, however, be supposed that ing peculiarity of his style of thought, the Giusti is a personal satirist. His satire, as deep seriousness which underlies his hearty is observed by Gualterio, in the passage ridicule, his biographer gives, in a passage which we have quoted, never assailed in- which we translate, perhaps as good an idea dividuals, except such as by their high place as can be given by mere description. were necessarily public characters, and therefore proper objects for criticism. And " to Giusti laughs indeed, and that so powerfully, them, as to the people, he was more liberal of that woe be to him who is smitten by that imcensure than of praise." Let these italicized mortal ridicule ; but in the midst of the song words be noted. Giusti, as we shall hereafter rushing clothed in gladness from the soul of the see more fully, flattered no one. The triumph poet, ever and anon one word of profound melanof the popular cause raised up for him no idol. choly slips involuntarily over the chords of his A demagogue in his eyes might be as hateful lyre, and

draws a momentary veil of sadness over as a vigorous tyrant, as ridiculous as an effete that the reader, utterly lost in the fresh senti

the brilliant gleam of his smile, with such effect despot, and would meet with similar or ment which he experiences, without being able sharper treatment.

to explain it to himself, can only exclaim, in His poetry, simple and even severe in its this intoxication of his feelings, That is sublime ! forin, yet constructed with the most careful Giusti weeps and laughs at once ; his smile is selection of words and attention to versifica- born of his melancholy; and through that alone tion, assuming, when possible, the plainest can it be explained and rendered intelligible and and most popular expressions of the Tuscan plain. dialect, condensed, vivid, familiar, was, in the strongest sense of the word, original. The

All earnest irony is born of this conflict of novelty of the means which he employed con- deep feelings : the smile may in part express sistently enforced the directly practical char- contempt perhaps, or a sense of the vanity of acter of bis object. Attacking falsehood and things, but the root of it is sadness and indigconventions, he used to conventional lan- nation which can find no adequate direct ex guage. In the strongest language of common pression. In his own beautiful words life, he told his countrymen how base, how

In quanta guerra di pensier mi pone hateful, was much of the life around them.

Questo che par sorriso ed è dolore ! Perhaps we might truly describe him by saying that very few poets have been less of It was not among mere laughers that Giusti “ versifiers." Nothing is ever put in for mere sought his audience; he wished them to be ornament; the exact words are used for the more fit, though they might therefore be exact thought; thought and language are not few. “ If your tendency is only to amuseseparable they are interfused and one. ment," he says to his reader, in a short and This union in its various degrees characterizes most characteristic preface to one edition of all poetry worth the name ; in perfection, it his works, “ do not go beyond this page ; for is found only in the highest; its presence, or a laugh springing from melancholy might. absence, is the easiest and most infallible test possibly stick in your throat; and I should be by which to distinguish versified common- sorry for that, both on your account and my place from genuine poetry; it is certainly own.” among the prominent characteristics of This depth of feeling it was, which at once Giusti. He was not a careless writer, be- sharpened the edge of that trenchant ridicule, cause he was natural ; he was a consummate, and raised the poet into the element of true all the more because not a conventional, lyric passion. This, combined with the artist.

singular force of his expressions and brief Holding that Italian had been corrupted by vividness of his imagery, renders Giusti not

less superior to all modern Italian writers as converse with the world around him, Giusti a lyric poet, than he is unique as a satirist : made his own; and if he somewhat neglected if we are not to admit one doubtful exception the Pandects, he familiarized himself with in the single poem " Il Cinque Maggio.' the classical writers whose value he was now

It will be seen, from what has been said, more capable of appreciating. Virgil, Horace, how intimately connected are the peculiar and Dante were his most familiar studies. character of this poet and the circumstances After the usual course, he left Pisa, and of his time. The more naturally will our settled himself in the capital, Florence, as a notice of his works blend itself with some law-student in the chambers of Capoquidi, a account of bis life, and of the Italy in which noted advocate, since Minister of Grace and he was born. For the former the biography Justice. named at the head of our article furnishes One can fancy that his relations hoped to some, though hardly satisfactory, materials. see another Giuseppe Giusti great in jurispru

It is somewhat meagre as to facts, and dence, under another Leopold ; but he had a deficient in traits or anecdotes, and in those different destiny before him. We can suppose life-like touches which bring in real presence him entering into the world with at least a the subject of a narrative before us, and make fair allowance of the common youthful dispous know the man, or at least form the idea of sition to quarrel with much of its cold formalhim, as he lives in the memory of his friends. ism and smooth-faced quackery. And the He was born in May, 1809, at a castle in the Italian world, as he saw it, contained more Val di Nievole, near the high road from than the ordinary proportion of iniquities Florence to Pescia, with which place his against which such a spirit could not but family were connected as rich proprietors. rebel. Of the Italy of Giusti's opening manAmong them was at least one man of con- hood - the Italy of Gregory XVI. — so much siderable eminence — his grandfather Giu- has lately been said, that it is unnecessary to seppe Giusti, the friend and minister of justice dwell more than summarily on the subject to the reforming Archduke Leopold, one of now. the princes who, at the head of small states, The great wave of the French revolution have achieved something like greatness. passed over Italy as over the rest of Europe,

We catch glimpses of a lively, clever, spir- burying the old landmarks. It subsided, and ited boy, difficult to manage, di spirito irre- they generally reäppeared, so far as territorial quieto e vivacissimo," growing happily up divisions were concerned. The shadow of a into youth; learning not too much of Latin, King of Rome vanished, and the States of the and no Greek - a neglect of opportunities Church passed again under the worst of human which (be it observed) he afterwards regretted, governments. The Austrians held Lombardy, and tried to repair by earnest study of the with the addition of Venice; in several other Latin classics. Finally, he is sent to the states, modified by a certain amount of cutting University of Pisa with the object of studying and carving, the old Houses reëntered unlaw -- an object which, in his case, as in that taught and unimproved. The people had not, of other Italian poets, from the time of Pe- any more than their rulers, learnt to correct trarch downwards, was destined to merge in some of their most characteristic faults ; but other aspirations. He was, we fear, no very the great deluge had destroyed much, and had steady student of the Pandects; he "crammed" left something behind it. The Italians had

(" beccava," is his own word, as good an borne their share in historic events, if not as Italian as English college-phrase) for his ex- freemen, yet as the subjects of an energetic amination in a fortnight. But he has left us in will. They had shown that under good leadthe verses entitled " Memorie di Pisa,” those ing they could be good soldiers ; and they happy touches and records of his college life, saw, with the feeling which might be exwhich prove that to him, as to many others, pected, that the first act of liberated Europe its indirect were worth more than its direct was to fling them back into the old dull serviinfluences. Every one who has himself been tude. They remonstrated vainly : they aca collegian, must read these verses with a quiesced in a resistless necessity. But, from pleasure more than half melancholy: "I too 1815 onwards, ideas not conducive to the perwas once in Arcadia." There is a deep truth manence of such governments as Italy saw and tenderness in the tone in which Giusti restored, were fermenting in many minds. On recalls those four happy years spent without the other hand, the weakest and worst of the care; the days, the nights, " sinoked away” restored governments could adopt so much of in free gladness, in laughter, in uninterrupted modern progress as consisted in a keener and talk, the aspirations, the free, open-hearted more extensive spy-system, and in a greatly converse, as it was then, of some who are increased political activity of the police. The not now disguised as formal worldlings; all the old veneration, even the old acquiescence, delights of that life, whether at Cambridge or were gone, mutual distrust and hatred reat Pisa, which comes not again. All that mained. Bad governors and disaffected sub. was to be had, all that was to be enjoyed from ljects were the staple of the Peninsula,

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