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would scarcely have been credited by any but the most vulgar and superstitious of the multitude, three centuries back.
• I found every body at Roine occupied with a new miracle, which occurred not very long since. A servant of God presented himself one Friday at an Inn, and a roasted capon was served to him; he set himself to his prayers, and the capon was changed into a carp. His Holiness, touched with this mark of favour in the Deity, upon the death of the person who had eaten the carp, which happened very shortly after, thought proper to canonize him. Landi, a ce lebrated painter, was charged with immortalizing this miracle through his pencil, and I saw the picture at the Vatican.
With such a faith, such a state of morality, and such a government as exist at present in Italy, that lovely country, favoured as it is by nature with every requisite for beauty and en, joyment, may still be called the most unfortunate part of Europe ; and no one who values intellectual and moral dignity above the perishable and degrading allurements of sense, would besitate to acknowledge Iceland happier in ber sea-beat shores, ber barren moors, her parched-up soil, her scanty means of subsistence, her freedom from the enervations of luxạry, the hardihood of her habits, the simplicity of ber criminal code, and the abundance of her literary and religious cultivation, by which the treasures of all countries may be brought before the mental eye, and the due value of all earthly things properly appreciated.
Our Author is troubled with none of ihese reflections ; he likes Italy better and better the longer he stays in it, and the tone of philosopby adopted there, is exactly in conformity with his own habits.
• Pesaro, May 24. People in this country do not sit in judge1 ment upon their happiness ; it pleases me, or it does not please me, is
the way in which every thing is decided. Our true country is that which contains the greatest number of people resembling ourselves. I fear much that I shall always find in France a fund of coldness in society, which does not please me. Italy fills me with sensations of delight for which I scarcely know how to account. They are like the intoxication of love, and yet I am not in love with any onę. The shade of the fine trees, the beauty of the heavens during the night, the aspect of the sea, all have a charm for me; all make that strong kind of impression upon me, that they recall the raptures I experienced when at sixteen years of age I entered on my first campaign. I see that I can never explain these sensations; any words by which they could be described, would give but a poor and faint idea of them. Every thing in nature here, has something in it that touches the very soul; all seems new. I see nothing flat or insipid. Often, while I was at Bologna, going home at two in the morning by those grand porticos, my soul full of the fine eyes I had just quitted, passing by the fine palaces, the immensity of which was displayed from the vast shadows reflected by the moon, I have stop. Vol. IX. N. S.
ped, oppressed as it were, with delight, saying to myself: Oh how fine is this !"... Or, contemplating those hills covered with trees, which come up close to the town, illumined by that lovely orb which shone in the midst of the sparkling heavens, tears have eren come into my eyes while I have said: My God! how happy am I to have come into Italy !'p. 200.
We night sympathize more in all this happiness, did it not appear to be the result of sensation, rather than of feeling ; but if the five eyes, and fine air, and fine objects of Italy produce as intoxicating an effect on the senses of all who are exposed to them, as they seem to do on that of our susceptible Frenchman, we would advise our countrymen to leave such dangerous alJurements, and return to their fogs, their fire-sides, and that domestic felicity which the Count de Stendhal gives us credit for preserving in a degree of purity beyond that of any other people except the Genevese, thouglı he remarks somewhat unbtushingly, that the bonus of ennui with which it is purchased, is a little too powerful; adding, "Give me rather Paris, with • all its faults. We cordially join with him in this wish ; let Paris and its fanits remain peculiarly appropriated to such as can delight in them! We must not close our account of the opinions of this Writer, without giving some of them upon the subject of the English whom he met with in abundance during his rambles. For their simplicity of manners, and an air of consciousness of national greatness about them, he is inclined to give them full praise; but he counterbalances it, by remarking that they seldom seem to know what they have come abroad to see, and acquire very little idea of the real character of the people they visit. The women be considers, those among them who are handsome, all as · divinities on earth, from their fine ! complexious, and their air of innocence and modesty; still, by a strange contradiction, he finds fault with the very qualities in themselves, the appearances of which he so much adunires, because they lead to timidity and reserve.
Would you have a portrait of one of the charming Milady's that we have here, take it. Lady R-is twenty six years of age; she is not ugly, very mild, and passably polite; it is not her fault that she is not more amusing, it is the result of having seen so little ; for she has good sense, is very natural, and not at alì assuming, her tone of voice is mild, and even approaching to something like ; silliness; if she had been educated in France, she would have been delighıful, I drew her into giving me an account of her mode of life : she is wholly occupied with her husband and children, without austerity, or ostentation. She might be pleasing, she is ennuyeus.
He says afterwards, that no character is so tiresome as that of a good wife, and mother of a family. We only bope that it
$,one which our fair country-women will never learn to underrate on their travels, and we heartily wish they were all at home again, to perforın in it, to the delight and happiness of every circle over which their influence may extend.
The Count de Stendhal's remarks are not all on the frivolous subjects of gallantry and public places : his opinions on subjects of literature, and politics, and society, on a more enlarged scale, are all clearly conceived and well expressed. His criticism on Alfieri, in particular, is excellent. He has dived to the very bottom of that singular man's soul, and has discovered the prejudices and peculiarities lurking there, which give their dark hue to his genius, with all the sagacity of one accustomed to consider mankind in real lifc, and not solely froin the reflections of philosophers upon its general characteristics. He makes also some good remarks on the Italian language, and the corruptions it is daily subjected to, by the adoptiour of synonyms froin the various states, which in turn, as fortune has rendered them victorious over their veighbours, have made their dialect at least for a time, pre-eminent over the others.
• In the fourteenth century,' says he,the principal towns of Italy, as Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Milan, and the province of Piedmont, spoke different languages. The country which was blessed with liberty furnished the finest ideas; thus it must be, and its language became the principal one.
• Unfortunately this conqueror did not exterminate its rivals; the written language is therefore only the same as the oral one at Florence, and at Rome. Every where else, in conversation, the common dialect of each respective country is used, and to speak Tuscan any where but at Rome or Florence, would be thought ridiculous.
A man who writes a letter, opens his dictionary, and can never find words sufficiently strong or pompous. Hence naïveté, simplicity, or natural modes of expression are things unknown in writing Italian; if
any one wants to express sentiments of this kind, he has recourse to the Venetian or Milanese dialect. To foreigners, people always speak Tuscan, yet, if the speaker would express an energetic idea, he is forced to seek some word from his own dialect. Three fourths of the attention of an Italiau writer rests upon the physics of his language; he must not use a single word not to be found in the authors cited by the Dizionario della Crusca.
• To what a terrible dilemma then is any one reduced who has to express ideas unknown in the fifteenth century: in such a case the Italian writers fall into the grossest absurdities. M. Botta, in his History of America, when he would express the Congress of the inhabitants of Dominica, writes Il Convento de Dominicani, which, in fact, signifies the convent of the Dominicans.
• It is impossible to speak fast in Italian : this is a defect, which never can be remedied. In the second place, the Italian language is essentially obscure, and that for two very obvious reasons, that for three centuries, no one has any encouragement to write clearly,
upon difficult subjects, and because every one of the conquered languages, has brought synonyms into the victorious ones, and what synonymes? Gracious heaven! they have often a sense directly opposite. People of the provinces believe themselves speaking Italian when they are speaking only their own dialect. The most simple things have different names. At Rome, a street is called via, at Florence stradı, at Milan contrada.- Villa signifies at Rome a country house, at Naples it means a town. Still further, the turns by which the shadings of sentiment are expressed, are very different; at Milan a friend addresses me ti, at Rome voi, at Florence lei. If my friend at Milan addressed me voi, I must conclude that he had quarrelled with me.
• Alfieri himself wrote in a language which was to him a dead one ; hence his liberal use of superlatives. We may add that a Venetian, a Bolognese, or a Piedmontese pique themselves exceedingly upon writing the Tuscan well; and, as the height of absurdity, it must be observed, that the most serious writers will study the Tuscan in the Canti Carnavaleschi, in the Tancia of Buonarotti, and other books compiled for the amusement of the lowest rabble in Florence; it is as if Montesquieu had borrowed the language of the hair-dressers of Paris.' p. 149.
When we consider how little the English, from their insulated situation, are in the practice of speaking any language, except their own, however they may acquire the reading and writing of others, as a branch of polite education, and for the purposes of literature, we inay easily imagine the embarrassment they must often feel in a country where there are at least twenty different dialects in common use, and where every distinct province feels itself offended by the adoption of an idiom foreign to its own. The consequence is such as must be foreseen : they take refuge among themselves; they use their eyes more than their ears. They become acquainted with the different aspects of nature in the places through which they pass ; but the different characters of the people who inhabit them, with all the minute shades of peculiarity in their habits and manners, remain uninquired into, or inaccurately guessed at. In Italy perhaps, above all other countries, the attention of a traveller is diverted from the inhabitants themselves, by the varieties of nature, and the master-pieces of art with which they are surrounded. We must not, however, be guilty of such injustice to our countrymen, as not to state that soñe of the best remarks upon society in this work, are put into the mouth of an Englishman; but then they are remarks upon French society, and upon that period of it so dear to wits and men of gallantry, when D'Alembert was a model of pluilosophers, and Madame de Flaviareus a model of the Graces. His contrast with the inanners of that time, and those which be found on his return to Paris in 1815, after the battle of Waterloo, is sufficiently amusing; the difference between the
character of the French nation and our own, is likewise nicely e scrutinized, and the opposite habits which it induces, are distinetly marked.
We could from these pages introduce Lord Byron at Venice to our readers ; but the mention of bim is atiended with so many misconceptions as to the cause of his wanderings, that we do not like to retail what would have the appearance on our parts, at least, of deliberate scandal. We will therefore here take our leave of our Author, whose vivacity has tempted us into a longer notice of him than- we at first intended, and whom even now we part from with some reluctance. Though the majority of his remarks are on subjects too frivo
lous perhaps to detain the attention of a very reflecting mind, 1 yet when he comes to more important matter, there is a vigour
and clearness in them which makes up for other deficiencies. He has one quality which we do not often find in modern tourists, he gives his readers materials for thinking. He does does not wire-draw his own reflections; he places them in a forcible point of view, and leaves others to dilate upon them, as they please. The translation of this work betrays some blemishes which ought to be corrected, as they injure the general effect of the style, which is otherwise easy and correct. Bien instruit, for instance, is rendered instructed, instead of well ipforined. Assassinated is used instead of stabbed. It is not very usual for a man to relate the particulars of his being assassinated. Thence is likewise continually put in the place of hence, and there are a few other slips which might easily be altered in a future edition.
Art. VII. Colebs Deceived. By the Author of “ an antidote to
“ the Miseries of Human Life,” “ Cottage Sketches,” &c. &c.
2 Vols. 12mo. pp. 374. Price 8s. London, 1817. We will confess that it is not
without reluctance that we discharge our duty to the public, in the case of what we are constrained to regard as at least a partial failure of excellent intention, in a writer possessing claims to general estimation. The Author of the works mentioned in the title-page we have just transcribed, deserves so well of the religious public, her former publications display so much good sense and correct feelings, conveyed in a style of feminine sprightliness, that we exceedingly regret being compelled to modify our recommendation of these volumes, by expressing an unfavourable opinion as to the tendency of one of the leading incidents. It is possible, that the Author may have been misled into the impropriety we allude to, by having met with some fact in real life similar to the circumstances she introduces ; bat though this would exonerate her from the ungracefulness of