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pearls nor jewels, they dressed with simplicity, and appeared very little in public.
3d. p. 137. In sonnets 160, and 185, Petrarch complains that jealousy often deprived him of the pleasure of seeing Laura, which could not mean the jealousy of her parents, as the term gelosia is never applied to them.
4th. p. 138. If Laura had been married, Petrarch would have entitled the poem composed in honour of her, Trionfo della Vergini-' ta, instead of Triunfo della Castilù, for all the examples are taken from married women; the single exception is a vestal virgin. As the Abbé confesses that these may be deemed strong conjectures rather than proofs-he brings forward another argument, which he considers as his cheval de bataille.
5th. p. 139. Petrarch, in one of his dialogues with St. Augustine, 'says of Laura, that her constitution was exhausted by frequent childbearing-corpus ejus crebris partubus exhaus/um-—in the manuscript, it is true, the word partubus is thus abbreviated ptbus ; which those who had the charge of printing the Latin works of the poet have interpreted perturbationibus, mental disquietude: but the right reading is partubus, which has been confirmed by the opinion of Messrs. Caperonnier, Boudot and Bezot of the King's Library at Paris.
The author of the essay, takes the Abbé's arguments in the order in which they stand.
1st. p. 141. To prove that the words mulier, fæmina in Latin, and donna, and madonna in Italian, are equally applicable to married and unmarried women, that they mark the sex alone without reference to the state or condition, he quotes Isidorus in his Origines, I. 11. c. 3. and refers to the Roman law, 1. 5, Cod. de Nuptïs, and I. 17. and to the observations of Faber in his Thesaurus. He also quotes Ariosto, Caut. 35. Chi salirà per me madonna in cielo, and Guarini, Pastor Fido, Att. 1. La fede in cor di Donna, to shew that this criticism has no solid foundation.
24. p. 144. To shew that the distinguishing costume of marr ried and unmarried women was not rigorously observed, he cites Muratori Antiq. Ital. v. 2. 417, and proves from the Abbé's own authority, and even from Petrarch, that both indulged in the greatest splendour and luxury of dress.
3d. p. 154. The poet complains in sonnet 162, that jealousy had deprived him of the sight of Laura ; in sonnet 185, her female companions do the same; but there is not the smallest hint that the jealousy of a husband is here meant. The resentment of every species of rivalslip, says the essayist, is expressed in the words gelosia and jealousy. It is most probable that when the poet complains in sonnet 162, his own intidelities had occasioned Laura's
jealousy; and that when the attendants complain in sonnet 115, either her owu jealousy is implied or that of her parents; for Castelvetro says, restala in casa per invidia o gelosia de' parenti.
4th. p. 159. From examples of the application of the words castità, castitas, and chastity, to virgins and married women, and from the introduction of the nine muses, Calliope e Clio con l'altre sette, together with Virginia and the Vestal Tuccia, p. 160, (from the expression of Petrarch, lo non porria le sacre benedette Virgini ch' ivi fur chiuder' in rinn,) the essayist considers this argument of the Abbé de Sade as untenable.
5th. pp. 164–177. On the abbreviated word ptubs he remarks, that as the interpretations are merely conjectural, the question to be decided is, which of the two is the more probablehe rejects the confused and dogmatical certiticate of Caperonnier, and he suspects, that, as the Abbé de Sade only mentions two MSS. without ascertaining their age, the word in all the others, which were probably prior to those two, was written at full length perturbationibus. The essayist farther contends, that if all the ancient MSS. had bome the contracted word ptubs, the context would best determine the probable interpretation, and that it will not allow of the Abbé's reading. Perturbations, he adds, might have broken Laura's constitution, for though we are ignorant of her private and domestic history, we cannot presume to say what causes she might have had for anguish; many women of prudence and modesty are, from unavoidable circumstances, the victims of mental inquietude.
The fourth section consists of a variety of observations on the internal evidence discoverable in the writings of Petrarch, p. 182; -his argument is indeed negative ;-Petrarch, says he, has never mentioned her husband, who, on his account, is said to have used her harshly, p. 183; --if she had been married to such a husband, would he have suffered her avowed admirer to see her daily, converse with her alone, write to her, make assignations, and send her presents? but that he enjoyed all these liberties, he shews by numberless passages. He argues that a foreign prince at a brilliant festival at Avignon would never have dared to kiss her forehead and eyes, or a jealous husband have permitted so marked a distinction to his wife, merely through respect to Petrarch's attachment to her. p. 189. Petrarch's moral character justifies us in supposing, that when he appeals to heaven for the purity of his passion for Laura, bis sincerity was equal to his love, p. 202; in the third dialogue with St. Augustine, who is introduced reasoning with him on his passion, and urging every topic of dissuasion, would he have omitted the strongest of all arguments; namely, that Laura was the wife of another, and consequently that his passion was a
crime in the sight of God and man? p. 206. That Petrarch's passion was not of a Platonic nature, he shews by quoting a very significant sonnet, p. 213. As therefore his love for Laura was a real, honourable, and virtuous passion, his works (Son. 61. 155. pt. I. 47, 48, 49, pt. 2.) afford sufficient evidence, that he ardently desired to be united to her in marriage, and had even a near prospect of that happiness.
We have thus given an impartial statement of the argument, and if it excites the curiosity of the reader, he will find in the work some very ingenious elucidations, and a closely connected series of reasoning. There are two parts of which we have hitherto not spoken, the first Section and the Postscript.
The section consists of a very brief sketch of the life of Petrarch :-—short as it is, however, it contains some mistakes. If the Italian gentlemen, who wished to see their countryman vindicated, had been Aretines, they would not have pardoned the author for omitting to record that Petrarch was born at Arezzo, (vide Advertisement):--ibis, however, is mentioned, p. 98, where the author inadvertently uses it as an argument, and aliirms that it was the most splendid city Petrarch had ever seen ; whereas he had passed four years at Bologna, of which, he says, ' quâ vil puto jucundiùs, nilque liberiùs tuto esset orbe terrarum, quænain ubi præterea tunc ubertas rerum omnium, ut jam præscripto cognomine per omnes terras pinguis Bononia diceretur.' Rer. Senil. lib. x. 2. p. 2. spect to the year of Laura's birth, the essayist follows Velutel!o, although the Baron della Bastie hnd already proved from Petrarchi's words, that St. Augustine could not speak of a Laura born in 1314, nor could the poet, in his answer, have spoken of a woman of twenty-nine years of age, which Laura must have been at the time the dialogues were written. At p. 22, he says, that when Petrarch retired to the solitude of Vaucluse, disappointed ambition was the cause ; at p. 94, he s!pposes that it was to be near Laura : but how shall we reconcile the following passages? In an epistle to his friend Giacomo Colonna (Carm. I. i. Ep. 12.) he informs him that he had undertaken a long journey (to Rome) for the purpose of overcoming his passion, and had retired with that view to Valchiusa.
• Diffugio, totoque vagus circumferor orbe,
Omnis ad arma fugæ spes est mihi versa, nec unquam
nunc montibus abditus istis
In his Epist. ad post, he says, diverticuluin aliquod quasi portum quærens reperi vallem perexiguam, quæ clausa dicitur; captus loci dulcedine libellos meos et me ipsum transtuli':-this place he had seen when a child, and he chose it now for the same reasons for which he preferred it at that early age, naturæ meæ locus aptissimus :-he adds, illud fermè solum tempus vita fuit, reliquum oinne supplicium; certainly he did not owe the happiness which he enjoyed there, to the vicinity of Laura's habitation. This is contirmed by the following passage, in an hitherto unpublished letter of Petrarch to his friend Giacomo Colonna, dated 10 Kal. Janj, 1338. “Godo in queste amene solitudini di Valclusa una dolce ed imperturbata tranquillita, el virtuoso e placidissiino ozio de miei studj, el tempo che mi vaca de le volte passo a Cabrieres per diportarmé. Oh se vi fosse licito Misser Jacomo el dimorare en la dicta valle, di certo vi rincrescereste di tutto il mondo, non che de la Corte del Papa.'-Speaking of the pleasure he received from rural retirement among the colli foschi' of the Sorga, he particularly mentious Laura's residence in Avignon.
• Ma mia fortuna a me sempre nemica
Mi risospigne al loco ov'jo mi sdegno
Veder nel fango il bel tesoro mio.'--Son. 222. In 1941 Petrarch lost two friends, Giacomo Colonna, and Tommaso da Messina; but Laura (whom the author takes for one of the two) could not be said to die soon after the first, as she survived him seven years: at p. 37, we are told, that after the death of Laura, be took a warm part in the extraordinary enterprize of Nicola Rienzi;' the authority of Villani, I. 12, c. 89, who says that it took place on the 20th of May, and that Rienzi fled on the 15th of December, is coufirmed by the letters of Petrarch to Rienzi, reproaching him with a change in his sentiments, and one to Lelio on the same subject, (Ep. Fam. I. 7. Epp. 5. 7,) which are dated November 27, and 29, and were written in 1347, a year before Laura's death.
It does not appear quite clear that Umil terreno, p. 68, means exclusively the country-seat where Laura was born; for if at p. 16 he allows that it is put in opposition to the country of Florence, (which is another error, as Arezzo where the poet was born, was an independent state, and could not be included in the country of
Florence, it may as certainly mean the territory of Avignon, (which is the sense of the word in old Italian authors,) for, at the time of her birth, the popes bad not long resided there, and Petrarch himself says * locus angustus erat, domorum eâ tempestate inops, incolarumque colluvie exundans ;' indeed it was so poor a place that Pasquier is surprised the Pope could exchange Rome for an * arrière-coin de la France, un nid-a-corneille à regard de l'autre.'
But why must she be born' at a picciol borgo at some distance from Avignon, in order to account for Petrarch's meeting her often in the country ?* And why must borgo, p. 70, mean a small village, when the very line is cited in the Dizionario della Crusca, with this explanation, il nome del borgo, a' nostri antichi importa struda, fuor di citta, e per lo piu che risponda, o che cominci alle porte.' The essayist need not be informed that Petrarch himself was born in the Borgo dell'orto at Arezzo, and that two streets in Florence are now called Borgo ogni Santi and Borgo Allegri, though at present far within the walls.
The Abbé de Sade has quoted two manuscripts in which the contraction ptubs is found; the essayist says that the Abbé must prove that those two manuscripts are the most ancient, for if the oldest have the word perturbationibus at length, the abbreviation in the latter must be explained in that manner alone.-Baldelli, whose researches are the latest with which we are acquainted, and who has omitted nothing which could illustrate the life and writings of Petrarch, observes, su questi dati io feci nuove ricerche ed in Testo della Laurenziana (Cod. ix. Stroz. Sæc. xiv. p. 23, of course One of the earliest,) la trovai (l'abbreviatura) scritta påtubs, (the little dot over the á marks the abbreviation,) che senza contrasto significa partubus e non perturbationibus, giacchè solo nella prima voce l’A. precede il T. ed il B.' we may add, that persons conversant in manuscripts of nearly the same age, well know that pätbus. is the abbreviation of partibus. But, says the essayist, • at the distance of two hundred years from the death of Petrarch, it was no difficult matter for the possessor of this manuscript of Virgil, which is said to exhibit a great number of notes on its margin, in the genuine hand writing of the poet, to have fabricated one additional note in imitation of that hand writing of which he had before hin so many specimens.'—Who was to forge this note 200 years after the Virgil was never in the possession of any one of the Sade family, and was never brought as an argument that because it recorded that Laura was born and died at Avignon, she must have belonged to that family.-Velutello was the first who doubted its authenticity, because he had an hypothesis to support; but Filelfo, who is the oldest commentator on Petrarch, (except Benvenuto da Imola,) and who was born only twenty-four years after his death, believed it to be genuine, and it appears in many MS. copies of the 14th century. When Petrarch's library was dispersed, the Virgil came into the hands of his friend Giovanni Dondi, a physician at Padua, who died in 1380; it descended to his brother,
The expression 'ma assai fu bel paese, proves that the Countat d'Avignon, as a general term, and not her own country residence, was the meaning of the poet.