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On the ITALIAN IMPROVISATORI. tised as an improvisatore in his younger From the German.
years. Est Deus in nobis; agitante calescimus
Thus a perpetual and numerous illo.
school in this art is preserved, not [Concluded from p. 500. col. vii.]
only among the higher classes but
also among the lower orders, where A
ND here, as in all the fine arts; this taleut (which seems to be almost
many force themselves into the natural to the Italians) is cultivated service uncalled for. But as in the with greater or less taste and genius, exercise of this art every thing der according to the degree of cultivation pends upon immediate success ; as among them; and the idle vulgar have the work must be at once invented, their professional improvisatorias perfected, and, according to its merits well as the more elegant votaries of prized ; and as the polished Italian, the muse among the nobility. Those who knows very well the scale of ex- exercise their art in squares and cellence in this art, not easily rewards market-places. In a few moments a demerit with his approbation ; so the circle is collected round the wander. madness of these uncalled poets selo ing Homer, who delivers in about an dom lasts long, and they soon forsake bour as much poetry as will suffice to a vocation in which their incapacity secure him from hunger for the next is rendered more conspicuous by every two or three days; and such a vir: new attempt, and where no pretext tuoso is the more reckless of futurity, of personal timidity or modesty, which because he is sure to find, whenever they may alledge, can conceal it from he wishes, another audience at the them. I have myself had an oppor- next square. One of the most celetunity of observing how pitiable and brated of these improvisatori was be lamentable it is to see a blockhead whom Moritz has delineated in-his fruitlessly labouring in this art. The Travels in Italy. painful feeling of his fruitless ex- Also bave the lower classes, even ertions spreads itselt' by sympathy to down to mechanics and countrymen, the company, and the inward anguish their Dilettanti in this art. Often of the unbappy poet bathes the brows one may see in all houses, when the. of the audience with perspiration. wine has inspired anima:-on, two As, however, the Italian language is prize singers arise and endeavour to so flexible a material, and so easily silence each otber. The subject of submits to the shackles of poetry, the their verse is generally satiric; and number of Dilettanti in this art, who, such scenes are a living representation with no common capacity, and fre. of the most ancient satiric games and quently endowed with considerable alternate songs of the Sicilian sheppoetical power, dedicate their talents herds; so that the improvisatori of merely to the production of convivial the vulgar, rhyming in the highways pleasure, is by no means small; and and squares, transplant strangers back in the large towns of Italy, it would to the times of Orpheus and Homer, not be easy to find a polished company In general these songs have very little in wbich one or other of the guests is poetical merit; but they are often not capable of giving pleasure by the rich in naïve expressions and pointed exercise of this art. Often, when ridicule; and the natural taleri of the four or five possessing this talent hap- Italian, his pure aerial mind, shews pen to meet accidentally or perhaps itself here in the most advantageous by appointment, trials of skill in ex- light; and, as also to the most common temporaneous and alternate poetry Italian, poetical propriety is not wbolly take place, and the company crown unknown, for they'all send their cele both the conqueror and conquered brated poets and conmit much of with their approbation. Even a to- their works to memory, so their most berable genius for poetry would not inartificial extemporaneous producaind this art easy unless he had prac- tions bear commonly some marks of
regularity and precision: his interesting article was con- we place those improvisatori who municated to the celebrated Wieland carry on 'ilier art in open places beby the lialian, lerntow.
fore the populace, upoir a level widla UNIVERSAL Mag. VOL. VIII. B
fection, and from the confined powers
II. Cinto di Venere.
In queste a gloria tua novelle prove,
Sacro alla gloria tua sia questo giorno
Per cui prendesti ogni beltade a scorno, Di questo incomparabile bel cinto
accio; E di Fortuna per ignobil ginoco,
Spingeva e raffrenaya il caldo istinto, Ti fu dal cielo per consorte dato
Ora stringendo, ora allentando il laccio; I ruvido Vulcano, il Dio del fuoco;
E tessendo a ogni cor varia congiura, Ma veggo poi, che non fu Giove ingrato;
Cangia il sembiante oguor grazia e figura. Che, se un'amante core è oppresso e fioco, Con questo, o bella Dea, scorrendo in Effetto è sol, che del piacere al lume
terra, Giugne l'ingegno a incenerir le piume. Facesti al suolo germegliar le rose; Or questo ignobil Dio, che ottenne in Che un soave piacer poi ricoin pose;
Tra colombe destasti amica guerra,
Per lui parti novelli il suol disserra ;
E quelle dolci grazie inclite e rare,
Ond’ è bella la terra, e il cielo, e il mare, Del Trinacrio cammino in inczzo a'lampi Sentirono in quel di più caldi sproni Formare un felicissimo lavoro,
In seno dell' istabile clemento, Che vinse a un tempo indiche gemme ed E le belle Nereidi ed i Tritoni;
E innamorato ancor fremeva il vento;
Moltiplicarsi di natura i doni;
Tacque in quel di la sanguinosa guerra,
E in dolce calmi riposo la terra. Tre vezzosette verginelle ignude,
Questo cinto immortal, stimolo e sprone Di mirti e rose coronate in fronte; Delle più dolci e più soavi prove, Che sceser dalla bella eterea via,
Spesso prestollo Venere a Giunone, Dico Aglaja, Eufrosine e ancor Talia. Il freddo cor a riscaldar di Giove; Dovean le grazie intorno a si bell’opra
Spesso ottenna per lui bel guiderdone Le mani affaticar leggiadre e pronte;
Colui, che affanni e grazie in terra piove; Vulcan vi assiste e senno ed arte adopra,
Per lui ne riportò premio e ristoro
Ora in pioggia caugiato, et ora in toro.
Che, aperta la vorago, oppresso e prono
E lasciando i cavalli in abandono, Prendon d'un amator caldi sospiri;
Che il braccio uman più ritener non prote, Prendon d'un altro amante il dolce pianto; D'Apollo ad onta, e delle Parche a scherno Prendon d'un guerrier, che ama, i delirj,
Venne immaturo ad abitar l'ayerno.
Elena possederlo ebbe la sorte,
Mosse per questo Achille il braccio forte
Cadde Priaino per lui di cruda morte;
Virtude al popol suo non fu più guida :
Il sangue scorse, e scorse a rivi il pianto,
E gonfj andaro il Simoente e il Xanto,
Per lui moristi al dolce Antonio accanto,
Che vide il regno tuo mesto e sconfitto;
Onde avviene che anch'egli estinto cada Di rinnovar la bella età dell'oro.
Sopra l'inesorabile sua spada. Le lagrime, talora al avento sparte,
Ultima l'ebbe poi la bella Armida Non conducono al cor dolce ristoro, Che ne fece tant uso in sen più caldo; Nè il bel cinto divino è di tai tempre,
lo dico in lui, che nel valor confidag Che vaglia un sore a incatenar per sempre. Nel generoso e nobile Rinaldo,
Che, forte al pari del più forte Arrida, Christ. 2. Reflexions impartiales sur
cien et moderne. Have any of these
whole, or any of the above questions,
Edinburgh, June 27, 1807.
EXTRACTS from_ÆLIAN'S VARIOUS
History. By Dr. Toulmin.
and Timotheus compared.
HICH was the superior Gene-
of the Persians, passed a law: “ That
W.M. there should be a public cock-match,
on the stage, every year." I will ex
plain 'what gave occasion to this sta-
When Themistocles led the
bird first emigrated from Persia into adapted to sooth, captivate, and seduce other countries.-Eustathius, it may, women? bowever, be observed, attributes to No. 41.-Crates' greatness of mind. the same origin as Ælian does, the Crates, the Theban, discovered, in annual cock-tightings of the Athe- many instances, a greatness of mind, nians.
and was known to despise those No. 38.-The effects of Irony and things to which the majority are wonSarcasms.
derfully attached, such as money and Irony and sarcastic jeers have, in their country. That he gave up his my opinion, no torce in themselves. fortune to the Thebans was a matter It'aimed at a man of tirin mind, they talked of among all; but another acevaporate; but if, indeed, they are tion of his is pot well known. It was levelled at low and mean spirits, they this : Leaving Thebes after its restonot only grieve, but sometimes kill. ration, he exclaimed, “ I want not a For instance, Socrates, when satyrised city which Alexander, or some other and ridiculed on the stage, laughed at conqueror, will lay in ruins." it ; but Poliager hung himself. No. 42.-Olympias' grief over Alexe No. 39.- No Atheists among Bar- ander lying unburied. barians.
Olympias, the Mother of Alex. Who will not extol the wisdom of ander, hearing that her son had lain a the Barbarians ? For not one amongst considerable time unburied, said, them hath fallen into Atheism, or with heavy groans and violent bewail. hath doubted, whether there be Gods ings : “ What shall thou my son, or not, and whether they take care of who aspired to heaven, and ardently os or not. None of them, neither pursued thy aim, shalt thou want what Indian, Celtic, or Egyptian, adopted the meanest men obtain, a grave and such opinions as did Euëmeras the burial?" Thus she lamented her own Messenian, or Diogenes the Phrygian, calamity, and reproved his empty or Hippo, or Diagoras, or Sosias, or pride. Epicurus. The forementioned Bar- No. 43.-Xenophon's love of elegance barians asserted, that there were
in dress. Gods, who exercised a providence As Xenophon studied elegance in over us, and predicted future events other points,so hewas particularly fond by birds and tokens, and the entrails of handsome armour. For he used to of animals, and other prognostica- say, that the most splendid habit was tions : all which things are arguments becoming him who had subdued his to men of the superintendence of the enemies; and that he who died in Gods. They also tell us many things battle would be gracefully extended, are foretold to them in dreams, and covered with beautiful armour, which by the stars. From a firm faith in would form at once the ornathese principles they religiously offer ments and the sepulchral dress of a sacrifices, and live in pure and holy brave man. The son of Gryllus is manners, and perform ceremonies, reported to have furnished himself and observe the law of orgies, and do with a shield from Argos, a breastmany other things, which strongly plate from Athens, and helmet from express their worship and reverence Bæotia, and a horse from Epidaurium. of the Gods.
I must say, that I consider such a seNo. 40.–Of Alexander and the Lyre lection as indicating the man of taste, of Paris.
and a consciousness of his own digWhen Alexander visited Troy, a nity. Trojan, as he was engaged in a close No. 44.-Demosthenes refuses Dioexamination of every thing, came and
genes' invitation. shewed to him the Lyre of Paris. “I As Diogenes was dining one day in' should much prefer," said he,“ seea tavern, he saw Demosthenes passing ing that of Achilles than that of Paris.” by, and invited him in. On his deFor he was desirous of seeing the in- clining the invitation, “ What," says strument on which a courageous sol. he, “ are you ashamed to enter into dier sang the praises of brave men. a tavern, which is - visited every day But as to the Lyre of Paris, to what by your master;" meaning the people was it suited, but to adulterous tunes, and every individual of thein, to inti