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Israel left Egypt, stop the waves in stone, Or hues of Hell be by his pencil pour'd Over the damn'd before the Judgment-throne, 1 Such as I saw them, such as all shall see, Or fanes be built of grandeur yet unknown, The stream of his great thoughts shall spring from me, 2 The Ghibelline, who traversed the three realms Which form the empire of eternity.

Amidst the clash of swords, and clang of helms,

The age which I anticipate, no less

Shall be the Age of Beauty, and while whelms Calamity the nations with distress,

The genius of my country shall arise, A Cedar towering o'er the Wilderness, Lovely in all its branches to all eyes,

Fragrant as fair, and recognised afar, Wafting its native incense through the skies. Sovereigns shall pause amidst their sport of war, Wean'd for an hour from blood, to turn and gaze On canvass or on stone; and they who mar All beauty upon earth, compell'd to praise,

Shall feel the power of that which they destroy; And Art's mistaken gratitude shall raise To tyrants who but take her for a toy

Emblems and monuments, and prostitute Her charms to pontiffs proud 3, who but employ The man of genius as the meanest brute

To bear a burthen, and to serve a need, To sell his labours, and his soul to boot. Who toils for nations may be poor indeed,

But free; who sweats for monarchs is no more Than the gilt chamberlain, who, clothed and fee'd, Stands sleek and slavish, bowing at his door.

Oh, Power that rulest and inspirest! how
Is it that they on earth, whose earthly power

["And who is he that, shaped in sculptured stone,
Sits giant-like? stern monument of art
Unparallel'd while language seems to start
From his prompt lips, and we his precepts own?
'Tis Moses; by his beard's thick honours known,
And the twin beams that from his temples dart;
'Tis Moses; seated on the mount apart,
Whilst yet the Godhead o'er his features shone
Such once he look'd, when ocean's sounding wave
Suspended hung, and such amidst the storm,
When o'er his foes the refluent waters roar'd.
An idol calf his followers did engrave;

But had they raised this awe-commanding form, Then had they with less guilt their work adored." ROGERS.] 1 The last Judgment, in the Sistine Chapel. -[" It is obvious, throughout Michael Angelo's works, that the poetical mind of Dante influenced his feelings. The demons in the Last Judgment, with all their mixed and various passions, may find a prototype in La Divina Commedia.' The figures rising from the grave mark his study of L'Inferno e il Purgatorio;' and the subject of the Brazen Serpent, in the Sistine Chapel, must remind every reader of canto xxv. dell' Inferno, where the flying serpents, the writhings and contortions of the human body from envenomed wounds, are described with pathos and horror; and the execution of Haman, in the opposite angle of the same ceiling, is doubtless designed from these lines,

'Poi piovve dentro all' alta fantasia Un crocifisso dispettoso e fiero Nella sua vista, e cotal si morìa.

Intorno ed esso era 'l grande Assuero

Ester sua sposa, e 'l giusto Mardocheo,

Che fu al dire ed al far così 'ntero.'"-DUPPA.]

2 I have read somewhere (if I do not err, for I cannot recollect where,) that Dante was so great a favourite of Michael Angelo's, that he had designed the whole of the Divina Commedia; but that the volume containing these studies was lost by sea.[" Michael Angelo's copy of Dante," says Duppa, "was a large folio, with Landino's commentary; and upon the broad margin of the leaves he designed, with a pen and ink, all the interesting subjects. This book was possessed by Antonio Montauti, a sculptor and architect of Florence, who, being appointed architect to St. Peter's, removed to Rome,

Is likest thine in heaven in outward show,
Least like to thee in attributes divine,
Tread on the universal necks that bow,
And then assure us that their rights are thine?
And how is it that they, the sons of fame,
Whose inspiration seems to them to shine
From high, they whom the nations oftest name,
Must pass their days in penury or pain,

Or step to grandeur through the paths of shame, And wear a deeper brand and gaudier chain?

Or if their destiny be born aloof

From lowliness, or tempted thence in vain, In their own souls sustain a harder proof,

The inner war of passions deep and fierce?
Florence! when thy harsh sentence razed my roof,

I loved thee; but the vengeance of my verse,
The hate of injuries which every year
Makes greater, and accumulates my curse,
Shall live, outliving all thou holdest dear,

Thy pride, thy wealth, thy freedom, and even that,
The most infernal of all evils here,

The sway of petty tyrants in a state;

For such sway is not limited to kings,

And demagogues yield to them but in date, As swept off sooner; in all deadly things

Which make men hate themselves, and one another, In discord, cowardice, cruelty, all that springs From Death the Sin-born's incest with his mother, In rank oppression in its rudest shape,

The faction Chief is but the Sultan's brother, And the worst despot's far less human ape: Florence! when this lone spirit, which so long Yearn'd as the captive toiling at escape, To fly back to thee in despite of wrong,

An exile, saddest of all prisoners, 4

and shipped his effects at Leghorn for Civita Vecchia, among which was this edition of Dante: in the voyage the vessel foundered at sea, and it was unfortunately lost in the wreck."]


3 See the treatment of Michael Angelo by Julius II., and his neglect by Leo X.-[Julius II. was no sooner seated on the papal throne than he was surrounded by men of genius, and Michael Angelo was among the first invited to his court. The pope had a personal attachment to him, and conversed with him upon every subject, as well as sculpture, with familiarity and friendship; and, that he might visit him frequently, and with perfect convenience, caused a covered bridge to be made from the Vatican palace to his study, to enable him to pass at all times without being observed. paying his visit one morning, Michael Angelo was rudely interrupted by the person in waiting, who said, "I have an order not to let you enter.". Michael felt with indignation this unmerited disgrace, and, in the warmth of resentment, desired him to tell the Pope," from that time forward, if his Holiness should want him, he should have to seek him in another place. On he return home, he ordered his servants to sell the furniture in his house to the Jews, and to follow him to Florence. Himself, the same evening, took post, and arrived at Poggibonzi castle,in Tuscany, before he rested. The Pope dispatched five couriers, with orders to conduct him back: but he was not overtaken until he was in a foreign state. A reconciliation was, however, a few months after, effected at Bologna, through the mediation of the gonfaloniere. As Michael Angelo entered the presence ohamber, the Pope gave him an askance look of displeasure, and after a short pause saluted him, "In the stead of your coming to us, you seem to ha expected that we should wait upon you." Michael Angelo replied with submission, that his error arose from too hastily feeling a disgrace that he was unconscious of meriting, and hoped his Holiness would pardon what was past. The Pope thereupon gave him his benediction, and restored him to his friendship. The whole reign of Leo X. was a blank in the life of Michael Angelo. - DUPPA.]

4 [In his "Convito," Dante speaks of his banishment, and the poverty and distress which attended it, in very affecting terms. "Alas!" said he, " had it pleased the Dispenser of the Universe, that the occasion of this excuse had never existed; that neither others had committed wrong against me, ner I suffered unjustly; suffered, I say, the punishment of exile and of poverty; since it was the pleasure of the citizens

Who has the whole world for a dungeon strong, Seas, mountains, and the horizon's verge for bars, Which shut him from the sole small spot of earth Where whatsoe'er his fate- he still were hers, His country's, and might die where he had birth— Florence! when this lone spirit shall return To kindred spirits, thou wilt feel my worth, And seek to honour with an empty urn

The ashes thou shalt ne'er obtain1- Alas! "What have I done to thee, my people?" Stern Are all thy dealings, but in this they pass

The limits of man's common malice, for

of that fairest and most renowned daughter of Rome, Florence, to cast me forth out of her sweet bosom, in which I had my birth and nourishment even to the ripeness of my age, and in which, with her good-will, I desire, with all my heart, to rest this wearied spirit of mine, and to terminate the time allotted to me on earth. Wandering over almost every part, to which this our language extends, I have gone about like a mendicant, showing against my will the wound with which fortune has smitten me, and which is often imputed to his ill-deserving on whom it is inflicted. I have, indeed, been a vessel without sail and without steerage, carried about to divers ports, and roads, and shores, by the dry wind that springs out of sad poverty, and have appeared before the eyes of many who, perhaps, from some report that had reached them, had imagined me of a different form; in whose sight not only my person was disparaged, but every action of mine became of less value, as well already performed, as those which yet remained for me to attempt."]

[About the year 1316, the friends of Dante succeeded in obtaining his restoration to his country and his possessions, on condition that he should pay a certain sum of money, and, entering a church, there avow himself guilty, and ask pardon of the republic. The following was his answer, on this occasion, to one of his kinsmen:" From your letter, which I received with due respect and affection, I observe how much you have at heart my restoration to my country. I am bound to you the more gratefully, that an exile rarely finds a friend. But, after mature consideration, I must, by my answer, disappoint the wishes of some little minds; and I confide in the judgment to which your impartiality and prudence will lead you. Your nephew and mine has written to me, what indeed had been mentioned by many other friends, that by a decree concerning the exiles, I am allowed to return to Florence, provided I pay a certain sum of money, and submit to the humiliation of asking and receiving absolution: wherein, my Father, I see two propositions that are ridiculous and impertinent. I speak of the impertinence of those who mention such conditions to me: for in your letter, dictated by judgment and discretion, there is no such thing. Is such an invitation to return to his country glorious for Dante, after suffering in exile almost fifteen years? Is it thus, then, they would recompense innocence which all the world knows, and the labour and fatigue of unremitting study? Far from the man who is familiar with philosophy be the senseless baseness of a heart of earth, that could do like a little sciolist, and imitate the infamy of some others, by offering himself up as it were in chains. Far from the man who cries aloud for justice this compromise, by his money, with his persecutors! No, my Father, this is not the way that shall lead me back to my country. But I shall return with hasty steps, if you or any other can open to me a way that shall not derogate from the fame and honour of Dante; but if by no such way Florence can be entered, then Florence I shall never enter. What shall I not every where enjoy the sight of the sun and stars? and may I not seek and contemplate, in every corner of the earth under the canopy of heaven, consoling and delightful truth, without first rendering myself inglorious, nay infamous, to the people and republic of Florence? Bread, I hope, will not fail me." Yet he continued to experience

"How salt the savour is of others' bread,

How hard the passage to descend and climb By others' stairs!'

His countrymen persecuted even his memory: he was excommunicated after death by the Pope.]

All that a citizen could be I was;
Raised by thy will, all thine in peace or war,

And for this thou hast warr'd with me.-'T is done :
I may not overleap the eternal bar
Built up between us, and will die alone,

Beholding with the dark eye of a seer The evil days to gifted souls foreshown, Foretelling them to those who will not hear. As in the old time, till the hour be come When Truth shall strike their eyes through many

a tear,

And make them own the Prophet in his tomb. 3

2 "E scrisse più volte non solamente a particolari cittadini del reggimento, ma ancora al popolo, e intra l'altre una Epistola assai lunga che comincia: Popule mi, quid feci tibi P'"-Vita di Dante, scritta da Lionardo Aretino.

3 [Dante died at Ravenna in 1321, in the palace of his patron, Guido Novello da Polenta, who testified his sorrow and respect by the sumptuousness of his obsequies, and by giving orders to erect a monument, which he did not live to complete. His countrymen showed, too late, that they knew the value of what they had lost. At the beginning of the next century, they entreated that the mortal remains of their illustrious citizen might be restored to them, and deposited among the tombs of their fathers. But the people of Ra venna were unwilling to part with the sad and honourable memorial of their own hospitality. No better success attended the subsequent negotiations of the Florentines for the same purpose, though renewed under the auspices of Leo X., and conducted through the powerful mediation of Michael Angelo.

Never did any poem rise so suddenly into notice, after the death of its author, as the Divina Commedia. About the year 1350, Giovanni Visconti, Archbishop of Milan, selected six of the most learned men in Italy, two divines, two philosophers, and two Florentines, and gave them in charge to contribute their joint endeavours towards the compilation of an ample comment, a copy of which is preserved in the Lanrentian library. At Florence, a public lecture was founded for the purpose of explaining a poem, which was at the same time the boast and the disgrace of the city. The decree for this institution was passed in 1373; and in that year Boccaccio was appointed, with a salary of a hundred florins, to deliver lectures in one of the churches on the first of their poets. The example of Florence was speedily followed by Bologna, Pisa, Piacenza, and Venice. It is only within a few years that the merits of this great and original poet were attended to and made known in this country. And this seems to be owing to a translation of the very pathetic story of Count Ugolino; to the judicious and spirited summary given of this poem in the 31st section of the History of English Poetry; and to Mr. Hayley's translations of the three cantos of the Inferno. "Dante believed," says Ugo Foscolo," that, by his sufferings on earth, he atoned for the errors of humanity

Ma la bontà divina ha si gran braccia, Che prende ciò che si rivolge a lei.'

So wide arms Hath goodness infinite, that it receives All who turn to it.'

And he seems to address Heaven in the attitude of a worshipper, rather than a suppliant. Being convinced that Man is then truly happy when he freely exercises all his energies,' he walked through the world with an assured step, 'keeping his vigils '—

So that nor night nor slumber with close stealth
Convey'd from him a single step in all
The goings on of time.'

He collected the opinions, the follies, the vicissitudes, the miseries, and the passions that agitate mankind; and left behind him a monument, which, while it humbles us by the representation of our own wretchedness, should make us glory that we partake of the same nature with such a man, and encourage us to make the best use of our fleeting existence."]

Francesca of Rimini.



SIEDE la terra dove nata fui

Su la marina, dove il Po discende,
Per aver pace coi seguaci sui.
Amor, che al cor gentil ratto s' apprende,
Prese costui della bella persona

Che mi fu tolta; e il modo ancor m'offende. Amor, che a nullo amato amar perdona,

Mi prese del costui piacer si forte,

Che, come vedi, ancor non m'abbandona ; Amor condusse noi ad una morte:

Cainà attende chi in vita ci spense : 6

[This translation, of what is generally considered the most exquisitely pathetic episode in the Divina Commedia, was executed in March, 1820, at Ravenna, where, just five centuries before, and in the very house in which the unfortunate lady was born, Dante's poem had been composed.

In mitigation of the crime of Francesca, Boccaccio relates, that "Guido engaged to give his daughter in marriage to Lanciotto, the eldest son of his enemy, the master of Rimini. Lanciotto, who was hideously deformed in countenance and figure, foresaw that, if he presented himself in person, he should be rejected by the lady. He therefore resolved to marry her by proxy, and sent as his representative his younger brother, Paolo, the handsomest and most accomplished man in all Italy. Francesca saw Paolo arrive, and imagined she beheld her future husband. That mistake was the commeucement of her passion. The friends of Guido addressed him in strong remonstrances, and mournful predictions of the dangers to which he exposed a daughter, whose high spirit would never brook to be sacrificed with impunity. But Guido was no longer in a condition to make war; and the necessities of the politician overcame the feelings of the father."

In transmitting his version to Mr. Murray, Lord Byron says Enclosed you will find, line for line, in third rhyme (terza rima), of which your British blackguard reader as yet understands nothing, Fanny of Rimini. You know that she was born here, and married, and slain, from Cary, Boyd, and such people. I have done it into cramp English, line for line, and rhyme for rhyme, to try the possibility. If it is published, publish it with the original."

In one of the poet's MS. Diaries we find the following passage:"January 29. 1821, past midnight-one of the clock. I have been reading Frederick Schlegel (Lectures on the History of Literature, Ancient and Modern,') till now, and I can make out nothing. He evidently shows a great power of words, but there is nothing to be taken hold of. He is like Hazlitt in English, who talks pimples; a red and white corruption rising up (in little imitation of mountains upon maps), but containing nothing, and discharging nothing, except their own humours. I like him the worse (that is, Schlegel), because he always seems upon the verge of meaning; and, lo! he goes down like sunset, or melts like a rainbow, leaving a rather rich confusion. Of Dante, he says, that' at no time has the greatest and most national of all Italian poets ever been much the favourite of his countrymen!' 'Tis false. There have been more editors and commentators (and imitators ultimately) of Dante than of all their poets put together. Not a favourite! Why, they talk Dante-write Dante-and think and dream Dante, at this moment (1821), to an excess which would be ridiculous, but that he deserves it. He says also that Dante's chief defect is a want, in a word, of gentle feelings. Of gentle feelings!-and Francesca of Riminiand the father's feelings in Ugolino- and Beatrice-and

La Pia! Why, there is a gentleness in Dante beyond all gentleness, when he is tender. It is true that, treating of the Christian Hades, or Hell, there is not much scope or site for gentleness: but who but Dante could have introduced any gentleness' at all into Hell? Is there any in Milton's? No and Dante's Heaven is all love, and glory, and majesty." This translation was first published in 1830.j

2 [Francesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta, Lord of Ravenna and of Cervia, was given by her father in marriage to Lanciotto, son of Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, a man of extraordinary courage, but deformed in his person. His brother,



"THE land where I was born 3 sits by the seas,
Upon that shore to which the Po descends,
With all his followers, in search of peace.
Love, which the gentle heart soon apprehends,
Seized him for the fair person which was ta'en 4
From me, and me even yet the mode offends.
Love, who to none beloved to love again

Remits, seized me with wish to please, so strong, That, as thou seest, yet, yet it doth remain. Love to one death conducted us along,

But Caina waits for him our life who ended: "

Paolo, who unhappily possessed those graces which the husband of Francesca wanted, engaged her affections; and being taken in adultery, they were both put to death by the enraged Lanciotto. The interest of this pathetic narrative is much increased, when it is recollected that the father of this unfortunate lady was the beloved friend and generous protector of Dante during his latter days. See ante, p. 504., and also Canto xxvii. of the Inferno, where Dante, speaking of Ravenna, says —

L'aquila da Polenta là si cova,

S1 che Cirvia ricopre co' suoi vanni.

There Polenta's eagle broods, And in his broad circumference of plume O'ershadows Cervia. CARY.

Guido was the son of Ostasio da Polenta, and made himself master of Ravenna in 1265. In 1322, he was deprived of his sovereignty, and died at Bologna in the year following. He is enumerated, by Tiraboschi, among the poets of his time.] 3 Ravenna.

4 [Among Lord Byron's unpublished letters we find the following:"Varied readings of the translation from Dante.

Seized him for the fair person, which in its
Bloom was ta'en from me, yet the mode offends.


Seized me

so strong,

Seized him for the fair form, of which in its Bloom I was reft, and yet the mode offends. Love, which to none beloved to love remits, with mutual wish to please with wish of pleasing him with the desire to please That, as thou see'st, not yet that passion quits, &c. You will find these readings vary from the MS. I sent you. They are closer, but rougher: take which is liked best; or, if you like, print them as variations. They are all close to the text."Byron Letters.]

[From Cain, the first fratricide. By Caina we are to understand that part of the Inferno to which murderers are condemned.]

6 [The whole history of woman's love is as highly and completely wrought, we think, in these few lines, as that of Juliet in the whole tragedy of Shakspeare. Francesca imputes the passion her brother-in-law conceived for her, not to depravity, but nobleness of heart in him, and to her own loveliness. With a mingled feeling of keen sorrow and complacent naïveté, she says she was fair, and that an ignominious death robbed him of her beauty. She confesses that she loved, because she was beloved, that charm had deluded her; and she declares, with transport, that joy had not abandoned her even in hell

"piacer s forte, Che, come vedi, ancor non m' abbandona." It is thus that Dante unites perspicuity with conciseness, and the most naked simplicity with the profoundest observation of the heart. Her guilty passion survives its punishment by Heaven - but without a shade of impiety. How striking is the contrast of her extreme happiness in the midst of torments that can never cease; when, resuming her narrative, she looks at her lover, and repeats with enthusiasm —


Questi, che mai da me non fia diviso".

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Queste parole da lor ci fur porte.
Da ch' io intesi quell' anime offense
Chinai il viso, e tanto il tenni basso
Fin che il Poeta mi disse: "Che pense ?
Quando risposi incomminciai: "Ahi lasso !
Quanti dolci pensier, quanto desio
Menò costoro al doloroso passo!"
Poi mi rivolsi a loro, e parlai io,

E cominciai: Francesca, i tuoi martiri
A lagrimar mi fanno tristo e pio.
Ma dimmi: al tempo de' dolci sospiri
A che, e come concedette Amore
Che conosceste i dubbiosi desiri?
Ed ella a me: nessun maggior dolore

Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria; e ciò sa il tuo dottore.
Ma se a conoscer la prima radice

Del nostro amor tu hai cotanto affetto
Farò come colui che piange e dice.
Noi leggevamo un giorno per diletto

Di Lancillotto 3, come Amor lo strinse :
Soli eravamo, e senza alcun sospetto.
Per più fiate gli occhi ci sospinse

Quella lettura, e scolorocci il viso:
Ma solo un punto fu quel che ci vinse.
Quando leggemmo il disiato riso

Esser baciato da cotanto amante,

Questi, che mai da me non fia diviso, La bocca mi baciò tutto tremante :

Galeotto fu il libro, e chi lo scrisseQuel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante. Mentre che l'uno spirto questo disse,

L'altro piangeva sì che di pietade Io venni men così com' io morisse, E caddi come corpo morto cade.

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"Quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avante."

She utters not another word! - and yet we fancy her before us, with her downcast and glowing looks; whilst her lover stands by her side, listening in silence and in tears. Dante, too, who had hitherto questioned her, no longer ventures to inquire in what manner her husband had put her to death; but is so overawed by pity, that he sinks into a swoon. Nor is this to be considered as merely a poetical exaggeration. The poet had probably known her when a girl, blooming in innocence and beauty under the paternal roof. This, we think, is the true account of the overwhelming sympathy with which her form overpowers him. The episode, too, was written by him in the very house in which she was born, and in which he had himself, during the last ten years of his exile, found a constant asylum. - MACAULAY.

"I pass each day where Dante's bones are laid; A little cupola, more neat than solemn, Protects his dust, but reverence here is paid

To the bard's tomb, and not the warrior's column: The time must come when, both alike decay'd,

The chieftain's trophy, and the poet's volume, Will sink where lie the songs and wars of earth, Before Pelides' death, or Homer's birth."

Don Juan, Canto iii.] 1 ["In omni adversitate fortune infelicissimum genus infortunii est fuisse felicem."-Boetius. Dante himself tells us,

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These were the accents utter'd by her tongue. · Since I first listen'd to these souls offended,


I bow'd my visage, and so kept it till "What think'st thou?" said the bard; when I unAnd recommenced: "Alas! unto such ill

How many sweet thoughts, what strong ecstasies, Led these their evil fortune to fulfil!" And then I turn'd unto their side my eyes,

And said, "Francesca, thy sad destinies
Have made me sorrow till the tears arise.
But tell me, in the season of sweet sighs,

By what and how thy love to passion rose,
So as his dim desires to recognise ?"

Then she to me: "The greatest of all woes Is to remind us of our happy days 4

In misery, and that thy teacher knows. 5 But if to learn our passion's first root preys Upon thy spirit with such sympathy,

I will do even as he who weeps and says. 6— We read one day for pastime, seated nigh,

Of Lancilot, how love enchain'd him too. We were alone, quite unsuspiciously. But oft our eyes met, and our cheeks in hue All o'er discolour'd by that reading were ; But one point only wholly us o'erthrew ; 7 When we read the long-sigh'd-for smile of her, To be thus kiss'd by such devoted lover, s He who from me can be divided ne'er Kiss'd my mouth, trembling in the act all over. Accursed was the book and he who wrote ! That day no further leaf we did uncover. While thus one spirit told us of their lot,

The other wept, so that with pity's thralls I swoon'd as if by death I had been smote, And fell down even as a dead body falls. 9

that Boetius and Cicero de Amicitiâ were the two first books that engaged his attention.]

2 ["In some of the editions it is dirò,' in others' faro;" -an essential difference between saying' and doing," which I know not how to decide. Ask Foscolo. The d-d editions drive me mad."- Lord Byron to Mr. M.]

3 [One of the Knights of Arthur's Round Table, and the lover of Genevra, celebrated in romance. See Southey's "King Arthur," vol. i. p. 52. Whitaker, the historian of Manchester, makes out for the knight both a local habitation and a name. "The name of Lancelot," he says," is an appellation truly British, and significative of royalty; Lance being a Celtic term for a spear, and Leod, Lod, or Lot, importing a people. He was therefore (!) a British sovereign; and since he is denominated Lancelot of the Lake, perhaps (!) he resided at Coccium, in the region Linnis, and was the monarch of Lancashire; as the kings of Creones, living at Selma, on the forest of Morven, are generally denominated sovereigns of Morven; or, more properly, was King of Cheshire, and resided at Pool-ton Lancelot, in the hundred of Wirrall." See also Ellis's Specimens of early Romances, vol. i. p. 271.]

to mind

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do even


our happy days."— MS.]


that thy teacher knows.” — MS.] } as he weeps and says."- MS.]

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The Blues:


"Nimium ne crede colori."— VIRGIL. O trust not, ye beautiful creatures, to hue, Though your hair were as red as your stockings are blue.


London- Before the Door of a Lecture Room.
Enter TRACY, meeting INKEL.

Ink. You're too late.

Is it over?

Tra. Ink. Nor will be this hour. But the benches are cramm'd, like a garden in flower, With the pride of our belles, who have made it the fashion; [passion So, instead of "beaux arts," we may say "la belle For learning, which lately has taken the lead in The world, and set all the fine gentlemen reading.


Tra. I know it too well, and have worn out my patience

With studying to study your new publications.
There's Vamp, Scamp, and Mouthy, and Wordswords
and Co. 9
With their damnable-

Ta'en in such cruel sort, as grieves me still:
Love, that denial takes from none beloved,
Caught me with pleasing him so passing well,
That, as thou seest, he yet deserts me not.
Love brought us to one death: Caina waits
The soul, who spilt our life.' Such were their words;
At hearing which downward I bent my looks,
And held them there so long, that the Bard cried:
What art thou pondering? I in answer thus:
Alas! by what sweet thoughts, what fond desire,
Must they at length to that ill pass have reach'd!
"Then turning, I to them my speech address'd,
And thus began: Francesca! your sad fate
Even to tears my grief and pity moves.
But tell me; in the time of your sweet sighs.
By what, and how Love granted, that ye knew
Your yet uncertain wishes?' She replied:

No greater grief than to remember days
Of joy, when misery is at hand. That kens
Thy learn'd instructor. Yet so eagerly
If thou art bent to know the primal root
From whence our love gat being, I will do
As one, who weeps and tells his tale. One day,
For our delight, we read of Lancelot,
How him love thrall'd. Alone we were, and no
Suspicion near us. Ofttimes by that reading
Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue
Fled from our alter'd cheek. But at one point
Alone we fell. When of that smile we read,
The wished smile, so rapturously kiss'd
By one so deep in love, then he, who ne'er
From me shall separate, at once my lips
All trembling kiss'd. The book and writer both
Were love's purveyors. In its leaves that day
We read no more." While thus one spirit spake,
The other wail'd so sorely, that heart-struck,
1, through compassion fainting, seem'd not far
From death, and like a corse fell to the ground."

The story of Francesca and Paolo is a great favourite with the Italians. It is noticed by all the historians of Ravenna. Petrarch introduces it, in his Trionfi d' Amore, among his examples of calamitous passion; and Tassoni, in his Secchia Rapita, represents Paolo Malatesta as leading the troops of Rimini, and describes him), when mounted on his charger, as contemplating a golden sword-chain, presented to him by Francesca:

"Rimini vien con la bandiera sesta, Guida mille cavalli, e mille fanti

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Excuse me: I meant no offence

To the Nine; though the number who make some pretence

To their favours is such but the subject to drop,
I am just piping hot from a publisher's shop,
(Next door to the pastry-cook's; so that when I
Cannot find the new volume I wanted to buy
On the bibliopole's shelves, it is only two paces,
As one finds every author in one of those places ;)
Where I just had been skimming a charming critique,
So studded with wit, and so sprinkled with Greek!
Where your friend-you know who-has just got
such a threshing,

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Halli donata al dispartir Francesca
L'aurea catena, à cui la spada appende.
La vi mirando al misero, e rinfresca
Quel foco ognor, che l' anima gli accende,
Quanto cerca fuggir, tanto s' invesca."

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"To him Francesca gave the golden chain

At parting-time, from which his sword was hung; The wretched lover gazed at it with pain,

Adding new pangs to those his heart had wrung; The more he sought to fly the luscious bane,

The firmer he was bound, the deeper stung."]

[This trifle, which Lord Byron has himself designated as a "mere buffoonery, never meant for publication," was written in 1820, and first appeared in "The Liberal." The personal allusions in which it abounds are, for the most part, sufficiently intelligible; and, with a few exceptions, so goodhumoured, that the parties concerned may be expected to join in the laugh.]

2["About the year 1781, it was much the fashion for several ladies to have evening assemblies, where the fair sex might participate in conversation with literary and ingenious men, animated by a desire to please. These societies were denominated Blue-stocking Clubs; the origin of which title being little known, it may be worth while to relate it. One of the most eminent members of those societies, when they first commenced, was Mr. Stillingfleet, whose dress was remarkably grave, and in particular it was observed that he wore blue stockings. Such was the excellence of his conversation, that his absence was felt as so great a loss, that it used to be said, We can do nothing without the blue stockings; and thus by degrees the title was established."- Boswell, vol. viii. p. 86. Sir William Forbes, in his Life of Dr. Beattie, says, that a foreigner of distinction hearing the expression, translated it literally, Bas Bleu,' by which these ineetings came to be distinguished. Miss Hannah More, who was herself a member, has written a poem with the title of Bas Bleu,' in allusion to this mistake of the foreigner, in which she has characterised most of the eminent personages of which it was composed."]

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