Page images
PDF
EPUB

half century respecting the author of the apothecary called Master Matthew," who Letters of Junius, fairly opened, as I was accustomed to bring the king every thought, a field for playful banter; and year a present of apples and citrons, in the only object I had in view, was to the season, which his majesty always indite a comic satire in derision of those received graciously. On these occasions visionary conjectures, though in a vein he was very particular in combing and that should be perfectly good-humoured, arranging his hair, tying it in a sort of and inoffensive towards all the world. bag-wig, and putting on a clean neck

EdiPUS ORONOKO. cloth. He continued this annual visit Oxford, Feb. 8, 1820.

when far advanced in years. On one of

these occasions, as the old man was totFor the Monthly Magazine. tering along with his present, in his L’APE ITALIANA. usual trim, the king's porter, diverted No. xv.

with the oddity of his appearance, began Dov' a pe susurrando

to make sport of him, and to pull the Nei mattutini albori Vola suggendo i ruglodesi umori.

tail of his wig: in which pastime he

Guarini. was soon joined by his coinpanions. Where the bee at early dawn,

One pulled one way, and another the Murmuring sips the dews of inorn.

other, and the old man's hair was préSACCHETTI. TN the same path with Boccaccio, but sently all about his ears. He managed, I far distant in respect of talent and

however, to make his way through genius followed Francesco, or, as he was

them, and in this state presented him. called after the abbreviating fashion of

self before the king. * What is the the time, Franco Sacchetti. *

matter now, Matthew," said his majesty, Born of a noble family in Florence,

“ how is it that I see you in this trim ?” about the year 1335, he was admitted

“ 'Tis your majesty's pleasure," replied to most of the honours of the republic,

Matthew.g “How can that be?" asked and passed through life respected and

the king. “ Does your majesty know esteemed by his fellow-citizens. He was

which is the best story in all the Bible ?" not only a Novelist, but a Poet, and said Matthew. The king, who was well was indeed held in higher consideration versed in Scripture, replied, “ There are in the latter capacity than the former. a great many good stories in it,|| but His Novels are in fact mere anecdotes, which is the best I really cannot say." for the most part highly insipid, and

“ With your majesty's permission I will narrated without either 'the humour or tell you,” rejoined Matthew. “ By all the gracefulness of Boccaccio, but pos- means," said the king ; “ let us hear.” sessing, like those of the Pecorone, con

Then said Matthew, “ My lord the king, siderable interest from their simplicity,

the best story in all the Bible is that of and from the light which they throw on

the Queen of Sheba, who hearing of the the manners of the time. We shall

wonderful wisdom of Solomon, came to select a few of the most favourable spe.

visit him in his dominions, and found címens.

it even to exceed her expectations: NOVELLA 2.

with such admirable order was every How Frederick King of Sicily was

thing conducted." Here the old man reproved by an Apothecary of Pa

Car Pas stopped. “ Well,” said the king, “ what

is the drift of this ?" Sire," replied Matlermo. King Frederick, of Sicily, was a

thew, “ if the Queen of Sheba thought man of a noble and generous mind.

Solomon the wisest of men for the There lived in Palermo, in his time, an reasons I have mentioned, she would, on

the same account, think your majesty * In the freedom of republican inter the greatest of fools :** since, at the very course, almost every man's name suffered gates of your palace an old man like me an abbreviation, for purposes of convenience cannot pass without insult.” or familiarity. Some of these are extremely singular, and difficult to recognize. This same word Francesco, is occasionally trans

• Ser Mazzeo. formed into Cecco, Filippo into Pippo, + Mettendosi una tovngliuola in collo. Jacopo into Lapo, Tommaso into Maso, | Probably he had not long been in that Giovanni into Nanni, Alessandra is written office. Sandra, Domenica, Beca, and Lorenza, § Monsignore, egli è quello che voi volete. Nencia. In the same way Madonna is short || Assai ce ne sono. ened to Monna, and Messere to Ser; which Monsignore lo Re. last is no doubt the original of our Sir.

** Il più matto Re che vira. .

The

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The king, says the story, forgave the threatens to play the deuce with me* if freedom of the remark for its justice, I do not answer four questions, which dismissed his porter, reformed his neither Solomon nor Aristotle could household, and ever -after kept his solve:" and he told the miller what they menials in better order. So powerful were. The latter stood thoughtful a few an effect, says the Novelist, had the minutes, and then said : “ Well, if you saying of an old man: and so necessary have a mind, I will get you out of the is it that men of this sort should some- scrape.”+ “Would to heaven you could," times be found.*

exclaimed the Abbot; “ there is nothing NOVELLA 4.

I have that I would not give you,” “I Messire Barnabas,t the Sovereign of am will

am willing to leave that to you," said · Milan, having proposed four ques.

the miller, “ but it will be necessary that tions to an Abbot, which he was unable yo

you should lend me your tunic and cowl: to answer, u Miller, replying to the

I must get myself shaved, and make same, obtains the Albot's benefice.

myself as much like an abbot as I can." Messire Barnabas, the Sovereign of

To this his reverence joyfully consented, Milan, was feared beyond any other

and the next morning, the miller, having prince of his time. Yet, though ex

transformed himself into a priest, set out tremely cruel, he observed in his seve

for the palace, rities a species of justice, of which the

The duke, surprised that the abbot following anecdote may serve as an

should be ready so early, ordered him illustration.

to be admitted ; and the miller having · A certain rich Abbot, who had the

made his reverence, placed himself as care of his dogs, having suffered two of m

much in the dark as he could, I and thems to get the mange, was fined four kept fumbling about his face with his florins for his negligence. He begged

hand, to prevent his being recognised. very hard to be let off,ş on which the

the The duke then asked him if he was ready duke said to him, “ I will remit you the

to answer the queries he had put to him fine, on condition that you answer the

to which he replied in the affirmative. four following questions :"

“ Your highness's first question," said 1. How far is it to the sky?

he,“ was, How far is it from hence 2. How much water is there in the sea ?

to the sky. I answer, Thirty-six mil3. What are they doing in Hell?

lions, eight hundred and fifty-four thou4. What am I worth ? ||

sand, seventy-two miles and a half, The Abbot's heart sunk within him and twenty-two yards.” You have on hearing these propositions, and he

aand he made a nice calculation," said the duke; saw that he was in worse case than be

“ but how do you prove it ?" “ If you fore. However, to get rid of the matter think it incorrect," said the other, meafor the present he begged time for con- sure

ed time for con. sure it yourself, and if you do not find sideration, and the duke gave him the it right, hang me." whole of the next day; but, desirous of

We of “Your second question, Horo much seeing how he would get out of the dif- water is there in the sea. has given me ficulty, he compelled him to give security a good deal of trouble, because, as for his re-appearance.

there is always some coming into it, or As the Abbot was returning home, in going out of it, it is scarcely possible melancholy mood, ** he met with a man

to be exact; however, according to the who rented a mill under him. The nearest estimate I have been able to miller, seeing him thus cast down, said. make, the sea holds twenty-five thou" What is the matter, Sir? what makes

sand, nine hundred and eighty-two milyou sigh so ?"'++ “ I may well sigh,”, re

lions of hogsheads, seven barrels, twelve plied the Abbot,'" for his Highness

quarts, two pints. “How can you posquarts, w

sibly tell ?" said the duke. i I have • E talor di necessità che si truovino uomi

taken all the pains I could,” replied the pi di questa forma.

other; “ but if you have any doubt + Visconti.

about the matter, get a sufficient numI Due cani alani. Two English mastiffs. ber of barrels, and you will then see.” Ś Comincio a domandar misericordia.

“To your third question, What are they | Quello che la mia persona vale. | Per cessar furore, e avanzar tempo.

** Soffiando, come un cavallo quando aom * E per darmi la mala ventura. . bra, says the story, blowing like a frightened † Vi cavero di questa fatica. borse.

| Un poco al barlume. ++ Che avete voi che voi soffiate cosi forte ? § Questo m'è stato molto forte a vedere, him."

doing in hell ? I reply, They are hang Boniface, with great promptitude reing, drawing, quartering, and flaying, pairs it.* much as your highness is doing here. A French gentleman, of the name of This I was told by a man who had been Gilbert, who was very short and corputhere; the same from whom Dante, the lent, was sent, with others, on an embassy Florentine, got his information. He is to Pope Boniface: when he went to make now dead, but if your highness disputes his harangue before his Holiness, he was what I say, send for him.

told that it was necessary to kneel three “Fourthly, you demanded, How much times; an operation which the size of your highness was worth. I answer, his belly rendered by no means an nine and twenty shillings." +

easy one. However he got through the When Messire Barnabas heard this, first genuflexion very well; but at the he flew into a furious passion, and said, second, a sound issued from behind, † “ A murrain take you, do you hold me which much amazed the by-standers. in no higher estimation than a pottage. The Frenchman, seeing them titter, pot."Sire,” replied the other, trem- applied three hearty smacks on the bling all over, “ you know our Lord was offending part, exclaiming: “ The Lord sold for thirty pieces of silver, and I confound you, cannot you hold your thought I must take you at one less than tongue, and let me speak?"I The Pope,

who had heard every thing, pleased with The shrewdness of the man's replies, his dexterity, said, “ Proceed, Mr. Amconvinced the duke that he was not the bassador; I hope you will not be again abbot; and looking steadfastly at him, interrupted." He accordingly did so, he charged him with being an impostor. S and obtained from his Holiness a most The miller, terribly frightened, fell on gracious reception; the more so, prohis knees, and begged for mercy, stating bably from the double dialect, in which that he was a servant of the abbot, and this oration had been delivered.ll had undertaken the scheme at his re

NOVELLA 71. quest, solely with a view to enter. An Augustine Friar exhorts the Getain his highness. “Messire Barnabas,

noese from the pulpit to fight vali. hearing this, exclaimed, “ Since he has

antly. himself made you an abbot, and a better I was in Genoa a few years ago, one, by God, than ever he was, I con- during the war between that State and firm the appointment, and invest you the Venetians, when the latter bad with his benefice: as you have taken his much the advantage; and going one place, he shall take yours.” This was

morning to hear mass, at the church actually done; and as long as he lived,

of St. Lawrence, I was edified by the the miller received the revenue of the

following pious exhortation : : abbey, and the abbot was obliged to

“ My brethren, said the preacher, content himself with that of the mill. “ I am myself a Genoese, and therefore, And so the abbot turned miller, and the I hope you will not take it amiss, if miller abbot.

I tell you the truth pretty plainly. You The novelist concludes, with remark- are like asses, for such is the nature of ing, that notwithstanding the miller's that animal, that let there be ever so good fortune, it is seldom safe to take many of them together, if a man shall liberties with great men; that they are lay on any one with a good stick, away Jike the sea, which if it gives the chance they will all scamper in every direction; of great wealth, exposes also to great and so do you. ** 'We call the Venetians peril; and that however a man may be pigs, and"truly not without good reasou, favoured by the weather for a time, he is for if you meddle with a drove of those always in danger of being wrecked by a storm.

• This humourous anecdote bas been freNOVELLA 29.

frequently retailed: we give it here as the A little fat Frenchman, having com- original.' mitted an error in presence of Pope

† It is scarcely possible to preserve the delicate phraseology of the original; La

parte di sotto si face sentire. • Da costui ebbe ante Forentino cio che Laissez parler a moi, che male mecbance scrisse delle cose dello inferno.

vous donne Dieu. † Venti nove danari.

§ Che ogni cosa avea sentito. Son io così dappoco ch'io non vaglia | Per averla sposta con due bocche. più d'una pignatta ?

9 Voi siete appropiati agli assini.. § Tu pon sei l'Abate.

** E questo è proprio la patura vostra.

animals, ,

animals, they run altogether, and turn To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine, round upon you. Never were these

SIR, comparisons more appropriate than at

TF that man deserves well of his counpresent. 'Twas but the other day you

I try who makes two blades of grass to beat the Venetians; what did they do, grow where only one grew before; cerbut collect their forces, and set upon tainly the man who makes two families you again; and they have now twice live comfortably where only one lived as many gallies afloat as you have: so before, must deserve equally well, while you are flying this way and that, if not better. and do not know what you are about. At the present time we not only hear Awake! awake! rouse yourselves, re- of the pressure of the poor-rates, but gain the freedom of the seas, and carry likewise feel it, especially on the middle the war to the enemy's own gates.” ranks of society; but what is the cause He concluded with apologizing for his

of the evil? Some say a redundant vehemence, saying, that he really could

population, some the want of habits of hold no longer:* and I, having had

industry, others the want of trade; but enough, returned home.t

none of these appear to be satisfactory It happened, that in the course of the

reasons. The root of the evil seems to same day, at the Exchange, I was in

be in the extent of the farms, where one a party of gentlemen from various quar

man possesses more land than is necesters, Genoese, Florentines, Pisans, and

sary for the support of two or three Lucchese, and talking of the merits of

families; and, in fact, more than he can the different countries, a gentleman of

well manage. But admitting, that a Florence, Messire Carlo Strozzi, said, large farm is equally well managed with “ Really you Genoese are the best a smaller one (which is seldom the case) soldiers, and the bravest fellows in the still there is on

still there is only one family living world; we Florentines are fit for nothing

comfortably upon it. Our forefathers but shopkeepers." | “ No wonder,” said I, thought and acted differently from what “ at that, for the very parsons here are we do in this respect; but whether they military: when our preachers get into

enjoyed less happiness or not, I shall the pulpit, they talk about praying, not take upon myself to determine. I and fasting, and forgiveness of injuries; will say nothing of one farm containing and that men should live together in 1000 or 1500 acres, nor of the expence peace and unity; but here 'tis quite the in erecting the necessary buildings for reverse, as you might have heard at

such a quantity of land, and the St. Laurence's Church this morning."

capital required to stock it with; as it I then related the substance of the

is evident a man must have sufficient to friar's discourse, and the account I gave live upon before he can embark in such was confirmed by some others who were present: all agreed that my remark was

A farm of 500 acres, which is worth to just, and that it was a style of preaching rent from thirty shillings to two pounds perfectly new.s

an acre yearly, only supports one family These are the doctrines that are now in affluence, or perhaps in luxury; but recommended to us, so orthodox are we if these 500 acres were divided into become! And many a man mounts the farms of 100 acres

farms of 100 acres each, five families pulpit, whom the Lord knows how far misht live

might live in comfort and independence. he is entitled to stand there, either by his Large farms are the very bane of society; intelligence, or discretion.||

for it requires a fortune to stock a farm • lo serei crepato s'io non mi fusse

of 500 acres, so that it must be a person sfogato.

of considerable property, who is able to † L'avenzo lasciai udire agli attri. undertake the management of such

| Noi Fiorentini siamo da fure l'arte della farms as these: and it is frequently the lana, e nostre mercanzie.

case that persons of this description are * § Parve a tutti una nuova predica.

not brought up in the ways of industry. i Lest it should be thought that the trans

But a small capital will enable a man of lator has given too free a version, with the

industrious habits to stock a farm of 100 view of adapting this reflection to the present times, we shall give the whole passage,

acres, he will both superintend, and as it stands in the original.

partly execute any kind of work which E cosi siamo spesse volte ammaestrati,

is requisite to be done; and as he well tanto è ampliata la nostra fede ; salendo understands his business, he will not tale in pergamo che Dio il sa quanta sia la require any thing unreasonable from his loro prudenza, o la loro discrezione.

servants or labourers. There is no man

but

but may see the advantage of small poor-rates with which we have of late farms to the country; for in the instance been burdened. I had rather hear of above, here are five respectable yeomen the formation of a society to enable in the one case, with their families happy every poor married man to keep a cow, around them, where in the other, there is than of twenty Bible and Missionary only one gentleman farmer, surrounded Societies; and if you knew me, you by a tribe of labourers, whose spirits are would find me no enemy to either of broken down, because they know their these.

Evac. situation cannot be mended. Perhaps Banks of the Humber, many of these labourers had saved some March 15, 1820. money in their younger days, in hopes of renting a small farm; but as they To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. found it almost impossible ever to be SIR, accommodated, they became careless, W E see daily issuing from the press, and their only resource is the parish. ♡ publications, announced to be

It will be a happy day for this country translated from the French, &c. &c. in to see land let in small allotments, to which errors and blunders crowd upon the industrious labourers, who are now the reader, for which a school-boy, did overwhelmed with poverty; then may they appear in his Latin exercises, would England exalt herself and appear as be moved from his form. queen of the nations. Landlords are too Now, in this case, as in many others, frequently unacquainted with the situa- the common judgment relative to the tion, and circumstances of their small difficulty, and the consequent merits of tenants. In the neighbourhood where translations appears to me to be exI reside, the trustees or governors of an tremely erroneous. The Greek and Latin endowed school have let the garths of languages have long been fixed and imseveral cottages to the farmers, with mutable; it is, therefore, possible for a very small abatement of the rent for the student, who will avail himself of the dwelling-houses; the farmers complain multitude of auxiliaries already provided of the grievous amount of the poor-rates, for him, to arrive at a competent knowand well they may, for the cottager, with ledge of the original writers in those all his exertions, finds himself unable to tongues. In the study of living spoken the support of his family; and as his land languages, he has not the same assisis taken from him, he has no means left tance; for these being in a constant of extricating himself from the bondage course of change and modification, his of poverty; but his support must still grammars and his dictionaries will frebe from the soil, whether he cultivate it quently, I do not say absolutely, mislead for himself, or another cultivates it for him, but leave him very imperfectly inhim ; only with this difference, that by formed respecting the meaning of his receiving relief from the parish he feels original author. Living languages, to himself degraded, but by his own in. say the truth, can never be critically ac.. dustry he made himself respected. . quired, but by living in the intimate

The objection which I have heard society (not merely in the country as is most frequently urged against small idly imagined) of the people by whom farms, is the greater number of build they are correctly spoken. ings which would be wanted; but this To point out some of the most striking objection is more specious than real, offences against accuracy of translation, for the houses attached to large farms which occur in even masterly publicaare built more like mansions than farm tions, would be not less ungracious than houses ; a different style of building at tedious; I purpose, therefore, to confine much less cost would answer better for my remarks to the mode of converting small farms.

into English from French, Spanish, &c. I am truly sorry when in passing and vice versa, the customary titles attrithrough many villages, I see the dilap.. buted to persons in different ranks of dated state of them, on account of small society. The titles adopted in the southfarms being thrown into large ones. The ern states of Europe, as well as in the barns and out-buildings are suffered to British empire, have been borrowed from come to decay, and the houses are occu- the Latin and the German languages. pied by labourers. My opinion deci. The terms dux, comes, vicecomes of the dedly is, that were farms smaller, it Romans, have produced the duke, count, would soon put an end (especially in and viscount of modern times. From agricultural districts) to the enormous the markgrave of Germany, the other

parts

« PreviousContinue »