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PETRARCH'S HOUSE AT ARQUA.* PETRARCH and Arquà; Ariosto, Tasso,
THERE is a toinb ip Arquà ;-rear’d in air,
Pillar'd in their sarcophagus, repose and Ferrara;-how delightfully are these
The hones of Laura's lover: here repair names and sites linked in the fervour of
Many familiar with bis well-sung woes, Italian poetry. Lord Byron halted at The pilgrims of his genius. He arose these consecrated spots, in his “Pil
To raise a language, and his land reclaim
From the dull yoke of her barbaric foes; grimage' through the land of song :--- Waterug the tree which bears bis lady's name
With bis inelodious tears, he gave himself to * Copied from one of the prints of last year's Landscape Annual, from a drawing, by Prout. This proves what we said of the imperishable in- They keep his dust in Arquà, where he died; terest of the Eugravings of the L. A.
The mountaiu-village where his latter days Vol. XVII. B
Weut down the vale of years; and 'tis their in the bosom of the Euganean Hills. pride
After a walk of twenty minutes across An honest pride and let it be their praise, To offer to the passing stranger's gaze
a flat, well-wooded meadow, you come to His mansion and his sepulchre ; both plain a little blue lake, clear, but fathomless, And venerably simple ; such as raise A feeling more accordant with his strain
and to the foot of a succession of acThan if a pyramid form’d bis monnmental fane. clivities and hills, clothed with vineyards
and orchards, rich with fir and pomes And the soft quiet hamlet wbere he dwelt Is one of that complexion wbich seems made
granate trees, and every sunny fruit For those who their mortality have felt, shrub. From the banks of the lake the And sought a refuge from their hopes decay'd road winds into the hills, and the church In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade, Which shows a distant prospect far away
of Arquà is soon seen between a cleft Of busy cities, now in vain display'd, where two ridges slope towards each For they can lure no further ; and the ray Of a bright sun can make sufficient boliday,
other, and nearly inclose the village.
The houses are scattered at intervals on Developing the mountains, leaves and flowers the steep sides of these summits ; and And shining in the brawling brook whereby that of the
poet is on the edge of a little With a calm languor, which, though to the eye knoll overlooking two descents, and Idlesse it seem, bath its morality. If from society we learn to live,
commanding a view not only of the "Tis solitude should teach us how to die ; glowing gardens in the dales immediately It hath no flatterers; vavity can give beneath, but of the wide plains, above No bollow aid ; alone-man with his God must
whose low woods of mulberry and willow strive;
thickened into a dark mass by festoons Or, it may be, with demons, who impair
of vines, tall single cypresses, and the The strength of better thoughts, and seek their
spires of towns are seen in the distance, In melancholy bosoms, such as were
which stretches to the mouths of the Po Of moody texture from their earliest day.
and the shores of the Adriatic. The And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay, Deeming themselves predestin'd to a doom climate of these volcanic hills is warmer, Which is not of the pangs that pass away : and the vintage begins a week sooner Making the sun like blood, the earth a tomb, The tomb a bell, and beli itself a murkier
than in the plains of Padua. Petrarch gloom.*
is laid, for he cannot be said to be The noble bard, not content with per- raised on four pilasters on an elevated
buried, in a sarcophagus of red marble, petuating Arquà in these soul-breathing base, and preserved from an association stanzas, has appended to them the fol- with meaner tombs. It stands conspilowing note :
cuously alone, but will be soon overPetrarch retired to Arquà immediately shadowed by four lately planted laurels. on his return from the unsuccessful at
Petrarch's fountain, for here every thing tempt to visit Urban V. at Rome, in the is Petrarch's,
springs and expands itself year 1370, and, with the exception of beneath an artificial arch, a little below his celebrated visit to Venice in com
the church, and abounds plentifully, in pany
with Francesco Novello da Carrara, the driest season, with that soft water he appears to have passed the four last which was the ancient wealth of the years of his life between that charming Euganean Hills. It would be more atsolitude and Padua. For four months tractive, were it not, in some seasons, previous to his death he was in a state beset with hornets and wasps. No of continual languor, and in the morning other coincidence could assimilate the of July the 19th, in the year. 1374, tombs of Petrarch and Archilochus. was found dead in his library chair with The revolutions of centuries have spared his head resting upon a book. The these sequestered valleys, and the only chair is still shown amongst the precious violence which has been offered to the relics of Arquà, which, from the uninterashes of Petrarch was prompted, not by rupted veneration that has been attached hate, but veneration. An attempt was to every thing relative to this great man from the moment of his death to the pre- sure, and one of the arms was stolen by
made to rob the sarcophagus of its treasent hour, have, it may be hoped, a bet
a Florentine through a rent which is ter chance of authenticity than the Shak- still visible. The injury is not forsperian memorials of Stratford-upon- gotten, but has served to identify the Avon.
poét with the country, where he was Arquà (for the last syllable is ac- forn, but where he would not live. A cented in pronunciation, although the peasant boy of Arquà being asked who analogy of the English language has Petrarch was, replied, " that the peobeen observed in the verse) is twelve ple of the parsonage knew all abont him, miles from Padua, and about three miles but that he only knew that he was a on the right of the high road to Rovigo, Florentine." * Cbilde Harold, Canto iv.
Every footstep of Laura's lover has
been anxiously traced and recorded. of the curious. I believe these things The house in which he lodged is shown to be genuine. I believe in the local in Venice. The inhabitants of Arezzo, traditions that point out his study, and in order to decide the ancient contro- his kitchen, and his dying chamber.versy between their city and the neigh- Petrarch was all but idolized in his own bouring Ancisa, where Petrarch was time, and his fame has known no dimicarried when seven months old, and re- nution; therefore these affectionate remained until his seventh year, have de- collections of him have always been signated by a long inscription the spot treasured there for the gratification of where their great fellow citizen was his pilgrims, and with a becoming reveborn. A tablet has been raised to him rence themselves, the people naturally at Parma, in the chapel of St. Agatha, set apart as sacred all that belonged to at the cathedral, because he was arch- him. I have noticed the compactness deacon of that society, and was only of his few rooms, and their separation snatched from his intended sepulture in from the larger apartments--they have their church by a foreign death. An- also a separate communication by a other tablet with a bust has been erected small elegant flight of steps into the to him at Pavia, on account of his having garden, as you may see in Prout's drawa passed the autumn of 1368 in that city, ing. If the rooms were not an addiwith his son-in-law Brossano. The tion, and it did not suggest itself at the political condition which has for ages moment to look attentively, I believe precluded the Italians from the criticism these little architectural and ornamental of the living, has concentrated their atten- steps to have been; and as we know he tion to the illustration of the dead. did meddle with brick and mortar, by
building a small chapel here, the conByron's visit was in 1818. Of this jecture is not improbable ;- it is but a we may quote more on the appearance conjecture, and remains for others to of Mr. Moore's second volume of the confirm or disprove. Poet's Life. Meanwhile, let us add the · A little wild, irregular walk runs, serfollowing graceful paper from the pent like, all round the garden, which, Atheneum, June 12, 1830: the subject situated at the head of the valley, is harmonizes most happily with the clas- shut in by the hills-itself a wilderness sic title of that journal. It will be per- of luxuriance and beauty. It was a ceived that the tourist is familiar with glorious evening, and every thing in Mr. Prout's drawing, or the original of agreement with our quiet feeling. I our Engraving.
am not an enthusiast, and to you I need At Monselice we took another car- not affect to be other than I am ; but I riage, and dashed off to the Euganean have felt this day sensibly, and shall reHills, to visit Arquà, the last dwelling member it for ever. Petrarch's fame is and the burial-place of Petrarch. The worth the noise and nothing of all the road, in the feeling of M Adam, is ante- men-slayers since Cain! It is fame diluvian, or rather post-diluvian, for it is indeed, holy and lovely, when the name little better than a water-course; but it and reputation of a man, remembered passes through a country where I first only for wisdom and virtue, shall have saw olive-trees in abundance, vines in extended into remote and foreign kingthe luxuriance of nature, and pomegra- doms with such a sound and echo, that nates growing in hedges. The situa centuries after a stranger turns aside tion of the little village is perfectly de- into these mountains to visit his humble lightful-- of Petrarch's villa, beautiful. dwelling. It is the verification of the The apartments he occupied command prediction of Boccaccio-« This village, the finest view, and are so detached from hardly known even at Padua, will become the noise and annoyances of the farm famous through the world. I do not dwelling, though connected under one presume to offer a eulogy on Petrarch roof, that I think it not impossible he as a writer, but as a man. In all the made the addition. There are four or relations of son, brother, father, he is! five rooms altogether, if two little closets deserving all honour; and I know not of not more than six feet by three may another instance of such long-continued, be called rooms; yet one of these is sincere, and graceful friendships, through believed to have been his study; and in all varieties of fortune, from the Cardihis study, and at his literary enjoyments,i nal of Cabassole, to the poor fisherman he died. Every thing is preserved with at Vaucluse, as his life offers; including a reverential care that does honour to literary friendships, which, after so many the people ; and his chair, like less holy years, passed without one discordant and less credible relics, is inclosed in a feeling of rivalry or jealousy, ended so wire-frame, to prevent the dilapidations generously and beautifully, with his
bequest to poor Boccaccio of “five hun. demicians think much, write little, and dred florins of the gold of Florence, to speak but as little as possible.". They buy him a winter habit for his evening were called “The Silent Academy, studies,” and this noble testimony of his and there was not a man of learning in ability in addition_“I am ashamed to all Persia but was ambitious of being adleave so small a sum to so great a man.' mitted of their number. Doctor Zeb,
Petrarch, in my opinion, was one of author of an excellent little work, enthe most amiable men that ever lived ;- titled “ The Gag," understood in his I know nothing about Laura, or her ten distant province that there was a vacant children; I agree with those who believe place in the Silent Academy. He set the whole was a dream or an allegory; out immediately, arrived at Amadan, and, I half suspect that Shakspeare and presenting himself at the door of thought so too, and following a fashion, the hall, where the members were asaddressed his own sonnets to some like sembled, he desired the doorkeeper to persons; at any rate, no one knows deliver to the president, a billet to this about either much more than I do; - import, “ Doctor Zeb humbly asks the certainly Petrarch's real love had more vacant place." The doorkeeper immereal consequences. Petrarch was a sin- diately acquitted himself of his commiscere Christian, without intolerance-a sion, but, alas ! the doctor and his billet sound patriot, without austerity; who were too late, the place had been alneither wasted his feelings in the idle ready filled. generalities of philosophy, nor restricted
The whole academy were affected at them to the narrow limits of a party or this contretems ; they had received a faction ;-he was just, generous, affec- little before, as member, a court wit, tionate, and gentle. All his sonnets whose eloquence, light and lively, was together do not shed a lustre on him the admiration of the populace, and saw equal to the sincere, single-hearted, themselves obliged to refuse Doctor Zeb, mild, yet uncompromising spirit that who was the very scourge of chatterers, breathes throughout the letters of ad- and with a head so well formed and furvice and remonstrance, which, not idly nished. or obstrusively, but under the sanction
The president, whose place it was to and authority of his great name, and the
announce to the doctor the disagreeable affectionate regard professed for him, news, knew not what to resolve on. he addressed to all whom he believed After having thought a little he filled a influential either for good or ill; from large cup with water, and that so very Popes and Emperors, to the well mean- full, that one drop more would have ing insane tribune of Rome.
made it spill over.
Then he made the We went after this to see his tomb, sign that they might introduce the canwhich is honourable without being ostentatious : a plain stone sarcophagus, and simple air which always accompa
didate. He appeared with that modest resting on four pillars, and surmounted nies true merit. The president rose, by a bust; suited to the quiet of his life, and without saying a word, he pointed his home, and his resting-place. I out to him with an afflicted air, the passed altogether a day that will shine emblematic cup, the cup so exactly full. a bright star in memory; and we wandered about there, unwilling to leave it, that there was no room for him in
The doctor apprehended the meaning until long after the ave-maria bell had the academy; but taking courage, he tolled, and were obliged in consequence thought to make them understand that to get a guide, and return by another
an academician supernumerary would road through the marshes, where I first derange nothing. Therefore, seeing at saw those fairy insects the fire-flies, and his feet a rose leaf, he picked it up and thousands of them. For this we are
laid it delicately on the surface of the detained the night at Monselice, and water, and that so gently, that not a must rise the earlier, for we have written single drop escaped. to fixing the day of our arrival
At this ingenious answer they were at Florence.
all full of admiration, and in spite of rules, Doctor Zeb was admitted with
acclamation. THE SILENT ACADEMY, OR THE EMBLEMS.
They directly presented to him the register of the academy in which they
inscribed their names on their admission, (For the Mirror.)
and the doctor having done so, nothing THERE was at Amadan, a celebrated more remained than to thank them in a academy, the first statute of which was few words according to custom. But contained in these terms. “ The Aca. Doctor Zeb, as a truly silent academi
cian, thanked them without saying a consequently discharges 72,000 gallons word. He wrote on the margin the an hour. This engine, however, is very number 100, which was the number of inferior in construction and finish to the his new brethren, and then placing a pumping engines of Cornwall, some of cipher before the figure (0100) he wrote which are nearly three hundred horsebeneath “ Their worth is neither less power. At the consols mines, there are nor more." The president answered two engines, each with cylinders of ninety the modest doctor with as much polite- inches in diameter, and everything about ness as presence of mind : he put the them kept as clean as a drawing-room. figure before the number 100, and What an extraordinary triumph of the wrote (1100) “ They are ten times what ingenuity of man, when it is considered they were before.".
that one of these gigantic engines can be Dorset.
COLBOURNE. stopped in an instant, by the mere ap
plication of the fingers and thumb of The Topographer. the engineer to a screw! The quantity
of coals consumed by the copper-works TRAVELLING NOTES IN SOUTH WALES. is enormous. We have heard that
Vale of Tawy-Copper Works, &c.— Messrs. Vivians, who have the largest Coal Trade.--In our former paper" we works on the river, alone consume gave a description of the Vale of Tawy, 40,000 tons annually: this coal is all as it appears by night; we will now small, and not fit for exportation. The again revisit it. The stranger who ex- copper trade may be considered as complores this vale must expect to return paratively of modern date. The first with a bad headache. We have described smelting works were erected at Swansea, it as a desolate looking place when seen about a century ago ; but now it is calat night, but the darkness only throws a culated that they support, including the veil over its barrenness. The face of collieries and shipping dependant on the country, which would otherwise have them, 10,000 persons, and that 3,0001. been beautiful, is literally scorched by is circulated weekly by their means in the desolating effects of the copper this district. Till within the last few smoke; and when it is considered that years, there were considerable copper a multitude of flues are constantly emit- smelting establishments at Hayle, in ting smoke and flames strongly impreg- Cornwall; but that county possessing nated with sulphur, arsenic, &c., it is no coals, they were obliged to be abannot to be wondered at. A canal runs doned, as it was found to be much up the vale into the country for sixteen cheaper to bring the ore to the coal than miles, to an elevation of 372 feet: it is the latter to the ore. Formerly, from flanked near the copper-works by many the want of machinery to drain the millions of tons of copper slag; and water from the workings (copper being there are no less than thirty-six locks on generally found at a much greater depth the line. It is a fact, that in spite of than tin), the miners were compelled to the infernal atmosphere, a great many relinquish the metallic vein before reachof the people employed in these works ing the copper: indeed, when it was attain old age. Every evil effect about first discovered, and even so late as 1735, Swansea, however, is ascribed to the they were so ignorant of its value, that copper smoke. The houses in this dis
a Mr. Coster, a mineralogist in Bristol, trict are remarkable for clean exterior : observing large quantities of it lying the custom of whitewashing the roofs, amongst the heaps of rubbish round the as well as the walls, produces a pleasing tin mines, contracted to purchase as effect, and is a relief to the eye in such much of it as could be supplied, and a desert. There are eight large copper continued to gain by Cornish ignorance smelting establishments, besides several for a considerable time. The first disrolling-mills, now at work; the whole coverer of the ore was called Poder (it country is covered with tram-roads and long went by his name), who actually coal-pits, many of which vomit forth abandoned the mine in consequence; their mineral treasures close to the road and we find that it was for some time side. At Landore, about two miles from considered that “the ore came in and Swansea, is a large steam-engine, made spoilt the tin.” In the year 1822 the by Bolton and Watt, which was formerly produce of the Cornish copper mines the lion of the neighbourhood. This amounted to 106,723 tons of ore, which pumping engine draws the water from all produced 9,331 tons of copper, and the collieries in the vale, throwing up one 676,2851. in money.
In the same year, hundred gallons of water at each stroke: the quantity of tin ore raised was only it makes twelve strokes in a minute, and 20,000 tons. The Irish and Welsh ores * See Mirror, vol. xvi.
are generally much richer than those o