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Went down the vale of years; and'tli their pride— . in honest pride—and let it be their praise, To offer to the passing stranger's gaze His mansion and his sepulchre; both plain' And venerably simple; such as raise A feeling more accordant with his strain Than if a pyramid form'd his monumental fane.
And the soft quiet hamlet where he dwelt Is one of that complexion which seems made For those who their mortality have felt,. And sought a refuge from their hopes decoy'd In the deep umbrage of a green hill's shade, Which shows a distant prospect far away Of busy cities, now in vain display'd, For they can lure no further; and the ray Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday,
Developing the mountains, leaves, and flowers,
And shining in the brawling brook, where-by. ; CUar as its current, glide the sauntering hours
With a calm languor, which,though to the eye
Idlesse it seem, bath its morality.
If from society we learn to live,
'TIS solitude should teach us how to die;
It hath no flatterers, vanity can give No hollow aid; alone—man with his God must strive;
Or, it may be, with demons, who impair The strength of better thoughts,and seek their prey
In melancholy bosoms, such as were Of moody texture from their earliest day. And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay. Deeming themselves preuestin'd to a doom Which is not of the pangs that pass away; Making the sun like blood, the earth a tomb, The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom.*
The noble bard, not content with perpetuating Arqua in these soul-breathing stanzas, has appended to them the following note:—.
Petrarch retired to Arqua immediately on his return from the unsuccessful attempt to visit Urban V. at Rome, in the year 1370, and, with the exception of his celebrated visit to Venice m company with Francesco Novello da Carrara, he appears to have passed the four last years of his life between that charming solitude and Padua. For four months previous to his death he was in a state of continual languor, and in the morning of July the 19th, in the year 1374, was found dead in his library chair with his head resting upon a book. The chair is still shown amongst the precious relics of Arqua, which, from the uninterrupted veneration that has been attached to every thing relative to this great man from the moment of his death to the present hour, have, it may be hoped, a better chance of authenticity than the Shaksperian memorials of Stratford-uponAvon.
Arqua (for the last syllable is accented in pronunciation, although the analogy of the English language has been observed in the verse) is twelve miles from Padna, and about three miles on the right of the high road to Rovigo,
* Cbilde Harold, Canto It.
in the bosom of the Euganean HiTls. After a walk of twenty minutes across a flat, well-wooded meadow, you come to a little blue lake, clear, but fathomless, and to the foot of a succession of acclivities and hills, clothed with vineyards and orchards, rich with fir and pomegranate trees, and every sunny fruit shrub. From the banks of the lake the road winds into the hills, and the church of Arqua is soon seen between a cleft where two ridges slope towards each other, and nearly inclose the village. The houses are scattered at intervals on the steep sides of these summits; and that of the poet is on the edge of a little knoll overlooking two descents, and commanding a view not only of the glowing gardens in the dales immediately beneath, but of the wide plains, above whose low woods of mulberry and willow thickened into a dark mass by festoons of vines, tall single cypresses, and the spires of towns are seen in the distance, which stretches to the mouths of the Po and the shores of the Adriatic. The climate of these volcanic hills is warmer, and the vintage begins a week sooner than in the plains of Padua. Petrarch is laid, for he cannot be said to be buried, in a sarcophagus of red marble, raised on four pilasters on an elevated base, and preserved from an association with meaner tombs. It stands conspicuously alone, but will be soon overshadowed by four lately planted laurels. Petrarch's fountain, for here every thing is Petrarch's, springs and expands itself beneath an artificial arch, a little below the church, and abounds plentifully, in the driest season, with that soft water which was the ancient wealth of the Euganean Hills. It would be more attractive, were it not, in some seasons, beset with hornets and wasps. No other coincidence could assimilate the tombs of Petrarch and Archilochus. The revolutions of centuries have spared these sequestered valleys, and the only violence which has been ottered to the ashes of Petrarch was prompted, not by hate, but veneration. An attempt was made to rob the sarcophagus of its treasure, and one of the arms was stolen by a Florentine through a rent which is still visible. The injury is not forgotten, but has served to identify the poet with the country, where he was born, but where he would not live. A peasant boy of Arqua being asked who Petrarch was, replied, "that the people of the parsonage knew all about him, but that he only knew that he was a Florentine.'' Every footstep of Laura's lover lmi
anxiously traced and recorded, house in which he lodged ia shown in Venice. The inhabitants of Arezzo, in order to decide the ancient controversy between their city and the neighbouring Ancisa, where Petrarch was carried when seven months old, and remained until his seventh year, have designated by a long inscription the spot where their great fellow citizen was born. A tablet has been raised to him at Parma, in the chapel of St. Agatha, at the cathedral, because he was archdeacon of that society, and was only snatched from his intended sepulture in their church by a foreign death. Another tablet with a bust has been erected to him at Pavia, on account of his having passed the autumn of l.'f68 in that city, with his son-in-law Hrossano. The political condition which has for ages precluded the Italians from the criticism of the living, has concentrated their attention to the illustration of the dead.
Byron's visit was in 1818. Of this we may quote more on the appearance of Mr. Moore's second volume of the Poet's Life. Meanwhile, let us add the following graceful paper from the Athenceum, June 12, 1830: the subject harmonizes most happily with the classic title of that journal. It will be perceived that the tourist is familiar with Mr. Prout's drawing, or the original of our Engraving.
At Monselice we took another carriage, and dashed off to the Euganean Hills, to visit Arqua, the last dwelling and the burial-place of Petrarch. The Toad, in the feeling of M'Adam, is antediluvian, or rather post-diluvian, for it is little better than a water-course; but it passes through a country where I first saw olive-trees in abundance, vines in the luxuriance of nature, and pomegranates growing in hedges. The situathe little village is perfectly de-of Petrarch's villa, beautiful.
nts he occupied command «t view, and are so detached from the noise and annoyances of the farm dwelling, though connected under one roof, that I think it not impossible he made the addition. There are four or five rooms altogether, if two little closets of not more than six feet by three may lied rooms; yet one of these is "to have been his study; and in dy, and at his literary enjoyments, Every thing is preserved with tial care that does honour to ; and his chair, like less holy "ible relics, is inclosed in a to prevent the dilapidations
of the curious. I believe these things to be genuine. I believe in the local traditions that point out his study, and his kitchen, and his dying chamber.— Petrarch was all but idolized in his own time, and his fame has known no diminution; therefore these affectionate recollections of him have always been treasured there for the gratification of his pilgrims, and with a becoming reverence themselves, the people naturally set apart as sacred all tnat belonged to him. I have noticed the compactness of his few rooms, and their separation from the larger apartments—they have also a separate communication by a small elegant flight of steps into thegarden, as you may see in Pront's drawing. If the rooms were not an addition, and it did not suggest itself at the: moment to look attentively, I believe these little architectural and ornamental steps to have been; and as we know he did meddle with brick and mortar, by building a small chapel here, the conjecture is not improbable;—it is but a conjecture, and remains for others to confirm or disprove.
A little wild, irregular walk runs, serpent like, all round the garden, which, situated at the head of the valley, isshut in by the hills—itself a wilderness of luxuriance and beauty. It was a glorious evening, and every thing in agreement with our quiet feeling. I am not an enthusiast, and to you I need not affect to be other than I am; but I have felt this day sensibly, and shall remember it for ever. Petrarch's fame is worth the noise and nothing of all the men-slayers since Cain! It is fame indeed, holy and lovely, when the name' and reputation of a man, remembered only for wisdom and virtue, shall have extended into remote and foreign kingdoms with such a sound and echo, that centuries after a stranger turns aside into these mountains to visit his humble' dwelling. It is the verification of the prediction of Boccaccio—" This village, hardly known even at Padua, will become famous through the world.I do not: presume to offer a eulogy on Petrarch as a writer, but as a man. In all the relations of son, brother, father, he is deserving all honour; and I- know not another instance of such long-continued, sincere, and graceful friendships,through air varieties of fortune, from the Cardinal of Cabassole, to the poor fisherman at Vaucluse, as his life offers; including literary friendships, whioh, after so many years, passed without one discordant' feeling of rivalry or jealousy, ended so 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 obstruasively, 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 ose didate. He appeared with that modest tentatious : a plain stone sarcophagus, and simple air which always accomparesting 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. Í
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 wan. The doctor apprehended the meaning dered about there, unwilling to leave it, that there was no room for him in 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 Jaid it delicately on the surface of the detained the night at Monselice, and
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 THE SILENT ACADEMY, OR
acclamation. THE EMBLEMS.
They directly presented to him the FROM THE FRENCA.
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
. ond a
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 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