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Enter the ABBOT.
And twines its roots with the imperial hearths, Abbot. Where is your master?
Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth;Her.
Yonder in the tower.
But the gladiator's bloody circus stands, Abbot. I must speak with him.
A noble wreck in ruinous perfection! Manuel
'Tis impossible; While Cæsar's chambers, and the Augustan halls, He is most private, and must not be thus
Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.-Intruded on.
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon Abbot. Upon myself I take
All this, and cast a wide and tender light, The forfeit of my fault, if fault there be
Which soften’d down the boar austerity
Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up,
As 't were anew, the gaps of centuries;
Leaving that beautiful which still was so, Abbot. Herman! I command thee, And making that which was not, till the place Knock, and apprise the Count of my approach.
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er Her. We dare not.
With silent worship of the great of old !Abbot.
Then it seems I must be herald The dead but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule of my own purpose.
Our spirits from their urns.-
'Twas such a night! I pray you, pause.
'Tis strange that I recall it at this time; Abbot. Why so?
But, I have found, our thoughts take wildest fiigbt Manuel.
But step this way, Even at the moment when they should array And I will tell you further.
Exeunt. | Themselves in pensive order.
Enter the ABBOT.
My good lord!
I crave a second grace for this approach;
But yet let not my humble zeal offend
By its abruptness-all it hath of ill
Recoils on me; its good in the effect
Could I touch that, with words or prayers, I should I linger yet with Nature, for the night
Recall a poble spirit which hath wander'd, Hath been to me a more familiar face
But is not yet all lost. Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Thou know'st me not; Of dim and solitary loveliness,
My days are number'd, and my deeds recorded: I learu'd the language of another world.
Retire, or 't will be dangerous-Away! I do remember me, that in my youth,
Abbot. Thou dost not mean to menace me? When I was wandering, -upon such a night
Not I;' I stood within the Coliseum's wall, (2)
I simply tell thee peril is at hand, 'Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome;
And would preserve thee. The trees which grew along the broken arches
What dost mean? Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Look there!! Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar
What dost thou see? The watch-dog bay'd beyond the Tiber; and
Abbot. More near, from out the Cæsars' palace came
Look there, I say, | The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly,
And steadfastly ;-now tell me what thou seest? Of distant sentinels the fitful song
Abbot. That which should shake me, but I fear Begun and died upon the gentle wind.
it notSome cypresses beyond the time-worn breach
I see a dusk and awful figure rise, Appear'd to skirt the horizon, yet they stood
Like an infernal god, from out the earth; Within a bowshot-Where the Cæsars dwelt, His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst Robed as with angry clouds : he stands between A grove which springs through levell'd battlements, Thyself and me--but I do fear him not.
indistinctly bear bim to the di not to rem
And cannot catch faint sounds.
THERMAN inclining his head and listening.
I hear a word
MANYRED motions with his hand not to remove him.
Twill soon be over,
difficult to die. MANFRED having said this, expires. Herman. His eyes are fix'd and lifeless. He is gone.
Manuel. Close them--My old hand quivers.--He departsWhither? I dread to think-but be is gone.-P.E
“The opening of this scene is, perhaps, the finest passage in the drama; and its solemn, calm, and majestic character throws an air of grandeur over the cata. strophe, which was in danger of appearing extravagant, and somewhat too much in the style of the Devil and Dr. Faustus." Vilson.-L.E.
(2) "Drove at midnight to see the Coliseum by moon. light: but what can I say of the Coliseum? It must be seen; to describe it I should have thought impossible, if I had not read Manfred. To see it aright, as the Poet of the North tells us of the fair Melrose, one must see it by the pale moonlight.' The stillness of night, the whispering echoes, the moonlight shadows, and the awful grandeur of the impending ruins, form a scene of romantic sublimity, such as Byron alone could describe as it deserves. His description is the very thing itself.” Mattheucs's Diary of an Invalid.-L, E.
Man. Thou hast no cause—he shall not harm thee Which made thee wretched ! - but
Thou false fiend, thou liest!!
Nor would redeem a moment of that hour;
I do not combat against death, but thee
And thy surrounding angels; my past power What doth he here?
Was purchased by no compact with thy crew, Мап,
Why-ay-what doth he here? But by superior science-penance-daringI did not send for him,-he is unbidden.
And length of watching-strength of mind-and skill Abbot. Alas! lost mortal! what with guests like In knowledge of our fathers--when the earth these
Saw men and spirits walking side by side, Hast thou to do? I tremble for thy sake:
And gave ye no supremacy: I stand Why doth be gaze on thee, and thou on bim! Upon my strength-I do defy-denyAh! he unveils bis aspect: on his brow
Spurn back, and scorn ye! The thunder-scars are graven; from his eye
But thy many crimes Glares forth the immortality of hell
Have made thee, Avaunt!-
What are they to such as thee ? Man. Pronounce—what is thy mission?
Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes, Spirit.
Come! And greater criminals ?-Back to thy hell! Abbot. What art thou, unknown being ? answer! - Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel; speak!
Thou never shalt possess me, that I know: Sp. The genius of this mortal.—Come! 'tis time. What I have done is done; I bear within
Man. I am prepared for all things, but deny A torture which could nothing gain from thine: The power which summons me. Who sent thee here? The mind, which is immortal, makes itself Spirit. Thou 'lt know anon-Come! come!
Requital for its good or evil thoughtsMan.
I have commanded | Is its own origin of ill and endThings of an essence greater far than thine,
And its own place and timne—its innate sense,
Spirit. Mortal! thine hour is come-Away! I say, No colour from the fleeting things without;
Born from the knowledge of its own desert.
Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldst not tempt Spirit. Then I must summon up my brethren.-
[Other Spirits rise up. | I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy prey, Abbot. Avaunt! ye evil ones ! - Avaunt! I say, - 1 But was my own destroyer, and will be Ye have no power where piety hath power,
My own hereafter.- Back, ye baffled fiends!
The band of death is on membut not yours!
[The Demons disappear. i We know ourselves, our mission, and thine order; Abbot. Alas! how pale thou art--thy lips are whiteWaste not thy holy words on idle uses,
And thy breast beaves—and in thy gasping throat It were in vain: this man is forfeited.
The accents rattle-Give thy prayers to HeavenOnce more I summon him-Away! away!
Pray-albeit but in thought, but die not thus. Man. I do defy ye,-though I feel my soul
Man. 'T is over-my dull eyes can fix thee not; Is ebbing from me, yet I do defy ye;
But all things swim around me, and the earth Nor will I hence, while I have earthly breath Heaves as it were beneath me. Fare thee wellTo breathe my scorn upon ye-earthly strength Give me thy hand. To wrestle, though with spirits; what ye take
Cold-cold-even to the heart Shall be ta'en limb by limb.
But yet one prayer--Alas! how fares it with thee? Spirit.
Reluctant mortal! Man. Old man! 'tis not so diflicult to die. (1) Is this the Magian who would so pervade
MAXFRED expires. The world invisible, and make himself
Abbot. He's gone—his soul hath ta'en its earthless Almost our equal?-Can it be that thou
flight| Art thus in love with life? the very life
Whither? I dread to think-but he is gone. (2)
(1) In the first edition, this line was accidentally left out. struck with it: bnt it was the Steinbach and the Jungfrau, On discovering the omission, Lord Byron wrote to Mr. and something else, much more than Faustus, that made Murray-"You have destroyed the whole effect and moral me write Manfred. The first scene, however, and that of of the poem, by omitting the last line of Manfred's speak Faustus are very similar." ing.-L.E.
The following is the extract from Goethe's Kunst und Al. (2) in June, 1820, Lord Byron thus writes to his pub- therthum (i, e. Art and Antiquity) which the above letter lisher:-"Enclosed is something which will interest you; enclosed : to wit, the opinion of the greatest man in Germany--perhaps “Byrou's tragedy, Manfred, was to ine a wonderful phe. la Europe-upon one of the great men of your advertise. nomenon, and one that closely touched me. This singularly ments (all famous bands,' as Jacob Tonson used to say of ! intellectual poet has taken my Faustus to bimself, and ex.
his raggamuffins -in short, a critique of Goethe's upon tracted from it the strongest nourishment for his hypo, Manfred. There is the original, an English translation, and chondriac humour. He has made use of the impelling prin.
an Italian one: keep them all in your archives; for the ciples in bis own way, for his own purposes, so that no opinions of such a man as Goethe, whether favourable or one of them remains the same; and it is particularly on uot, are always interesting--and this is more so, as fa. this account that I cannot enough admire his genius. The vourable. His Faust I Dever read, for I don't know Ger whole is in this way 80 completely formed anew, that it man; but Matthew Monk Lewis, in 1816, at Coligny, trans- would he an interesting task for the critic to point out, not lated most of it to me viva voce, and I was naturally much, only the alterations he has made, but their degree of re.
English Whises; for
semblance with, or dissimilarity to, the original: in the sketch of a subject which did not admit of more accurate course of which, I cannot deny, that the gloomy heat of an drawing or more brilliant colouring. Its obscurity is a part unbounded and exuberant despair becomes at last oppres. of its grandeur ;- and the darkness that rests upon it, and sive to us. Yet is the dissatisfaction we feel always con the smoky distance in which it is lost, are all devices to nected with esteem and admiration.
increase its majesty, to stimulate our curiosity, and to im« We find thus, in this tragedy, the quintessence of the press us with deeper awe. It is suggested, in an ingenious most astonishing talent, born to be its own tormentor. The paper in a late number of the Edinburgh Magazine, that the character of Lord Byron's life and poetry hardly permits general conception of this piece, and much of what is ex. a just and equitable appreciation. Ile has often enough cellent in the manner of its execution, have been borrowed confessed what it is that torments him. He has repeatedly from The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, of Marlow it and portrayed it; and scarcely any one feels compassion for a variety of passages are quoted, which the author con. this intolerable suffering, over which he is ever labori. siders as similar, and, in many respects, superior to others ously ruminating. There are, properly speaking, two fe in the poem before us. We cannot agree in the general males whose phantoms for ever haunt him, and which, in terms of the conclusion; but there is no doubt a certain this piece also, perform principal parts-one under the resemblance, both in some of the topies that are suggested, name of Astarte, the other without form or actual presence, and in the cast of the diction in which they are expressed. and merely a voice. Of the horrid occurrence which tookThus, to induce Faustus to persist in his unlawful studies, place with the former, the following is related :- When a | he is told that the Spirits of the Elements will serve him, bold and enterprising young man, he won the affections of
Sometimes like women, or unwedded maids, a Florentine lady. Her husband discovered the amour, and
Shadowing more beauty in their ayrie browes, murdered his wife; but the murderer was the same night
Than have the white breasts of the Queene of Love." found dead in the street, and there was no one on whom And again, when the amorous sorcerer commands Helen of any suspicion could be attached. Lord Byron removed from Troy to revive again to be his paramour, he addresses ber,
Troy to revive again to be his par Florence, and these spirits haunted him all his life after.
on her first appearance, in these rapturous lines“This romantic incident is rendered highly probable by
• Was this the face that launcht a thousand ships, innumerable allusions to it in his poems. As, for instance,
And burn'd the topless towers of Ilium? when, turning his sad contemplations inwards, he applies
Sweet Helen! make me immortal with a kiss, to himself the fatal history of the king of Sparta. It is as
Her lips suck forth my soule!-see where it flies. follows:- Pausanias, a Lacedæmonian general, acquires
Come, Helen, come give me my soule againe,
Here will I dwell, for heaven is on that lip, glory by the important victory at Platæa, but afterwards
And all is dross that is not Helena. forfeits the confidence of his countrymen through his ar.
0! thou art fairer than the evening a yre, rogance, obstinacy, and secret intrigues with the enemies
Clad in the beauty of a thousand starres, of his country. This man draws upon himself the heavy
More lovely than the monarch of the skyes, guilt of innocent blood, which attends him to bis end; for,
In wanton Arethusa's azure arms!' while commanding the fleet of the allied Greeks, in the The catastropbe, too, is hewailed in verses of great ele. Biack Sea, he is inflamed with a violent passion for a
gance and classical beauty Byzantine maiden. After long resistance, he at length ob.
Cut is the branch that might have growne full straight, tains her from her parents, and she is to be delivered up
And burned is Apollo's laurel bongh to him at night. She inodestly desires the servant to put
That sometime grew within this learned man. out the lamp, and, while groping her way in the dark, she
Fanstus is gone!-regard his hellish fall, overturns it. Pausanias is awakened from his sleep-ap
Whose findful torture may exhort the wise, prehensive of an attack from murderers, he seizes his sword,
Only to wonder at unlawful things! and destroys his mistress. The horrid sight never leaves | But these and many other smooth and fanciful verses in him. Her shade pursues him unceasingly, and he implores this curious old drama prove nothing, we think, against for aid in vain from the gods and the exorcising priests. the originality of Manfred; for there is nothing to be found
"That poet must have a lacerated heart who selects there of the pride, the abstraction, and the heart-rooted such a scene from antiquity, appropriates it to himself, misery in which that originality consists, Faustus is a and burdens his tragic image with it. The following soli. valgar sorcerer, tempted to sell his soul to the devil for loquy, which is overladen with gloom and a weariness of | the ordinary price of sensual pleasure, and earthly power life, is, by this remark, rendered intelligible. We recomand glory; and who shrinks and shudders in agony when mend it as an exercise to all friends of declamation. Ham the forfeit comes to be exacted. The style, too, of Marlow, let's soliloquy appears improved upon here."-Goethe here though elegant and scholar-like, is wenk and childish, subjoins Manfred's soliloquy, beginning “ We are the fools compared with the depth and force of much of Lord Byron; of time and terror," in which the allusion to Pausanias and the disgusting buffoonery and low farce of which his occurs.
piece is principally made up place it more in contrast, The reader will not be sorry to pass from this German than in any terms of comparison, with that of his noble criticism to that of the Edinburgh Review on Manfred, successor. In the tone and pitch of the composition, as * This is, undoubtedly, a work of great genius and origi. well as in the character of the diction in the more solemn nality. Its worst fault, perhaps, is that it fatigues and parts, Manfred reminds us much more of the Prometheus of overawes us by the uniformity of its terror and solemnity. Æschylus,S than of any more modern performance. The Another is the painful and offensive nature of the circum. tremendous solitude of the principal person-the superna. stance on which its distress is ultimately founded. The tural beings with whom alone he holds communion-tbe lyrical songs of the Spirits are too long, and not all ex. guilt- the firmness--the misery-are all points of 're. cellent. There is something of pedantry in them now and semblance, to which the grandeur of the poetic imagery then; and even Manfred deals in classical allusions a little only gives a more striking effect. The chief differences too much. If we were to consider it as a proper drama, are, that the subject of the Greek poet was sanctified and or even as a finished poem, we should be obliged to add, I exalted by the established belief of his country, and that that it is far too indistinct and unsatisfactory. But this his terrors are now here tempered with the sweetness which we take to be according to the design and conception of breathes from so many passages of bis English rival." the author. He contemplated but a dim and magnificent Jeffrey.-L.E.
"The grave confidence with which the venerable critic traces the + On reading this, Lord Byron wrote from Venice Jeffrey is fancies of his brother poet to real persons and events, making no dif very kind about Manfred, and defends its originality, which I did not
culty even of a double murder at Florence to furnish grounds for know that any body had attacked. As to the germs of it, they may his theory, affords an amusing instance of the disposition so preva. be found in the Journal which I sent to Mrs. Leigh, shortly before I lent throughout Europe, to picture Byron as a man of marvels and left Switzerland. I have the whole scene of Manfred belore me, as mysteries, 38 well in his life as his poetry. To these exaggerated or if it was but yesterday, and could point it out, spot by spot, torrent wholly false notions of him, the numerous Actions palmed upon the and all."-LE. world of his romantic tours and wonderful adventures, in places lie never saw, and with persons that never existed, bave, no doubt, con 6 * Or the Prometheus of Eschylus I was passionately fond as a boy siderably contributed; and the consequence is, soutterly out of (it was one of the Greek plays we read thrice a year at Harrow); truth and nature are the representations of bis life and character
indeed, that and the Medea were the only ones, except the Seren he long current upon the Continent, that it may be questioned whether
fore Thebes, which ever much pleased me. The Prometheus, if not the real flesh and blood' hero of these pages, the social, practical exactly in my plan, has always been so much in my head, that I can minded, and, with all his faults and eccentricities, English Lord
easily conceive its inuenice over all or any thing that I have written; Byron,-may not, to the over-exalted imaginations of most of his fo-| but I deny Marlow and his progeny, and beg that you will do the reign admirers, appear but an ordinary, unromantic, and prosaic per
sa me."--B. Letters, 1817.-L.E. sonage."-Moore. L.E.
of his brother ble murder at free of the disposem ulty even affords an amusinclure Byron as a mes
The Lament of Tasso.
| the indignation of the spectator. Ferrara is much
decayed, and depopulated : the castle still exists en
tire; and I saw the court where Parisina and Hugo Ar Ferrara, in the Library, are preserved the ori- were beheaded, according to the annal of Gibbon. (1) ginal MSS. of Tasso's Gerusalemme and of Guari. ni's Pastor Fido, with letters of Tasso, one from Ti
tian to Ariosto, and the inkstand and chair, the tomb i and the house of the latter. But, as misfortune has THE LAMENT OF TASSO. a greater interest for posterity, and little or none for the cotemporary, the cell where Tasso was confined in the hospital of St. Anna attracts a more fixed attention than the residence or the monument of Ariosto Long years!-It tries the thrilling frame to bear, -at least it had this effect on me. There are two | And eagle-spirit of a Child of Songinscriptions, one on the outer gate, the second over Long years of outrage, calumny, and wrong; the cell itself, inviting, unnecessarily, the wonder and Imputed madness, prison'd solitude, (2)
(1) The original MS. of this poem is dated, “The Apen. pride of his intellect often vainly strove to scorn ; and be vines, April 20, 1817." It was written in consequence dashed the weakness from his heart, and the tear from his of Lord Byron having visited Ferrara, for a single day, eyes, like a man suddenly assailed by feelings which he on his way to Florence. In a letter from Rome, he wished to hide, and which, though true to his nature, were says, “The Lament of Tasso, which I sent from Florence, inconsistent with the character which that mysterious na. has, I trust, arrived. I look upon it as a "These be good ture had been forced, as in self-defence, to assume. rhymes!' as Pope's papa said to him when he was a boy." "But there is one poem in which he has almost wholly laid
aside all remembrance of the darker and stormier passions ; "In a moment of dissatisfaction with himself, or during
in which the tone of his spirit and his voice at once is some melancholy mood, when his soul felt the worthless.
changed, and where he who seemed to care only for ago. ness of fame and glory, Lord Byron told the world that
nies, and remorse, and despair, and death, and insanity, in his Muse should, for a long season, shroud herself in so.
all their most appalling forms, shows that he has a heart litade; and every true lover of genias lamented that her
that can feed on the purest sympathies of our pature, and lofty music was to cease. But there was a tide in his
deliver itself up to the sorrows, the sadness, and the melanspirit obeying the laws of its nature, and not to be con
choly of humbler souls. The Prisoner of Chillon is a poem trolled by any human will. When he said that he was to
over which Infancy has shed its first mysterious tears for be silent, he looked, perhaps, into the inner regions of his
sorrows so alien to its own happy innocence, -over which soul, and saw there a dim, hard, and cheerless waste, like
the gentle, pure, and pious soul of Woman has brooded the sand of the sea-shore; but the ebbed waves of passion
with ineffable, and yearning, and bursting tenderness of af. in due course returned, and the scene was restored to its
fection, and over which old Age, almost loosened from this former beauty and magnificence,-its fuam, its splendours,
world, has bowed his hoary head in delighted approbation and its thunder. The mind of a mighty poet cannot submit
of that fraternal love, whose beauty and simplicity fling a even to chains of its own imposing: when it feels most en
radiance over the earth he is about to leave, and exhibit slaved, even then, perhaps, is it about to become most free;
our fallen nature in near approximation to the glories of its and one sudden flash may raise it from the darkness of its
ultimate destiny. The Lament possesses much of the tendespondency up to the pure air of untroubled confidence. It
derness and pathos of the Prisoner of Chillon. Lord Byron required, therefore, but small knowledge of human nature,
has not delivered himself unto any one wild and fearful vi. to assure ourselves that the obligation under which Lord Byron had laid himself could not bind, and that the potent
sion of the imprisoned Tasso,-he bas not dared to allow
himself to rush forward with headlong passion into the spirit within him would laugh to scorn whatever dared to curb the frenzy of its own inspirations.
horrors of bis dungeon, and to describe, as he could fear
fully have done, the conflict and agony of his uitermost "It was not long, therefore, till he again came forth in his
despair,- but he shows us the poet sitting in his cell, and perfect strength, and exercised that dominion over our spi
singing there - a low, melancholy, wailing lament, somerits which is truly a power too noble to be possessed without
times, indeed, bordering on utter wretchedness, but oftener being wielded. Though all his heroes are of one family, yet
partaking of a settled grief, occasionally subdued into mourn. are they a noble band of brothers, whose countenances and
ful resignation, cheered by delightful remembrances, and whose souls are strongly distinguished by peculiar character.
elevated by the confident hope of an immortal fame. His isties. Each personage, as he advances before us, reminds
is the gathered grief of many years, over which his soul has us of some other being, whose looks, thoughts, words, and
brooded, till she has in some measure lost the power of deeds had troubled us by their wild and perturbed grandeur.
misery; and this soliloquy is one which we can believe Le But though all the same, yet are they all strangely differ.
might have uttered to himself any morning, or noon, or ent. We hail each successive existence with a profounder
night of his solitude, as he seemed to be half communing sympathy; and we are lost in wonder, in fear, and in sorrow,
with own heart, and half addressing the ear of that human at the infinitely- varied struggles, the endless and agonising
nature from which he was shut out, but of which he felt the modifications of the human passions, as they drive along
continual and abiding presence within his imagination."through every gate and avenue of the soul, darkening or
Vilson.-L. E. brightening, elevating or laying prostrate.
(2) Tasso's biographer, the Abate Serassi, has left it "From such agitating and terrific pictares, it is delightful without doubt, that the first cause of the poet's punishment to turn to those compositions in which Lord Byron has al. was his desire to be occasionally, or altogether, free from lowed his soul to sink down into gentler and more ordinary his servitude at the court of Alfonso. In 1575, Tasso feelings. Many beautiful and pathetic strains have flowed resolved to visit Rome, and enjoy the indulgence of the jufrom his heart, of which the tenderness is as touching as vilce; "and this error,” says the Abate, increasing the the grandeur of his nobler works is agitating and sublime. suspicion already entertained, that he was in search of anTo those, indeed, who looked deeply into his poetry, there other service, was the origin of his misfortunes. On his neser was at any time a want of pathos; but it was a pathos return to Ferrara, the Duke refused to admit bim to an
o subduing and so profound, that even the poet himself audience, and he was repulsed from the houses of all the seemed afraid of being delivered up unto it; nay, he seemed dependants of the court; and not one of the promises which ashamed of being overcome by emotions, which the gloomy the Cardinal Albano had obtained for him were carried into
And the mind's canker in its savage mood,
With this last bruise upon a broken reed.
The wretched are the faithful; 'tis their fate
And every passion into one dilate,
effect. Then it was that Tasso-after having suffered these was carried into effect at the intercession of Don Vincenzo hardships for some time, seeing himself constantly dis- Gonzago, Prince of Mantua." Hobhouse.LE countenanced by the Duke and the Princesses, abandoned (2) "The opening lines bring the poet before us at once, by his friends, and derided by his enemies-could no longer as if the door of the dungeon was thrown open. From this contain himself within the borinds of moderation, but, giving Litter complaint, kow nobly the unconquered bard rises vent to his choler, publicly broke forth into the most in into calm, and serene, and dignified exultation over the jurious expressions imaginable, both against the Duke and beauty of that young creation, his soul's child,' the de all the house of Este, cursing his past service, and re- rusalemme Liberata. The exultation of conscious genius tracting all the praises be had ever given in his verses to then dies away, and we behold him, bound between disthose princes, or to any individual connected with them, traction and disease,' no longer in an inspired mood, bet declaring that they were all a gang of poltroons, ingrates, sunk into the lowest prostration of human misery. There is and scoundrels (poltroni, ingrati, e ribaldi). For this of something terrible in this transition from divine rapture to fence he was arrested, conducted to the hospital of St. Anna, degraded agony." Wilson.- LE and confined in a solitary cell as a madman." Serassi, (3) In a letter to his friend Scipio Gonzaga, shortly after Vita del Tasso.-L.E.
Lis confinement, Tasso exclaims, –"Ah, wretched me! I had (1) "in the hospital of St. Anna, at Ferrara, they show designed to write, besides two epic poems of most noble ar a cell, over the door of which is the following inscription : gument, four tragedies, of which I had formed the plan 1 - Rispettate, O posteri, la celebrità di questa stanza, dove had schemed, too, many works in prose, on subjects the Torquato Tasso, infermo più di tristezza che delirio, diten- most lofty, and most useful to human life; I had designed uto dimoro anni vii. mesi ii., scrisse verse e prose, e fu rito write philosophy with eloquence, in such a mapaer that i messo in libertà ad instanza della città di Bergamo, nel there might remain of me an eternal memory in the world.
giorno vi, Luglio, 1586. --The dungeon is below the ground Alas! I bad expected to close my life with glory Bad retoor of the hospital, and the light penetrates through its nown; but now, oppressed by the burden of so many calami grated window from a small yard, which seems to have been ties, I have lost every prospect of reputation and of honour. common to other cells. It is nine paces long, between five The fear of perpetual imprisonment increases my mclaa. and six wide, and about seven feet high. The bedstead, so choly; the indignities which I suffer augment it; and the they tell, has been carried off piecemeal, and the door squalor of my beard, my hair, and babit, the sordidoesa half cut away by the devotion of those whom the verse and and filth, exceedingly annoy me. Sure am I that, if *, prose' of the prisoner have brought to Ferrara. The poet who so little has corresponded to my attachment-if she saw was confined in this room from the middle of March 1579 me in such a state, and in such affliction he would have to December 1980, when he was removed to a contiguous some compassion on me." Opere, t. I. p. 387.-LE apartment much larger, in which, to use his own expres (4) “For nearly the first year of his confinemeat TASRO sions, he could philosophise and walk about.' The in. endured all the horrors of a solitary cel, and was under scription is incorrect as to the immediate cause of his cn- ! the care of a gaoler whose chief virtue, although he was a largement, which was promised to the city of Bergamo, but poet and a man of letters, was a cruel obedience to the