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worthy of the name), but the first and one of the out-posts of the country; the only Guide. As to the parts and nothing, that I know of, is to assigned to us severally, they are not be gained by ascending it, except, entirely cast: most of us were toler- perhaps, a sprained ancle—or, as a ably bouzy at our first meeting; and man would be apt to infer from Mrs. not much business was done: only I Ratcliffe's alarming account of that remember that Mr. Coleridge wished ascent, a broken neck. to do the metaphysics; but I dis- pose, however, for which most peoallowed of that, and swore I would ple ascend Skiddaw-and for which “strike" (in the journeyman's sense), they leave their beds in Keswick at if it were given to any body but my midnight, is to see the sun rise: self. So he does the politics : and I which is the most absurd of all purbelieve the mineralogy was assigned poses. To see the sun rise amongst to Mr W-i at least, Pro- mountains is doubtless a fine thing : fessor W- tells me, that he has but this is but accomplished so as since observed him in a solitary place to see the oblique gleams, and the ¢ smiting, the rocks with a pocket- "long levelled rules" of light, which hammer," which I know not how he are shot through the different vistas, will reconcile with a passage in the and loop-holes of the hills, by standExcursion, rather hard upon that ing below and near their base. Gopractice. We shall be happy to ing up a three-hours' ascent to the make honourable mention in verse or top of a mountain, in order to view prose of all persons who will furnish an appearance in the heavens rests us with embellishments for our work, on the same mistake which has inplates, vignettes, &c. but of course duced
to plant an astronodone in a style as much superior to mical observatory on the top of a hill the wretched illustrations which ac at a great increase of expence; and company other Guides, as our work is like standing on a pin-cushion or will be superior to theirs.
in pattens to see the ascent of a balAs this Guide will take some time loon. If a hill had stood in the way in preparing, and the lake-season is of the observatory, and directly obnow at its meridian, I shall mention structed its view, it might be well to in this place, for the information of carry it to a little distance; or, if the great numbers who wish to ascend that were not possible, to place it Helvellyn, but do not feel themselves on the hill. Immediate obstructions equal to the exertion of walking up, cleared—the observatory will comthat it has been ascertained within mand as ample an area of sky from these two or three years, that it is pos- the plains as from the hills: and so sible to ride up on a sure-footed horse. of picturesque views. For my part, By the way, there is something to I cannot but approve the judgment repay one for the labour of ascending of three Englishmen travelling on the Helvellyn; for it stands in the centre continent, who having ascended a of the lake-district ; and the swelling hill to see the sun rise, were so disand heaving of the billowy scene of appointed that they unanimously mountains around it and below it is hissed him, and cried - Off! off!” truly magnificent. But Skiddaw is as to a bad performer.
It is a remarkable proof of the in- thors had charged the martyrs of the accuracy with which most men read Christian church with Suicide-on - that Donne's Biathanatos has been the principle that if I put myself in supposed to countenance Suicide; the way of a mad bull, knowing that and those who reverence his name he will kill me,I am as much have thought themselves obliged to chargeable with an act of self-deapologize for it by urging, that it struction as if I fling myself into a was written before he entered the river. Several casuists had extended church. But Donne's purpose in this this principle even to the case of Jetreatise was a pious one: many au sus Christ: one instance of which,
in a modern author, the reader may there are such cases. There is no see noticed and condemned by Kant, man, who in his heart would not rein his Religion innerhalb die gronzen verence a woman that chose to die der blossen Vernunft; and another rather than to be dishonoured : and, if of much earlier date, (as far back as we do not say, that it is her duty to the 13th century, I think,) in a com- do so, thut is because the moralist moner book-Voltaire's notes on the must condescend to the weakness little treatise of Beccaria, Dei delitti and infirmities of human nature : e delle pene. These statements tend- mean and ignoble natures must not ed to one of two results : either they be taxed up to the level of noble, unsanctified the characters of those
Again, with regard to the who founded and nursed the Chris- other sex, corporal punishment is its tian church ; or they sanctified sui- peculiar and sexual degradation; and cide. By way of meeting them, if ever the distinction of Donne can Donne wrote his book: and as the be applied safely to any case, it will whole argument of his opponents be to the case of him who chooses to turned upon a false definition of sui- die rather than to submit to that igcide (not explicitly stated, but as- nominy. At present, however, there sumed), he endeavoured to reconsti- is but a dim and very confined sense, tute the notion of what is essential even amongst enlightened men (as to create an act of suicide. Simply we may see by the debates of Parliato kill a man is not murder: primâ ment), of the injury which is done to fucie, therefore, there is some sort of human nature by giving legal sancpresumption that simply for a man tion to such brutalizing acts; and to kill himself-may not always be therefore most men, in seeking to 80: there is such a thing as simple escape it, would be merely shrinking homicide distinct from murder: there from a personal dishonour. Corporal may, therefore, possibly be such a punishinent is usually argued with a thing as self-homicide distinct from single reference to the case of him self-murder. There muy be a ground who suffers it; and so argued, God for such a distinction, ex analogia. knows that it is worthy of all abBut, secondly, on examination, is horrence: but the weightiest arguthere any ground for such a distinc ment against it—is the foul indignity tion? Donne affirms that there is; which is offered to our common naand, reviewing several eminent cases ture lodged in the person of him on of spontaneous martyrdom, he endea whom it is inflicted. His nature is vours to show that acts so motived our nature: and, supposing it possiand circumstantiated will not ble that he were so far degraded as come within the notion of suicide to be unsusceptible of any
influences properly defined.- Meantime, may
but those which address him through not this tend to the encouragement of the brutal part of his nature, yet for suicide in general, and without dis the sake of ourselves-No! not crimination of its species? No: merely for ourselves, or for the huDome's arguments have no prospec man race now existing, but for the tive reference or application; they sake of human nature, which transare purely retrospective. The cir- cends all existing participators of cumstances necessary to create an that nature we should remember act of mere self-homicide can rarely that the evil of corporal punishment concur, except in a state of disorder- . is not to be measured by the poor ed society, and during the cardinal transitory criminal, whose memory revolutions of human history: where, and offence are soon to perish: these, however, they do concur, there it in the sum of things, are as nothing : will not be suicide. In fact, this is the injury which can be done him, the natural and practical judgment and the injury which he can do, have of us all. We do not all agree on so momentary an existence that they the particular cases which will jus may be safely neglected: but the tify self-destruction : but we all feel abiding injury is to the most august and involuntarily acknowledge (im- interest which for the mind of man plicitly acknowledge in our admira can have any existence, -viz. to his tion, though not explicitly in our own nature: to raise and dignify words or in our principles), that which, I am persuaded, is the first
last and boliest command* which in the presence of many witnesses. the conscience imposes on the philo- Not having any pistols or razors, he sophic moralist. În countries, where ran for a short distance, in order to aid the traveller has the pain of seeing the impetus of his descent, and leaphuman creatures performing the lac ed over a precipice, at the foot of bours of brutes,t-surely the sorrow which he was dashed to pieces. His which the spectacle moves, if a wise motive to the “ rash act," as the sorrow, will not be chiefly directed papers called it, was supposed to be to the poor degraded individual-too mere tædium vitæ. But, for my part, deeply degraded, probably, to be I doubted the accuracy of the report. sensible of his own degradation, but Not long after a case occurred in to the reflexion that man's nature is Westmoreland which strengthened thus exhibited in a state of miserable my doubts. A fine young blood abasement; and, what is worst of horse, who could have no possible ell, abasement proceeding from man reason for making away with himhimself.–Now, whenever this view self, unless it were the high price of of corporal punishment becomes gene- oats at that time, was found one ral (as inevitably it will, under the morning dead in his field. The case influence of advancing civilization), I was certainly a suspicious one: for say, that Donne's principle will then he was lying by the side of a stonebecome applicable to this case, and it wall, the upper part of which wall will be the duty of a man to die ra his skull had fractured, and which ther than to suffer his own nature to had returned the compliment by fracbe dishonoured in that way. But so turing his skull. It was argued, long as a man is not fully sensible of therefore, that in default of ponds, the dishonour, to him the dishonour, &c. he had deliberately bammered except as a personal one, does not with his head against the wall ; this, wholly exist." In general, whenever at first, seemed the only solution: a paramount interest of human na and he was generally pronounced ture is at stake, a suicide which felo de se. However, a day or two maintains that interest is self-homi- brought the truth to light. The field cide: but, for a personal interest, it lay upon the side of a hill: and, from becomes self-murder. And into this a mountain which rose above it, a principle Donne's may be resolved. shepherd had witnessed the whole
catastrophe, and gave evidence which vindicated the character of the horse.
The day had been very windy; and A doubt has been raised-whether the young creature being in high brute animals ever commit suicide: spirits, and, caring evidently as little to me it is obvious that they do not, for the corn question as for the buland cannot. Some years ago, how- lion question, had raced about in all ever, there was a case reported in all directions; and at length, descendthe newspapers of an old ram who ing too steep a part of the field, had committed suicide (as it was alleged) been unable to check himself, and
On which account, I am the more struck by the ignoble argument of those statesmen who have coutended in the House of Commons that such and such classes of men in this nation are not accessible to any loftier infiuences. Supposing that there were any truth in this assertion, which is a litul not on this nation only, but on man in general, --surely it is the duty of lawgivers not to perpetuate by their institutions the evil which they find, but to presume and gradually to create a better spirit.
+ Of which degradation, let it never be forgotten that France but thirty years ago presented as shocking cases as any country, even where slavery is tolerated. An eyewitness to the fact, who has since published it in print, told me, that in France, before the revolution, he had repeatedly seen a woman yoked with an ass to the plough ; and the brutal ploughman applying his whip indifferently to either. English people, to whom I have occasionally mentioned this as an exponent of the hollow refinement of manners in France, have i:niformly exclaimed—“ That is more than I can believe ;" and have taken it for granted that I had my information from some prejudiced Englishman. But who was riy informer ? A Frenchman, reader, -M. Simond ; and though How by adoption an American citizen, yet still French in his heart and in all his pre
was projected by the impetus of his ever, thought that under the cirown descent like a battering ram cumstances of his situation he would against the wall.
have a better chance for success in life as a tradesman ; and they took the
necessary steps for placing him as an Of human suicides, the most affect apprentice at some shopkeeper's in ing I have ever seen recorded is one Penrith. This he looked upon as an which I met with in a German book: indignity, to which he was deterthis I shall repeat a little further on: mined in no case to submit. And the most calm and deliberate is the accordingly, when he had ascertainfollowing, which is said to have oc- ed that all opposition to the choice curred at Keswick, in Cumberland: of his friends was useless, he walked but I must acknowledge, that I never over to the mountainous district of had an opportunity, whilst staying Keswick (about sixteen miles disat Keswick, of verifying the state- tant)-looked about him in order to ment. A young man of studious select his ground-coolly walked up turn, who is said to have resided Lattrig (a dependency of Skiddaw) near Penrith, was anxious to qualify --made a pillow of sods-laid himhimself for entering the church, or for self down with his face looking up to any other mode of life which might the sky--and in that posture was secure to him a reasonable portion found dead, with the appearance of of literary leisure. His family, how- having died tranquilly.
X. Y. Z.
EARLY ITALIAN POETS.
GUITTONE D'AREZZO. - Towards the middle of the thir. Tuscan poets, published by the teenth century,” (says Crescimbeni Giunta at Florence on the 6th of in his history of Italian poetry) July, 1527, (so particular were they “ flourished Fra Guittone del Viva, in noting the precise day of the pubof the order of the Frati Godenti, lication. These, together with a and commonly called Fra Guittone Ballata and three Canzoni (a species d’Arezzo. The Tuscan poetry is of poem which the Italians borrowed greatly indebted to him, since he from the Provençals, but which has brought to perfection the most noble not, like the sonnet, been adopted by and elegant of its lyrical composi- the other nations of Europe) constitions, namely, the sonnet, to which tute the eighth book of the abovehe prescribed that quality and num- mentioned collection. They are all ber of the verses, and that collocation on the subject of love; which, accordand variation of the rhymes, which ing to the fashion of the times, he we now practise. He was less bar- does not treat like a man of this barous in his diction and more world; but, having invested his misprofound in his thoughts than many tress in I know not what super-huothers of his age.”
man perfection, is contented to worWhen we consider the number of ship her at an humble distance. beautiful poems in our own language Whether she were fair or brown, to which this invention of Guittone whcther her locks of gold or jet, her has given birth, beginning from eyes black, blue, or hazel, or if she Surrey, in Harry the Eighth's time, were known by any appellation, and continuing down to our own day, Christian or Heathenish, does not we cannot but join our acknowledge appear. It may therefore be feared ments with those of Crescimbeni. that, in our present state of degene
Of his own sonnets, I have now racy, he will find few to sympathize thirty before me in the collection of with him in the following complaints.
Infelice mia stella, e duro fato,
Che da le steile vien pur vita amara ;
Dal primo giorno eo fui predestinato
A l'amoroso gioco; ove s'impara
Miser, che'n simil ponto eo fui criato :
Mille fiate son ricorso a' thene,
Sequendo hor questa setta, ed hora quella :
Per fuggir le dorate aspre quadrella :
Nulla mi giova; ond' eo son fuor di spene. (Fol. 90.)
For bitter life e'en from the stars may come ;
That by the stars is moulded for our state :
To love's fell sport, where so much woe hath room,
Wretch, whom the skies did for such hap create.
A thousand times to Athens have I run,
Addressing to each school my steps in turn:
Quanto più mi distrugge il meo pensiero
Che la durezza altrui produsse a'l mondo,
E co'l fuggir de la speranza spero :
Che mancherò sotto si grave pondo ;
Ch'eo bramo, e seguo la cagion, ch'eo pero:
Il qual leggendo i miei sospiri in rima
Si dolerà de la mia dura sorte :
Visto con il mio mal giunto il suo danno
(Fol. 96.) The more I am destroyed by my thought,
Which doth its birth from others' hardness date,
And hope in me with flight of hope is wrought:
That I shall sink under so heavy weight,
Who, when he reads my doleful sighs in rhyme,
Shall sorrow for a lot, as mine, severe.
Seeing her loss link'd to my ill, in time
May for my death shed one compunctious tear?Besides these poems, there is a something may be gleaned from them collection of his letters, mostly in by one who is curious about the hisprose, but some of them in verse. tory and literature of those times. Tiraboschi says they are the most The seventh letter is to Corso Donati, ancient specimen of letters written in a turbulent statesman, famous for the Italian language. They abound his eloquence, and the bitterest enemy in elevated sentiments, are stately, that Dante had in Florence. It is formal, sometimes thickly sown with written in metre, and contains some quotations, and have much the ap- good advice, which if Corso, then a pearance of tasks. Here and there young man, had followed, he night