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have escaped the difficulties which at pressed. The 30th, is an eulogium last brought him to a miserable end. in verse, on the “Good Marzucco, The 11th is to Buonaggiunta, pro- and we may well suppose it to have bably the poet of that name and a originated in that very act recorded friend of Dante's, who nevertheless of him with such noble simplicity by has noted him for his gluttony, and Dante. accordingly placed him in the 24th In the course of these letters we canto of his Purgatory. In the 17th find Guittone referring for his authoto Marzucco Scornigiano, whom the rity to the Provençal writers, and same poet has immortalized for his particularly to Pierre Vidal, who is forgiveness of the murderer of his supposed to be one of those introducson, (Purg. c. 6.) Guittone asks for ed by Petrarch in the 4th Capitolo a sum of money which had been lent of the Triumph of Love, when he by his father, Viva di Michele, to says: Marzucco. It is couched in the most respectful terms, and concludes
Eranvi quei, ch' amor si lieve afferra
L'un Pietro e l'altro. thus. “Ma se pur piace voi, che perder deggia, vinto di cio mi chiamo; The notes appended to his letters e non solamente essa moneta più vi by Giovanni Bottari, in the edition of dimando, ma l'autra, che m'è rimasa them printed at Rome in 4to. 1745, e m'è appresso, prometto al piacere would have done credit to the dilivostro, servendo voi; che il pregio gence and learning of a Tyrwhitt. del valor vostro, m'ha sì congiunto a There is no need to repeat here sè, non puomi dispiacere cosa, che what is said of Guittone by Dante piaccia a voi voler di me.” P. 49. and Petrarch. Little is known of his “ But yet if it please you that I history, but that he founded a monasshould he at the loss, I give up my tery at Florence, and died in 1294. claim ; and am so far from demand Bottari speaks of one manuscript ing this money of you more, that the in the Vatican, which contains thirtyrest which remains with me I proffer four of his canzoni, and seventy-five to your service and pleasure ; for so of his sonnets ; and adds, that if all bound am I unto you for your wor- his unpublished works were collected, thiness, that the thing cannot dis- they would forin a large volume. I please me, which it may please you know not whether this has been to desire of me." The 25th, a long since done at Florence, where a few letter to Messer Cacciaguerra, is in years ago there was a design of puba fine strain of morality finely ex- lishing their ancient poets,
GREEK TRAGIC SCENES.
FROM THE ORESTES.
The personal introduction of the in its simplicity, and the little cirFuries, which the vigorous and bold cumstances of pathetic tenderness in fancy of Æschylus enabled him to which Euripides delights. Laharpe attempt and achieve, was an expe- is, however, mistaken when he says riment that could never be repeat- that affecting pathos is the single ed.
“Within that circle none durst department of tragedy in which walk but he." Euripides wisely Euripides can be said to counterstruck out a different track, and balance the superior advantages of made the ministers of retribution in- Sophocles : he is infinitely the most visible to the eye of the spectators
. copious, and commands the greatest We are left in doubt as to their bodily variety of powers, of all the three presence, or their sole existence as great dramatists of Greece. No sinphantoms of a haunted conscience. gle extract can ever convey an adeThis is managed with no little poeti- quate and entire impression of his cal sublimity: but the scene is chiefly genius. His reasoning or argumen, remarkable for the touches of nature tative speeches have been copied
much by the French tragic poets: cerity and earnestness with which though with the latter we have the personage of the drama argues usually the poet saying ingenious his cause. The accusation of Orestes things, and displaying his knowledge by Tyndarus, and the defence of the of the effect of antithesis and epi- former, rank among the very best ingrammatic point: with Euripides stances of natural and powerful draour attention is engaged by the sin- matic pleading.
To her Helen enters.
Too long'a virgin, sad Electra, say
Her loss, and cannot choose but weep her fortune.
Thou art a near eye-witness to the woes
Of those who fare most wretchedly.
O lost man!
To send my daughter; for thy words have reason.
Thy sister Helen sends thee ikese grave-offerings :
She ventures not t' approach thy monument
Upon the tomb, retrace thy footsteps quickly. (They go out.) Electra. Oh natural gifts ! ye are to men a mischief!
Healthful to those alone who use you well.
Chorus of Young Damsels, the Friends of Electra. Chorus Softly, softly gliding o'er,
Let our sandals press the floor,
Light and noiseless be our tread: Electra. Far, far off-avoid the bed. Chorus.
See, we heed thee. Electra.
Whisper low As through reeds the breezes blow. Chorus. Hush'd the converse which we keep
As the sounds that lull to sleep.
Silent come, and silent go.
Long he slumbers, as you see.
But mishap, a tale of death?
Still he breathes, but pants for breath.
As lapt in sweetest sleep he lies.
Thou hast done, by heaven decreed ;
That bereave thee of repose !
When unrighteous prophesy,
The lawless murder of a mother.
Tossing in his broken rest.
Rudely, and his rest is broken.
Electra. Will ye not depart at last,
Treading softly as ye go?
That sheddest sleep
We are consumed, consumed away!
Dearest friend ! that not a word
Leave him-leave him to repose.
Bread, that should his life sustain. Chorus. Death appears before his eyes. Electra. We are fall’n a sacrifice
To the God who doom'd to flow
Her blood that laid our father low.
My father's blood, and thou art dead.
See! what a wretched life I drag for ever.
The couch on which he lies : 'he may be gone
Where the stretch'd limbs hang loose as those I see. Orestes. O sleep! O friendly balm! relief from pain!
How pleasant is thy seasonable coming !
I have forgot the past; my mind has wander'.
Shall I now touch thee tenderly and raise thee?
From my spent lips ; the moisture from my eyelids. Electra. See'tis my pleasant duty : nor refuse I
To tend thy person with my sister hands. Orestes. Lie down beside me: art the matted hair
That hides my face: I scarce can see the light. Electra. How thy poor head is tangled with its locks !
How haggard look'st thou, to the bath a stranger ! Orestes. Lay me again upon the couch: the fit
Of frenzy leaves me weak, and my limbs fail me.
Electra. See how his bed is welcome to the patient !
Irksome possession! but he needs must keep it. Orestes. Place me again upright, and lean me forward. Chorus. Fastidious are the sick, beset with wants. Electra. Say, wilt thou set thy feet upon the floor
With slow alternate steps? change best refreshes. Orestes. Aye—though this be not health, it has the semblance;
The semblance pleases, though we miss the substance. Electra. Hark now, dear brother! while the Furies spare thee. Orestes. What hast thou new? if good it will be welcome:
If evil, I've enough of ills already, Electra. Thy uncle Menelaus is arrived;
His galley anchors in the port of Nauplia.
He who has known the bounty of my father?
He brings his Helen from the walls of Troy.
Leading his wife he brings a mischief with him.
Sprang, the reproach and infamy of Greece.
Arraign them not in speech, but in thy heart.
Thy rage is coming on, though sane but now ! Orestes. O mother! I beseech thee set not on me
Those snake-hair'd women dabbled all with blood :
"Tis they—'tis they—they leap upon me now. Electra. Rest thou, poor sufferer! tranquil in thy bed:
Thou think'st thou clearly seest them, yet seest nothing. Orestes. They'll kill me, Phæbus !- those grim Goddesses,
Dog-visaged, gorgon-eyed, Hell's priestesses !
Around thee, and prevent thy cruel leaps.
Thou clasp’st my waist to cast me down to hell.
In his distress? the God is most unfriendly. Orestes. Give me the horn-tipp'd bow, Apollo's gift,
To drive the Furies, when they scared me, hence.
Hear ye not ? see ye not how the notch'd arrow
* In the original “ adjured me by my beard.”