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the name of Cornelius, a citizen of Padua, without mentioning, as he frequently does, the author from whom he derived the tale. But, whether it was a Paduan priest or an Euganean soothsayer, who was gifted with this extraordinary power of vision, it proves at least that claims to the faculty termed second sight, are not confined to modern times, or to the northern regions of Great Britain.*

In one of the recesses of the Colli Euganei stands the village of Arquato, distinguished by the residence of Petrarca during the latter years of his life, and by his death which took place in 1374. He was buried in the church yard of the same village, and a monument was erected to his honor. This monument and his villa have been preserved by the people with religious care, and continue even now to attract a number of literary visitants of all contries, who, as they pass through Padua, fail not to pay their respects to the manes of Petrarca.

The road to Arquato, as far as Monte Selice, runs along a canal, over a very flat and very fertile country bearing a strong resemblance to some of the finest parts of the Netherlands. Villas and large villages lie thick around, and the scene on every side gives the traveller an idea of plenty and of population. To relieve the flatness of the adjacent country, mountains rise in various forms in front, and Monte Selice (or Silicis) in particular, strikes the eye by its lofty conical form. About eight miles from Padua, on the banks of the canal, stands the castle of the Obizzi, an ancient and illustrious family of Padua. This edifice is much in the style of the old castles of Romance. Lofty rooms, long galleries, winding staircases, and dark passages, fit it admirably for the purposes of a novelist, and render it equally proper for the abode of a great baron, for the receptacle of a band of robbers, for the scene of nightly murders, or for the solitary walk of ghosts and of spectres. But the predominant taste of the country has fitted it up in a style well calculated to dispel these

* Aul. Gell. lib. xv. 18.

gloomy transalpine illusions, and to cure the spectator's mind of its Gothic terrors. The apartments are adorned with paintings, some of which are in fresco, on the walls respresenting the glories and the achievements of the Obizzian heroes in days of old, and others are on canvas being originals or copies of great masters. The galleries, and one in particular of very considerable length, are filled with Roman antiquities, altars, vases, armour, inscriptions, pillars, &c. On the whole, the castle is very curious, and ought to be made the object of a particular visit, as an incidental hour is not sufficient for an examination in detail of the various curiosities which it contains.*

A little beyond the village of Cataio, we turned off from the high road, and alighting from the carriage on account of the swampiness of the country, we walked and rowed occasionally through lines of willows, or over tracts of marshy land, for two or three miles, till we began to ascend the mountain. Arquato is prettily situated on the nothern side of a high hill, with a valley below it winding through the Euganean ridge. It is not a very large, but a neat village.

Petrarca's villa is at the extremity farthest from Pa dua. It consists of two floors. The first is used for farming purposes, as it is annexed to a farmer's house. The second story contains five rooms, three of which are large, and two closets; the middle room seems to have been used as a reception room or hall; that on the right is a kitchen; that on the left has two closets, one of which might have been a study, the other a bed chamber. Its fire-place is high and its postes fuligine nigri. To the chief window is a balcony; the view thence towards the opening of the valley on the side,

* When we visited it, the proprietor was walking up and down the great gallery, and giving directions to his servants to clear and arrange some new acquisitions. He seemed to contemplate his collection with great complacency; and it must be owned that the number and arrangement of the articles which compose ít, give a favorable opinion both of his diligence and his judg

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and in front towards two lofty conical hills, one of which is topped with a convent, is calm and pleasing. The only decoration of the apartments is a deep border of grotesque painting running as a cornice under the ceiling; an old smoky picture over the fire-place in the kitchen said by the good people to be an original by Michael Angelo, and a table and chair, all apparently, the picture not excepted, as old as the house itself. On the table is a large book, an Album, containing the names, and sometimes the sentiments, of various visitants. The following verses are inscribed in the first page; they are addressed to the traveller.

Tu che devoto al sagro albergo arrivi,
Ove s'aggira ancor l'ombra immortale
Di chi un di vi depose il corpo frale,
La Patria, il nome, il sensi tuoi qui scrive.

The walls are covered with names, compliments and verses. Behind the house is a garden, with a small lodge for the gardener, and the ruins of a tower covered with ivy. A narrow walk leads through it, and continues along the side of the hill, under the shade of olive trees; a solitary laurel still lingers beside the path and recalls to mind both the poet and the lover. The hill ascends steep from the garden, and winding round, closes the vale, and the prospect. Its broken sides are well cultivated, and interspersed with olives and with cottages. It was already evening when we arrived. After having examined the house, we walked for some time in the garden; a thousand violets perfumed the air; the nightingale was occasionally heard, as if making its first essay; and, excepting his evening song, "most musical, most melancholy," all was still and silent around. The place and the scenery seemed so well described in the following beautiful lines, that it was impossible not to recollect and apply them, though probably intended by the poet for another region.

*It is necessary to remark here, once for all, that the Italian laurel is the bay-tree, the laurus of the ancients.

Qui non palazzi, non teatro, o loggia,
Ma'n lor vece un abete, un faggio, un pino,
Tra l'erba verde, e'l bel monte vicino,
Onde se scende poetando e poggia,
Levan di terra al ciel nostro intelletto :
E'l rosignuol che dolcemente all' ombra
Tutte le notti si lamenta e piagne.
Son. x.

The garden is entirely neglected, but the house is kept in good repair; a circumstance which cannot but reflect much honor on the spirit of the proprietor and on the inhabitants of the village, when it is considered that more than four hundred years have now elapsed şince the death of Petrarca, and that many a destructive war has raged in the country, and many a wasting army passed over it since that event. His body lies interred in the church yard of the village in a large stone sarcophagus raised on four low pillars, and surmounted with a bust, As we stood and contemplated the tomb by the pale light of the moon, we indulged the caprice of the moment, and twining a branch of laurel into the form of a crown, placed it on the head of the bust, and hailed the manes of the Tuscan poet in the words of his admirer,

Deh pioggia, o vento rio non faccia scorno
All' ossa pie; sol porti grati odori
L'aura ch'el ciel suol far puro e sereno.
Lascin le ninfe ogni lor antro ameno
E raccolte in corona al sasso intorno,
Liete ti cantin lodi e spargan fiori!

Aless. Piceolimini,

Several of the inhabitants who had gathered round us, during this singular ceremony, seemed not a little pleased with the whim, and cheered us with repeated viva's as we passed through the village, and descended the hill. Though overturned by a blunder of the drivers, and for some time suspended over the canal with imminent danger of being precipitated into it, yet as the night was bright and warm, and all the party in high spirits, the excursion was extremely pleasant,

Few names seem to have been so fondly cherished by contemporaries, or treated with so much partiality by posterity, as that of Petrarca. This distinction he owes not so much to his talents, or even to his virtues, as to the many amiable and engaging qualities which accompanied them, and set them off to the greatest advantage. As an orator, an historian, and a poet, he had even in his own time many rivals, perhaps in Boccaccio an equal, and in Dante undoubtedly a superior. But in pleasing manners, in generous feelings, in warm attachment, and in all the graceful, all the attractive accomplishments of life, he seems to have surpassed every public character of his time, and to have engaged universal and unquadified admiration.

Gibbon asserts that the literary reputation of Petrarca must rest entirely on his Latin works and insinuates that his sonnets are trifles; that his passion was, in his own opinion, and in that of his contemporaries, criminal; and that Laura, the mother of ten children, could have possessed few of the charms ascribed to her by the poet. Though I have no particular inclination to enter the lists as champion of the lady's charms, yet I may venture to observe, that a matron who died at the age of forty or forty-two, may possibly have been very beautiful at the age of nineteen or twenty when the poet first beheld her; that female beauty sometimes survives forty, however fatal that age may be to it in general: that it is less liable to fade when it consists more in expression than in color and freshness; and in fine, that though Laura, if we may believe her lover, possessed both species of beauty, yet she excelled in the former.


crespe chiome d'or puro lucente E'l lampeggiar dell angelico riso.

Le perle in ch' (amor) frange ed affrena

Dolci parole

II Parte Sonn. 24.

I Parte Sonn. 184.

are perishable charms without doubt, and liable to very rapid decay. But,

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