Tutti li cibi son con pope e canna, Di amomo e d' altri aromati, che tutti Come nocivi il medico mi danna." is Ariosto's commencement; Ladies, and cavaliers, and loves, and arms, And courtesies, and daring deeds, I sing. "Le donne, i cavalier, gli affanni e gli agi, Che inspiravano amore e cortesia." He said, "Porvi le pietre e porvi le parole non è il medesimo." Pigna, p. 119.
Such a sentiment, so expressed by a footman, would set a plain man in London a laughing, and make a fanciful Lady imagine he was a nobleman disguised. Here nobody laughs, nor nobody stares, nor wonders that their valet speaks just as good language, or utters as well-turned sentences as themselves. Their cold answer to my amazement is as comical as the fellow's fine style è battizzato[Footnote: He has been baptized.], say they, come noi altri[Footnote: As well as we.]. But we are called away to hear the fair Fantastici, a young woman who makes improviso verses, and sings them, as they tell me, with infinite learning and taste. She is successor to the celebrated Corilla, who no longer exhibits the power she once held without a rival: yet to her conversations every one still strives for admittance, though she is now ill, and old, and hoarse with repeated colds. She spares, however, now by no labour or fatigue to obtain and keep that superiority and admiration which one day perhaps gave her almost equal trouble to receive and to repay. But who can bear to lay their laurels by? Corilla is gay by nature, and witty, if I may say so, by habit; replete with fancy, and powerful to combine images apparently distant. Mankind is at last more just to people of talents than is universally allowed, I think. Corilla, without pretensions either to immaculate character (in the English sense), deep erudition, or high birth, which an Italian esteems above all earthly things, has so made her way in the world, that all the nobility of both sexes crowd to her house; that no Prince passes through Florence without waiting on Corilla; that the Capitol will long recollect her being crowned there, and that many sovereigns have not only sought her company, but have been obliged to put up with slights from her independent spirit, and from her airy, rather than haughty behaviour. She is, however, (I cannot guess why) not rich, and keeps no carriage; but enjoying all the effect of money, convenience, company, and general attention, is probably very happy; as she does not much suffer her thoughts of the next world to disturb her felicity in this, I believe, while willing to turn every thing into mirth, and make all admire her wit, even at the expence of their own virtue. The following Epigram, made by her, will explain my meaning, and give a specimen of her present powers of improvisation, undecayed by ill health; and I might add, undismayed by it. An old gentleman here, one Gaetano Testa Grossa had a young wife, whose name was Mary, and who brought him a son when he was more than seventy years old. Corilla led him gaily into the circle of company with these words: "Miei Signori Io vi presento Il buon Uomo Gaetano; Che non s
But the poet found the prettiness of the Greek Anthology irresistible. Olindo, tied to the stake amidst the flames of martyrdom, can say to his mistress "Altre fiamme, altri nodi amor promise." Canto ii. st. 34. Other flames, other bonds than these, love promised. The sentiment is natural, but the double use of the "flames" on such an occasion, miserable.
One has to bear in mind the brutal fact that man and wife, as a rule, see a great deal too much of each other thence most of the ills of married life: squabblings, discontents, small or great disgusts, leading often enough to altri guai. People get to think themselves victims of incompatibility, when they are merely suffering from a foolish custom the habit of being perpetually together.
Petrarch complains that 'Nature had made him different from other people' singular' d' altri genti. The great happiness of life is, to be neither better nor worse than the general run of those you meet with, you soon find a mortifying level in their difference to what you particularly pique yourself upon. What is the use of being moral in a night-cellar, or wise in Bedlam?
"Egli non v' ha dubbio, che le troppe imprudenti e temerarie parole, che il Tasso si lasciò uscir di bocca in questo incontro, furone la sola cagione della sua prigionia, e ch' è mera favola ed impostura tutto ciò, che diversamente è stato affermato e scritto da altri in tale proposito." Vol. ii. p. 33.
1 "Per non dar materia ad altri che fazino un po di lui mazor estimazion di quel che fanno quando lo vedessero in parte alcuna favorito." Giustiniani, Dispatch of November 6, 1503. To cheer Valentinois in those days of depression came news that his subjects of Imola had successfully resisted an attack on the part of the Venetians.
Le loro habitationi sono fatte di legname, delquale hanno abondantia per esserui grandissimi, ed infiniti boschi, ed in luogo di tegole le cuoprono di pelli di pesci, che ne pigliano grandissimi, e gli scorticano. Vidde molti vccelli, e altri animali, massimamente orsi tutti bianchi.
[Footnote 14: "Ahi piaciuto fosse al Dispensatore dell'universo, che la cagione della mia scusa mai non fosse stata; che nè altri contro a me avria fallato, nè io sofferto avrei pena ingiustamente; pena, dico, d'esilio e di povert
“Chi fu de’ contadini il si indiscreto, Ch’ a sbigottir la gente Diede nome dolente Al vin’ che sovra gli altri il cuor fa lieto? Lagrima dunque appellerassi un riso Parte di nobilissima vendemmia?”