Italy, Past and Present, Volume 2

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Wiley & Putnam, 1846 - Italy
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Page 367 - Thou wear a lion's hide ? Doff it, for shame, and hang A calf-skin on those recreant limbs.
Page 291 - Metastasio and his efi'eminate heroes. He substituted dramatic for melodic poetry ; manly passions for enervate affections ; ideas for sounds. He wished to effect upon his contemporaries that revolution which his own soul had undergone ; he wished to rouse them, to wake them from their long lethargy of servitude, to see them thinking, willing, striving, resisting. " To a man that wrote, actuated by such feelings, the mere form was nothing. It was only at the age of twenty-nine, that, tormented by...
Page 371 - Florence, &c., to a common understanding, secure the free circulation, at least, of all the works published in the country ; whilst the increase of daily, weekly, and monthly periodicals, will hasten and extend their diffusion, and lay the basis of a universal Italian bibliography. For hitherto, the Italian despots did not even agree in their system of oppression ; or rather, they were sometimes pleased to flatter their subjects by a little display of comparative mildness, and indulge in the specious...
Page 370 - Sicilian, and every other provincial patois, printed with a view to aid the people in their acquirement of the written language, and the republication of Italian dictionaries at Bologna, Verona, Naples, and Padua, announce a new fact, about which foreigners never entertained any doubt, but which, as I have said, had never been sufficiently established since the age of Dante, — that there is an Italian language. " The annual meeting of eminent scientific men at one of the several universities of...
Page 291 - He felt that of all branches of literature the theatre had the most immediate effect on the illiterate mass of the people. He invaded the stage. He drove from it Metastasio and his effeminate heroes. He substituted dramatic for melodic poetry; manly passions for enervate affections ; ideas for sounds. He wished to effect upon his contemporaries, that revolution which his own soul had undergone : he wished to rouse them, to wake them from their long lethargy of servitude, to see them thinking, willing,...
Page 250 - ... drawn up in formidable array, the old-fashioned shelves groaning under their weight, dark and dusty, silent and moody, like spell-bound warriors ready to fall on the head of the daring mortal who should venture to break the enchantment. But the enchantment has been broken, and with luminous success. Muratori, a giant with a hundred eyes and a hundred hands, one of those antique frames cast in bronze and steel, which would almost induce us to believe in a deterioration of the human race at the...
Page 331 - ... effervescence of men's minds was too great to allow calm judgment the exercise of its functions. The recent remembrance of the military despotism of Napoleon still dazzled the fancy with all the prestiges of glory. The dull and deathlike yoke of the Austrians made a sad contrast to the activity and life of the French dominion. The name of Italy was as yet imperfectly understood. The patriotic ranks were principally filled by malcontents from the Cisalpine assemblies, or from the French armies...
Page 371 - ... to meet, to court, to understand and mutually appreciate each other by the assurance of the reward of national suffrage, which awaits the result of their efforts at every reunion of that scientific diet. " It would be difficult to express with what extraordinary enthusiasm several hundred savanls, the representatives of the aristocracy of the mind in Italy, convene from the remotest provinces to make the enumeration of the services rendered by their forefathers to the interests of science, —...
Page 396 - ... Protestant denominations. It appears, that public opinion has already taken long since, and is now more than ever evidently taking that course, though its general manifestation is retarded by a fatal combination of political evils against which that unfortunate nation is struggling. The noblest pledge, the Italians can give, of their being ripe for more generous institutions, is the general moderation, the tolerant, conciliating spirit that reigns among them, though we are grieved to say that...
Page 395 - From all we have said, it naturally appears, that although the traditions of their annals, long custom, and natural adhesiveness bind the Italians to what has been for a long course of years the exclusive creed of their fathers, although they look at the cross not only as a sign of universal redemption, but as a standard of national reunion and regeneration, still the progressive attacks of Protestantism, and the sudden ravages of philosophy have undermined the Catholic edifice, where it had laid...

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