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thetical surmises on this point; though he is less coarse in them-oh! shame to her sex !—than his country

He questions the grotto where he imagines them to have reposed ; absurdly enough attributing the scene where Petrarch retired to lament the cruelty of his lady-love, to have been that which witnessed the indulgence of bis guilty passion. The letters of Petrarch, as well as his poetry, exhibit, to the calm and not impure mind, irrefragable proofs that his passion for Laura, if not always platonic, at least never received any reward inconsistent with modesty from her. When he utters the following lines, they cannot surely be taken for other than the murmurs of despair, produced by her rigour :

“Se sapessi per morte essere scarco
Del pensier amoroso che mi atterra,
Con le mie mani avrei già posto in terra
Questo membra dogliose e quello incarco :
Ma perch 'io temo che sarebbe un varco
Di pianto in pianto, e d' una in altra guerra.”

Again, surely the following breathes not of happy love :

“ La vita fugge, e non s'arresta un'ora;
E la morte vien dietro a gran giornate;
E le cose presenti, e le passate,
Mi danno guerra, e le future ancora :
E 'l rimembrar e l'aspettar m'accora,
Or quinci, or quindi sì, che 'n veritate,
Se non ch 'i 'ho di me stesso pietate,
l' sarei gia di questi pensier fora.
Tornami avanti s' alcun dolce mai
Ebbe l' cor tristo; e poi dall'altra parte,

Veggio al mio navigar turbati i venti.
Veggio fortuna in porto, e stanco omai
Il mio nocchier, e rotte arbore e sarte,
E i lumi bei che mirar soglio, spenti.”

It is true that Petrarch, in his dialogue with St. Augustin, admits that his passion for Laura was of too warm and violent a nature to be indulged without remorse ; but this confession does not necessarily imply guilt. A man of a religious turn of mind, as Petrarch is known to have been, must have felt compunction at the consciousness of abandoning his heart to so engrossing a passion for a married woman, without that compunction being occasioned by any deeper sin.

It is impossible to wander along the banks of the limpid Sorga, or to recline by the fountain of Vaucluse, without dwelling with reverence on the memory of him who has immortalized both. As one of the principal restorers of literature to his country; as a fearless censurer of the vices of the papal court-a court anxious to purchase his silence by its gifts; and as a writer of exquisite taste and profound erudition, Petrarch has strong claims on the respect of posterity, even without the generally admitted one of his harmonious and refined poetry, which was so well calculated to correct the prevailing licentiousness of the age in which he lived. Even his passion for Laura, however it might be esteemed a weakness, was calculated to raise a more respectful sentiment of admiration for the female sex; and when her increased age, and diminished charms, had not power to extinguish the flame - nay, when death itself could not subdue it, we must admire and marvel at the force and durability of his feelings.

The ruins now shown by the peasants as the site of the château of “Madame Laura," as they call her, were those of the castle, in which the Bishop of Cavaillon, the dear friend of Petrarch, resided. They stand to the right of the fountain, boldly placed on a pile of stupendous rocks, and command a magnificent view. The walls are on the very verge of the precipice, which overlooks a vast expanse of mountains, rocks, groves of olive trees, and vineyards; while in the immediate foreground, the fountain, with its sparkling waters and snowy foam, reflecting innumerable prismatic hues as the rays of the sun play on it, forms a magical picture. The cataract created by the rocks over which the water rushes from the fountain, is, when the fountain is filled, truly grand. The spray rises in huge masses, resembling immense flakes of

As they are impelled into the air, and descend again with surprising velocity, they are tinged with the brightest tints of a rainbow, and mingling with the

snowy foam and vivid green water, have a beautiful effect. How

many great men were drawn to Vaucluse by the desire of conversing with Petrarch !

Here came Robert, the good King of Naples, with his fair queen, and attended by a brilliant train of courtiers. It was this sovereign who exclaimed, that were he compelled to make the sacrifice of his crown or his love of letters, he would prefer resigning the former. Few men were ever so much esteemed and beloved by their contem


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poraries as was Petrarch ; and few could have borne the applause and honours lavished on him with such equanimity and meekness. His friends were among the most distinguished of his countrymen; and neither jealousy nor envy seems to have ever interrupted any

of the attachments he formed, which were as remarkable for their warmth as their durability.

In the village of Vaucluse is a small inn, called the Hotel of Petrarch and Laura. Here sentimental tourists stop to regale themselves on the delicious trout which the river furnishes: giving, between every mouthful of the luscious fare, a sigh to the memory of the celebrated lovers, whose busts decorate the mantel. piece of the chamber where the refection is served. Those travellers who command the most luxurious repasts are considered by the inmates to possess the most sensibility; and those who submit without resistance to extortion, are esteemed to be mirrors of sentimentality: a regulation of which our worthy hostess made us aware, by the warmth of her praises of those who expended what she considers a proper sum, and the severity of her strictures against the more economical or less wealthy visitors.

The English, she vowed, were the most sentimental people alive. It was delightful, she said, to see them sit for hours at table, with their eyes turned towards the busts of Petrarch and Laura, and sighing, while they washed down their repast with bumpers to the memory of the lovers. They (the English) never squabbled about the items in the bill. No! they were too noble-minded for that : they were wholly engrossed by tender recollections. Of the Germans, Russians,

Italians, and even of her compatriots, the French, she spoke less kindly. “Would you believe it, madam,” continued she, “many of them pass this inn-yes, the inn-sacred to the memory of Petrarch and Laura, without ever crossing its threshold, and the few who do, draw from their pockets biscuits, and demand only a glass of eau sucrée? They ought to be ashamed of themselves, unfeeling creatures ! How do they imagine we are to exist, paying, as we do, a heavy rent for this inn, and the sensibility of the visitors to the fountain being the only means of making it profitable ? But most people now-a-days have no heart; ay, and no stomach also, or they could not come here without melancholy feelings, which naturally beget an appetite; for the old proverb only says that sorrow is thirsty, I maintain that it is hungry too; having observed that the dear English, who showed the most tristesse, always were disposed to do honour to the plentiful collations they commanded. They did not go jabber, jabber, like the rest of the visitors who come here; nor do they pass mauvaises plaisanteries on the respectable countenances of Monsieur Petrarch and Madame Laura, as too many do. No, they said little, and looked sad ; but they relished the trout of Vaucluse in a manner that proved their tenderness for him who gave the fountain its fame."

Our hostess became so animated in her eulogium of the English, that she heeded not the reproving looks of her husband, who observing that two of our party were French, was fearful of her giving them offence. At last, somewhat piqued by her obstinate continua

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