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PETRARCH'S INKSTAND.

Miss EDGEWORTH's lines express her estic and sent many precious volumes to Eng, mation of the gem she has the happiness land to enrich the bishop's magnificent to own. That lady allowed a few casts library. He vividly remarks, “delight from it in bronze, and a gentleman who passionately in my books;" and yet he who possesses one, and who favours the “ Table had accumulated them largely, estimated Book" with his approbation, permits its them rightly; he has a saying of books use for a frontispiece to this volume. The worthy of himself—" a wise man seeketh engraving will not be questioned as a deco- not quantity but sufficiency." ration, and it has some claim to be regarded Petrarch loved the quiet scenes of nature; as an elegant illustration of a miscellany and these can scarcely be observed from a which draws largely on art and literature, carriage or while riding, and are never and on nature itself, towards its supply enjoyed but on foot; and to me-on whom

“I delight,” says Petrarch, “in my pic that discovery was imposed, and who am tures. I take great pleasure also in images; sometimes restrained from country walks, they come in show more near unto nature by necessity — it was no small pleasure, than pictures, for they do but appear; but when I read a passage in his “View of these are felt to be substantial, and their Human Nature," which persuaded me of bodies are more durable. Amongst the his fondness for the exercise : “ A jourGrecians the art of painting was esteemed ney on foot hath most pleasant commoabove all handycrafts, and the chief of all dities; a man may go at his pleasure ; none the liberal arts. How great the dignity hath shall stay him, none shall carry him beyond been of statues; and how fervently the study his wish; none shall trouble him; he hath and desire of men have reposed in such but one labour, the labour of nature-to pleasures, emperors and kings, and other go." Doble personages, nay, even persons of in- In “ The Indicator" there is a paper of ferior degree, have shown, in their indus- peculiar beauty, by Mr. Leigh Hunt, « on trious keeping of them when obtained.” receiving a sprig of myrtle from Vaucluse," Insisting on the golden mean, as a rule of with a paragraph suitable to this occasion : happiness, he says, “I possess an amazing ! We are supposing that all our readers collection of books, for attaining this, and are acquainted with Petrarch. Many of every virtue : great is my delight in behold- them doubtless know him intimately. ing such a treasure." He slights persons Should any of them want an introduction who collect books “ for the pleasure of to him, how should we speak of him in the boasting they have them; who furnish their gross? We should say, that he was one chambers with what was invented to furnish of the finest gentlemen and greatest schotheir minds; and use them no otherwise lars that ever lived ; that he was a writer than they do their Corinthian tables, or who flourished in Italy in the fourteenth their painted tables and images, to look century, at the time when Chaucer was at.” He contemps others who esteem not young, during the reigns of our Edwards ; the true value of books, but the price at that he was the greatest light of his age; which they may sell them—"a new prac- that although so fine a writer himself, and tice" (observe it is Petrarch that speaks) the author of a multitude of works, or "crept in among the rich, whereby they may rather because he was both, he took the attain one art more of unruly desire." He greatest pains to revive the knowledge of repeats, with rivetting force, “ I have great the ancient learning, recommending it every plenty of books: where such scarcity has where, and copying out large manuscripts been lamented, this is no small possession : with his own hand ; that two great cities, I have an inestimable many of books !" Paris and Rome, contended which should He was a diligent collector, and a liberal have the honour of crowning him ; that he imparter of these treasures. He corres. was crowned publicly, in the metropolis of ponded with Richard de Bury, an illus- the world, with laurel and with myrtle ; trious prelate of our own country, eminent that he was the friend of Boccaccio, the for his love of learning and learned men, father of Italian prose; and lastly, that his

greatest renown nevertheless, as well as the My bursting heart, and close my eyes in death ; predominant feelings of his existence, arose

Ah! grant this slight request,from the long love he bore for a lady of

That here my urn may rest, Avignon, the far-famed Laura, whom he

When to its mansion fies my vital breatn. fell in love with on the 6th of April, 1327,

This pleasing hope will smooth on a Good Friday; whom he rendered

My anxious mind, and soothe illustrious in a multitude of sonnets, which

The pangs of that inevitable hour; have left a sweet sound and sentiment in

My spirit will not grieve

Her mortal veil to leave the ear of all after lovers; and who died,

In these calm shades, and this enchanting bower. still passionately beloved, in the year 1348,

Haply, the guilty maid on the same day and hour on which he first

Through yon accustom'd glade beheld her. Who she was, or why their

To my sad tomb will take her lonely way; connection was not closer, remains a mys

Where first her beauty's light tery. But that she was a real person, and

O’erpower'd my dazzled sight, that in spite of all her modesty she did not

When love on this fair border bade me stray: show an insensible countenance to his pas

There, sorrowing, shall she see, sion, is clear from his long-haunted imagi

Beneath an aged tree, nation, from his own repeated accounts, Her true, but hapless lover's lowly bier; from all that he wrote, uttered, and thought.

Too late her tender sighs One love, and one poet, sufficed to give the Shall melt the pitying skies, whole civilized world a sense of delicacy And her soft veil shall hide the gushing tear. in desire, of the abundant riches to be

01 well-remember'd day, found in one single idea, and of the going

When on yon bank she lay, ... out of a man's self to dwell in the soul and Meek in ber pride, and in her rigour mild ; happiness of another, which has served to

The young and blooming flowers, refine the passion for all modern times ;

Falling in fragrant showers, and perhaps will do so, as long as love re

Shone on her neck, and on her bosom smil'd : news the world.”

Some on her mantle hung, At Vaucluse, or Valchiusa, “ a remark

Some in her locks were strung, able spot in the old poetical region of Pro

Like orient gems in rings of Aaming gold ; vence, consisting of a little deep glen of

Some, in a spicy cloud

Descending, call'd aloud, green meadows surrounded with rocks, and containing the fountain of the river Sorgue,"

. " Here Love and Youth the reins of empire hold.”

I view'd the heavenly maid ; Petrarch resided for several years, and

And, rapt in wonder, said composed in it the greater part of his

“The groves of Eden gave this angel birth ;" poems.

Her look, her voice, her smile, The following is a translation by sir

That might all Heaven beguile,
William Jones, of .

Wafted my soul above the realms of earth :
AN ODE, BY PETRARCH,

The star-bespangled skies

Were open'd to my eyes ; TO THE FOUNTAIN OF VALCHIUSA, Sighing I said, “Whence rose this glittering scene ?" Ye clear and sparkling streams!

Since that auspicious hour, (Warm'd by the sunny beams)

This bank, and odorous bower,.. Through whose transparent crystal Laura play'd ,

My morning couch, and evening haunt have been. ..Ye boughs that deck the grove,

. Well mayst thou blush, my song, Where Spring her chaplets wove,

To leave the rural throng
While Laura lay beneath the quivering shade ;

And fy thus artless to my Laura's ear;
Sweet herbs / and blushing lowers !

But, were thy poet's fire

Ardent as his desire,
That crown yon vernal bowers,
For ever fatal, yet for ever dear;

Thou wert a song that Heaven might stoop to hear.
And ye, that heard my sighs

It is within probability to imagine, that When first she charm'd my eyes, Soft-breathing gales! my dying accents hear. :

the original of this “ ode" may have been If Heav'n has fix'd my doom,

impressed on the paper, by Petrarch's pen, That Love must quite consume

from the inkstand of the frontispiece.

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“The Table Book," with Indexes, will form a volume every six months.

This Title-page is to be cancelled : another will be delivered, gratis, at the proper time. THE

FORMERLY, a " Table Book” was a memó- preceding antiquaries, and remains unrirandum book, on which any thing was valled by his contemporaries, in his “ Illusgraved or written without ink: It is men- trations of Shakspeare,” notices Hamlet's tioned by Shakspeare. Polonius, on disclos- expression, " My tables, meet it is I set ang Ophelia's affection for Hamlet to the it down.” On that passage he observes, king, inquires

that the Roman practice of writing on wax

tablets with a style was continued through “ When I had seen this hot love on the wing, what might you,

the middle ages; and that specimens of Or my dear majesty, your queen here, think, wooden tables, filled with wax, and conIf I had play'd the desk, or table-book ?”

structed in the fourteenth century, were Dr. Henry More, a divine, and moralist, preserved in several of the monastic libraof the succeeding century, observes, that ries in France. Some of these consisted of " Nature makes clean the table-book first, as many as twenty pages, formed into a and then portrays upon it what she pleas- book by means of parchment bands glued eth.” In this sense, it might have been to the backs of the leaves. He says that used instead of a tabula rasa, or sheet of in the middle ages there were table books blank writing paper, adopted by Locke as of ivory, and sometimes, of late, in the form an illustration of the human mind in its of a small portable book with leaves and incipiency. It is figuratively introduced clasps; and he transfers a figure of one of to nearly the same purpose by Swift: he the latter from an old work* to his own : tells us that

it resembles the common « slate-books” “ Nature's fair table-book, our tender souls,

still sold in the stationers' shops. He preWe scrawl all o'er with old and empty rules,

sumes that to such a table book the archStale memorandums of the schools."*

bishop of York alludes in the second part Dryden says, “ Put into your Table-Book of King Henry IV., whatsoever you judge worthy."*

“And therefore will he wipe his tables clean I hope I shall not unworthily err. if. in And keep no tell-tale to his memory." he commencement of a work under this As in the middle ages there were tableitle, I show what a Table Book was. books with ivory leaves, this gentleman

Table books, or tablets, of wood, existed remarks that, in Chaucer's “ Sompnour's before the time of Homer, and among the Tale," one of the friars is provided with Jews before the Christian æra. The table

* A pair of tables all of ivory, looks of the Romans were nearly like ours,

And a pointel ypolished fetishly,

And wrote alway the names, as he stood, which will be described presently; except Of alle folk that yave hem any good.” hat the leaves, which were two, three, or He instances it as remarkable, that neither nore in number, were of wood surfaced public nor private museums furnished spevith wax. They wrote on them with a style, cimens of the table books, common in ne end of which was pointed for that pur- Shakspeare's time. Fortunately, this objose, and the other end rounded or flattened, servation is no longer applicable. br effacing or scraping out. Styles were A correspondent, understood to be Mr. nade of nearly all the metals, as well as of Douce, in Ďr. Aikin's “ Athenæum,” sublone and ivory; they were differently formed, sequently says, “I happen to possess a nd resembled ornamented skewers; the table-book of Shakspeare's time. It is a ommon style was iron. More anciently, little book, nearly square, being three inches he leaves of the table book were without wide and something less than four in length, vax, and marks were made by the iron bound stoutly in calf, and fastening with lyle on the bare wood. The Anglo-Saxon four strings of broad, strong, brown tape. tyle was very handsome. Dr. Pegge was The title as follows: Writing Tables, with f opinion that the well-known jewel of a Kalender for xxiiii yeeres, with sundrie Alfred, preserved in the Ashmolean necessarie rules. The Tables made by huseum at Oxford, was the head of the Robert Triple. London, Imprinted for the tyle sent by that king with Gregory's Company of Stationers. The tables are astoral to Athelney.t

inserted immediately after the almanack. A gentleman, whose profound knowledge At first sight they appear like what we f domestic antiquities surpasses that of call asses-skin, the colour being precisely

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* Gesner De rerum fossilium figuris, &c. Tigur. 1565: 12mo.

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