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member of the society. The hanghty Scandinavian queen was immediately converted into the shepherdess Basilissa, and she was scarcely christened before she was made the subject of a couplet

Hos si spectaret vivens Basilissa labores,

Præmia non voces, non rustica dona videres. With the most extraordinary inconsistency they immediately commenced a solemn dirge; encomiastic funeral eclogues were written and performed by the Arcadi, and every thing was done to honour the departed patroness of genius that gratitude and inspiration could effect. Among the performances on this occasion, it is expressly stated in the records of the Academy, that one recited by the custode Alfesibeo, with Floriano Amigoni, alias Alpago, entitled Basilissa, received the most rapturous commendations. In order to fix the new academy upon a firm basis, it was thought proper to draw up a code of laws for its good government, to which the Arcadi promised submission, but which are of no particular interest, and too long for insertion here. They had about two years kept possession of the Giardino del Palazzo Riari, by the permission of the Marchese Pompeo Azzolini, alias Decilo, who had inherited the possessions and the liberality of Christina ; but after his death, his property falling into the hands of a nobleman of a less imaginative turn, they received notice to quit. They immediately cast their longing eyes upon the Orti Palatini, now called Farnesiani, where the ancient Arcadian Evander had reigned, and which derived their name from his son Pallas. This very appropriate situation they obtained by the influence of the Conte Francesco Felini, chargé d'affuires at Rome from Ranuzzo the second Duke of Parma. Assisted by the liberality of that nobleman, the Arcadi immediately commenced, near the Fontana de' Platani, a spacious theatre, composed of several concentric rows of benches, decorated with laurel shrubs; in the midst of which was formed, from small plants of box-wood, a seringa or shepherd's pipe, which, by the growth of the trees and occasional trimming, became at length of considerable dimensions, and was considered the armorial bearing of the Academy. The Arcadi thought themselves extremely fortunate in obtaining this new Parnassus, as innumerable sonnets on its dedication to the tuneful Nine amply testified.

Seven times a year the Arcadi assembled at this Teatro to recite their compositions ; and on important occasions," the Palatino,” says their annalist, "resounded with their songs," much in the same way, we humbly presume, as the neighbourhood of that London fairy-land, to which the juggler and the Fantoccini, and the fireworks, and Polly Hopkins and Mr. Tomkins, and the grand military band, have conspired to draw fashionables from the west, to the ceaseless wakefulness and musical satiety of the luckless inhabitants of Vauxhall. At the commencement of the institution it had been agreed, that in the computation of time, the Arcadi should adopt Olympiads; and Alfesibeo, with Francesco Bianchini, alias Selvaggio Afrodisio, undertook to make that method of calculation correspond with the Julian year, an operation for which, in the usual way, innumerable complimentary sonnets were their reward. On this occasion, too, Alfesibeo was honoured with the permission of adding to his family-arms those of the society; and a very splendid cornelian from the cabinet of Leone Strozzi, on which they

were engraved, was presented to him. Hitherto none of the compositions of the Arcadi had been permitted to transpire beyond the limits of their own members, and the public was anxiously expecting some proof of the reformation in taste, which was avowed as the original object of the institution. Crescembeni, with this view, published a pastoral poem, entitled “Elvio,” which he dedicated to the Princess della Scalea, herself an Arcadian, under the name of Amarante Eleusina, and which he himself judiciously criticises in his celebrated work “Della Bellezza della volgar Poesia.” This poem differed from all that until then had appeared in this particular, viz. that he introduced persons then alive into his dialogue, and accommodated the simplicity of pastoral life to the tenderness and dignity of tragic sentiment, in such a manner that the one in no way appeared to interfere to the disparagement of the other; and for this excellence he is particularly commended in a canzone, by his brother Arcade, Nedisto Collide.

Crescembeni's uncle perceiving that his nephew had become quite poetry mad, and being himself of opinion that, whether invitá Minervåor otherwise, his nephew should have pursued the noble study of the law, determined to punish his desertion, and forbade him his house. In these circumstances, poverty, "the badge of all his tribe,” reduced him to such extremities, that, like Torquato Tasso, he had not even

Candele per iscrivere suoi versi. Thus pitiably situated, his friends took compassion on him, and Alessandro Guidi received and entertained him for several months in the Palazzo Farnese. From these embarrassments, however, he was soon relieved by the opportune demise of the old gentleman, his uncle, from whom he inherited a comfortable independence.

Pope Innocent XII. dying A. D. 1700, Clement XI. was chosen his successor, an appointment which was particularly agreeable to the Arcadi, for he had been the first of the Cardinals to join the infant academy, in which he was known by the pastoral name of Alnano Melleo. On his elevation, Crescembeni, in his character of custode, was allowed the honour of kissing the foot of his Holiness. On this occasion he also ordered the celebration of the Olympic games as a tribute of respect to the new pope, and prescribed the formula by which these poetical amusements were to be conducted. While engaged in these literary occupations, which endeared him not only to the private circle of his friends, but likewise to the most distinguished characters in Italy, Crescembeni fell' dangerously ill. By the care, however, of the Cardinal Ottoboni, he at length recovered, and was able, though still weak, to resume his duties as custode. On this occasion the whole strength of the Arcadi was put into requisition, and he was overwhelmed with congratulations upon his happy convalescence.

Francesco Gasparri particularly distinguished himself by a sonnet on this occasion, from which we extract the following lines, in order to shew the great esteem in which Crescembeni was held.

« Vivane Alfesibeo, vivane eterno

Lieto, lieti i suoi paschi il Sol rimiri,

Nè sentan le sue gregge, o state o verno.
Contra il gran nome in van l'obblio s'adiri,

Ma ogn'or sotto il di lui mite governo
Anni migliori Arcadia mia respiri.”

His health being at length perfectly re-established, the first use he made of it was to express his acknowledgments to the Cardinal, to whom he was particularly indebted for it, in an eclogne, entitled “Il Ferragosto.” This poem excited universal admiration, not only by its novelty and the circumstances under which it was written, but likewise by the polished elegance of the dialogue, and the enchanting songs with which it was interspersed.

It would be impossible here to enumerate all the works with which Crescembeni enriched the literature of his country, and which contributed to uphold the reputation he had so deservedly acquired. The most remarkable of these are, his "Storia della Poesia Volgare d'Italia," and “Trattato della Bellezza della Poesia Volgare," which, as Tiraboschi says, though not remarkable for depth of learning or research, are well deserving the attention of the dilettanti in Italian literature. It would equally surpass our limits to mention the various colonies of Arcadians which branched from the academy of which he was the founder. Arezzo, Macerata, Venice, Bologna, Ferrara, Sienna, Verona, and almost every town of consequence in Italy, possessed an Arcadia in connexion with that of Rome, and submitted to the regulations of their common parent. On the literature of Italy their effect has by some been declared injurious, by inducing too general an application to poetry among the youth of that country; but they, beyond a doubt,contributed to reform that ampullated and pedantic style which had prevailed before their establishment. We are aware that to many of our readers it will appear perfectly incredible that any considerable number of sensible men should agree to assemble in masks and under assumed names for the purpose of reciting poetical compositions. But they must recollect the diversity of manners between the two countries; and if they have travelled, or have at all associated with Italian literati, they cannot have failed to remark the indulgence with which they consider the productions of one another. The diversity of manners also renders it almost impossible to adhere to accuracy on the present subject without degenerating into the ludicrous and burlesque. We are quite willing to shew every decent deference to the customs and feelings of our neighbours; but we cannot help remarking that an establishment in this country of the kind we have described, would shock every preconceived notion of taste or delicacy. Crescembeni died on the 8th of March, 1728, of an ossification of the heart, and his obsequies were performed with great pomp by the Arcadians.

Whatever may be thought of the eligibility of the plan which Crescembeni adopted, there can be no doubt that he was actuated by a sincerely patriotic desire of advancing the literature of his country, and he seems to have had no other ambition than that those "nobili studi," in which he was himself engaged, should, through his exertions, be held after his death in honour and estimation.

“ Basta, che segno vile oggi non sieno

Di scherno, e chi gli udrà dopo mia morte
Preghi riposo alle fredd'ossa almeno."

THE WASSAILERS.* Oh what a scene! the moon to-night Spreads o'er the vale her silvery light ;And hark! I catch, though far and faint, A doubtful tone of cheer or plaint. Open the lattice, Ellen dear, And tell me, do I dream or hear? The night is still- no wandering breeze Is moaning through our coppice trees. Nay, 'tis no fancy-now 'tis plainClear and more clear the fitful strain,And now distinct, and loud and long, Right welcome! 'tis the Wassail song. And now are hush'd the song, the shout, And on there comes, a silent rout, A dark group up the village green, Like robbers in some moonlight scene ;Who soon along the straggling street In turn each modest mansion greet, And raise the carol shout of yore To sheltering roof and open door. Where'er they turn—a welcome bandThey bless the master's liberal hand, The mistress kind, the children dear, The Christmas glee, and fireside cheer. Now here they are by our own gate, Beneath our eaves they must not wait. Away! let every hand prepare, For

every hand some gift must bear.
The biscuit wallet one may take,
And one the cheese and Christmas cake ;
One fill the foaming pitcher, one
Bear the full cider firkin on;
And, what! my waken'd puppet here!
Oh! give me, nurse, my baby dear ;-
In her own tiny hand she 'll bear
The spicy nutmeg for her share.

* This ancient rustic merry-making has been, I believe, very generally misunderstood,-Milton having alluded to the rude Wassailers of night, and Shakspeare, if I recollect rightly, has rendered them in no more respectable guise than “ drunken revellers.” I know not how this happened : I suppose the Wassail was once generally practised throughout England, though lately confined to the western counties, and now it is only the privilege of a few villages. As I remember, it was a rustic festival that ushered in the Christmas holidays : the peasantry of each village used to assemble and proceed from door to door, provided with large pitchers, singing the wassail song in the manner ! have described. The song cannot be charged with any ribaldry, nor was it accompanied with any mummery, except that the group, passing on to the home-orchard, laid a toast dipped in cider on one of the trees, cut a branch of misletoe, and sung a few rude rhymes, charming the apple-tree “ from blight and blast," and charging her " to blow and to bear." A simple address of thanks and good wishes was made to the master of the honse and his family, and receiving some beer, cider, cake, cheese, &c. they departed. When they had gone through the village, they repaired to some house previously agreed upon, where meeting their wives and children, they passed the night in the usual gambols of the season.

Now for a shout!-all hands are up,
Each lip around shall press the cup,
To give the Wassail's hearty cheer
• Merry Christmas tide and a happy New Year.'
The mother and her children bless'd,
The babe by each rough hind caress'd ;-
Thus, once a year, the rich and poor
Met--where, alas! they meet no more.

SPECIMENS OF A PATENT POCKET DICTIONARY,

For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as

well us words.

NO. II.

Habit.—The covering worn by the body or mind : in the former case hiding Nature, and in the latter revealing her.

Happiness. The health of the mind, produced by its virtuous exercise. They who would attain it otherwise may search for the word Will-o'-the-wisp.

Harmony of sentiment.-A much better ingredient in married life than that species of harmony which springs from discord.

Hassuck.–Of special service to certain church-goers who like a nap upon their knees; and to poetasters, as affording the only rbime to cassock.

Huunch of venison.—That with which the dæmon of gout and gluttony baits his hook.

Head.A bulbous excrescence, used for hanging a hat on, taking snuff with, shaking, or nodding; or as a target, which they who know its value offer to be shot at for a shilling a day.

Health.--- Another word for temperance and exercise.

Heart.-The seat of feeling, and therefore supposed to be wanting in butchers and critics. According to a French author, those men pass the most comfortably through the world who have a good digestion and a bad heart.

Hemp.The neckcloth, alias nec-quid, which rogues put on when they see company for the last time.

Hero.- A wholesale man-butcher.

Hearse.-The triumphal car in which bones and dust proceed in state to their final palace-the grave.

Heterodoxy-Has been defined to be another man's doxy, whereas orthodoxy is our own.

History.—The Newgate Calendar of Kings, which finds no materials in the happiness or virtue of States, and is therefore a mere record of human crime and misery.

Hoax, Hocus pocus, Humbug.-See Holy Alliance, Constitutional Association, and in general all pharisaical pretenders to exclusive loyalty and sanctity.

Holiduys.—The elysium of our boyhood; perhaps the only one of our life. Of this truth Anaxagoras seems to have been aware. Being asked by the people of Lampsacus before his death whether he wished

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