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greatest renown nevertheless, as well as the predominant feelings of his existence, arose from the long love he bore for a lady of Avignon, the far-famed Laura, whom he fell in love with on the 6th of April, 1327, on a Good Friday; whom he rendered illustrious in a multitude of sonnets, which have left a sweet sound and sentiment in the ear of all after lovers; and who died, still passionately beloved, in the year 1348, on the same day and hour on which he first beheld her. Who she was, or why their connection was not closer, remains a mystery. But that she was a real person, and that in spite of all her modesty she did not show an insensible countenance to his passion, is clear from his long-haunted imagination, from his own repeated accounts, from all that he wrote, uttered, and thought. One love, and one poet, sufficed to give the whole civilized world a sense of delicacy in desire, of the abundant riches to be found in one single idea, and of the going out of a man's self to dwell in the soul and happiness of another, which has served to refine the passion for all modern times ; and perhaps will do so, as long as love renews the world.”
At Vaucluse, or Valchiusa, “ a remarkab.e spot in the old poetical region of Provence, consisting of a little deep glen of green meadows surrounded with rocks, and containing the fountain of the river Sorgue," Petrarch resided for several years, and composed in it the greater part of his poeins.
The following is a translation by sir William Jones, of
AN ODE, BY PETRARCH, TO THE FOUNTAIN OF VALCHIUSA
Ye clear and sparkling streams!
(Warm'd by the sunny beams) Through whose transparent crystal Laura play'd ;
Ye boughs that deck the grove,
Where Spring her chaplets wove,
Sweet herbs I and blushing fowers !
That crown yon vernal bowers, For ever fatal, yet for ever dear;
And ye, that heard my sighs
When first she charm'd my eyes,
If Heav'n has fix'd my doom,
My bursting heart, and close my eyes to death
Ahl grant this slight request,
That bere my um may rest,
This pleasing hope will smooth
My anxious mind, and soothe
My spirit will not grieve
Her mortal veil to leave
Haply, the guilty maid
Through yon accustom'd glade
Where first her beauty's light
O'erpower'd my dazzled sight,
There, sorrowing, shall she see,
Beneath an aged tree,
Too late her tender sighs
Shall melt the pitying skies,
01 well-remember'd day,
When on yon bank she lay,
The young and blooming flowers,
Falling in fragrant showen,
Some on her mantle hung,
Some in her locks were strung, Like orient gems in rings of Aaming gold ;
Some, in a spicy cloud
Descending, call'd aloud, “ Here Love and Youth the reins of empire hold."
I view'd the heavenly maid ;
And, rapt in wonder, said “ The groves of Eden gave this angel birth,"
Her look, her voice, her smile,
That might all Heaven begäile, Wafted
soul above the realms of earth
Were open'd to my eyes ;
Since that auspicious hour,
This bank, and odorous bower,
Well mayst thou blusa, my sung,
To leave the rural throng
But, were thy poet's fire
Ardent as his desire,
It is within probability to imagine, that the original of this “ ode" may have been impressed on the paper, by Petrarch'a peu, from the inkstand of the frontispiece.
FORNENLY, a “ Table Book” was a memo- preceding antiquaries, and remains unnrandum book, on which any thing was
valled by his contemporaries, in his “Illus. graved 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 Ronan 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 ny dear majesty, your queen here, think, wooden tables, filled with wax, and conI 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, thairies in France. Some of these consisted of * Nature makes clean the tuble-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. Ile 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 tal le-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., whatsoerer 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." the commencement of a work under this
As in the middle ages there were tabletitle, 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, books of the Romans were nearly like ours,
And à 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.” that the leaves, which were two, three, or He instances it as remarkable, that neither more in number, were of wood surfaced public nor private museums furnished spee with wax. They wrote on them with a style, cimens of the table books, common ir: one end of which was pointed for that pur- Shakspeare's time. Fortunately, this obpose, and the other end rounded or flattened, servation is no longer applicable. for effacing or scraping out. Styles were
correspondent, understood to be Mr. made of nearly all the metals, as well as of Douce, in Br. Aikin's “ Athenæum," subbone and ivory; they were differently formed, sequently says, “I happen to possess a and resembled ornamented skewers; the table-book of Shakspeare's time. It is a common style was iron. More anciently, little book, nearly square, being three inches the leaves of the table book were without wide and something less than four in length, wax, and marks were made by the iron bound stoutly in calf, and fastening with style on the bare wood. The Anglo-Saxon four strings of broad, strong, brown tape. style was very handsome. Dr. Pegge was The title as follows : · Writing Tables, with of 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 museum at Oxford, was the head of the Robert Triple. London, Imprinted for the style sent by that king with Gregory's Company of Stationers.
The tables ars Pastoral to Athelney.f
inserted immediately after the almanack. A gentleman, whose profound knowledge At first sight they appear like what we of domestic antiquities surpasses that of call asses-skin, the colour being precisely • Johnson.
• Gesner De rerum fossilium figuris, &c. Tigur. 1666: Fosbroka', Encyclopædia of Antiquities.
the same, but the leaves are thicker : what- old table books were for private use-mine ever smell they may have had is lost, and is for the public; and the more the public there is no gloss upon them. It might be desire it, the more I shall be gratified. I supposed that the gloss has been worn off; have not the folly to suppose it will pass but this is not the case, for most of the from my table to every table, but I think that tables have never been written on. Some not a single sheet can appear on the table of the edges being a little worn, show that of any family without communicating some the middle of the leaf consists of paper; information, or affording some diversion. the composition is laid on with great On the title-page there are a few lines nicety. A silver style was used, which is which briefly, yet adequately, describe the sheathed in one of the covers, and which collections in my Table Book : and, as reproduces an impression as distinct, and as gards iny own sayings and doings," the easily obliterated as a black-lead pencil. prevailing disposition of my mind is perThe tables are interleaved with common haps sufficiently made known through the paper."
Every-Day Book. In the latter publicaÎn July, 1808, the date of the preceding tion, I was inconveniently limited as to communication, I, too, possessed a table room; and the labour I had there prescribed book, and silver style, of an age as ancient, to myself, of commemorating every day, and similar to that described ; except that frequeutly prevented ine froin topics that it had not «a Kalender."
Mine was would have been more agreeable to my brought to me by a poor person, who found readers than the “two grains of wheat in it in Covent-garden on a market day. a bushel of chaff,” which I often consumed There were a few ill-spelt memoranda my time and spirits in en:leavouring to respecting vegetable matters formed on its discover-and did not always find. leaves with the style. It had two antique In my Table Book, which I hope will slender brass clasps, which were loose ; the never be out of " season," I take the liberty ancient binding had ceased from long wear to “annihilate both time and space,” to to do its office, and I confided it to Mr. Wills, the extent of a few. lines or days, and lease, the almanack publisher in Stationers'-court, and talk, when and where I can, according for a better cover and a silver clasp. Each to my humour. Sometimes I present an being ignorant of what it was, we spoiled offering of “ all sorts," simpled from out"a table-book of Shakspeare's time.” of-the-way and in-the-way books; and, at
The most affecting circumstance relating other times, gossip to the public, as to an to a table book is in the life of the beau- old friend, diffusely or briefly, as I chance tiful and unhappy “ Lady Jane Grey.” to be more or less in the giving vein," “ Sir John Gage, constable of the Tower, about a passing event, a work just read, a when he led her to execution, desired her print in my hand, the thing I last thought to bestow on him some small present, of, or saw, or heard, or, to be plain, about which he might keep as a perpetual memo
6 whatever comes uppermost.
In short, rial of her : she gave him her table-book, my collections and recollections come forth wherein she had just written three sentences, just as I happen to suppose they may be on seeing her husband's body ; one in most agreeable or serviceable to those Greek, another in Latin, and a third in whom I esteem, or care for, and by whom English. The purport of them was, that I desire to be respected. human justice was against his body, but
My Table Book is enriched and diverthe divine mercy would be favourable to sified by the contributions of my friends ; his soul; and ihat, if her fault deserved the teemings of time, and the press, give it punishment, her youth at least, and her novelty; and what I know of works of art, imprudence, were worthy of excuse, and with something of imagination, and the that God and posterity, she trusted, would assistance of artists, enable me to add picshow her favour."
torial embellishment. My object is to
blend information with amusement, and Having shown what the ancient table utility with diversion. book was, it may be expected that I should My TABLE Book, therefore, is a series say something abolit
of continually shifting scenes--a kind of My
literary kaleidoscope, combining popular TABLE Book.
forms with singular appearances—by which The title is to be received in a larger youth and age of all ranks may be ainused; sense than the obsolete signification : the and to which, I respectfully trust, many
will gladly add something, to improve its Glossary by Mr. Archd. Nares.
The few Year.
hy a rabble at his heels, and knocking at certain doors, sings a barbarous song, be
ginning with Anciently on new year's day the Ro
“ Tonight it is the new year's night, to-morrow is mans were accustomed to carry small pre
the day : sents, as new year's gifts, to the senators,
We are come about for our right and for our ray,
As we us'd to do in old king Henry's day : under whose protection they were severally Sing, fellows, sing, Hagman Heigh,” &c. placed. In the reigns of the emperors, ihey flocked in such numbers with valuable The song always concludes with “ wishones, that various decrees were made to ing a merry Christmas and a happy new abolish the custom ; though it always year.” When wood was chiefly used as continued among that people. The Romans fuel, in heating ovens at Christmas, this was who settled in Britain, or the families con- the most appröpriate season for the hagman, nected with them by marriage, introduced or wood-cutter, to remind his customers of these new year's gifts among our forefathers, his services, and to solicit alms. The word who got the habit of making presents, even
hag is still used in Yorkshire, to signify a to the magistrates. Some of the fathers of wood. The “hagg" opposite to Easby the church wrote against them, as fraught formerly belonged to the abbey, to supply with the greatest abuses, and the magistrates them with fuel. Hagman may be a name were forced to relinquish them. Besides compounded from it. Some derive it from the well-known anecdote of sir Thomas the Greek Agræuenon, the holy month, when More, when lord chancellor,* many in- the festivals of the church for our Saviour's stances might be adduced from old records, birth were celebrated. Formerly, on the of giving a pair of gloves, some with “line last day of the year, the monks and friars ings," and others without. Probably from used to make a plentiful harvest, by begging thence has been derived the fashion of giv- from door to door, and reciting a kind of ing a pair of gloves upon particular occa- carol, at the end of every stave of which sions, as at marriages, funerals, &c. New they introduced the words “ agia mene," year's gifts continue to be received and alluding to the birth of Christ. A very given by all ranks of people, to commemo- different interpretation, however, was given rate the sun's return, and the prospect of to it by one John Dixon, a Scoich presbyspring, when the gifts of nature are shared ler.an minister, when holding forth against by all. Friends present some small tokens this custom in one of his sermons at Kelso. of esteem to each other-husbands to their “Sirs, do you know wbat the hagman sig. wives, and parents to their children. The nifies? It'is the devil to be in the house ; custom keeps up a cheerful and friendly that is the meaning of its Hebrew original." intercourse among acquaintance, and leads to that good-humour and mirth so necessary to the spirits in this dreary season. Chandlers send as presents to their customers large mould candles; grocers give raisins,
SONNET to make a Christmas pudding, or a pack of cards, to assist in spending agreeably the long evenings. In barbers' shops“ ihriftbox," as it is called, is put by the appren
When we look back on hours long past away. lice boys against the wall, and every cus
And every circumstance of joy, or woe tomer, according to his inclination, puts
That goes to make this strange beguiling show,
Call'd life, as though it were of yesterday, something in. Poor children, and old in
We start to learn oar quickness of decay. firm persons, beg, at the doors of the cha
Still Aies unwearied Time ;-on still we go ritable, a small pittance, which, though
And whither ?-Unto endless weal or woe, collected in small sums, yet, when put
As we have wrought our parts in this brief play. together, forms to them a little treasure;
Yet many have I seen whose thin blanched locks so that every heart, in all situations of life,
But ill became a head where Folly dwelt, beats with joy at the nativity of his Saviour.
Who having past this storm with all its shocks, The Hagman Heigh is an old custom
Had nothing learnt from what they saw or felt: observed in Yorkshire on new year's eve, as Brave spirits ! that can look, with heedless eye, appertaining to the season. The keeper of On doom unchangeable, and fixt eternity. the pinfold goes round the town, attended
• Clarkson's History of Richmond, cited by a rnp. • Every-Day Book, .. 9.
respondent, A. B.
ON THE NEW YEAR.