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elapsed before the consternation had English, and which consequently afpassed.
fected him. We were no longer eneNothing of any moment occurred mies. I then desired that they would after this affair, till the arrival of some make known to him my displeasure at visitors on the island, whom, being of the menace given by one of his suba race and character perfectly distinct jects to a man of mine. His eye was from the native Timorese, or other lighted up with fury; he ordered the islanders in the neighbourhood, I beg culprit into his presence; when arleave to introduce to your notice. I rived, in an instant he seized him with had been informed by the governor, his left hand, dashed him to the that between Timor and Sandalwood ground, placed his foot on his body, island lay the small island of Savu, and, raising his right arm with his the king of which came annually, with naked creesse, exclaimed, turning to two or three large boats, to do homage me, “ Shall I strike?" The action, the to the Dutch power, and left a detach, attitude, the gesture, was so fine, that, ment of men for the year, who assisted had not the life of the trembling vicin all the public works, and were par- tim been at stake, I should have reticularly useful for the harbour sea- mained gazing at him. I staid his duties, as they were bold and enter- arm, and interceded for the offender; prising seamen, in contradistinction to he was allowed to rise, and then threw the native Timorese, whom nothing himself at my feet. The chief then could ever persuade to trust them- turned to his followers, and, in a disselves to the treacherous element. The course accompanied with the most arrival of these islanders was daily ex- powerful and expressive action, depected, as the westerly monsoon now clared his determination to punish was at its height. In fact, we were with instant death the man who surprised, early one morning, by the should henceforth disturb the hararrival on the beach of three or four mony that existed between his new large launches, full of men. One of friends and him. This individual I my seamen had gone down early in found, during the rest of my stay on the morning to bathe. The strangers the island, of a character most supewere landing-who, of course, were rior. In him were united all the noble ignorant of the change of affairs at virtues of the savage, with few or none Copang. He was pointed out by some of the vices ; and I parted from him evil-disposed person as an Englishman with regret. and an enemy. One of the chiefs im- I am now drawing near my deparmediately advanced to him with his ture. The monsoon had begun to creesse in his hand, and my fellow was relax; and towards the month of glad to escape from the threatened March, light and variable airs andanger, by taking to his heels. He nounced the return of the fine season. ran to my apartment, and awakened I took my leave of my new friends, me with his tale of invasion and at- leaving them in a state of tranquillity tack. I repaired to the government- and perfect submission to the British house; and a few minutes afterwards authority; as, in the interim, a Chithe newly-arrived rajah entered, and nese junk had touched at the island, a scene truly dramatic ensued.
and confirmed the news of the downI never shall forget the noble, manly, fall of their empire. I returned to dignified appearance of this savage. He Java without accident or difficulty, stood upwards of six feet high, well and was hailed with satisfaction by proportioned, and his loosely-flowing the rest of the squadron, who had robes shewed him like a model from the long given us up for lost.* antique. His countenance, and those of his countrymen, had none of the Malay features, which generally ex- * The Bibliotheque Universelle, in which press the presence of the worst pas- Professor Pictet's translation of the above sions. His face Was Roman, nose narrative appeared, is distinguished among somewhat aquiline, eye full and open;
all the continental journals, as that which and his hair, unlike that of the Malay, affords the best and most copious informawas short and thick-curled, but with- besides, enriched with the literary and scienout the woolly texture of the African tific communications of all the first men in negro. We saluted, and the governor Switzerland, and is, upon the whole, one of explained to him the new relationship the most interesting and usefiù miscellanies which existed between the Dutch and in Europe.
and strong, has not failed to introduce PETRARCH'S LETTER TO POSTERITY. its usual train of disorders. My pa
rents, inhabitants of Florence, of resMR EDITOR,
pectable extraction, but of moderate As I am not aware that the following (or to speak more correctly, of decayautobiography, the work of a most il- ed) fortunes, amidst the troubles of lustrious man, has yet appeared in the times had been driven into exile. English, I venture to offer it to your During this exile, I was born at Arezacceptance, and remain yours, &c. 20, early on Monday morning, Au
F. R. S. gust 1,* 1304. A determined despiser
of wealth, not from indifference to its Francis PETRARCH to Posterity, comforts, but from a hatred of the Greeting:
toils and anxieties which are its inse
parable companions, and a disrelish of It is barely possible that you may its pampered festivals. I have spent my have heard me slightly mentioned, days more happily at a frugal board, though it may reasonably be doubted and with temperate fare, than the whether a name, so lowly and obscure whole tribe of Apicii with all their as mine, is likely to extend over any luxuries. Banquettings indeed, and considerable interval, either of space revelries, are equally unfriendly to or time. In that case you will proba- modesty and to morality; and, as bly wish to learn what kind of a man such, have always been my horror. I was, and what success attended my Hence I have invariably shunned the literary labours; particularly those, of giving and receiving of formal invitawhich the character (in terms more or tions; though the casual dropping in less favourable,) has reached your ear. of a friend has always enhanced the Upon the first head, representations enjoyment of my table, nor would I will of course widely differ, as men ever by choice sit down to a solitary generally speak under the impulse ra- meal. Of all things, parade displeases ther of passion than of truth, and are me the most; not only as criminal in seldom moderate either in their com- itself, and adverse tó true humility, mendations or their censures.
but also as harassing and vexatious. I was one of your own class, a petty Victim in my youth of a single and human being, of a lineage neither honourable, but most passionate atsplendid nor vulgar, but (to adopt an tachment, I should longer have enexpression of Augustus Cæsar's) of dured its violence, had not the flame, an ancient family! My disposition which age had already mitigated, been was not naturally, till tainted by the extinguished by the severe, but salucontagion of bad example, either vici- tary, hand of death. Much as I could ous or immodest. Age, however, cor- wish to represent myself unstained by rected the errors of my boyhood and sensual indulgences, I will not do so youth, by impressing upon me, expe- at the expense of truth; but I can rimentally, the truth of my early les- truly affirm, that, even when hurried sons,-that “ youth and pleasure” are into them by the impulse of youth and empty sounds; and that the great Crea- constitution, I constantly reprobated tor of times and seasons occasionally them in my heart; and on the appermits his wretched creatures, buoyed proach of my fortieth year, without up by bubbles, to float at random, in having experienced any abatement of order to teach them, even by a late appetite or vigour, I as totally rediscovery of their transgressions, the nounced the pleasures and memory of knowledge of themselves!
the sex, as if I had never looked upon Of a frame, when young, rather ac- a woman in my life. This, indeed, I tive than athletic, I may say without class among my principal blessings; too much vanity, that in earlier life it and most devoutly do I thank my Crewas not ill formed to please. My ator, that before the period of languor complexion was blooming, and inclined and decrepitude, he rescued me from to brown; my eyes full of fire, and my sight, for a long period, intensely keen,
Kal. Aug.-But a xüi. seems to have been till by its unexpected failure after my by mistake omitted, as he elsewhere says, sixtieth year, I have been reluctantly (Ép. ad Boccac. viii
. 1.) he was born July compelled to make use of spectacles. 20 ; and in 1304 that day would fall on a But age, though it found me sound Monday, not August 1. VOL. III.
so degrading and hateful a thraldom. In the ordinary course of conversation But to proceed.
with friends or acquaintance, I never Pride, the infirmity of other minds, studied eloquence; and I am surprised was never mine. Little as I was in that an Augustus ever did. But unreality, my self-estimate always stood der particular exigencies of circumat a still lower point. This, though stance, or place, or person, I failed not I frequently felt its ill consequences to exert myself in this respect, -with myself, never injured any body else. what success, others must decide. In Of respectable friendships,-) speak it my own judgment, the merit of the with honest exultation, because I know lips, compared with that of the life, is that I am speaking the truth, I was of very inferior account. The glory always most covetous; vehement in arising from mere splendour of diction, my resentments, but ever ready to for- is nothing more than a breath. get their cause; and religiously tena- My past life has been distributed cious of the memory of kindnesses. by chance, or inclination, as follows: Enviably fortunate, however, as I was The greater part of my first year I in the condescensions of princes and spent at Arezzo, where I was born ; sovereigns, and the intimacies of the and the six which ensued, in my fagreat, I could not escape the penalty ther's house at Ancisa, (distant only of age, the surviving of numbers most fourteen miles from Florence,) with dear to me. Why my royal and noble my mother, who had been recalled contemporaries thus respected and lov- from banishment; the eighth at Pisa; ed me, it is for them, not me, to ex- the ninth, tenth, &c. in France, on plain. I scarcely seemed, indeed, to the left bank of the Rhone, at Avigbe more with them, than they with non, where the Roman pontiff holds me; and their station, of which I of- (and has long held,) the church of ten telt the benefit, was in no instance Christ in disgraceful exile ; although irksome or oppressive. Yet numbers Urban V. appeared, not long before, to thus distinguished, much as I regard- have re-established her in her ancient ed them, from my innate love of li- seat. But the attempt failed; the Pope berty I studiously shunned, as imply- himself, (for he was still alive,) I am ing by their very title something hos- sorry to observe, apparently repenting tile to that blessing.
his honourable effort. Had he surMy talents are rather equable than vived a little longer, he would unacute ; but though not disinclined to doubtedly have learned my opinion upany respectable or useful study, they on that subject. I had already taken seem peculiarly adapted for the culti- up my pen for the purpose, when the vation of moral philosophy and poetry. unhappy old man quitted his glorious The latter, however, in process of time, project and his existence nearly togeI laid aside, or reserved for occasional ther. I say “ unhappy," because he embellishment, from my passion for might have died by Peter's altar, and sacred literature, in which I found a in his own Vatican. For had his suchidilen and long neglected delight. cessors continued there, to him would Among my various pursuits, I engaged have been referred the credit of their ardently in the investigation of the re- restoration; and if they had again semains of antiquity, having ever enter- ceded, their misconduct would have tained such a dislike for the present served as a foil to his magnanimity. age, that, were it not for the bonds of But this is prolix and querulous dilove and friendship, I should have pre- gression. ferred being born in any other, as I At Avignon then, on the bank of a was always, in idea, transferring my- gusty river, I passed my boyhood unself to some of its nobler predecessors. der the sway of my parents, and subThis made me partial to the works of sequently (with many interruptions historians, though I could not but be indeed,) under that of my follies, I revolted by their discrepancies. In wasted my youth. For at this period, such cases, however, I regulated my Carpertras, a small town situated a belief by the robability of the fact re- little to the east of Avignon, possessed corded, or the authority of the chro- me full four years ; during two of nicler.
which, I gave as much attention to My ciocution, as many have assert- grammar, logic, and rhetoric, as my ed, was loud and clear: to myself it age admitted, or rather as schools usualways appeared feeble and indistinct. ally exact. That this is to a very mo
derate extent, the reader is, I doubt tives were alleged for my journey, in not, perfectly aware. Thence I mi- order to obtain the sanction of my sugrated for a second four years to Mont- periors, the true one was, an earnest pelier, to study the law. Lastly, I wish to see the world. During this spent three years at Bologna, in the excursion I first visited Paris, happy same pursuit ; during which I attend- in the opportunity thus afforded me, ed lectures on the whole body of civil of ascertaining what was correct, and law, and in the opinion of many, held what exaggerated, in the accounts of out the promise of great proficiency, that celebrated city. I then proceedin the event of my persevering. But ed to Rome, which I had longed to upon the death of my parents, I aban- see almost from my craille; and, while doned the pursuit, not as disliking there, attached myself so closely to legal investigations, which are of high Stephen de Colonna, the noble father authority, and abound with allusions of the family above mentioned, a man to Roman antiquity, one of my favour- of primitive integrity, and was so corite studies, but because their appli- dially beloved by him in return, that cation is vitiated by the chicanery of in no respect could I be said to differ
This made me reluctant to from a son. This excellent man's aflearn what I scarcely could practise fection for me never varied throughwithout dishonesty, though dishonest- out his life ; and mine for him still ly I certainly would never have prac- glows with unabated ardour, and can tised it at all,—notwithstanding the only end with my existence. After imputation of ignorance which I must, my return, nauseating and hating, in that case, have incurred.
from my very heart, all city-residence, I was two-and-twenty when I re- and anxiously exploring some port or turned home,-for by that name I place of refuge, I found a very small call my Avignon exile, where I had so but delightful solitary valley, called long been an occasional resident. For Vaucluse, about fifteen miles distant custom has a power second only to from Avignon, which gives birth to that of nature. There I began to be the Sorga, the king of streams. To noticed, and my friendship to be cul- this enchanting spot I conveyed mytivated by the great. At present this self and my books. It would be a attention, of which I cannot discover tedious story, were I to detail what I the grounds, excites my surprise; but did there during the lapse of many it appeared quite reasonable at the and many a year. Suffice it to state, time, as with the ordinary vanity of that there nearly every one of my youth I deemed no honour too great compositions had either its completion for my deserts. Above all others I or its commencement; and these are was courted by the ancient and illus
so numerous, that even to this day trious family of Colonna, which at they occupy and exhaust my
attention. that time attended—I ought rather to. For my intellect, like my body, was say, dignified the Roman court. By distinguished rather by its alertness them I was sought out, and by the in- than its vigour.
Hence many procomparable James de C. bishop of jects of easy conception, but difficult Lombes, with a degree of honour then execution I have at various times eertainly (and, perhaps, even still) un- thrown aside. Among other subjects, deserved, carried into Gascony, at the the character of the surrounding scenfoot of the Pyrenees, where I spent an ery suggested a Bucolic
the all-but-heavenly summer in delightful work of a woodland muse, and two intercourse with my noble host and books upon a solitary life addressed to his friends; an intercourse which I Philip always a distinguished never refer to without a sigh. Upon personage, though at that time holding my return, I passed many years with only the small bishopric of Cavaillon. his brother, the cardinal John de Co- He is now the great cardinal bishop of lonna, in whom I found not a master Sabino, and of all my ancient friends but a father, or rather a most affec- the single survivor. * This illustrious tionate brother ; living, indeed, as if man loved, and still loves me, not (as at my own disposal, and under my Ambrose did Augustine) after the for.
mal fashion of a bishop, but with the Youthful curiosity now impelled me to make the tour of both France • He died two years before Petrarch, in and Germany; and though other mo- 1372.
fondness of a brother. While I was ditional reflection, perhaps, that the rambling on one of our church-holi- solicited scrutiny was not without days about the mountains, I conceive its glory, since he had been selected ed a strong resolution to write an epic from his whole species as the only poein on the first Scipio Africanus, competent judge. In short, after nuwhose name I had ever singularly merous conversations upon various cherished from my early life. But, subjects, and a perusal of my “ Afrithough I set about it with great en- ca," (which delighted him so much, thusiasm, the distraction of various that he begged it might be dedicated worldly cares intercepted its progress. to him as a great favour-a favour I It was denominated, after its hero, was neither inclined nor able to re“ Africa ;” and by its own happy for- fuse) he appointed a day for the obtune, or mine, excited an interest in ject of my journey, and detained me, its favour before it was known. by his examination, from noon until
As I lingered in this beloved abode, the evening. This, as subjects grew by a surprising concurrence, letters upon us, was repeated on the two folreached me, on the same day, from the lowing days; and on the third, after Roman Senate and from Paris (through a thorough sifting of my ignorance, the friendly intervention of the Chan- he pronounced me worthy of the cellor), emulously inviting me to these laurel. He even offered to crown two cities, to receive the laurel-crown. me at Naples, and earnestly pressed My youthful vanity was inflamed ; my acceptance of the compliment; and weighing, not so much my own but my love of Rome overcame the deserts, as the opinions of others, 1 importunity of this great sovereign. could not help regarding myself as Perceiving, therefore, that I was not worthy of what such men were soli- to be dissuaded, he gave me letters, citous to confer. Yet was I undecid- and despatched messengers to the Roed whether of the two to obey. Upon man Senate, in which he emphatically this subject I consulted, by letter, stated his opinion of me; and that my friend above mentioned, Cardinal opinion was sanctioned by many others, John de Colonna, as he was within so as well as that time by my own. AL short a distance, that, having written present, I rate myself very differently. to him late in the evening, I received But affection, and a tender feeling for his reply the next day but one, at my youth, had more weight with him three in the morning. His advice de- than a regard for truth. I returned termined me in favour of Rome; and to Rome; and notwithstanding my untwo letters of mine to him are extant, worthiness, on the strength of so lofty signifying my acceptance of his coun- a testimonal, with the loudest approsel. To Rome, in consequence, I pro- bation of all those who could attend the ceeded; but, however, like other ceremony, though but a very unfinished young men, disposed to estimate my- scholur, received the poetic laurel ; self in the most flattering manner, I upon which subject some letters of blushed at the very idea of appearing mine still exist, both in verse and to adopt the judgment of those by prose. Alas! this laurel, without addwhom I had been summoned, though ing to my literature, swelled the tide of they undoubtedly thought me entitled envy against me ;-but the narrative to the compliment. I therefore re- of what I endured in consequence, would solved previously to visit Naples, and be too prolix for this place. pay my respects to its illustrious phi- From Rome I proceeded to Parma, losopher, King Robert,--a prince not and spent some time with the Corremore distinguished by his station than gü, who, agreeing only in their kindhis learning--the only one indeed, in ness and liberality toward me, notwithmy time, who patronized science and standing their domestic feuds, ruled that virtue,-in order that he might form city with unprecedented rigour. Not his judgment of my pretensions. How insensible to this honour, and anxious I was received by him, and how ap- to appear not wholly unworthy of it, proved, excites my frequent astonish- one day as I was clambering along the ment, and, on a detail of the particu- mountuins, and had entered the wood lars, would equally astonish the read. called Piana, beyond the Enza, on the
The news of my errand gave him border of Rezzio, I was all at once reextraordinary pleasure, both in respect minded by the association of the scenery to my juvenile copfidence, and the ad- of my forgotten“ Africa,"and, under the