Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/123



me repeat, is as ignorant of the Portuguese as the Italian language, although he decides so dogmatically about the writings in either. These are the Hnes with which Camoens addresses the Nymphs of Tagus (canto i, stanza iv and v):

E vós Tagides Minhas, pois creado tendes em mi hiim novo engenho ardente, se sempre em verso humilde celebrado foy de mi vosso rio alegremenie, dai-me agora hiim som alto e sublimado, hum estilo grandiloquo e corrente, porque de vossas aguas Febo ordene qtie náo tenham inveja ás de Hippocrene .

Dai-me htima furia grande e sonorosa, e náo de agreste avena ou frauta rada; mas de tuba canora e bellicosa que o peito accende e a cor ao gesto muda. Dai-íue igual canto aos feitos da famosa gente vossa, que a Marte tanto ajuda, que se espalhe e se cante no universo, se tao sublime prego cabe em verso.

In EngHsh thus: «Oh ye, my Nymphs of Tagus, since you bave inspired me with new fires; if with my humble verses I bave ever freely celebrated your deities, give me now a strain lofty and sublime, a style elevated, yet easy, since Apollo hath bestowed on your waters a power equal to those of Hypocrene. Inspire an enthusiasm grand and sonorus, that the sound of my verses may not resemble that of rural pipes, or rustie flutes, but of a trumpet, martial and shrill, which may enfiarne my bosom and fili it with courage. Give me a song equal to the labours of your famous people, the favourite of Mars; a song which may resound throughout the universe, if verse is worthy of so sublime an honour».

Wbere is then the resemblance between these Hnes of Camoens and those of sir John Denham, which Voltaire pretends to show in bis own false translation?

I bave said enough upon the article of Dante to prove, notwithstjmding the assertion of Mr. Voltaire and many others

G. Barktti, Prefazioni e polemiche. 8