Pagina:Baretti - Prefazioni e polemiche.djvu/157



Altieri was no less in the dark as to the beauties of his native language. He had not the least sparkle of poetical fire in his soul ; and lihpoetical people ought~hevér tb assume the ~n[gEt of teachingr^eiides, he wrote for bread, and thought

apparently of nothing but of multiplying rules, which for the greatest part are either fault>- or unintelligible, that he might swell a book into a convenient sum of money.

Veneroni ’s method is indeed a little better than the other two; but his precepts are no less trifling and no less false for the greatest part, and he was stili below Messieurs and Altieri in point of ignorance of the classical Italians.

The learners therefore ma}- be assured that the two grammars I here offer them are not raked together from those three works, as that of one Palermo lately published. Mine, such as they are, are entirely new. That of Mr. Samuel Johnson prefixed to his English dictionar}-, and that of Buonmattei were my guides. The performances of these two accurate philosophers I bave generally followed, and often translated; and as to the Italian prosody, my short attempt may perhaps be called the first of that kind; for although the Italian nation be reputed eminently poetical, yet whatever be the reason of such strange neglect, no prosody of their language has hitherto appeared amongst them since criticism fixed her seat in Italy.