« הקודםהמשך »
blink, and seems like a bright and airy meteor that is destined to perish, will, in the end, be chosen rather than darkness, if our deeds are not evil, and will shine more and more towards the perfect day of political perfection.
It is for this reason that I prefer the communication of scientific, moral, and political knowledge, in a pamphlet or a magazine, to fifty volumes in folio of the fathers, or of the commentary of Aristotle ; and that I have thought my time well bestowed. in conveying to the people at large, through the channel of this miscellany, the imperfect essay of its wellwisher and reader.
A. B. *
ACCOUNT OF THE SOCIETY OF ARCADIA,
BY ABBE TOURNER.
Concluded from p. 88. The Parrhasian grove, (il Bosce Parrasio),where the: Arcadians assemble in summer to repeat their compositions, was first in a small forest belonging to the convent of St Pietro in Montorio; from this, the de. nomination was transferred to a place in the villa of the duke of Pagænica at St Pietro in Vincoli, where the shepherds had no other place to sit upon but the grass. Until this time no body was admitted except the Arcadians; but their fame attracted many who requested to attend as auditors, and in a short time no
• The Editor is much indebted to this oblig'ng correspondent for these ingenions essays, though he cannot help thinking they would have been more generally relished, had the illustrations had less tendency to political affairs. On this subject men's opinions will always differ; and consequently arguments, though just, when thus illustrated, lose of their effect. It is for future correspondents this hint is intended,
person was denied admission. They obliged the Arcadians to assemble in a larger place which was in the gardens of duke Riario, at present belonging to the Corsini family, which the queen of Sweden had formerly possessed. In the year 1693, the duke of Parma built a theatre for them on mount Palatine; but the duke's minister at the court of Rome having taken some umbrage at an eclogue repeated by two Arcadians, the general assembly, in order to avoid all disagreeable encounters, prudently found means to remove from the Orti Palatini, without giving offence to the duke. This happened in 1699, and Iliso (duke Antonio Salviati,) invited the Arcadians to his gardens at the Lungara. His death in 1704, obliged them to perform in the following year the Olympic games in honour of the deceased Arcadians, in the gardens of Eutimene, (prince Vincenzo Giustiniani,) out of the Flaminian gate. In 1907, they ceived by Olinto, (prince Francis Ruspoli,) in his gardens on the Esquilin. Five years after, the same Olinto caused a magnificent theatre to be prepared, of three orders of seats, and a statue of Apollo at one end, in another garden of his, on the Aventin. At length when king John V. of Portugal was clamated an Arcadian shepherd, under the namr of Arete Mellèo, assigning to him the Mellean lands, which had been in possession of the deceased Alnans, (pope Clement XI.) he made a present to the Arcadia of four thousand crowns, with which a piece of ground was bought on the declivity of the Gianica. lum, in the year 1726 ; since which time this society
have enjoyed it, and have, in the summer time, their public and private meetings. The form is of a small simple amphitheatre, with three rows of stone seats, surrounded with fine luxuriant laurel trees; the walls that enclose the amphitheatre are decorated with marble inscriptions to the memory of the deceased Aracdians, who either had, by an universal renown, added particular lustre to the society of Arcadia, or had bestowed upon it some extraordinary favour.
The first that had this honour decreed to him, seven years
after the institution of Arcadia, was Amicio (Dr Francesco Redi,) well known as a profound philosopher, and an elegant poct. To obtain such a degree, one of the Arcadians presents a request for making an inscription to the memory of any one he thinks deserving of such a distinction. The custode then gives the commission to some fit person of the society to write his life, which is submitted to the inspection of three other Arcadians, in order to examine whether, from it, there results the universal fame required, after which they give their opinion in writing, and the person who makes the request; is at the expence of the stone, as well as of the portrait in copperplate, which, with a copy of the inscription, is prefixed to the life that is printed when there is a sufficient number to make a volume. There are already five volumes in 4to of them, and materials ready for a sixth *.
As a specimen of the true, neat simplicity of the lapidary stile, I have chosen four of the inscriptions, out of the many that exist. The first is to the memory of Vincenzo Leonio; the second of pope Clement xr; the third of Vincenzo Viviani, the last scholar of Galileo; and the fourth of u.e Marchesa Petronilla Massini, an elegant postess.
La Capanna del Serbatojo is the name that the founders of this pastoral society gave to the place,
Cöetus Arcadum P.
C. V. c.
Coetus Arcadum P.
Cum Ludi Agerentur.
Arc. S. Ld. F. C.
C. V. C.
Mulieri Clariss. P.
After a revolution of three or four thousand years, in which time Eve Tope may have been buried again in the darkness of ignorance, and all monuments of learning destroyed, if these inscriptions shall happen to be dug up again, what excellent food for the conjectural imaginations of antiqua rians!
where are preserved the compositions, either in prose or in verse, which have been repeated in the Parrhasi. an grove, besides letters of Arcadians, relating either Arcadic or literary business; and other authentic papers belonging to the society, the original catalogue of the Arcadians, the emblems of all the colonies, the narration of all the deeds of Arcadia, (Fasti Arcadici) the seals, and the portraits of many Arcadians, as it is permitted to every one to send his own. The sis tuation of the Serbatojo has always been, until now, in the lodgings of the custode. It may be not only looked upon as the register office of Arcadia ; but likewise as its secretary office ; for all the diplomas are dated from the Capanna del Serbatojo. In the time that the Parrhasian grove is not kept open, from the 7th October, to the ist May, the Arcadians assemble in the Serbatojo, to transact their business, and repeat their compositions. In the guardianship of Filacida Inciniano, (Abate Lorenzini,) for some reasons of his, the Parrhasian grove was not opened for many years, and then the custom took place to have private assemblies every Thursday in the Serbatojo, which are now continued, beside the public ones. But Lorenzini to make amends for this silence, erected a little theatre near the Serbatojo, where he caused the comedies of Plautus and of Terentius to be acted by several young gentlemen, who performed to such perfection, and with all the decoratie ons in character, that not only all the literati, the nobility, foreign ambassadors, and cardinals, frequented this new show; but pope Clement XII, Corsini, sent eeveral times to Lorenzini large sums of money, in