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man's career which might otherwise have been includ Suffice it, in conclusion, to say that, in the history of own people, no man is entitled to, or likely to be accord anything like the position of eminence that his mem should receive and, in the world of men, history will doubt place him among the elect. His friends will alwa look back upon Louis, as he was familiarly called, a most agreeable companion and as a fine example sagacious and sturdy manhood. General Smuts paid following touching tribute to General Botha's mem at the grave of his dead friend and leader:
'After the intimate friendship and unbroken co-operati of twenty-one years, I have the right to call Botha the large most beautiful, and sweetest soul of all my land and da great in life and happy in death.'
Lastly, General Botha's breadth of view and benev lent outlook were evinced in his farewell intervie published through Reuter in July 1919; and the followi extract is memorable :
'As Great Britain led the war, so she has led the peac and we look to her to secure its just fulfilment. I do n pretend to agree with all the peace terms. Who does? B I would say to the Germans: Show by your conduct that yo intend to carry out the terms in the spirit and in the lette and you will find salvation. Evasion and shiftiness will n be tolerated, but in honesty of purpose and of fulfilment ma repose for you relief. . . . While we all lift up our hearts i thankfulness that the nightmare of the last five years is pas let us remember that with the victors rests the supreme gi of mercy. Should Germany in the near future produc evidence of a changed heart and a contrite spirit, it shoul be the privilege of Great Britain, just as she has led in war also to lead in the mercy of peace. The peace must not b marred by vengeance. I go back to South Africa mor firmly convinced than ever that the mission of the Britis Empire now and in the time to come lies along the path o freedom and high ideals. Britain is the corner-stone upor which our civilisation must rest.'
Art. 3.-THE GINESTRA; OR, THE DESERT FLOWER.* APART from his poetry, which, like the modest flower on the cinder heaps above Pompeii that overlook the beautiful bay of Naples, brought sweetness and some contentment into his seared existence, Leopardi was one of the most unhappy men who have attained celebrity. Doubtless others have had misfortunes. Dante spent long years in exile, Tasso in imprisonment, Milton lost his sight. But these, and others nearly as eminent who have suffered severely, often had a brilliant past to look back upon; they had received good, should they not also receive evil? In the whole course, however, of Leopardi's life anything 'good' in the ordinary sense of the term would be difficult to find. Harsh parents, unsympathising associates, straitened circumstances, physical weakness and ill-health pointing inevitably to early decease, and the settled conviction that the world is governed without regard to individual welfare, constitute the essentially volcanic soil on which sprang 'The Ginestra'—yet within sight of the most enchanting prospects the world can show, mirrored in his imagination.
Of this poem, the last and longest among the more important Odes-perhaps also the most famous, at least on the Continent very little need be said in explanation. With admirable lucidity it discloses, gravely and unhesitatingly, a conception of human affairs which sorrow had forced on the writer. It contains magnificent imagery and is enlivened with striking contrasts and similitudes, the moral inculcated being that men should devote their energies-without striving, each, for an undue share-to mutual assistance in the struggle with Nature, here regarded as our true Antagonist; in short, an idealised socialism. That a work of such high moral authority, power, and poetic beauty has not hitherto been made easily accessible may surprise some who now read it for the first time.
*This task of translating the principal Odes in Leopardi's 'Canti' being now completed, the writer wishes to thank Dr Mackail for guidance and encouragement when preparing the following version, and also those versions that have already appeared in this Review, and, more recently, in 'The Fortnightly.'
First published in 1845; written during the spring autumn of 1836, in the year preceding the poet's death, wh he was staying at a little house in the country situated o spur of the mountain overlooking Torre del Greco and the s
'And men loved darkness rather than light.'-John iii, 19.
Here on the arid spine
Of the dread mount
Vesevo,* the destroyer,
Which other flower or tree delights not, thou,
Fragrant Ginestra, joyful in the wild,
Scatterest thy solitary tufts around.
So, lately, had I found
Thy modest blossom, deck those sombre lands
And seem with solemn mien
A silent memory, the traveller heeds,
Here in this waste I meet thee yet again,
Misfortune's constant friend!
These fields that cinders strew
Unfruitful, hard o'erspread
With lava, echoing to the wanderer's feet;
Where in the sun the snake
Nestles, or writhes uncoiled, and rabbits make
Their wonted burrows-once were pastures gay
Gardens and palaces
There were, a loved repose
Made for the mighty in their hour of ease;
Here famous cities rose,
Which, thundering, this proud mountain overwhelmed
With torrents from her fiery throat aflame,
And those who dwelt therein. One ruin now
Involves them all, where, gentle flower, thou com'st
As if compassionate of other's dole,
These deserts to console.
* Vesevus, Latin for Vesuvius.
† L. had recently passed through the Roman Campagna on his way
from Florence to Naples.
Before this steep
Let him then come who would exalt with praise
In loving Nature's care
Is ours at need. Here he may justly weigh
With but a touch can pour.
Of human progeny
"The lofty destinies progressive ever *
Here gaze, here see thyself
Elate and foolish age,
That from the path discerned
When thought revived, assigned to us of old,
Hast wandered, backward in thy course returned,
And, still retiring, sounded an advance.
Dreaming of liberty, thou wouldst enchain
THOUGHT, that has led us out from barbarous ways,
In public acts a more humane regard
For all may yet be shown.
The truth-the bitter lot,
The humble place Nature prepared for us-
Thy back turned to the light that makes this clear.
With wealth and vigour crowned;
Nor in the world makes an absurd pretence
Of sumptuous life and virile eminence;
'Le sorti magnifiche e progressive dell' umanità.' A quotation from Terenzio Mamiani. It occurs in the dedication to the 'Inni Sacri' (1832).
And gives to things that matter their true name.
But stupid, a frail creature born to die,
Who says he lives for joy;
And with foul-smelling pride
Fills books that promise new felicities
And glories all unknown
(Not only on this orb
But in the very sky,)
Here, upon earth, to beings whom a breath
Of turbulent ocean, or the rocking soil
Great pains will hardly save.
A noble heart is his
Who dares, with mortal eyes,
Look on the common fate;
With tongue unbound, nought taking from the truth,
Our weak and low estate;
One who in suffering is strong and great,
That deeper misery,
Fraternal ire and hate,
Adds not, by charging those of his own kind
It is significant that the same sequence of ideas appears in the Itali and interesting to compare the effect on Cowper's darkly devotional mi of a similar catastrophe.
† Rousseau's theories are here glanced at.