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The Betrothed From the Italian of Alessandro Manzoni   By: (1785-1873)

The Betrothed From the Italian of Alessandro Manzoni by Alessandro Manzoni

First Page:

THE BETROTHED

From the Italian of

ALESSANDRO MANZONI

[Illustration: The street was deserted before him; but, behind him, the terrible cry still resounded. "Seize him! stop him! a poisoner!" ]

London: Richard Bentley, ( Successor to H. Colburn ) Cumming, Dublin. Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh. Galignani, Paris. 1834

[Illustration: THE BETROTHED.

So saying, he passed his arm around the neck of the Unknown, who after resisting a moment, yielded, quite vanquished by this impulse of kindness, and fell on the neck of the Cardinal in an agony of repentance. ]

STANDARD NOVELS.

NÂș XLIII.

"No kind of literature is so generally attractive as Fiction. Pictures of life and manners, and Stories of adventure, are more eagerly received by the many than graver productions, however important these latter may be. APULEIUS is better remembered by his fable of Cupid and Psyche than by his abstruser Platonic writings; and the Decameron of BOCCACCIO has outlived the Latin Treatises, and other learned works of that author."

THE BETROTHED.

Complete in One Volume.

London: Richard Bentley, 8. New Burlington Street (Successor to Henry Colburn): Bell, and Bradfute, Edinburgh; and Cumming, Dublin.

1834.

London: Printed by A. Spottiswoode, New Street Square.

CRITICAL REMARKS on MANZONI'S BETROTHED:

BY THE COUNT O'MAHONY. [Translated from the Italian.]

To publish a novel, to analyse, to eulogise it, and recommend its perusal to the good and pious, will appear no doubt very extraordinary, and offend the prejudices of many who have agreed among themselves to consider a novel, whoever may be its author, and whatever may be its subject, form, and design, as a pestilent production. If you ask them why? "Because," they will reply "because it is a novel!" The answer is as wise as it is peremptory and decisive, and we will spare ourselves the useless trouble of replying to arguments so profound and powerful. We will, however, submit a few serious reflections to minds of a less elevated order, were it only to prove that we can talk reasonably, even on the subject of novels.

Certainly, if we are understood to designate by the appellation of Novel , the written dreams and extravagant imaginations of a corrupt mind and depraved heart, where illusions are substituted for realities, vice transformed into virtue, crime justified by the passions that lead to its perpetration, and fallacious pictures presented of an ideal world, or criminal apologies for a world too real; if, we say, such are the novels to be condemned and proscribed, none more than ourselves will be disposed to confirm the sentence. The unhappy influence which productions like these have exerted over the minds of youth, and above all, the ravages which their multiplication has within a few years produced, is a fact acknowledged by all, by those who have escaped the contagion of their perusal, as well as by those whom that perusal has injured. With respect to this, the wise and the good are unanimous in their testimony and their anathemas; it is one of those self evident truths, about which an Englishman or a German might still elaborate many a learned dissertation, but of which we shall take no further notice, certain that we should only repeat much less forcibly and eloquently, that which a thousand writers or orators have said before us.

But there is another point of view under which we must consider novels, or rather the works so called, but which bear, to those which morals and good taste reprobate, no other resemblance than the name. These are, it is true, unhappily few in number, and therefore have not been classed by themselves, but have been comprehended in the common appellation, and included in the general proscription; like an honest man, who, bearing the same name as a rogue, partakes with him the odium of his reputation. But this is an injustice for which we are disposed to claim reparation... Continue reading book >>




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