[Essay on Chatterton]
Art. VIII.��Conjectures and Researches concerning the Love
Madness and Imprisonment of Torquato Tasso. By Richard Henry
Wilde. 2 vols. New York. 1842.
Upon the minuteness and obscurity of our attainable
evidences with regard to a single important portion of a great
poet's history��the Love and Madness of Tasso��great light is
thrown by these clever volumes. And further additions to a
very meagre stock are not, it seems, to be absolutely
despaired of. The Medicean Records may be laid under more
liberal contributions, and the Archives of Este cease to
remain impenetrable. What even if a ray of light should
straggle over the unsunned hoards of sumless wealth in the
Vatican? "If windows were in heaven, might this thing be."
But in our days the poorest loophole will have to be
broken, we suspect, with far different instruments from those
it is the fashion to employ just now in Italy. It is enough at
present if the oily instances of this or the . . .