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Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Require-
ments for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy,
in the Faculty of Philosophy, Columbia



Columbia (Hnibersitp








30-32 West 27th Street


Amen Corner, E.C.


30 North Szechuen Road







Submitted in Partial Fulfilment op the Require-
ments for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy,
in the Faculty of Philosophy, Columbia

/fteto IPorfe


Copyright, 191 7
By Columbia University Press

Printed from type, December, 191 7

Approved for publication, on behalf of the Department
of Romance Languages and Literatures of Columbia

Henry Alfred Todd

New York, November, 1917.



While much has been written in recent years
regarding some of the influences exerted by Italy
on Lamartine's literary productions, no work
has yet been published attempting to trace this
influence, in a connected and systematic form,
and as a fundamental and persistent element,
from the time of his earlier adolescence, when
he began to understand and to appreciate the
beauties of literature, to the very end of his literary
career, when he was writing the Cours familier
de litterature, only some ten or twelve years
before his death.

For a number of years past it has been my ear-
nest endeavor to collect facts, to discover evi-
dences, to bring to light statements which in
their isolated form did not seem to have much
meaning, but which, duly coordinated and inter-
preted, have tended to establish more and more
definitely the opinion that the influence of Italy
on Lamartine was much deeper and more impor-
tant than heretofore has been supposed.

The study of Italian sources and authorities, as
well as personal visits and investigations in several


of the localities where Lamartine resided, have
yielded a number of data and opinions that hith-
erto have been little considered or entirely
overlooked by students of Lamartine's literary
career. Without a personal acquaintance with
some of the localities involved, it would not have
been possible to correct certain erroneous im-
pressions produced by statements of Lamartine
himself, which have gone unchallenged ; and with-
out a knowledge not only of the Italian language
but of some of its dialects as well, certain con-
clusions could not have been reached. Moreover,
in the use made of the documents furnished by
Lamartine's own writings, I have been guided
by considerations somewhat different from those
of merely historical import. This is due to the
nature of the present work. We are here dealing
with the sources of Lamartine's artistic emotions,
with his subjective experiences, and therefore the
external events of his career have no interest for
us except in so far as they have a direct or indirect
bearing on his literary activities. For this reason
the documents written in the later years of
Lamartine's life have been regarded as more
important, for the author's immediate purpose,
than those of an earlier date; and accordingly,
wherever possible, quotations have been made
from them, as showing what emotional elements


from his experiences of earlier years had per-
manently survived in Lamartine's mind and
heart, so that they had become an essential part
of himself. Thus the Confidences, the Nouvelles
Confidences, the Cours familier de litterature
have been regarded as of more value than even
the Correspondance, which oftentimes represents
only a passing impression on the writer and forms
the record of feelings which were soon obliterated
from his memory, unless indeed they became the
immediate source of political and artistic produc-
tion. Surely, the facts related by Lamartine
many years after the events took place may be
quite inaccurately recorded from the historical
point of view, and, indeed, some of these inaccura-
cies have been pointed out and rectified in the fol-
lowing pages. Yet, after all, it was not from
barren realities but from idealized mental pic-
tures that Lamartine drew his inspirations!

Thus the real Graziella would have remained an
altogether commonplace figure and the everyday
happenings at that time in Naples altogether
vulgar, had not the artistic soul of Lamartine,
by the long continued poetical meditation of sub-
sequent years, evoked the picture of the charm-
ing "Graziella" of the Confidences, ennobled by
his imagination and idealized by his love. This
is the only true Graziella, ever present in the


poet's mind, ever reappearing in his poetry even
when he is singing of other women, even when
he is reflecting on subjects apparently unrelated
to her or to her environment. All this I have
endeavored to show in the following monograph,
which is intended to be a point of departure
rather than an exhaustive treatment of all the
literary and historical questions involved in so
large a problem.

Lamartine's literary career may be compared
to a great modern symphony. To understand
its unity, its unifying idea, in the midst of so many
instruments of differing forms and functions, it
is necessary to discover the "leitmotiv" running
through the whole composition. There may be
secondary " motives," but they are limited in their
extent and their recurrence; the principal "motif"
runs through the music from the beginning to
the end. The aim of this dissertation is to show
that the " leitmotiv" in Lamartine's literary
career is furnished by Italy, and if in spite of
defects and limitations this thesis is found to have
been established, I feel that my task has been
accomplished :

Sic tamen erit consummatus ! (2 Mace, xv: 40)

A. P.



Introduction . . 1


Chapter I. Lamartine's childhood. — His first im-
pressions of the Italian poets. — Tasso and the
Jerusalem Delivered 5

Chapter II. College friends of Lamartine. — His
impressions of Ariosto and Alfieri. — Corinne ou
Vltalie 10

Chapter III. Early love affairs. — Lamartine sent
to Italy. — His impressions of Italian manners,
and of Italian university life 15

Chapter IV. Lamartine and the Countess of Al-
bany. — Visit to Tasso's sepulchre r . .*'■• /. 22

Chapter V. Lamartine at Naples. — Graziella. —

Italian origin of Le Crucifix * . . 28


Chapter I. Return of Lamartine to France. — The

Saul of Alfieri and of Lamartine 45

Chapter II. La Mart de Jonathas. — Jacopo Ortis

and J sepolcri of Foscolo 59

Chapter III. Julia's death and Lamartine's imita-
tions of Petrarch. — His ideas of colonization.
— His marriage. — Rome and Naples 64

Chapter IV. Lamartine and "The Carbonari." —
Meeting with Gioacchino Rossini. — Amain

and the so-called Calabrian song 72



Chapter V. La sentinella. — Lamartine and the

Duchess of Devonshire 82

Chapter VI. Lamartine and Charles Albert. — The
Cinque Maggio of Manzoni and Bonaparte of
Lamartine 90


Chapter I. Meeting with Delphine Gay. — Val-

lombrosa. — Antoir and Jocelyn 99

Chapter II. The Fifth Canto of Childe Harold. —
Giuseppe Giusti. — Lamartine's duel with Ga-
briele Pepe . . . 105

Chapter III. La Perte de VAnio. — Lamartine and

the Princess Aldobrandini 113

Chapter IV. The literary friends of "Varramista."
— Sojourn at Leghorn. — The Countess of
Saluzzo 119

Chapter V. Lamartine and Alessandro Manzoni. —

Angelica Palli. — Visit to Ferrara 124

Chapter VI. Les harmonies poetiques et religieuses. 130

Chapter VII. Direct influence of Italy on the Har-
monies 138

Chapter VIII. Lamartine's correspondence and the

chronology of his life 144

Chapter IX. Lamartine's old age. — Dante and
Petrarch in the Cours familier de litterature. —
Originality of Lamartine 149


"Tasso, mon premier poete ..."
" Corinne, mon premier roman ! " 1

All of Lamartine's early experiences in the
vast field of the world's literature are included
in the above brief formulary. In those open-
ing years of his life, it was a great epic poet of
Italy and a great romance about Italy, which
filled his heart and mind.

In Tasso's works he met with the most refined
feelings that can be aroused in an Italian heart
when meditating upon the loftiest themes of
love, of religion and of honor, expressed in the
matchless verses of an immortal poet. In Co-
rinne he found the most tender emotions that
Italy — her wonderful sky, her glorious memo-
ries — can arouse in the sympathetic soul of an
exquisite woman who is also a great artist, and
who, though born under another sky, might
have spoken of Italy in the words which Lamar-
tine, in later years, addressed to the author of
the Leper of Aosta:

On est toujours, crois-moi, du pays que Ton aime ! 2

1 Preface aux Recueillements.

2 Harmonies. Le Retour.


These echoes of Italy resounded in the soul
and mind of Lamartine when he was still a child;
they made his heart throb when developing into
manhood; they comforted his later years — years
when, sad and dejected, the messages of love
from his ever loyal friends of "Varramista"
brought a ray of bright Italian sunshine into
the gloom that surrounded him on every side. 3

He then remembered the happy days he had
passed under the brilliant sky of Tuscany, when,
as a happy husband, as a proud father, as a re-
spected diplomat, as an admired poet, he felt
all the fascination of that

. . . magna parens frugum
Saturnia tellus !

Echoes of Italy were mingled with the memo-
ries of his childhood days, passed at the little
country-house of Milly, when his father used to
read aloud from Tasso to the happy family
gathered around him; young Italian noblemen
were among his college friends ; under the serene
sky of Naples his heart first awoke to the
throbs of real passion for his never-to-be-for-
gotten Graziella; in the solemn city of Rome he
first felt the joy of fatherhood, while, not long
after, his tears w 7 ere shed upon that soil which

3 See Chaps, iv and vn of this Essay.


had become still more sacred and dear to him
since it had opened to receive the mortal form
of the first-born of his wedded love. In view of
all this, it was but natural that the lyre of the
poet should re-echo the melodies produced in
his soul by his inner experiences.

It is our endeavor in the following pages to
show, as far as may be possible, to what extent
Italy and her memories influenced the life and
work of the poet who called her "cette seconde
patrie de mes yeux et de mon coeur," of him who
might have said, like Browning's Italian patriot:

"Open my heart and you will see
Written inside of it Italy !"

A. P.



In a little country-house at Milly, near Macon,
far from the tumults and the tempests which
the Reign of the Terror had awakened through-
out France and Europe, the family of the noble
Chevalier de Lamartine had retired, after hav-
ing but lately escaped from the deadly kiss of
Madame La Guillotine, who had been for a
long season only too eager to shed the blood of
the hated "aristocrates," proved guilty of not
loving her friends, the Sans-Culottes.

In the quietness of the country, surrounded
by the beauty of nature, Alphonse de Lamartine's
early childhood was passed, and it was there
that the melodious accents of an Italian poet
for the first time caused to vibrate in his heart
the chords of poetry which afterwards burst
into melody and produced the wonderful Har-
monies that charm us to-day. Nothing can
better describe Lamartine's feelings at this time


than a quotation from his own memories which,
though written years ' afterwards, show us con-
clusively how lasting was the impression those
early scenes had made on his heart and imag-

This is the translation of Lamartine's narrative:

The shades of night are falling fast. The gates of
the little country-house of Milly near Macon, are
already closed. From time to time the barking of a
dog is heard, while the autumn rain keeps beating
against the window-panes, and the wind, blowing
amidst the trees, produces at intervals a kind of plain-
tive and melancholy sound.

The room where the family is gathered is almost
entirely bare of furniture. At its extremity is an
alcove with one bed and, at the foot of it, two baby-
cradles. Facing the open fire-place, with his elbow
resting on a table, a man is seated holding a book in
his hand. It is the Chevalier de Lamartine. Sitting
upon an easy-chair is a lady still very youthful-looking,
though she has just completed her thirtieth birthday.
She is holding in her arms a sleeping baby-girl: the
other two little sisters are already asleep in the two
little cradles afore-mentioned. Still another little girl,
seated on a low stool, is resting her blond head on her
mother's knee.

And now Lamartine speaks in the first person :

My father is holding a book in his hands. He is
reading in a loud voice. I still can hear the sound of
his manly, full, nervous and withal flexible voice,
rolling on in large and sonorous sentences, sometimes
interrupted by the wind blowing against the windows.
My mother, with her head slightly bent, is listening


dreamily. As to myself, my face is turned toward my
father and my arm is resting upon one of his knees,
while I am drinking in every word; I am anticipating
every narrative, I am devouring the book whose pages
are too slowly unrolling for my impatient imagina-
tion. Now, what book is it, this first book the reading
of which, thus heard at the entrance of life, teaches me
what a book really is, and opens to me, so to say, the
world of emotion, of love and of revery?

This book is the Jerusalem delivree, translated by
Lebrun with all the harmonious majesty of the Italian
stanzas. ... In this way Tasso, read by my father
and listened to by my mother with tears in her eyes, is
the first poet who touched the fibres of my imagina-
tion and of my heart." x

The importance of this declaration made by
Lamartine himself calls for no commentary; his
own statement as to the effects produced by the
poet of Italy upon his soul, his heart and his
imagination, is sufficient for our purpose. Tasso
always remained one of Lamartine's most favored
poets; many years later, at the beginning of
old age, when he had become a past master of
language, style and literary criticism, he made
the singer of Clorinda and Erminia the object
of a long and accurate study, following in the
steps of Manso, of Serassi and of Black; and in
the Cours familier de litterature, with an insight
and a keenness much to be admired, he dedicated

1 Les Confidences par A. de Lamartine, Bruxelles, 1849,
p. 56.


many pages to the life of Tasso, and to the study
of the merits and defects of the Gerusalemme
Liberata. 2

We see, therefore, that Lamartine was brought
up in an intellectual environment. His mother
was a virtuous and pious lady, who, nourished
with readings of a serious and profound character,
had been able to free herself from foolish and
old-fashioned prejudices while remaining an earn-
est believer in God and religion. She was a
reader not only of Bernardin de St. Pierre, but
of J. J. Rousseau as well . . . "ces deux philo-
sophes desfemmes parce qu'ils sont les philosophes
du sentiment." Being the daughter of M me
des Roys, under-governess of the children of the
Prince d'Orleans, she had been reared amid a
select society, composed of savants and men of
letters. In the drawing-room of M me des Roys,
D'Alembert, Laclos, M me de Genlis, Buffon,
Gibbon and Rousseau himself were familiar
figures. 3 It is natural, therefore, that the meet-
ing of these master-minds should have had a
strong influence on the development of the intel-
lect of young Alice des Roys, who became M me
de Lamartine when not yet twenty years of age.
And upon the feelings and imagination of our poet

2 Paris, 1863; entretiens xci, xcn.

3 Les Confidences, p. 33.


profound influence was exercised not only by his
family and his social environment but by the very
places amid which his first steps moved: the
wild and somewhat barren mountains of Bur-
gundy, — the village of Milly, so solitary and
inhabited only by peasants, by vine-dressers and
shepherds. Lamartine was a man of intuition,
not of reflection; and even in his childhood,
imagination and feeling were predominant in
him. The strong impression made upon such a
nature by the emotions awakened by the almost
daily reading of the Gerusalemme Liberata left
him with an Italianized soul, and the country of
Tasso had always for him the fascination of a
mistress whose voice vibrated within him and
gave inspiration to his poetry. As Voltaire has
said: "La patrie est aux lieux ou Fame est
enchainee !" 4

4 Le Fanatisme, I, 2.



Lamartine received his education in the
Jesuit college of Belley. While there he be-
came a friend of several Italian young men
belonging to the most prominent families of
Piedmont, among them the Sambuys, the Ghi-
linis and the Costas. 1 Thus he early received
the very best impressions of the Italian people
and nation, and his reverence for the country of
Tasso, who always continued to delight him,
was increased rather than diminished by his
college associates. 2 He also began to read Ariosto
in the original, but being new to the intricacies
of the Italian language and to the subtleties
of the style, he could not enjoy the reading to

1 Cours familier de litt., entretien cxxiii, p. 169.

2 Professor Lanson, in his edition of the Meditations,
published after this work was completed, strikingly states
in this way the importance of such associations: . . . "Pour
presumer Feffet d'une education ce n'est pas tant du
c6te des maitres qu'il faut regarder; c'est surtout du
cote des camarades. Voila les vrais educateurs." (Introd.,
p. xi.)


any extent. On June 10, 1809, writing from
Macon to his friend de Virieu, he says:

L'Arioste est sur ma table. II y a longtemps, et
j'ai honte de le dire, que je Tai commence, et je n'en
suis qu'au milieu, tant l'interet dans un poeme et un
peu de suite dans ses discours est une belle chose. Ce
n'est pas cependant que je ne le trouve, quelquefois,
6gal au bon homme, mais j'avoue que souvent il me
fait bailler, au lieu de me faire rire, et que j'en saute
des pages entieres. Est-ce ma faute? Un peu, sans
doute, mais c'est aussi un peu la sienne. 3

Aymon de Virieu, to whom this letter was
addressed, was the dearest of Lamartine's col-
lege friends, and he often called him in his letters
"douce moitie de mon ame," translating the
affectionate expression of Horace. Even to a
brother Lamartine would not have written more
frequently or with more affection. During his
travels, during the most trying moments of his
political life, de Virieu was always his confidant,
his bosom friend, to whom he felt the need of
opening his heart in joy or in sorrow.

During this period Lamartine became an
enthusiastic admirer of Vittorio Alfieri. He had
read several articles upon him in the Mercure,
the literary journal of Macon, and his enthusi-
asm had increased after the reading of his trage-
dies translated into French. 4 In the letter already
3 Corr.y i, 81. 4 Corr., i, 83.


quoted from, he says to de Virieu: "I should like
to procure all his (Alfieri's) works in Italian, and
especially his Life. Have you not got them? I
love him to the point of madness. He was so
fond of horses, of poetry, of literature, of his
friends, of travels, and of glory ! ! ! There is not
room enough for all the points of admiration !"

However — as we shall subsequently see —
this enthusiasm of the nineteen-year-old Lamar-
tine for the Italian tragedian vanished later on
and gave place to a contempt not less exagger-
ated, and entirely unjustified: 5 "Certes c'est un
subject merveilleusement vain, divers, et on-
doyant, que Phomme!" 6

It was about this time that he read Corinne ou
Vltalie by M me de Stael. This volume filled
him with unbounded admiration both for the
author and for the subject. He tells us in his
"Entretien avec le lecteur" at the opening of
the Recuezllements poetiques: "J'etais, depuis ma
tendre enfance, un admirateur exalte du genie
et du caractere de M me de Stael. Corinne
avait 6t6 mon premier roman, c'est le roman
des poetes !"

His enthusiasm was so great that, even writing
after so long a time, he seems to find no language

5 Entr. sur Alfieri in Cours familier de litt.

6 Montaigne, Ess. i. c. 1.


strong enough to express it: "J'etais ivre du
nom de M me de Stael I" But we cannot doubt
that his enthusiasm was chiefly produced by
the nature of the subject, for, after some reading
of De VAllemagne by the same author he wrote to
de Virieu: "Je lis a Pinstant Pouvrage de M me
de Stael sur VAllemagne. Je commence a regretter
mon argent, quoique cela me paraisse £crit d'un
style assez masculin, mais un peu trop a la
Dacier!" 7

After his reading of Corinne Italy became
more than ever the land of his dreams. Always
hoping and strongly desiring to be able to visit
the land of Tasso, he continued to study Italian
very diligently, and if it is true that with a
new language one acquires a new soul, Lamar-
tine's soul must have become Italian indeed. At
Macon he accepted, with unfeigned pleasure,
the invitation of some ladies to take part in an
Italian comedy, while the reading of Alfieri's
life in the original tongue kept alive in him the
enthusiasm for the tragedian. 8 He declared
to de Virieu that he loved Alfieri almost as much

7 Corr., ii, 107.

8 We must notice, however, that he could not have
had a real speaking acquaintance with Italian at this
time. In fact, writing to de Virieu soon after he arrived
in Italy he says: " Je commence a parler italien par force . . .
les 'ciceroni' ne parlent qu'italien !" Corr. } i, 85.


as he loved Rousseau ! What a strange idea to
associate two writers so totally and absolutely
unlike, even if only in a comparison. But this
reveals to us his fondness for paradox even at
this early date.



Lamartine had now sufficient preparation of
mind and of spirit to undertake profitably his
first journey to Italy, in 1811. This gave him
the occasion both to reproduce and to define the
world of thoughts, of sensations and of fancies
which had been struggling within his emotional
and dreamy soul. The determining motive
which led his family to send him to Italy was
his having fallen in love — and his wishing to
marry the object of his affections. His sentiment,
however, was only one of those youthful inclina-
tions which are more the foreshadowing than the
revelation of real love. Seche is quite right in

En fait de passions, je parle ici de celles qui sont
mauvaises, il ne connaissait guere jusqu'a vingt ans que
le jeu. . . . Cependant, comme il avait des cama-
rades qui avaient dejh gotite* a Pamour, Pidee lui vint
un jour d'y gouter lui aussi ! Et le voila follement
£pris tout a coup d'une jeune fille de Macon. 1

1 Lamartine, p. 83.


His mother wrote in January, 1810: "His
passions begin to develop; I fear that his youth
and his life may be very stormy — he is agitated,
melancholy; he does not know what he wants." 2
The object of his thoughts was a young lady
of Macon, Henriette P. 3 "J'aime pour la vie,"
he wrote to a friend, " je ne m'appartiens plus, et

je n'ai nulle esperance de bonheur

Je vais prendre incessament un parti violent

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

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