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430 THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY sympathy for Germany.; that he ignored Russia; and that he impeded rearmament . The force of argument is certainly not decisive on aJl these points, and it cannot be until official archives are open. But on the last point especially the evidence in this book is impressive. Chamberlain was always confident that wit~out an effective international system foreign policy must depend on power, and> with the Hitlerian menace and the failure of the League, he was emphatic that Britain· must arm as rapidly as she could. l-Ie wished to make defence the crucial issue of the election ·of· 1935, but was overruled by Baldwin and others who feared the power in Britain of pacifist sentiment.· At Munich he was buying time, although 1 he hoped that the appeasement of Hitler might possibly mean more than·that. Indeed his evident weakness in these years was the excessive trust that he was disposed to place in the dictators, a trust that was worn thin by the spring of 1939. But late in May, 1940, when Nazi-military triumphs . were multiplying; he could still set down on paper his defence that "whatever the outcome, it is clear as daylight that, if we had had to :fight in 1938, the results would have been far worse. It would·be rash to prophesy the verdict of history, but if full access is obtained to all the records, it will be seen that I realised from the beginnin.g our military weakness, and did my best to postpone, if I could not avert, the war." PETRARCH'S RIME* H. s. WILSON Pantheon Books have rece~1tly added Petrarch to their series of poets represented in two languages. The present edition of the 366 'poems (sonnets, canzoni, sestine, bal/atc, madrigals), known in Italian as Petrarch's Rime or Canzoniere, prints the Italian text -and the English translation on facing page's. There is also an introduction dealing with the literary career of Petrarch with special reference to his Rime. The volume is clearly printed, and, while the quality of the paper is what w.e have to expect in most post-war books rather than what we should wish, the format is' sufficiently serviceable. · The introduction is a careful piece of work. In following Burckhardt's view of the Italian Renaissance and Petrarch's place in it, the writer might perhaps have indicated that this view has been challenged by·a good many scholars in recent times; and it is a little surprising that Petrarch's influence. upon English poets-a matter of particular interest, one would suppose, for the class of readers to whom this volume is most likely to appealreceives only passing mention. But Mommsen provides a very useful guide for readers who are coming to the Rime for the first time. *Petrarch, Sonnets and Songs. Italian-English edition; translated by ANNA MARIA ARM!. Introduction l;>y THEODOR E. MoMMSEN. New York: Pantheon Books. ·1946. Pp. xlii, 521. ($3.50) REVIEWS 431 It may be questioned whether the translator of the Rime has been well advised to try "to render the original with the greatest possible accuracy"as the publishers put it-while retaining the Petrarchan form of the poems. In practice, the exigencies of the rhyme scheme often require in the English version a distortion of Petrarch's sense, without any adequate poetic compensation for the loss. A translator of poetry ought, as a rule, to choose between a close following of the literal meaning-which is best achieved in prose, as in the admirable Temple Classics edition of Dante's Divine Comedy -and an attempt to render more freely the form or the mood of the poems. To combine all of these purposes successfully is a plain impossibility which the present tra.nslation illustrates. The following example, which is, I think, fairly representative of the translations as· a whole, will show what is meant. Petrarch's madrigal (no. CXXI)Or vedi, Amor, che giovenetta donna Tuo regno sprezza e del mio mal non cura, E tra duo ta' nemici esf secura. Tu se' anp.ato, et ella in treccie e 'n gonna Si siede, e...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 430-432
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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