Italian forgiveness quote from Tasso

There is an anecdote associated with one particular quote from Torquato Tasso’s epic poem Jerusalem Liberated (Gerusalemme Liberata).

Carlo Goldoni (1707 – 1793), a great Italian playwright, was involved in a literary quarrel with Denis Diderot, famous French philosopher and writer. Their mutual friend Egidio Duni quoted two lines from Tasso’s poem (Diderot knew Italian well) and the disputed was promptly set aside. Perhaps this testifies to the convincing force of poetry in general, other than the quote itself. Nevertheless, here are the actual lines:

Ogni trista memoria omai si taccia,
e pongansi in oblio l’andate cose.

An old English translation renders this quote’s spirit, although it is not very faithful to the actual wording:

Let pass such speeches sad, of passed harms.
Remembrance is the life of grief; his grave,

A modern edition has a more or less verbatim prose translation.


Let all unhappy memories be quiet now, and let things past conceal themselves in oblivion.

See also:
Italian love quotes and phrases

Quotes about Italy and Italians

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