Lodo che si distornino gl’italiani dal cieco amore
e imitazione delle cose straniere,
e molto più che si richiamino e s’invitino
a servirsi e a considerare le proprie;
lodo che si proccuri ridestare in loro
quello spirito nazionale,
senza cui non v’è stata mai grandezza a questo mondo,
non solo grandezza nazionale,
ma appena grandezza individuale;
ma non posso lodare che le nostre cose presenti,
e parlando di studi,
la nostra presente letteratura,
la massima parte de’ nostri scrittori, ec. ec.
si celebrino, si esaltino tutto giorno
quasi superiori a tutti i sommi stranieri,
quando sono inferiori agli ultimi:
che ci si propongano per modelli;
e che alla fine quasi ci s’inculchi di seguire
quella strada in cui ci troviamo.
Se noi dobbiamo risvegliarci una volta,
e riprendere lo spirito di nazione,
il primo nostro moto dev’essere,
non la superbia né la stima delle nostre cose presenti,
ma la vergogna. E questa ci deve spronare
a cangiare strada del tutto, e rinnovellare ogni cosa.
Senza ciò non faremo mai nulla.
Commemorare le nostre glorie passate,
è stimolo alla virtù,
ma mentire e fingere le presenti è conforto all’ignavia,
e argomento di rimanersi contenti
in questa vilissima condizione.
Oltre che questo serve ancora ad alimentare
e confermare e mantenere quella miseria di giudizio,
e mancanza d’ogni arte e critica,
di cui lagnavasi l’Alfieri (nella sua Vita)
rispetto all’Italia, e che oggidì
è così evidente per la continua esperienza
sì delle grandi scempiaggini lodate,
sì dei pregi (se qualcuno per miracolo ne occorre)
o sconosciuti, o trascurati, o negati, o biasimati.

Giacomo Leopardi, Zibaldone (24 Marzo 1821) [pagine 865-866]


“Vivere non è respirare, è agire”. (J.-J. Rousseau, "Emilio")

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