Cattaneo gave lectures on philosophy in Lugano between 1852 and 1865. The drafts he read from are preserved in his archive. The article analyses one chapter concerning the origins of poetry in popular dancing and singing, and in particular the genre of the ballad. In those years, following the 1848 revolution, Cattaneo has returned to studying and teaching and writing on journals. Through an analysis of the drafts of his lectures, one can detect his youthful interests in terminology, and see the importance hi still gives to debates that had engaged his mentors, colleagues and friends during the first half of the century, The passions and curiosities of his youth are now intermingled with new readings: some of them will be echoed in the second series of the "Politecnico", the journal he resumed after the unification of Italy; other readings were used only for the purposes of teaching; these we can discover in the autograph drafts of Cattaneo.
Keywords: Lessons, Drafts, Ballade