Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

usual reception of so delightful a sport to some young tella, containing 300. On the banks of the Anio, a indies, who stared and smiled, and continued their little before you turn up into Valle Rustica, to the left, applauses as another horse fell bleeding to the ground. about an hour from the villa, is a town called Vico

One ball killed three horses off his own horns. He varo, another favourable coincidence with the Varia I was saved by acclamations, which were redoubled of the poet. At the end of the valley, towards the when it was known he belonged to a priest.

Anio, there is a bare hill, crowned with a little town | An Eaglishman, who can be much pleased with called Bardela. At the foot of this hill the rivulet of seeing two men beat themselves to pieces, cannot bear Licenza flows, and is almost absorbed in a wide sandy to look at a horse galloping round an arena with his bed before it reaches the Anio. Nothing can be more bowels trailing on the ground, and turns from the fortunate for the lines of the poet, whether in a metaspectacle and the spectators with horror and disgust. phorical or direct sense;

“Me quotiens reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,

Quem Mandela bibit rugosus frigore pagus."
XXXI.

The stream is clear high up the valley, but, before it
THE ALBAN HILL.

reaches the hill of Bardela, looks green and yellow, like * And afar

a sulphur rivulet. The Tiber sinds, and the broad ocean laves | Rocca Giovane, a ruined village in the hills, half The Latian coast," etc. etc.

an hour's walk from the vineyard where the pavement Stanza clxxiv. lines 2, 3, and 4.

| is shown, does seem to be the site of the fane of VaThe whole declivity of the Alban hill is of unrival- cuna, and an inscription found there tells that this led beaaty, and from the convent on the highest point, temple of the Sabine Victory was repaired by Veswhich has succeeded to the temple of the Latian Ju pasian.(1) With these helps, and a position correpiter, the prospect embraces all the objects alluded to sponding exactly to every thing which the poet has in the cited stanza; the Mediterranean; the whole told us of his retreat, we may feel tolerably secure of soene of the latter half of the Æneid, and the coast our site. fra beyond the mouth of the Tiber to the headland The hill which should be Lucretilis is called Canof Circæum and the Cape of Terracina.

panile, and, by following up the rivulet to the pretended The site of Cicero's villa may be supposed either at Bandusia, you come to the roots of the higher mounthe Grotta Ferrata, or at the Tusculum of Prince tain Gennaro. Singularly enough, the ouly spot of Lucien Buonaparte.

ploughed land in the whole valley is on the knoll where The former was thought some years ago the actual this Bandusia rises :ste, as may be seen from Middleton's Life of Cicero.

“... tu frigus amabile At present it has lost something of its credit, except

Fessis vomere tauris for the Domenichinos. Nine monks of the Greek

Præbes, et pecori vago." onder live there, and the adjoining villa is a cardinal's The peasants show another spring near the mosaic summer-boase. The other villa, called Rufinella, is pavement, which they call “ Oradina,” and which flows on the summit of the hill above Frascati, and many down the hills into a tank, or mill-dam, and thence rich remains of Tusculam have been found there, be | trickles over into the Digentia." sides seventy-two statues of different merit and pre-! But we must not hope servation, and seven busts. From the same eminence are seen the Sabine hills,

“To trace the Muses upwards to their spring," embosaned in which lies the long valley of Rustica. | by exploring the windings of the romantic valley in There are several circumstances which tend to establish search of the Bandusian fountain. It seems strange theidentity of this valley with the “ Ustica" of Horace; that any one should have thought Bandusja a fountain and it seems possible that the mosaic pavement which of the Digentia—Horace has not let drop a word of the peasants uncover by throwing up the earth of a it; and this immortal spring has in fact been discovineyard may belong to his villa. Rustica is pronounced vered in possession of the holders of many good things

bort, pot according to our stress upon—"Uslicæ cu in Italy, the monks. It was attached to the church bastia, It is more rational to think that we are of St. Gervais and Protais, near Venusia, where it / wrong, than that the inhabitants of this secluded valley was most likely to be found. (2) We shall not be so have changed their tone in this word. The addition | lucky as a late traveller in finding the occasional pine

the consonant prefixed is nothing: yet it is neces still pendent on the poetic villa. There is not a pine ars to be aware that Rustica may be a modern name in the whole valley, but there are two cypresses, which wach the peasants may have caught from the anti- be evidently took, or mistook, for the tree in the

ode.(3) The truth is, that the pine is now, as it The villa, or the mosaic, is in a vineyard on a knoll was in the days of Virgil, a garden tree, and it was corered with chestnut-trees. A stream runs down not at all likely to be found in the craggy acclivities the valley; and although it is not true, as said in the of the valley of Rustica. Horace probably had one quide-books, that this stream is called Licenza, yet of them in the orchard close above his farm, immethere is a village on a rock at the head of the valley diately overshadowing his villa, not on the rocky which is so denominated, and which may have taken heights at some distance from his abode. The tourist its name from the Digentia. Licenza contains 700 may have easily supposed himself to have seen this inhabitants. On a peak a little way beyond is Civi- | pine figured in the above cypresses; for the orange

IMP, CESAR VESPASIANVS
POSTIYEX MAXIMVS. TRIB.

FOT EST. CENSOR, EDEM
VICTORIE, VRTVSTATE ILLAPSAN.

SVA, IMPENSA, RESTITVIT.

(2) See Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold. p. 43.

(3) See Eustace's Classical Tour, etc. chap. vii. p. 250. vol. ii.

and lemon trees which throw such a bloom over his | apart, and not so mixed with the whole mass of indescription of the royal gardens at Naples, unless they formation and reflection, as to give a bitterness to have been since displaced, were assuredly only acacias every page: for who would choose to have the antiand other common garden shrubs.(1)

pathies of any man, however just, for his travelling companions ? A tourist, unless he'aspires to the cre

dit of prophecy, is not answerable for the changes XXXII.

which may take place in the country which he de

scribes; but his reader may very fairly esteem all his EUSTACE'S CLASSICAL TOUR.

political portraits and deductions as so much waste The extreme disappointment experienced by choos- paper, the moment they cease to assist, and more paring the Classical Tourist as a guide in Italy must be ticularly if they obstruct, his actual survey. allowed to find vent in a few observations, which, it Neither encomium nor accusation of any gorernis asserted without fear of contradiction, will be con- ment, or governors, is meant to be here offered; but firmed by every one who has selected the same con it is stated as an incontrovertible fact, that the change ductor through the same country. This author is in operated, either by the address of the late imperial fact one of the most inaccurate, unsatisfactory writers system, or by the disappointment of every expectation that have in our times attained a temporary reputa- by those who have succeeded to the Italian thrones, tion, and is very seldom to be trusted even when he has been so considerable, and is so apparent, as not speaks of objects which he must be presumed to have only to put Mr. Eustace's antigallican philippics enseen. His errors, from the simple exaggeration to tirely out of date, but even to throw some suspicion the downright mis-statement, are so frequent as to upon the competency and candour of the author himinduce a suspicion that he had either never visited self. A remarkable example may be found in the the spots described, or had trusted to the fidelity of instance of Bologna, over whose papal attachments, former writers. Indeed, the Classical Tour has every and consequent desolation, the tourist pours forth such characteristic of a mere compilation of foriner notices, strains of condolence and revenge, made louder by the strung together upou a very slender thread of personal borrowed trumpet of Mr. Burke. Now Bologna is observation, and swelled out by those decorations at this moment, and has been for some years, notawhich are so easily supplied by a systematic adoption rious amongst the states of Italy for its attachment of all the common-places of praise, applied to every to revolutionary principles, and was almost the only thing, and therefore signifying nothing.

city which made any demonstrations in favour of the The style which one person thinks cloggy and cum | unfortunate Murat. This change may, however, have brous, and unsuitable, may be to the taste of others; been made since Mr. Eustace visited this country, and such may experience some salutary excitement in | but the traveller whom he has thrilled with horror at ploughing through the periods of the Classical Tour. the projected stripping of the copper from the cupola It must be said, however, that polish and weight are of St. Peter's, must be much relieved to find thai saapt to beget an expectation of value. It is amongst crilege out of the power of the French, or any other the pains of the damned to toil up a climax with a plunderers, the cupola being covered with lead.(2) huge round stone.

li' the conspiring voice of otherwise rival crities bad The tourist had the choice of his words, but there not given considerable currency to the Classical Tour, was no such latitude allowed to that of his sentiments. it would have been unnecessary to warn the reader, The love of virtue and of liberty, which must have that however it may adorn his library, it will be of distinguished the character, certainly adorns the pages little or no service to him in his carriage ; and if the of Mr. Eustace; and the gentlemanly spirit, so re judgment of those critics had hitherto been suspended, commendatory either in an author or his productions, no attempt would have been made to anticipate their is very conspicuous throughout the Classical Tour. decision. As it is, those who stand in the relation But these generous qualities are the foliage of such a of posterity to Mr. Eustace may be permitted to apperformance, and may be spread about it so promi peal from cotemporary praises, and are perhaps more nently and profusely, as to embarrass those who wish likely to be just in proportion as the causes of love to see and find the fruit at hand. The unction of the and hatred are the farther removed. This appeal bad, divine, and the exhortations of the moralist, may have in some measure, beep made before the above remark: made this work something more and better than a book were written; for one of the most respectable of the of travels, but they have not made it a book of travels; Florentine publishers, who had been persuaded by the and this observation applies more especially to that repeated inquiries of those on their journey southenticing method of instruction conveyed by the perpe wards to reprint a cheap edition of the Classical tual introduction of the same Gallic Helot to reel and Tour, was, by the concurring advice of returning tra bluster before the rising generation, and terrify it into | vellers, induced to abandon his design, although he decency by the display of all the excesses of the Re | had already arranged his types and paper, and had volution. An animosity against atheists and regi- struck off one or two of the first sheets. cides in general, and Frenchmen specifically, may be The writer of these notes would wish to part (like honourable, and may be useful as a record; but that | Mr. Gibbon) on good terms with the Pope and the antidote should either be administered in any work Cardinals, but he does not think it necessary to exrather than a tour, or, at least, should be served up tend the same discreet silence to their humble partisans,

“Under our windows, and bordering on the beach, is the royal garden, laid out in parterres, and walks shaded by rows of orange-trees." Classical Tour, etc. chap. xi. vol. i. oct. 365.

2) “ What, then, will be the astonishment, or rather the horror, of my reader, when I inform him .......... the French

Committee turned its attention to Saint Peter's, and employed a company of Jews to cstimate and purchase the gold, silver, and bronze that adorn the inside of the edifice, as well as the copper that covers the vaults and dome os the outside." Chap. iv. p. 130, vol. ii. The story about the Jews is positively denied at Rome.

Hints from Horace ;(1)

BEING AN ALLUSION, IN ENGLISH VERSE, TO THE EPISTLE “AD PISONES, DE ARTE POETICA,"

AND INTENDED AS A SEQUEL TO “ENGLISU BARDS AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS."

“Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quæ ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi."

Hor. De Arte Poel.
Rhymes are difficult things—they are stubborn things, sir."

Fielding's Amelia.

| Believe me, Moschus, (4) like that picture seems

The book which, sillier than a sick man's dreams,
Displays a crowd of figures incomplete,
Poetic nightmares, without head or feet.

Athens. Capuchin Convent, March 12, 1811.(2)
, Who would not laugh, if Lawrence, hired to grace
His costly canvass with each flatter'd face,
A based his art, till Nature, with a blush,
Saw cits grow centaurs underneath his brush ?
Or, should some limner join, for show or sale,
A maid of honour to a mermaid's tail ?
Or low Dubost (3)as once the world has seen-
Degrade God's creatures in his graphic spleen?
Not all that forced politeness, which defends
Fools in their faults, could gag his grinning friends.

Poets and painters, as all artists (5) know,
May shoot a little with a lengthen'd bow;
We claim this mutual mercy for our task,
And grant in turn the pardon wbich we ask;
But make not monsters spring from gentle dams-
Birds breed not vipers, tigers nurse not lambs.

Hoxaso capiti cervicem pietor equinam
dangere si velit, et Farias inducere plumas,
Tadique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum
Desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne;
Spertatam admissi risum teneatis, amici ?
Credite, Pisones, isti tabulæ fore librum
Persimilem, cujas, velat ægri somnia, vanæ

Fingentur species, ut nec pes, nec caput uni
Reddatur formæ. “Pictoribus atque poetis
Quidlibet andendi seinper fuit aequa potestas.”
Scimus, et hanc veniam petimusque damusque vicissim:
Sed non ut placidis coëant immitia; non ut
Serpentes avibus geminentur, tigribus agni.

! 1) Authors are apt, it is said, to estimate their perplete for its production. I have a notion that, with some formances more according to the trouble they have cost omissions of names and passages, it will do; and I could themselves, than the pleasure they afford to the public; put my late observations for Pope amongst the notes. As nad it is only in this way that we can pretend to account far as versification goes, it is good; and, in looking back at

for the extraordinary value which Lord Byron attached, what I wrote about that period, I am astonished to see how I even many long years after they were written, to these little I have trained on. I wrote better then than now; but i Hints fross Horace. The business of translating Horace that comes of my having fallen into the atrocious bad taste

has hitherto been a bopeless one; and notwithstanding the of the times.” On hearing, however, that, in Mr. Hob: brilliant cleverness of some passages, in both Pope's and house's opinion, the iambics would require “a good deal of Swift's Isitations of him, there had been, on the whole, slashing" to suit the times, the notion of printing them was very little to encourage any one to meddle seriously even once more abandoned. They were first published, there. with that less difficult department. It is, comparatively, fore, in 1831, seven years after the poet's death.-L. E. an easy affair to transfer the effect, or something like the (2) The date of this Satire has given rise to Moore's effect, of the majestic declamations of Javenal; but the

naiestic declamations of lavenal: but the 1 astonishment that Byron, “as if in atter defiance of the Horatian satire is cast in a mould of such exquisite delicacy genius loci,'" should have penned in such a place such a

eriting perfect ease with perfect elegance throughout production, "impregnated as it is with London life from & kas bitherto defied all the skin of the moderns. Lord beginning to end."--P.E. Byron, bowever, having composed this piece at Athens, in (3) In an English newspaper, which finds its way abroad 1811, aad brought it home in the same desk with the first two wherever there are Englisbmen, I read an account of this cantos of Childe llaroid, appears to have, on his arrival in dirty dauber's caricature of Mr. H-- as a “beast," and London, contemplated its publication as far more likely to the consequent action, etc. The circumstance is, probably, increase his reputation than that of his original poem, too well known to require further comment. The gentle. Perhaps Milton's preference of the Paradise Regained over 1 man here alluded to was Thomas Hope, the author of the Paradise Lost is not a more decisive example of the | Anastasius, and one of the most munificent patrons of art extent to which a great author may mistake the source of this country ever possessed. Having, somehow, offended an bis greatness.

unprincipled French painter, by name Dubost, that ad. Lard Byron was prevented from publishing these lines, venturer revenged himself by a picture called “Beauty and bs feeling which, considering bis high notion of their the Beast," in which Mr. Hope and his la'y were repre. mucrit, does him honour. By accident, or nearly 80, the sented according to the well-known fairy story. The picture Raroid came out before the Hints; and the reception of had too much malice not to succeed ; and, to the disgrace the former was so flattering to Lord Byron, that it could of John Bull, the exhibition of it is said to have fetched scarcely fail to take off, for the time, the edge of his ap- thirty pounds in a day. A brother of Mrs. Hope thrust his petite for literary bitterness. In short, he found bimself sword through the canvass; and M. Dubost had the conmixiag constantly in society with persons who had-from solation to get five pounds damages. The affair made

pod sense, or good-nature, or from both- overlooked the | mach noise at the time, though Mr. Hope had not then Jetalancies of his English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, and placed himself on that seat of literary eminence which he feft, as he said, that he should be “hea ping coals of fire on afterwards attained. Probably, indeed, no man's reputation

bis bead if he were to persist in bringing forth a con. in the world was ever so suddenly and completely altered, ifuzation of his javenile lampoon. Nine years had passed as bis was by the appearance of his magnificent romance.

ere he is found writing thus to Mr. Murray:-“Get from | -L. E. Mr Hobhouse, and send me, a proof of my Hints from (4) «Moschus." - In the original MS., “Hobhouse."-L.E. Brace: it has now the nonüm prematur in annum com. (6) “All artists."--Originally, “We scribblers.”_L. E.

A labour'd long exordium sometimes tends Or, with a fair complexion, to expose (Like patriot speeches) but to paltry ends;

Black eyes, black ringlets, but-a bottle-nose ! And nonsense in a lofty note goes down, As pertness passes with a legal gown:

Dear authors! suit your topics to your strength, Thus many a bard describes in pompous strain

And ponder well your subject, and its length; The clear brook babbling through the goodly plain: | Nor lift your load, before you're quite aware The groves of Granta, and her gothic balls, (walls;

What weight your shoulders will, or will not, bear. King's Coll., Cam's stream, stain'd windows and old

But lucid order, and Wit's siren voice, Or, in adventurous numbers, neatly aims

Await the poet, skilful in his choice; To paint a rainbow, or—the river Thames.(1)

With native eloquence he soars along,

| Grace in his thoughts, and music in his song. You sketch a tree, and so perhaps may shine

Let judgment teach him wisely to combine But daub a shipwreck like an alehouse sign;

With future parts the now omitted line: You plan a vase-it dwindles tv a pot,

This shall the author choose, or that reject, Then glide down Grub-street--fasting and forgot;

Precise in style, and cautious to select; Laugh’d into Lethe by some quaint Review,

Nor slight applause will candid pens afford Whose wit is never troublesome till — true. (2)

To him who furnishes a wanting word.

Then sear not if 'tis needful to produce In fine, to whatsoever you aspire,

Some term unknown, or obsolete in use, Let it at least be simple and entire.

(As Pitt (5) has furnish'd us a word or two,

Which lexicographers declined to do;) The greater portion of the rhyming tribe

So you indeed, with care,---(but be content (Give ear, my friend, for thou hast been a scribe)

To take this license rarely)---may invent. Are led astray by some peculiar lure.

New words find credit in these latter days, I labour to be brief---become obscure;

If neatly grafted on a Gallic phrase. One falls while following elegance too fast;

What Chaucer, Spenser did, we scarce refuse Another soars, inflated with bombast;

To Dryden's or to Pope's maturer muse. Too low a third crawls on, afraid to fly,

If you can add a little, say why not, He spins his subject to satiety:

As well as William Pitt, and Walter Scott? Absurdly varying, he at last engraves

Since they, by force of rhyme and force of lungs, Fish in the woods, and boars beneath the waves!

Enrich'd our island's ill-united tongues; Unless your care's exact, your judgment nice,

'Tis then--and shall be-lawful to present The flight from folly leads but into vice;

Reform in writing, as in parliament. None are complete, all wanting in some part,

As forests shed their foliage by degrees, Like certain tailors, limited in art.

So fade expressions which in season please; For galligaskins Slowshears is your man;

And we and ours, alas! are due to fate, | But coats must claim another artisan.(3)

And works and words but dwindle to a date. Now this to me, I own, seems much the same

| Though as a monarch nods, and commerce calls, As Vulcan's feet to hear Apollo's frame;(4)

Impetuous rivers stagnate in canals;

Incæptis gravibus plerumque et magna professis
Purpureus, late qui splendeat, unus et alter
Assuítur pannus; cum lacus et ara Dianæ,
Et properantis aquæ per amanos ambitus agros,
Ant flumen Rhenum, aut pluvius describitur arcus.
Sed nunc non erat his locus: et fortasse cupressum
Scis simulare : quid hoc, si fractis enatat exspes
Navibus, ære dato qui pingitur ? amphora capit
Institui; currente rotà cur urceus exit ?
Denique sit quod vis, simplex duntaxat et unum.

Sumite materiam vestris, qui scribitis, æquam
Viribus; et versate diu, quid ferre recusent,
Quid valeant humeri. Cui lecta potenter erit res,
Nec facundia deseret hunc, nec lucidus ordo.

Ordinis hæc virtus erit et venus, aut ego fallor,
Ut jam nunc dicat, jam nunc debentia dici,
Pleraque differat, et præsens in tempus omittat;
Hoc amet, hoc spernat promissi carminis auctor.

Maxima pars vatum, pater, et juvenes patre digni,
Decipimur specie recti. Brevis esse laboro,
Obscurus fio: sectantem levia, nervi
Deficiunt animique: professus grandia, turget :
Serpit bumi, tutus nimium, timidusque procellæ.
Qui variare cupit rem prodigialiter unam,
Delphinum sylvis appingit, fluctibus aprum,

In vitium ducit culpæ fuga, si caret arte.
Æmilium circa ludum faber imus et ungues
Exprimet, et molles imitabitur ære capillos;
Infelix operis summa, quia ponere totnm
Nesciet. Hunc ego me, si quid componere curem,
Non magis esse velim, quam pravo vivere naso,
Spectandum nigris oculis, nigroque capillo.

In verbis etiam tenuis cautusque serendis,
Dixeris egregie, notum si callida verbum
Reddiderit junctura novum. Si forte necesse est
Indiciis monstrare recentibns abdita rerum,
Fingere cinctutis non exaudita Cethegis
Continget; dabiturque licentia sumpta pudenter.
Et nova fictaque nuper habebunt verba fidem, si
Græco fonte cadant, parce detorta, Quid autem
Cæcilio, Plautoque dabit Romanus, ademptum
Virgilio, Varioque? Ego cur, acquirere pauca
Si possum, invideor; cum lingua Catonis et Enni
Sermonem patrium ditaverit, et nova rerum
Nomina protulerit? Licuit, semperque licebit,
Signatum præsente nnta producere nomen.

Ut silva foliis pronos mutantur in annos;
Prima cadunt: ita verborum vetus interit ætas,

au

Where pure description held the place of sense." to the makers of their body-clothes. I speak of the beginPope.

ning of 1809: what reform may have since taken place (2) “ This is pointed, and felicitously expressed.” Moore.

neither know, nor desire to know.

neitner know, Dor desire -. E.

(4) MS. “As one leg perfect, and the other lame._LE (3) Mere common mortals were commonly content with (5) Mr. Pitt was liberal in his additions to our perlia one tailor and with one bill, but the more particular gen) mentary tongue; as may be seen in many publications tlemen found it impossible to confide their lower garments particularly the Edinburgh Review.

Though swamps subdued, and marshes drain'd, sustain The heavy ploughshare and the yellow grain, And rising ports along the busy shore Protect the vessel from old Ocean's roar, | AI, all must perish; but, surviving last, The love of letters half preserves the past. True, some decay, yet not a few revive;(1) Though those shall sink which now appear to thrive, As custom arbitrates, whose shifting sway | Our life and language must alike obey.

The immortal wars which gods and angels wage, Are they not shown in Milton's sacred page? His strain will teach what numbers best belong To themes celestial told in epic song.

Blank verse (3) is now, with one consent, allied
To Tragedy, and rarely quits her side.
Though mad Almanzor rhymed in Dryden's days,
No sing-song hero rants in modern plays;
While modest Comedy her verse foregoes
For jest and pun(4) in very middling prose.
Nor that our Bens or Beaumonts show the worse,
Or lose one point, because they wrote in verse;
But so Thalia pleases to appear,
Poor virgin! damnd some twenty times a-year!

Whate'er the scene, let this advice have weight:-|
Adapt your language to your hero's state.
At times Melpomene forgets to groan,
And brisk Thalia takes a serious tone;
Nor unregarded will the act pass by
Where angry Townly (6) lifts his voice on high,
Again, our Shakspeare limits verse to kings,
When common prose will serve for common things;
And lively Hal resigns heroic ire
To “hallooing Hotspur (6)” and the sceptred sire.

'Tis not enough, ye bards, with all your art, To polish poems; they must touch the heart. Where'er the scene be laid, whate'er the song, Still let it bear the hearer's soul along;

The slow sad stanza will correctly paint | The lover's anguish, or the friend's complaint. Bat which deserves the laurel-rhyme or blank? Which holds on Helicon the higher rank? Let squabbling critics by themselves dispute This point, as puzzling as a Chancery suit.

Satiric rhyme first sprang from selfish spleen. You doubt-see Dryden, Pope, St. Patrick's dean. (2)

Et pugilem victorem, et equum certamine primum, Et juvenum curas, et libera vina referre.

Descriptas servare vices operumque colores,
Cur ego, si nequeo ignoroque, poeta salutor?
Cur nescire, pudens prave, quam discere malo?

Versibus exponi tragicis res comica non vult;
Indignatur item privatis, ac prope socco
Dignis carminibus narrari cæna Thyestæ.
Singula quæque locum teneant sortita decenter.
Interdum tamen et vocem comcedia tollit,
Iratusque Chremes tunido delitigat ore:
Et tragicus plerumque dolet sermone pedestri.
Telephus et Peleus, cum pauper et exul, uterque
Projicit ampullas, et sesquipedalia verba ;
Si curat cor spectantis tetigisse querela.

Non satis est pulchra esse poemata ; dulcia sunto,
Et quocunque volent, animum auditoris agunto.
Ut ridentibus arrident, ita flentibus adflent
Humani vultus. Si vis me flere, dolendum est
Primum ipsi tibi; tunc tua me infortunia lædent.
Telephe, vel Peleu : male si mandata loqueris,
Aut dormitabo, aut ridebo: tristia mæstum

Et javenum ritu florent modo data, vigentque.
Debemor morti nos nostraque: sive receptus
Terra Neptungs classes aquilonibus arcet,
Regis opas; sterilisve diu palus, aptaque remis,
Vicinas urbes alit, et grave sentit aratrum:
Sea cursum mutavit iniquum frugibus amnis,
Doctus iter melius: mortalia facta peribunt;
Nedam sermonum stet honos, et gratia vivax,
Malta renascentur, quæ jam cecidere, cadentque,
(uæ nunc sunt in honore vocabula, si volet usus,
Qaem penes arbitrium est, et jus, et norma loquendi.

Res gesta regumque ducumque et tristia bella,
(no scribi possent numero monstravit Homerus.

Versibus impariter junctis querimonia priinum;
Post etiam inclusa est voti sententia compos.
Quis tamen exiguos elegos emiserit auctor,
Grammatici certant, et adhuc sub judice lis est.

Archilochum proprio rabies armavit iambo;
Hunc socci cepere pedem grandesque cothurni,
Alternis aptum serenonibus, et populares
Vincentem strepitus, et natum rebus agendis.

Musa dedit fidibas divos, puerosque deorum, .

1) Old hallads, old plays, and old women's stories, are at present in as much request as old wine or new speeches. In fact, this is the millennium of black letter: thanks to our Hebers, Webers, and Scotts 1- [There was considerable malice in thus petting Veber, a poor German hack, a mere amanuensis of Sir Walter Scott, between the two other tames,-LE

(2) Mac Flecknoe, the Dunciad, and all Swift's lampoon. ing ballads. Whatever their other works may be, these Ariginated in personal feelings, and angry retort on un. worthy rivals; and though the ability of these satires eleFates the poetical, their poignancy detracts from the personal, character of the writers. For particulars of Dryden's feud I with his successor in the lagreateship, Shadwell, whom he has immortalised under the name of Mac Flecknoe, and also as Og, is the second part of Absalom and Achitophel, and for the literary squabbles in which Swift and Pope were en. taged, the reader must turn to the lives and works of these three great writers. See also Mr. D'Israeli's painfully-interesting book on The Quarrels of Authors.-L. E.]

(3) Like Dr. Johnson, Lord Byron maintained the excellence of rhyme over blank verse in English poetry. “Blank Terse," he says, in his long-lost letter to the editor of Black. Vod's Magazine, unless in the drama, no one except Nilton ever wrote who could rhyme. I am aware that Johnson has said, after some hesitation, that he could not prerail upon himself to wish that Milton had been a rhymer.' The opinions of that truly great man, whom, like Pope, it is the present fashion to decry, will ever be received by me

with that deference which time will restore to him from all ; but, with all humility, I am not persuaded that the Paradise Lost would not have been more nobly conveyed to posterity, not perhaps in heroic couplets, although even they could sustain the subject, if well balanced, but in the stanza of Spenser, or of Tasso, or in the terza rima of Dante, which the powers of Milton could easily have grafted on our language. The Seasons of Thomson would have been better in rhyme, although still inferior to his Castle of Indolence; and Mr. Southey's Joan of Arc no worse."-L. E.

(4) With all the vulgar applause and critical abhorrence of puns, they have Aristotle on their side; who permits them to orators, and gives them consequence by a grave disqui. sition.-{"Cicero also," says Addison, “has sprinkled several of his works with them; and, in his book on Oratory, quotes abundance of sayings as pieces of wit, which, upon examin. ation, prove arrant puns. But the age in which the pun chiefly flourisbed was in the reign of James the First, who was himself a tolerable punster, and made very few bishops or privy counsellors that had not some time or other signalised themselves by a clinch, or a conundrum. The sermons of Bishop Andrews, and the tragedies of Shakspeare, are full of them. The sinncr was punned into repentance by the former; as, in the latter, nothing is more usual than to see a hero wecping and quibbling for a dozen lines together."-L. E.)

(5) In Vanbrugh's comedy of the Provoked Husband.-L.E. (6) "And in his ear I'll balloo, Mortimer !"-1 Henry IV.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »