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Perhaps I had no small change. Reader, do not be frightened at the hard words, imposition, imposture— ive, and ask no questions. Cast thy food upon the waters. Some have unawares (like this Bank clerk) entertained angels. Shut not thy purse-strings always against painted distress. Act a charity sometimes. When a poor creature (outwardly and visibly such) comes before thee, do not stay to enuire whether the “seven small chilrem,” in whose name he implores thy assistance, have a veritable existence. Rake not into the bowels of unwelcome truth, to save a halfpenny. It is good to believe him. If he be not all that he pretendeth, give, and under a personate father of a family, think § thou pleasest) that thou hast relieved an indigent bachelor. When they come with their counterfeit looks, and mumping tones, think them players. You pay your money to see a comedian feign these things, which, concerning these poor people, thou canst not certainly tell whether they are feigned or not. - “Pray God your honour relieveme,” said a poor beadswoman to my friend 1,– one day; “I have seen better days.” “So have I, my good woman,” retorted he, looking up at the welkin which was just then threatening a storm—and the jest (he will have it) was as good to the beggar as a tester. It was at all events kinder than
consigning her to the stocks, or the parish beadle— But L. has a way of viewing things in rather a paradoxical light on some occasions. ELIA.
P. S. My friend Hume (not MP.) has a curious manuscript in his possession, the original draught of the celebrated “Beggar's Petition,” (who cannot say by heart the “Beggar's Petition?”) as it was written by some school usher (as I remember) with corrections interlined from the pen of Oliver Goldsmith. As a specimen of the doctor's improvement, I recollect one mostjudicious alteration
A pamper'd menial drove me from the door.
Here is an instance of poetical or artificial language, properly substituted for the phrase of common conversation; against Wordsworth. I think I must get H. to send it to the LoNDoN, as a corollary to the foregoing. N. B. I am glad to see JANus veering about to the old quarter. I feared he had been rust-bound. C. being asked why he did not like Gold’s “London” as well as ours— it was in poor S.'s time—replied— Because there is no WEATHER cock, And that's the reason why.
CATULLUS, WITH NEW TRANSLATIONS.
The Dedication, the Pinnace, the Peninsula of Sirmio, Hymn to Diana.
ENough has been already said of Catullus in the former pages of the LoNDoN, with the exception of one point, which seems to have escaped the notice of the writers: I allude to the hard treatment which the poet has received from his professed friends. Whenever they light on any poem of peculiar brilliancy and ener#. they directly set their mark upon t as a translation from some other Poem of a Greek Writer; which other poem happens always to be
conveniently lost. Thus the Atys, which is full of allusions to Roman customs, is said to be Greek; and if ou appeal to the splendid picturing 3. #. ii. of the Peleus and Thetis, in evidence of the capacity of Catullus to have invented the Atys, you are told, “Oh, the Peleus and Thetis is undoubtedly Greek.” The Phaselus, also, where everything initselfinanimatefinds atongue, has life in its motions, and feels the stirrings of human passion, is much too bold and Fo to belong to the class of Roman poetry: it must certainly be Greek. Even Mr. Leigh Hunt, whose version of the Atys, Calve tuá veniã, is the most poetical and spirited in the language, takes up the common motion of his inspiring master being a plagiarist; and aware that his favourite theory of the Roman dearth of invention might be opposed by the grand example of Lucretius, he coolly reminds us that Lucretius stole his philosophy from Epicurus: but from whom did he steal his poetry P--He might as well have told us, that Shakspeare could not be an original poet, because the story of his Romeo and Juliet is to be found in Girolamo de la Corte's History of Verona. Reasoning from analogy, we should naturally expect that poets of bolder invention preceded Virgil. The Austan age was the Roman age of mne; the era of critical refinement
and cautious imitation. The presumption is decidedly in favour of the poetic originality of Lucretius and Catullus. They alone have come down to us; and if they were only retailers of traditionary sentiment and reflected imagery, from whom did the other poets of the Republican era borrow their recorded vigour? Whence came the tragedies of Accius, Pomponius, and Varius? The Thyestes of the latter is said by Quinctilian (x. 513) to be “comparable to any one of the Greeks.” The same critic affirms, “Satire is wholly Roman :” how does this consist with the dearth of invention? He takes leave also to dissent from Horace in his flippant censure of Lucilius, and jo of the nervous genius of the latter in the warmest terms. If it be objected that satire is excluded from the higher order of poetry, let the moral passages of Juvenal furmish the answer. AN IDLER.
PS. The character which Juvenal gives of Lucilius resembles his own: if Juvenal was only an imitator, what must have been the archetype *
On whom this new, t spruce, tiny volume bestow,
By the porous dry pumice-stone burnish'd but now *
For trifles of mine were still something to thee.
You praised them—for well I remember the time—
When alone of the sons of our Italy's clime,
You dared to expand the long annals of yore.
Then accept—nor disdain it—this scrip-scrap of mine;
Whatever the sins on its head, be it thine:
O patroness virgin when ages are past.
* This masterly old translator having stopped short of the sense, the couplet in Ita
lics is supplied.
+ Doering will have it that novum and lepidum relate to the contents of the book,
not to the outward fashion.
In this case Catullus is chargeable with an aukward ambi
consecration OF HIS PIN N.A.C.E.
Strangers! the bark that meets your eye
To the Peninsula of siRM10.
Sirmio ! soft eye of island scenery,
guity in alluding to the gloss of the pumice, immediately in succession to these epithets. That lepidus and novus are used elsewhere to express facetious in matter, and new in manner, it requires not the ghost of Bentley to inform us ; but this furnishes not a shadow of reasonable argument, why they should be so understood here. This is eternally the way with commentators, who, instead of weighing the context, ransack their memories for pedagogical common-places. They seem always to have a dread of circumstantiality; especially when it is o and to the purpose. School-masters agree with them in this: perhaps because school-masters have formed their taste on commentators. I remember they would never let us say that Augustus quaffed the nectar with purple mouth, or that Dido spoke from her rosy lips; beautiful was always the word. In the Atys the emasculated youth is said to touch the timbrel wiveis manibus : there is a faint allusion, delicately touched off, to the paleness of effeminated manhood. Then comes Doering with his “ hoc est pulchris:” beautiful again!—“O seri studiorum !” Let me, however, recommend Doering's edition of Catullus as a very accurate one, and the notes as generally fraught with useful comments and illustrations.
herd's house, or his summer sheal, rising like the “bonnie bower” of the two heroines of Scottish song, on a burn brae, and covered thick with rushes, while it threw its long wavering line of blue smoke into the clear sharp air, spoke of the presence of the sons and daughters of man, or said, in the quaint and homely language of the Galwegian proverb, “ where four cloots go, man's twa feet maun follow.” But this heath, barren and wild as it seemed, had other attractions. At the distance of almost every, little mile, numerous streams of smoke ascended from the brown moor; the sound and the hum of man, busied with the flail, the hatchet, or the hammer, was heard; the cry and the merriment of children abounded; and here and there a green tree-top or a chimney-head, a kirk-spire, or a ruined tower, projecting above the horizon
of blossomed heather, proclaimed to:
the traveller that Caledonia, amid her
desarts, has her well-peopled glens.
and her fruitful places. On a summer sabbath morning the o of Galloway are to be beheld in their glory; then every little deep green and populous vale pours forth its own sedate, and pious, and welldressed multitude. From the dame in the douce grey mantle to the maiden in glittering silks and scarlets; from him in the broad blue bonnet to her in the gallant cap and feather; from the trembling and careful step of age to the firm and heedless stride of youth; from her who dreams of bridal favours and bridegroom's vows, to him bent to the earth with age, musing on the burial procession and the gaping grave, -all are there, moving on staid and soberly to the house of God. Often have I stood and seen the scanty current of people issue out like the little brook of their native glen, join themselves to a fuller stream, and, increasing as they flowed on, become as a river ere they reached the entrance to the burial round, which, hallowed with their athers' dust, encompassed their native kirk. I have heard the bell toll, and the melody of their psalms of praise and hymns of thanksgiving flow far and wide. I have thought, while these holy sounds arose, that the bleat of the flocks became softer, the cry of the plover less shrill, and
that the divine melody subdued into music the rough brawling of the brook along which it was heard. At the heathy entrance into one of these beautiful vales I accordingly stood and pursued the winding of a little stream, which, after leaping over two or three small crags, and forming several little bleaching grounds of greensward for the villagers' webs, gathered all its waters together, and concentrated all its might, to pour itself on a solitary mill-wheel at the farther end of the valley. On either side of the glen the shepherds and husbandmen had each constructed his homely abode . according to his own fancy; the houses were dropped here and there at random, facing east, and west, and south, each attached to its own little garden, the green flourishing of which was pleasant to the eye, while the fragrance of some sweet herbs, or a few simple flowers, escaped from the enclosure, and was wafted about me by the low and fitful wind. The whole glen was full of life, the sickles were moving beneath the ripe grain, the bandsmen were binding and stooking it, several low-wheeled cars were busied in depositing this rustic treasure in the farmer's stackyard; while the farmer himself moved about, surveyed the fulfilment of his wishes, and rubbed the full ears between his palms, and examined with a pleased and a curious eye the quality of his crop. At the doors of the cottages the old dames sat in groups in the sun, twirling their distaffs, and driving the story round of wonder or of scandal; while an unsummable progeny of barefooted bairns ran, and rolled, and leaped, and tumbled, and laughed, and screamed, till the whole glen re-murmured with the din. I sat down by the side of a flat grave-stone, bedded level with the grass; the ancient inscription, often renewed by the pious villagers, told that beneath it lay one of those enthusiastic, undaunted, and persecuted peasants, who combated for freedom of faith and body when the nobles of the land forgot the cause of God and their country. Presently the children desisted from their merriment, and gathered about and gazed on me, a man of an unknown glen, with a quiet and a curious eye. I ever