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soul. Though his polished conversation + was often courted by the great, he appears lo distant from servility, that his imprudence in this respect is by fome highly blamed. Yet the instances of it by no means deserve that severity of censure with which some writers have condemned him. Unconscious of the feelings of a (amoëns, they knew not that a carelessness in securing the smiles of fortune, and an open honelty of indignation, are aimos inseparable from the enthusiasm of fine imagination. The truth is, the man poflefled of true genius feels his greatest happiness in the pursuits and excurions of the mud, and therefore makes an estimate of things, very different from that of him whose unremitting attention is devoted to his external interest. The profufion of Camoëns is also censured. Had he dissipated the wealih he acquired at Macao, his profusion indeed had been criminal; but it does not appear that he ever enjoyed any other opportunity of acquiring independence. But Camoëns was unfortunate, and the unfortunate man is viewed

- through the dim fhade his fate cafts o'er him :
A shade that ipreads its evening darkness o'er
His brichiest virtues, while it thews his foibles
Crowding and obvious as the midnight stars,
Which in the sunthine of prosperity

Never had been de cried Yet after the striteit discussion, when all the causes are weighed to gether, the misfortunes of Camoëns will appear the fault aod dir. grace of his age and country, and not of the man. His talents would have secured him an apartment in the palace of Auguftus, but soch talents are a curse to their poffeffor in an illiterate nation. After all, however, if he was imprudent on his first appearance at the court of John Ill. if the honeity of his indignation led him into great imprudence, as certainly it did, when at Goa he satyrised the viceroy and the first Goths in power; yet let it also be remembered, that “The gifts of imagination bring the heaviest tak upon the vi. “ gilance of reason ; and to bear those faculties with unerring rec“ tiiude or invariable propriety, requires a degree of firmness and

+ • Camoëns has not escaped the fate of other eminent wits. Their ignorant admirers contrive anecdotes of their humour, which in reality disgrace them. Camoëns, it is said, one day heard a potter singing some of his verses in a miserable mangled manner, and by way of retaliation, broke a parcel of his earthen ware. “Friend, said he, you destroy my verses and I destroy your goods.” The same foolish fory is told of Ariosto; nay, we are even informed, that Rinaldo's speech to his horse in the first book,

Ferma Baiarda mio, &c. was the passage mistuned; and that on the potter's complaint, the injured poet replied, “ I have only broken a few base pois of thise not worth a groat, but thou hast murdered a fine stanza of mine worth a mark of gold.” But both these filly tales are borrowed from Plutarch’s life of Arceslaus, where the same dull humour is told of Philoxenus. “ He heard some brick-makers mistune one of his songs, and in return he destroyed a number of their bricks."

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s6 of cool attention, which doch not always attend the higher gifts s of the mind. Yet difficult as nature herself seems to have ren. 66 dered the task of regularity to genius, it is the supreme consola. “ tion of dullness and of folly to point with Gothic triumph to 66 those excesses which are the overflowings of faculties they never «« enjoyed. Perfectly unconscious that they are indebted to their « ftupidity for the consistency of their conduct, they plume them, .. felves on an imaginary virtue, which has its origin in what is 65 really their disgrace.-Let such, if such dare approach the thrine “ of Camoëns, withdraw to a respectful distance; and should they • behold the ruins of genius, or the weakness of an exalted mind, 66 let them be taught to lament, that nature has left the nobleft of “ her works imperfe&t ,”

After a masterly confutation of some ill-grounded criticisms and gross misrepresentations of Voltaire's, respecting the Lusiad, Mr. Mickle proceeds to an examen of the machinery and construction of the poem on the principles of the Epopæia, and presents us with the following analysis :

• The poem opens with a view of the Portuguese fleet before a prosperous gale on the coast of Ethiopia. The crews, however, are worn with labour, and their safety depends upon their fortune in a friendly harbour. The gods of ancient or poetical mythology are represented as in council. The fate of the Eastern world depends upon the success of the fleet. But as we trace the machinery of the Lufiad, let us remember that, like the machinery of Homer and Virgil, it is also allegorical. Jupiter, or the Lord of Fate, pronounces that the Lusians shall be prosperous. Bacchus, the evil dxmon or genius of Mohammedism, who was worshipped in the Eaft, foreseeing that his empire and altars would be overturned, opposes Jove, or Fate. The celestial Venus, or heavenly Love, pleads for the Lufians. Mars, or divine Fortitude, encourages the Lord of Fate to remain unaltered; and Maia's son, the Messenger of Heaven, is sent to lead the navy to a friendly harbour. The feet arrives at Mozambic. Bacchus, like Juno in the Eneid, raises a commotion against the Lusians. A battle ensues, and the victorious fleet pursue their voyage, under the care of a Moorish pilot, who advises them to enter the harbour of Quiloa. According to history they attempted this harbour, where their destruction would have been inevitable; but they were driven from it by the violence of a sudden tempeit. The poet ascribes this to the celestial Venus,

-- whose watchful care

Had ever been their guide They now arrive at Mombasla. The malice of the evil dæmon or genius of Mohammediím, ftill excites the arts of treachery against them. Hermes, the messenger of heaven, in a dream, in the style of Homer, warns the hero of the poem of his danger, and commands him to steer for Melinda. There he arrives, and is received by the prince in the most friendly manner. Here the hero receives the first

* « This passage in inverted commas is cited, with the alteration of the rane only, from Langhorne's account of the Life of William Collins,

certain

certain intelligence or hope of India. The prince of Melinda's ad miration of the fortitude and prowess of his guests, the first who had ever dared to pass the unknown ocean by the tempestuous Cape, artfully prepares the reader for a long episode. The poem of Virgil contains the history of the Roman empire to his own time. Ca. moëns perceived this, and trod in his steps. The history of Portugal, which Gama relates to the king of Melinda, is not only neceflary to give their new ally an high idea of the Lusian prowess and {pirit, but also naturally leads to, and accounts for the voyage of Gama; the event, which in its consequences, sums up the Portue guese honours. It is as requisite for Gama to tell the rise of his na. tion to the king of Melinda, as it is for Eneas to relate to Dido the cause of his voyage, the destruction of Troy. And Gama's long account of his own voyage, will bear to be read after the similar parts of either the Odyffey or the Eneid. Pleased with the fame of their nation, the king of Melinda vows lafting friendship with the Lufians, and gives them a faithful pilot. As they fail across the great Indian oceah the machinery is again employed. The evil dæmon implores Neptune and the powers of the sea to raise a tempest to destroy the feet. The sailors on the night watch, fortify their courage by the valiant acts of their countrymen, and an episode in the true poetical fpirit of chivalry is introduced.. Thus Achilles in his tent is repre. sented as singing to his lyre the praises of heroes. And in the Epic conduct, this narrative and the tales told by Nestor, either to restrain or inflame the rage of the Grecian chiefs, are certainly the same.

• The accumulation of the tempeft in the meanwhile is finely de. scribed. It now descends. Celestial Venus perceives the danger of her feet. She is introduced by the appearance of her ftar, a stroke of poetry which would have shined in the Eneid. The tempeft is in its utmost rage,

The sky and ocean blending, each on fire,
Seem'd as all nature struggled to expire.
When now the silver star of Love appear'd;
Bright in her eaft her radiant front she rear'd;
Fair through the horrid Atorm the gentle ray
Announced the promise of the cheerful day.
From her bright throne Celestial Love beheld

The tempest burn And in the true spirit of Homer's allegory she calls her nymphs, and by their ministry stills the tempeft. Gama now arrives in India, Every circumstance rises from the preceding one ; and, as fully pointed out in the notes, the conduct in every circumstance is as exactly Virgilian, as any two tragedies may pojibly be alike in ad. herence to the rules of the drama. Gama, having accomplished his purpose in India, sets sail for Europe, and the machinery is the laft time employed. Venus, to reward her heroes, raises a Paradisaical island in the sea. Voltaire, in his English essay, has said, that no nation but the Portuguese and Italians could bear such lascivious description. In the French he has suppressed this fentence, but has compared it to a Dutch brothel allowed for the sailors. Yet this idea of it is as false as it is gross. Every thing in the island of Love

resembles

refembles the statue of Venus de Medicis. The defcription is warme indeed, but it is chaftę as the first loves of Adam and Eve in Mil. ton. And fo far from deferying the censure of Voltaire, were Dante, Ariosto, Taffo, Spenser, and even Milton himself, to contend wich him for the palm of modefty, there could be no hesitation in fixing it upon the brow of Camoëns. After the poet has explained the al legory of the island of Love, the Goddess of the ocean gives her hand and commits her empire to Gama, whom the conducts to her palace, where, in a prophetic song, he hears the actions of the beroes who were to establish the Portuguese empire in the Eaft. In Epic conduct nothing can be more matterly. The funeral games in honour of Patroclus, after the Iliad has turned upon its great hinge, the death of Hector, are here most happily imitated after the Lusiad has also turned upon its great hinge, the discovery of India. The conduct is the same, though not one feature is borrowed. Ulysses and Eneas are sent to visit the regions of the dead; and Voltaire's hero must also be conveyed to Hell and Heaven. But how superior is the spirit of Camoëns? He parallels these striking adventures by a new fiction of his own. Gama in the island of Bliss, and Eneas in Hell, are in Epic conduct exactly the same ; and in this unborrowing sameness, he artfully interweaves the history of Portugal : artfully as Voltaire himself confesses. The episode with the king of Melinda, the description of the painted enfigns, and the prophetic song, are parallel in manner and purpose with the episode of Dido, the Thield of Eneas, and the vision in Elysium. To revenge the rage of Achilles, and to lay the foundation of the Roman empire, are the grand purposes of the Iliad and Eneid; the one effected by the death of Hežor; the other by the alliance of Latinus and Eneas, accomplished in the death of Turnus. In like manner, to establish the Portuguese Chriftian empire in the East, is the grand design of the Lusiad, accomplished in the happy return of Gama. And thus, in the true spirit of the Epopeia,fends the Lusiad, a poem where every circumstance rises in just gradation, till the whole is fummed up in the most perfect unity of Epic a&ion.'

Such is the business of the poem, which, in Mr. Mickle, has found not only an able translator, but a spirited advocate. We cannot refuse admittance to the following animated observations, and beautiful sonnet, before we suspend this Article.

• As the grand interest of commerce and of mankind forms the subject of the Lusiad, so with great propriety, as necessary accompagyments to the voyage of his Hero, the Author has given poetical pi&ures of the four parts of the world. In the third book, a view of Europe ; in the fifth, a view of Africa ; and in the tenth, a picture of Ada and America. Homer and Virgil have been highly praised for their judgment in the choice of subjects which interested their countrymen, and Statius has been as severely condemned for his un. interesting choice. But though the subject of Camoëns be particu. Jarly interesting to his countrymen, it has also the peculiar happi. ness to be the Poem of every trading nation. It is the Epic Poem of the Birth of Commerce. And in a particular manner the Epic

Poem

Poem of whatever country has the controul and poffefion of the commerce of India.

« An unexhausted fertility and variety of poetical description, an unexhausted elevation of sentiment, and a constant tenor of the grand fimplicity of di&tion, complete the character of the Lufiad of Camoëns: a poem which, though it has hitherto received from the Public moft unmerited neglect, and from the critics molt flagrant in. iuftice, was yet better understood by the greatest poet of Italy. Tallo never did his judgment more credit, than when he confefled that he dreaded Camoëns as a rival ; or his generosity more honour, than when he addressed this elegant Sonnet to the Hero of the Lusiad:

S O N N E T T 0.
Vasco, le cui felici, ardite antenne
In contro al fol, che ne riporta il giorno
Spiegar le vele, e fer colà ritorno,
Dove egli par che di cadere accenne :
Non piú di te per afpro mar sofienne
Quel, che fece al Ciclope oltraggio, e fcorno :
Ne chi turbó l'Arpie nel suo soggiorno,
Ne dié più bel soggetto a colte penne.
Et bor quella del colto, e buor' Luigi,
Tant oltre fiende il gloriofo volo
Che i tuoi spalmati legni andar men lunge.
Ond' a quelli, a cui s'alza il nostro polo,
Et a chi ferma in contra i suoi veftigi,
Per lui del corso tuo la fama aggiunge.

. S O N N E T.
Vasco, whose bold and happy bowsprit bore
Against the rising morn; and, homeward fraught,
Whose fails came westward with the day, and brought
The wealth of India to thy native shore:
Ne'er did the Greek such length of feas explore :
The Greek, who forrow to the Cyclop wrought,
And he, who, Victor, with the Harpies fought,
Never such pomp of naval honours wore.
Great as thou art, and peerless in renown,
Yet thou to Camoëns ow'st thy noblest fame;
Farther than thou didit fail, his deathless song
Shall bear the dazzling splendor of thy name;
And under many a sky thy actions crown,
While Time and Fame together glide along.

(To be concluded in our next.)

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