Imatges de pÓgina

Perhaps I had no small change. consigning her to the stocks, or the

Reader, do not be frightened at the parish beadlehard words, imposition, imposture- But L. has a way of viewing things give, and ask no questions. Cast thy in rather a paradoxical light on some bread upon the waters. Some have occasions.

ELIA. unawares (like this Bank clerk) entertained angels.

P. S. My friend Hume (not MP.) Shut not thy purse-strings always has a curious manuscript in his posagainst painted distress. Act a cha- session, the original draught of the rity sometimes. When a poor crea- celebrated “ Beggar's Petition,” (who ture (outwardly and visibly such) cannot say hy heart the “ Beggar's comes before thee, do not stay to en- Petition?") as it was written by some quire whether the “ seven small chil- school usher (as I remember) with dren," in whose name he. implores corrections interlined from the peur thy assistance, have a veritable exist- of Oliver Goldsmith. As a specimen ence. Rake not into the bowels of of the doctor's improvement, I reunwelcome truth, to save a halfpenny. collect one most judícious alterationIt is good to believe him. 'If he be not all that he pretendeth, give, A pamper'd menial drove me from the door. and under a personate father of a fa

It stood originally, mily, think (if thou pleasest) that A livery servant drove me, fc. thou hast relieved an indigent ba

Here is an instance of poetical ar chelor. When they come with their counterfeit looks, and mumping tones, tuted for the phrase of common con

artificial language properly substithink them players. You pay your

versation; against Wordsworth. money to see a comedian feign these things, which, concerning these poor

I think I must get H. to send it to people, thou canst not certainly tell

the London, as a corollary to the whether they are feigned or not.

foregoing. “Pray God your honour relieve me,” said a poor beadswoman to my friend N. B. I am glad to see Janus 1- one day; “I have seen better veering about to the old quarter. I days.” “So have I, my good woman,'

feared he had been rust-bound. retorted he, looking up at the welkin C. being asked why he did not like which was just then threatening a Gold's.“ London” as well as oursstorm--and the jest (he will have it) it was in poor S.'s time-replied was as good to the beggar as a tester. -Because there is no WEATHERCOCK,

It was at all events kinder than And that's the reason why.




The Dedication, the Pinnace, the Peninsula of Sirmio, Hymn to Diana. Enough has been already said of conveniently lost. Thus the Atys, Catullus in the former pages of the which is full of allusions to Roman LONDON, with the exception of one customs, is said to be Greek; and if point, which seems to have escaped you appeal to the splendid picturing the notice of the writers: I allude to and animated passion of the Peleus the hard treatment which the poet and Thetis, in evidence of the capahas received from his professed city of Catullus to have invented the friends. Whenever they light on any Atys, you are told, “Oh, the Peleus poem of peculiar brilliancy and ener- and Thetis is undoubtedly Greek.” sy, they directly set their mark upon The Phaselus, also, where everyo it as a translation from some other thing in itself inanimate finds a tongue, poem of a Greek Writer; which has life in its motions, and feels other poem happens always to be the stirrings of human passion, is


much too bold and picturesque to be- and cautious imitation. The prelong to the class of Roman poetry: sumption is decidedly in favour of the it must certainly be Greek. Even poetic originality of Lucretius and Mr. Leigh Hunt, whose version of Catullus. They alone have come the Atys, Calve tuâ veniâ, is the most down to us; and if they were only poetical and spirited in the language, retailers of traditionary sentiment and takes up the common notion of his reflected imagery, from whom did the inspiring master being a plagiarist; other poets of the Republican era and aware that his favourite theory borrow their recorded vigour? of the Roman dearth of invention Whence came the tragedies of Accius, might be opposed by the grand ex- Pomponius, and Varius? The Thyample of Lucretius, he coolly reminds estes of the latter is said by Quincus that Lucretius stole his philosophy tilian (x. 513) to be “comparable to from Epicurus: but from whom did any one of the Greeks.” The same he steal his poetry ? --He might as critic affirms, “ Satire is wholly Rowell have told us, that Shakspeare man:" how does this consist with could not be an original poet, be- the dearth of invention? He takes cause the story of his Romeo and leave also to dissent from Horace in Juliet is to be found in Girolamo de his flippant censure of Lucilius, la Corte's History of Verona. and speaks of the nervous genius of

Reasoning from analogy, we should the latter in the warmest terms. If naturally expect that poets of bolder it be objected that satire is excluded invention preceded Virgil

. The Au- from the higher order of poetry, let gustan age was the Roman age of the moral passages of Juvenal fure Anne; the era of critical refinement nish 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 ?

Ense velut stricto quoties Lucilius ardens
Infremuit, rubet auditor cui frigida mens est
Criminibus, tacità sudant præcordia culpâ :
Inde iræ et lacryme.

Sat. i. 165.
But when Lucilius brandishes his pen,
And flashes in the face of guilty men,
As with a naked sword, loud blushes speak
The shuddering sin, that reddens on the check ;
A cold sweat stands in drops on every part,
And rage succeeds to tears, revenge to smart.

Altered from Dryden.*


To Cornelius Nepos.
On whom this new, + spruce, tiny volume bestow,
By the porous dry pumice-stone burnish'd but now?

Cornelius, thy own it shall be,
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,

In three tomes-Jove! what labour ! what lore!
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 :

And may it perennially last,
O patroness virgin! when ages are past.

* This masterly old translator having stopped short of the sense, the couplet in Italics is supplied.

+ Doering will have it that novum ard lepidum relate to the contents of the book, not to the outward fashion. In this case Catullus is chargeable with an aukward ambi.


Carm. IV.
Strangers ! the bark that meets your eye
Saith never ship could fleeter fly;
No tree that swam e'er pass'd her by

With oar or straining sail :
She calls on Hadria's threatening shore,
The Cyclads, Thracia's surges frore,
Propontis, Euxine's surly roar,

To contravene the tale.
In after-time a skiff, she stood
Tufted with nodding leaves—a wood !
Full oft from ridged Cytorus' rood

Her sighing foliage spoke:
Pontic Amastris, lend thine aid !
Cytorus wave thy boxen shade;
Ye knew and know, the Pinnace said,

Your memories I invoke!
Bear witness ye! to what I speak:
I rooted on your mountain peak;
Thence launch'd me in your foamy creek,

And plunged the leafless oar;
Thence bore my lord through th' idle spray ;
On either tack obliquely lay,
Or with squared sail-yards right away

Scudded the gale before.
No shore-god had my prayers: I pass'd
From farthest seas, and now my mast
Rocks on this limpid lake at last ;

My better day is gone :
Laid up, and dedicate to thee,
Who with thy twin-star rulest the sea,
I feel old age insensibly

Come stealing peaceful on.


Carm. XXXI.
Sirmio! soft eye of island scenery,
Resting on either waters, molten lake,
Or the broad sea, with what a glad free will
I visit thee once more; and scarce believe
That I have left at distance far behind
The desarts of Bithynia, and am here,
And look on thee in safety. O what bliss

guity in alluding to the gloss of the pumice, immediately in succession to these epithets. That lepidus and novus are used elsewhere tó 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 eter. nally 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 picturesque 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 niveis 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 studi. orum !” Let me, however, recommend Doering's edition of Catullus as a very accu. rate one, and the notes as generally fraught with useful comments and illustrations.

Greater, than thus to spring as loosed from cares,
To drop the weary load of mind, and spent
With foreign travel, by our own dear hearth
Sink down at once on that familiar couch
For which we languish'd when away! tis this
Compensates all we suffer'd. Joy to thee
Delightful spot ! and bid thy master joy
That he is come: and thou, O Lydian lake,
Rejoice with all thy waters: all at home
That laugh in memory, laugh my welcome now !


Carm. XXXIV.
Girls and boys of spotless age,
Ours is Dian's patronage :
Spotless boys and girls, we raise

In song our Dian's praise.
Infant great of greatest Jove !
Daughter of Latona's love;
Newly born she cradled thee

By Delos' olive-tree.
For thou wert of mountains queen;
And of all the woodlands green;
Covert lawns in forest nooks,

And noisy-gurgling brooks.
Thee, Lucina Juno,-call
Mothers in the birth-pang thrall;
Puissant Trivia, Luna thou,

With falsely shining brow.
Measuring with thy monthly sphere
Thy swift journey of the year,
Thou, O Goddess ! fill'st with grain

The garners of the swain.
By the name that meets thy will,
Be thou named and hallow'd still;
Bless with thy accustom'd grace

The old Romulean race !

Tales of Lyddalcross.



It happened on a fine harvest af- pearance by flocks of sheep, or by ternoon, that I found myself at the coveys of red and black game. Here entrance of one of the wild and ro- and there a shepherd was seen with mantic glens or vales of Galloway; his dogs, or a bareheaded maiden and as a Galwegian vale has a cha- with her pails of milk, going homeracter of its own, it would mutilate wards from the fold, and cheering her my story to leave it undescribed. way with one of those old tender Imagine an expanse of brown moor- traditional ballads which some negland extending as far as sight can lected spirit, like that of John Lowe, reach, threaded by innumerable burns has scattered so largely among the or brooks, and tenanted only in ap- pastoral glens of Galloway. A shepherd's house, or his summer sheal, rise that the divine melody subdued into ing like the “ bonnie bower” of the music the rough brawling of the two heroines of Scottish song, on a brook along which it was heard. burn brae, and covered thick with At the heathy entrance into one of rushes, while it threw its long waver- these beautiful vales I accordingly ing line of blue smoke into the clear stood and pursued the winding of sharp air, spoke of the presence of the a little stream, which, after leaping sons and daughters of man, or said, over two or three small crags, and in the quaint and homely language of forming several little bleaching the Galwegian proverb, “ where grounds of greensward for the vilfour cloots go, man's twa feet maun lagers' webs, gathered all its waters follow.”

together, and concentrated all its But this heath, barren and wild as might, to pour itself on a solitary it seemed, had other attractions. At mill-wheel at the farther end of the the distance of almost every little valley. On either side of the glen mile, numerous streams of smoke the shepherds and husbandmen had ascended from the brown moor; the each constructed his homely abode . sound and the hum of man, busied according to his own fancy; the with the flail, the hatchet, or the houses were dropped here and there hammer, was heard; the cry and the at random, facing east, and west, and me ment of children abounded; and south, each attached to its own little here and there a green tree-top or a garden, the green flourishing of which chimney-head, a kirk-spire, or a ruined was pleasant to the eye, while the tower, projecting above the horizon fragrance of some sweet herbs, or a of blossomed heather, proclaimed to few simple flowers, escaped from the the traveller that Caledonia, amid her enclosure, and was wafted about me desarts, has her well-peopled glens by the low and fitful wind. The and her fruitful places.

whole glen was full of life, the sickles On a summer sabbath morning tive were moving beneath the ripe grain, people of Galloway are to be beheld the bandsmen were binding and in their glory; then every little deep stooking it, several low-wheeled cars green and populous vale pours forth were busied in depositing this rustic its own sedate, and pious, and well- treasure in the farmer's stackyard ; dressed multitude. From the dame while the farmer himself moved in the douce grey mantle to the about, surveyed the fulfilment of his maiden in glittering silks and scar- wishes, and rubbed the full ears belets; from him in the broad blue bon- tween his palms, and examined with net to her in the gallant cap and fea- a pleased and a curious eye the quather; from the trembling and careful lity of his crop. At the doors of the step of age to the firm and heedless cottages the old dames sat in groups stride of youth; from her who dreams in the sun, twirling their distaffs, of bridal favours and bridegroom's and driving the story round of wonvows, to him bent to the earth with der or of scandal ; while an unsumage, musing on the burial procession mable progeny of barefooted bairns and the gaping grave,-all are there, ran, and rolled, and leaped, and tummoving on staid and soberly to the bled, and laughed, and screamed, till house of God. Often have I stood the whole glen re-murmured with the and seen the scanty current of peo- din. ple issue out like the little brook of I sat down by the side of a flat their native glen, join themselves to a grave-stone, bedded level with the fuller stream, and, increasing as they grass; the ancient inscription, often flowed on, become as a river ere they renewed by the pious villagers, told reached the entrance to the burial that beneath it lay one of those enground, which, hallowed with their thusiastic, undaunted, and persecuted fathers' dust, encompassed their na- peasants, who combated for freedom tive kirk. I have heard the bell toll, of faith and body when the nobles of and the melody of their psalms of the land forgot the cause of God and praise and hymns of thanksgiving their country. Presently the chilflow far and wide. I have thought, dren desisted from their merriment, while these holy sounds arose, that and gathered about and gazed on the bleat of the flocks became softer, me, a man of an unknown glen, with the cry of the plover less shrill, and a quiet and a curious eye. I ever

« AnteriorContinua »