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mensions of the monarchs of the wood. But from the researches of a gentleman of South Carolina, whose science and veracity are alike indisputable; I am recently apprised that in the vicinity of the village of Coosawhatchie, in one of the vast swamps of that region, there grew an enormous Cypress tree, which was justly considered as the Emperor of the Forest. This proud title was conferred, not merely on account of its loftiness, but its bulk. It actually overtopped the tallest of the tall trees in that exuberant region. It should be remembered that it grew on the margin of a lake, and that the soil was of a character remarkably fertile. A gentleman of fortune and leisure, finding the tree partially excavated by the hand of Nature herself, ordered his workmen to enlarge the cavity, to construct a regular apartment within, to floor the basement, to attach a circular seat to the trunk, to form a door way, to cut windows for the free admission of light, and fit up a sort of Arthur's round table in the centre. Thus commodiously arranged, the hollow cypress became a haunt for the Sportsman, the Idler, and the Epicure.Here, after the toils of angling and the chase, men met to drink and to dine. Seventeen guests in the domus interior of this venerable vegetable have been comfortably accommodated, without even the pressure, which we often experience at the Table d'Hote of an ordinary.
In process of time the votaries of Diana and Bacchus, remarking that this enormous growth of the wood was susceptible of still farther improvements, constructed over the rustic hall we have just described, a sort of sylvan withdrawing room for the accommodation of the ladies. Access to this apartment was obtained by a flight of steps without the tree. The room itself had all the gladsomeness of a modern parlour. While gentlemen were convivially regaling themselves in the tree below, the ladies might amuse themselves by angling from the windows above. This hollow in the cypress could easily accom
modate eight persons.
At no inconsiderable elevation from the earth, and where the bole of the tree was completely circular, it measured at least 42 feet. This, I understand, is but a moderate computation. It gives me pain to add, that this stupendous production of Nature's
fertility at length shared the fate of Shakspeare's Mulberry.Soon after the commencement of the war between Great Britain and her colonies, the owner of the estate, alledging that the resort of visitors trespassed upon his property, ordered, in a fit of spleen or anger, that this Nestor of the wood should be demolished. Accordingly, like the old Thorn, at Market Hill, as described by the Dean of St. Patrick's, it was cut down by some Hibernian hatchet, blunter than its master's pate; and thus shamefully perished one of the noblest of rude Nature's children, to the deep regret of all the fond lovers of nature; and of all who view, with veneration, such an object as a monument, indicating the lapse of centuries, and the miracles of the Almighty Creator. I am, sir, yours, &c.
THE LITERARY WORLD-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
To the lovers and cultivators of polite literature, I know nothing more delightful than that sort of dissertation which Dryden first commenced, on the interesting topic of the merits or demerits of those immortal authors, whom all the world agree, in pronouncing classical. Here follows a recent essay on a favourite topic, exactly to our taste.
With all due respect for the declamatory grandeur of Juvenal, we are not disposed to rank him very high, either as a poet or a moralist. His style is constantly descending into slovenly inelegance, or rising into inflation or obscurity; while his sounding amplifications and the obtrusive glare of shining sen. tences, ill embossed on the body of the work, betray that departure from the simplicity of nature, which marked the decline of Roman taste. Yet there are in this poet, a power of expression and a sublimity of conception that would redeem all his faults, were we not perpetually disgusted with gross violations of all decency and propriety. In the midst of a description, sketched, in many points, with the hand of a master, we unexpectedly encounter some gratuitous obscenity, and wonder at the perverseness of a taste, which could unite objects so incongruous. There
is certainly much in Juvenal, that savours of the reformed rake. He writes like a man, who, in his youthful days, had gone the whole round of Roman dissipation, and when age, or ennui robbed him of his pleasures, assumed the tone of a severe moralist; who, while he declaims against sins, which he once indulged in, is often betrayed by a remnant of former propensities, into a description rather than a condemnation of vice. He does not sketch, with an indignant hand, a dark and hurried outline, but deliberately fills up the canvas, and even drags the most disgusting features to the foreground of the picture. We are told indeed, that he exposes the nakedness of vice, that we may turn aside with horror from the deformity. But those who expect any good from such a plan, have a better opinion of human nature than we fear it deserves. There are too many to whom description, however gross, is alluring. Even grave commentators seem to delight in raking up the filth of Juvenal, and making night more hideous by the light they shed upon it; and in younger minds, which are most susceptible of injury, curiosity too often prevails over principle. Something is no doubt to be ascribed to the extreme licentiousness of ancient manners, and particularly of the age in which Juvenal lived, when vice had reached the very summit of enormity. But, from whatever cause, he seems to have been so habituated to contemplate depravity, as to have lost that delicacy of moral taste, so necessary to the satirist, who is to arraign vice without offending virtue. Nor do we think the deep and tragic intonations of Juvenal are well suited to his professed object of reforming the public manners. The peculiar province of satire we conceive to be, the follies and petty vices, rather than the crimes of mankind; and that they have been much oftener rallied out of the former, than lashed out of the latter. When vice becomes so flagitious and so universal as in Juvenal's time, it is, we fear, beyond the reach of biting verse. The mind of its votary has been seared to shame or remorse; and as long as he escapes the vengeance of the laws, mocks the telum imbelle ofthe satirist. Much curious information, indeed, with regard to the state of manners, and the private life of the degenerate Romans, may be gleaned from his writings; and, in this view, they are a fit study for the antiquary
and the philosopher: but, as poems that are to delight, instruct or amend, we know not to what class of the community we could safely recommend their perusal.
Such being our sentiments, on the merits of the original, we cannot sympathize with the solicitude of the many translators who have laboured to present it to their countrymen in an English dress. On the contrary; we should feel no regret nor pity for our unlettered brethren, if Juvenal were a sealed book to all but profound scholars. The remainder of our reading population would be no losers, if they rested satisfied with the imitations of him, which exist in our language. In those of JOHNSON, they would read what Juvenal would have written in his happiest moments, had he lived in our own times. That dignified solemnity and felicity of illustration, which we admire occasionally in the Roman, are sustained throughout in the English poet; and the dexterous introduction of modern examples gives a relish to his imitation, which no mere translation of an ancient can ever possess. Satirical composition, indeed, more, perhaps, than any other species of writing, is a local and national property. It abounds with allusions to the perishing events and characters of the day, which, to those of a different age and country, must be always uninteresting and generally unintelligible. The mere translator of such productions is like a merchant who should endeavour to force into circulation, a quantity of the current coin of some distant region, by simply altering the legend, instead of having it melted at the mint, its purity adjusted to the English standard, and the whole re-stamped with the insignia of Britain. How much less interesting to an English reader, is the catastrophe of Juvenal's Sejanus with his "longa et insignis honorum pagina," than the fall of the "full blown dignity" of Wolsey, with "Law in his voice, and Fortune in his hand?" and how vapid are those traits of indirect Satire, where Juvenal deals his bye-blows to less prominent and contemporary characters, which to us are literally voces et preterea nihil, compared to the parallel passages of Johnson, where every name recalls some well known period of our national history?
CORRESPONDENCE--FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
The very entertaining writer of the Bee Hive, No. 4, under the head of "Keep to the right as the law directs" states, that he is informed, and on the very best authority, that the English rule is, keep to the left. I have travelled through great part of England, and can assure him that he is correctly informed. The circumstance of such being the law, gave rise to the following Epigram:
The laws of the road are a paradox quite,
For when you are travelling along,
If you keep to the left, you are sure to go right,
SELECTED POETRY-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
FROM MRS. EDGEWORTH'S MODERN GRISELDA.
A FAMILY PICTURE.
I married a Nymph who delighted all eyes,
If quite in good humour, I call'd her my dear,
She would pout, refuse food, and murmur and sigh;
She'd answer, 'twas flattery, smiles all grimace,