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But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power, Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour ? These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight, Pour round her path a stream of living light; And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest, Where Virtue triumphs, and her sons are blest !
(1) THESE Were imagined to be the departed souls of virtuous men, who, as a reward of their good deeds in the present life, were appointed after death to the pleasing office of superintending the concerns of their immediate descendants. - Melmoth.
(2) Virgil, in one of his Eclogues, describes a romantic attachment as conceived in such circumstances ; and the description is so true to nature, that we must surely be indebted for it to some early recollection. -"You were little when I first saw you. You were with your mother gathering fruit in our orchard, and I was your guide. I was just entering my thirteenth year, and just able to reach the boughs from the ground.”
So also Zappi, an Italian poet of the last century. -“When I used to measure myself with my goat and my goat was the tallest, even then I loved Clori.”
(3) I came to the place of my birth, and cried, “The friends of my youth, where are they ?" And an echo answered, “Where are they?"- From an Arabic MS.
(4) When a traveller, who was surveying the ruins of Rome, expressed a desire to possess some relic of its ancient grandeur, Poussin, who attended him, stooped down, and gathering up a handful of earth shining with small grains of porphyry, “Take this home," said he, "for your cabinet ; and say, boldly, Questa è Roma Antica."
(5) Every man, like Gulliver in Lilliput, is fastened to some spot of earth, by the thousand small threads which habit and association are continually stealing over him. Of these, perhaps, one of the strongest is here alluded to.
When the Canadian Indians were once solicited to emigrate, “What! " they replied, “shall we say to the bones of our fathers, Arise, and go with us into a foreign land ? "
(6) He wept ; but the effort that he made to conceal his tears concurred with them to do him honor : he went to the mast-head, &c. --See Cook's First Voyage, book i. chap. 16.
Another very affecting instance of local attachment is related of his fellow-countryman Potaveri, who came to Europe with M. de Bougainville. -- See Les Jardins, chant. ii.
(7) Elle se leve sur son lict et se met à contempler la France encore, et tant qu'elle peut. -Brantôme.
(8) To an accidental association may be ascribed some of the noblest efforts of human genius. The historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire first conceived his design among the ruins of the Capitol ;* and to the tones of a Welsh harp are we indebted for the Bard of Gray.
"It was on the 15th of October, 1764, as I sat musing there, while the bare-footed friars were singing verses in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea first started to my mind." - Memoirs of my Life.
(9) Who can enough admire the affectionate attachment of Plutarch, who thus concludes his enumeration of the advantages of a great city to men of letters : “ As to myself, I live in a little town; and I choose to live there, lest it should become still less." Vit. Demosth.
(10) He was suspected of murder, and at Venice suspicion was good evidence. Neither the interest of the Doge, his father, nor the intrepidity of conscious innocence, which he exhibited in the dungeon and on the rack, could procure his acquittal. He was banished to the Island of Candia for life.
But here his resolution failed him. At such a distance from home he could not live ; and, as it was a criminal offence to solicit the intercession of any foreign prince, in a fit of despair he addressed a letter to the Duke of Milan, and intrusted it to a wretch whose perfidy, he knew, would occasion his being remanded a prisoner to Venice.
(11) Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses -- whatever makes the past, the distant or the future, predominate over the present - advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and from my friends be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery or virtue! That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona. Johnson.
(12) The Paraclete, founded by Abelard, in Champagne.
(13) Alexander, when he crossed the Hellespont, was in the twenty-second year of his age; and with what feelings must the Scholar of Aristotle have approached the ground described by Homer in that poem which had been his delight from his childhood, and which records the achievements of him from whom he claimed his descent!
It was his fancy, if we may believe tradition, to take the tiller from Menoetius, and be himself the steersman during the passage. It was his fancy also to be the first to land, and to land full-armed. -- Arrian, i. 11.
(14) Vows and pilgrimages are not peculiar to the religious enthusiast. Silius Italicus performed annual ceremonies on the mountain of Posilipo; and it was there that Boccaccio, quasi da un divino estro inspirato, resolved to dedicate his life to the Muses.
(15) When Cicero was quæstor in Sicily, he discovered the tomb of Archimedes by its mathematical inscription. — Tusc. Quest. v. 23.
(16) The influence of the associating principle is finely exemplified in the faithful Penelope, when she sheds tears over the bow of Ulysses. Od. xxi. 55.
(17) The celebrated Ranz des Vaches ; cet air si chéri des Suisses qu'il fut défendu sous peine de mort de la jouer dans leurs troupes, parce qu'il faisoit fondre en larmes, déserter ou mourir ceux qui l'entendoient, tant il excitoit en eux l'ardent désir de revoir leur pays. -Rousseau.
The maladie de pays is as old as the human heart. Juvenal's little cup-bearer
Suspirat longo non visam tempore matrem,
And the Argive in the heat of battle
Dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos.
Nor is it extinguished by any injuries, however cruel they may be. Ludlow, write as he would over his door at Vevey,* was still anxious to return home; and how striking is the
* Omne solum forti patria est, quia Patris.
testimony of Camillus, as it is recorded by Livy! “Equidem fatebor vobis," says he ip his speech to the Roman people, “etsi minus injuriæ vestræ quam meæ calamitatis meminisse juvat; quum abessem, quotiescunque patria in mentem veniret, hæc omnia occurrebant, colles, campique, et Tiberis, et assueta oculis regio, et hoc coelum, sub quo natus educatusque essem. Quæ vos, Quirites, nunc moveant potius caritate sua, ut maneatis in sede vestra, quam postea quum reliqueritis ea, macerent desiderio." -- V. 54. .
(18) This emperor constantly passed the summer in a small villa near Reate, where he was born, and to which he would never add any embellishment; ne quid scilicet oculorum consuetudini deperiret. -- Suet. in Vit. Vesp. cap. ii.
A similar instance occurs in the life of the venerable Pertinax, as related by J. Capitolinus. Posteaquam in Liguriam venit, multis agris coemptis, tabernam paternam, manente formâ priore, infinitis ædificiis circundedit. --- Hist. August. 54.
And it is said of Cardinal Richelieu, that, when he built his magnificent palace on the site of the old family chateau at Richelieu, he sacrificed its symmetry to preserve the room in which he was born. — Mém. de Mlle. de Montpensier, i. 27.
An attachment of this nature is generally the characteristic of a benevolent mind ; and a long acquaintance with the world cannot always extinguish it.
“ To a friend,” says John, Duke of Buckingham, “I will expose my weakness : I am oftener missing a pretty gallery in the old house I pulled down, than pleased with a saloon which I built in its stead, though a thousand times better in all respects.” See his Letter to the D. of Sh.
This is the language of the heart, and will remind the reader of that good-humored remark in one of Pope's letters: “I should hardly care to have an old post pulled up, that I remembered ever since I was a child."
The author of Telemachus has illustrated this subject, with equal fancy and feeling, in the story of Alibée, Persan.
(19) That amiable and accomplished monarch, Henry the Fourth of France, made an excursion from his camp, during the long siege of Laon, to dine at a house in the forest of Folambray ; where he had often been regaled, when a boy, with fruit, milk and new cheese ; and in revisiting which he promised himself great pleasure. — Mém. de Sully.
(20) Diocletian retired into his native province, and there amused himself with building, planting and gardening. His answer to Maximian is deservedly celebrated. “If,” said he, “I could show him the cabbages which I have planted with my own hands at Salona, he would no longer solicit me to return to a throne."
(21) When the Emperor Charles the Fifth had executed his memorable resolution, and had set out for the monastery of Justé, he stopped a few days at Ghent to indulge that tender and pleasant melancholy, which arises in the mind of every man in the decline of life, on visiting the place of his birth, and the objects familiar to him in his early youth.
(22) Monjes solitarios del glorioso padre San Geronimo, says Sandova.
In a corner of the Convent-garden there is this inscription : En esta santa casa de S. Geronimo de Justé se retiró a acabar su vida Carlos V. Emperador, &c. - Ponz.
(23) The memory of the horse forms the ground-work of a pleasing little romance, entitled, “Lai du Palefroi vair." - See Fabliaux du XII. Siecle.
Ariosto likewise introduces it in a passage full of truth and nature. When Bayarda meets Angelica in the forest,
Ch'in Albracca il servia già di sua mano.
Orlando Furioso, i. 75.