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Ætna. The story is told of two brothers, who in this manner saved both their parents. The place from which they escaped, was long called the field of the pious; and public games were annually held there to commemorate the event.
P. 77, 1. 7.
From lute or organ! What a pleasing picture of domestic life is given to us by Bishop Berkeley in his letters! “The more we have of good instruments, the better: for all my children, not excepting my little daughter, learn to play, and are preparing to fill my house with harmony against all events; that, if we have worse times, we may have better spirits."
P. 77, 1. 13.
P. 77, 1. 19.
Who lives not for another. How often, says an excellent writer, do we err in our estimate of happiness! When I hear of a man who has noble parks, splendid palaces, and every luxury in life, I always inquire whom he has to love; and, if I find he has nobody or does not love those he has — in the midst of all his grandeur I pronounce him a being in deep adversity.
P. 77, l. 28.
O thou all-eloquent, whose mighty mind Cicero. It is remarkable that, among the comforts of Old Age, he has not mentioned those arising from the society of women and children. Perhaps the husband of Terentia and “the father of Marcus felt something on the subject, of which he was willing to spare himself the recollection.”
P. 80, 1. 15. And stars are kindling in the firmament, An old writer breaks off in a very lively manner at a later hour of the night. “But the Hyades run low in the heavens, and to keep our eyes open any longer were to act our Antipodes. The Huntsmen are up in America, and they are already past their first sleep in Persia.”
BEFORE I conclude, I would say something in favour of the oldfashioned triplet, which I have here ventured to use so often. Dryden seems to have delighted in it, and in many of his poems has used it much oftener than I have done, as for instance in the Hind and Panther, * and in Theodore and Honoria, where he introduces it three, four, and even five times in succession.
If I have erred any where in the structure of my verse from a desire to follow yet earlier and higher examples, I rely on the forgiveness of those in whose ear the music of our old versification is still sounding.t
* Pope used to mention this poem as the most correct specimen of Dryden's versifi. cation. It was indeed written when he had completely formed his manner, and may be supposed to exhibit, negligence excepted, his deliberate and ultimate scheme of metre. – JOHNSON.
With regard to trisyllables, as their accent is very rarely on the last, they cannot properly be any rhymes at all: yet nevertheless I highly commend those, who have judiciously and sparingly introduced them, as such. - Gray.
EVERY reader turns with pleasure to those passages of Horace, and Pope, and Boileau, which describe how they lived and where they dwelt; and which, being interspersed among their satirical writings, derive a secret and irresistible grace from the contrast, and are admirable examples of what in Painting is termed repose.
We have admittance to Horace at all hours. We enjoy the company and conversation at his table; and his suppers, like Plato's “non solum in præsentia, sed etiam postero die jucundæ sunt.” But, when we look round as we sit there, we find ourselves in a Sabine farm, and not in a Roman villa. His windows have every charm of prospect; but his furniture might have descended from Cincinnatus; and gems, and pictures, and old marbles, are mentioned by him more than once with a seeming indifference.
His English Imitator thought and felt, perhaps, more correctly on the subject; and embellished his garden and grotto with great industry and success. But to these alone he solicits our notice. On the ornaments of his house he is silent; and he appears to have reserved all the minuter touches of his pencil for the library, the chapel, and the banqueting-room of Timon. “Le savoir de notre siècle,” says Rousseau, “tend beaucoup plus à détruire qu'à édifier. On censure d'un ton de maître; pour proposer, il en faut prendre un autre.”
It is the design of this Epistle to illustrate the virtue of True Taste; and to show how little she requires to secure, not only the comforts, but even the elegancies of life. True Taste is an excellent Economist. She confines her choice to few objects, and delights in producing great effects by small means; while False Taste is for ever sighing after the new and the rare; and reminds us, in her works, of the Scholar of Apelles, who, not being able to paint his Helen beautiful, determined to make her fine.
An invitation—The approach to a Villa described—Its situation—Its few
apartments—Furnished with casts from the Antique, fc. — The diningroom—The library-A cold-bath-A winter-walk-A summer-walkThe invitation renewed— Conclusion.
When, with a REAUMUR's skill, thy curious mind
Let me, to claim a few unvalued hours,
In vain, alas, a village-friend invites
Still must my partial pencil love to dwell