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meliora putat. “ It is remarkable,” says the elder Pliny, “ that the Iris of Aristides, the Tyndarides of Nicomachus, and the Venus of Apelles, are held in higher admiration than their finished works." And is it not so in almost everything?
Call up him that left half-told
Page 39, col. 1, line 1. What vast foundations in the Abyss are there, Tasso employs preternatural agents on a similar occasion,
Trappassa, et ecco in quel silvestre loco
Sorge improvisa la città del foco.xiii. 33. Gli incanti d' Ismeno, che ingannano con delusioni, altro non signifieano, che la falsità delle ragioni, et delle persuasioni, la qual si genera nella moltitudine, et varietà de pareri, et de' discorsi humani.
Page 40, col. 1, line 48.
The soldier, &c. In the Lusiad, to beguile the heavy hours at sea, Veloso relates to his companions of the second watch the story of the Twelve Knights.-L. vi.
Page 41, col. 1, line 11.
Tho' ROLDAN, &c. Probably a soldier of fortune. There were more than one of the name on board.
Page 39, col. 1, line 3. ATLANTIC kings their barbarous pomp displayed ; See Plato's Timæus; where mention is made of mighty · kingdoms, whicb, in a day and a night, had disappeared in the Atlantic, rendering its waters unnavigable.
Si quæras Helicen et Burin, Achaidas urbes,
Invenies sub aquis. At the destruction of Callao, in 1747, no more than one of all the inhabitants escaped; and he, by a providence the most extraordinary. This man was on the fort that overlooked the harbour, going to strike the flag, when he perceived the sea to retire to a considerable distance; and then, swelling mountain-high, it returned with great violence. The people ran from their houses in terror and confusion; he heard a cry of Miserere rise from all parts of the city; and immediately all was silent; the sea had entirely overwhelmed it, and buried it for ever in its bosom: but the same wave that destroyed it, drove a little boat by the place where he stood, into which he threw himself and was saved.
Page 41, col. 1, line 27. War and the Great in War let others sing, Not but that in the profession of Arms there are at all times many noble natures. Let a soldier of the Age of Elizabeth speak for those who had commanded under him, those whom he calls “ the chief men of action."
“ Now that I have tried them, I would choose them for friends, if I had them not: before I had tried them, God and his providence chose them for me. I love them for mine own sake ; for I find sweetness in their conversation, strong assistance in their employments with me, and happiness in their friendship. I love them for their virtue's sake, and for their greatness of mind (for little minds, though never so full of virtue, can be but a little virtuous), and for their great understanding : for to understand little things, or things not of use, is little better than to understand nothing at all. I love them for their affections; for self-loving men love ease, pleasure, and profit; but they that love pains, danger, and fame, shew that they love public profit more than themselves. I love them for my country's sake: for they are England's best armour of defence, and weapons of offence. If we may bave peace, they have purchased it: if we must have war, they must manage it,” &c.
Page 39, col. 1, line 12.
We stop to stir no more The description of a submarine forest is here omitted by the translator. League beyond league gigantic foliage spread, Shadowing old Ocean on his rocky bed; The lofty summits of resounding woods, That grasped the depths, and grappled with the floods; Such as had climbed the mountain's azure height, When forth he came and reassumed his right.
Page 41, col. 2, line 28.
and, thro' that dismal night, “ Aquella noche triste.” The night, on which Cortes made his famous retreat from Mexico through the street of Tlacopan, still goes by the name of LA NOCHE TRISTE.HUMBOLDT.
Page 40, col. 1, line 17. No voice, as erst, shall in the desert rise ; Alluding to the oracles of the Islanders, so soon to become silent: and particularly to a prophecy, delivered down from their ancestors, and sung with loud lamentations (Petr. Martyr, dec. 3. lib. 7) at their solemn festivals (Herrera, I. iii. 4) that the country would be laid waste on the arrival of strangers, completely clad, from a region near the rising of the sun. Ibid. II. 5. 2. It is said that Cazziva, a great Cacique, after long fasting and many ablutions, had an interview with one of the Zemi, who announced to him this terrible event (Hist. c. 62), as the oracles of Latona, according to Herodotus (II. 152) predicted the overthrow of eleven kings in Egypt, on the appearance of men of brass, risen out of the sea.
Nor did this prophecy exist among the Islanders alone. It influenced the councils of Montezuma, and extended almost universally over the forests of America. Cortes. Herrera. Gomara. “ The demons, whom they worshipped,” says Acosta, “ in this instance told them the truth."
Page 42, col. 1, line 6.
Then, inly gliding, &c. Many a modern reader will exclaim in the language of Pococurantè, “ Quelle triste extravagance!" Let a great theologian of that day, a monk of the Augustine order, be consulted on the subject. “ Corpus ille perimere vel jugulare potest; nec id modò, verùm et animam ita urgere, et in angustum coarctare novit, ut in momento quoque illi excedendum sit."-LUTHERUS, De Missa Privata.
The Roman ritual requires three signs of possession.
Page 40, col. 1, line 23. He spoke ; and all was silence, all was night! These scattered fragments may be compared to shreds of old arras, or reflections from a river broken and confused by the oar; and now and then perhaps the imagination of the reader may supply more than is lost. Si qua latent,
What long-drawn tube, &c. For the effects of the telescope, and the mirror, on an uncultivated mind, see Wallis's Voyage round the World, 0.2 and 6.
Page 44, col. 1, line 20.
Reigns there, and revels, &c.
What clarion winds along the yellow sands?
three asparaguses, the first that ever grew on the table-land of Cusco. When the operation of dressing them was over (and it is minutely described) he distributed the two largest among his friends ; begging that the company would not take it ill if he reserved the third for himself, as it was a thing from Spain.
North America became instantly an asylum for the oppressed; Huguenots, and Catholics, and sects of every name and country. Such were the first settlers in Carolina and Maryland, Pennsylvania and New England. Nor is South America altogether without a claim to the title. Even now, while I am writing, the ancient house of Braganza is on its passage across the Atlantic,
Cum sociis, natoque, Penatibus, et magnis dis.
Page 44, col. 2, line 10.
And sires, alas, their sons in battle slain! War reverses the order of Nature. In time of peace, says Herodotus, the sons bury their fathers; in time of war the fathers bury their sons! But the Gods have willed it so. I. 87.
Page 45, col. 1, line 8. Who among us a life of sorrow spent, For a summary of his life and character see“ An Account of the European Settlements," P. I. c. 8.
Page 45, col. 2, line 4.
Page 45, col. 2, line 19. Here, in His train, shall arts and arms attend, “ There are those alive,"said an illustrious orator," whose memory might touch the two extremities. Lord Bathurst, in 1704, was of an age to comprehend such things—and, if his angel had then drawn up the curtain, and, while he was gazing with admiration, had pointed out to him a speck, and had told him, “Young man, there is America - which, at this day, serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death,'” &c.—BURKE, in 1775.
Page 45, col. 2, line 23. Untouched shall drop the fetters from the slave ; Jeme transporte quelquefois au-delà d'un siècle. J'y vois le bonheur à côté de l'industrie, la douce tolérance remplaçant la farouche inquisition ; j'y vois, un jour de fête, Péruviens, Mexicains, Américains libres, Français, s'embrassant comme des frères, et bénissant le règne de la liberté, qui doit amener partout une harmonie universelle. - Mais les mines, les esclaves, que deviendront-ils? Les mines se fermeront; les esclaves seront les frères de leurs maîtres.-BRISSOT.
There is a prophetic stanza, written a century ago by Bp. Berkeley, which I must quote, though I shall suffer by the comparison.
Westward the course of empire takes its way :
The four first acts already past,
Time's noblest offspring is the last.
Page 45, col. 2, line 21.
Assembling here, &c. How simple were the manners of the early colonists ! The first ripening of any European fruit was distinguished by a family-festival. Garcilasso de la Vega relates how his dear father, the valorous Andres, collected together in his chamber seven or eigut gentlemen to share with him
Page 46, col. 2, line 3.
Whereon his altar-tomb, &c. An Interpolation.
Page 46, col. 2, line 11.
Tho' in the western world His grave, An Anachronism. The body of Columbus was not yet removed from Seville.
It is almost unnecessary to point out another, in the Ninth Canto. The telescope was not then in use; though described long before with great accuracy by Roger Bacon.