Page images
PDF
EPUB

NOTES.

P. 120, 1. 21. Oft o'er the mead, at pleasing distance, pass Cosmo of Medicis took most pleasure in his Apennine villa, because all that he commanded from its windows was exclusively his own. How unlike the wise Athenian, who, when he had a farm to sell, directed the crier to proclaim, as its best recommendation, that it had a good neighbourhood !

Plut. in Vit. Themist.

P. 121, 1. 3.
And through the various year, the various day,

Horace commends the house, “longos quæ prospicit agros.” Distant views contain the greatest variety, both in themselves, and in their accidental variations.

P. 122, 1. 1. Small change of scene, small space his home requires,

Many a great man, in passing through the apartments of his palace, has made the melancholy reflection of the venerable Cosmo: " Questa è troppo gran casa à si poca famiglia.” Mach. Ist Fior. lib. vii.

“ Parva, sed apta mihi,” was Ariosto's inscription over his door in Ferrara; and who can wish to say

s

more? “I confess," says Cowley, “ I love littleness almost in all things. A little convenient estate, a little cheerful house, a little company, and a very little feast.”

Essay vi. When Socrates was asked why he had built for himself so small a house, “ Small as it is,” he replied, “ I wish I could fill it with friends."

PHÆDRUS, iii. 9. These indeed are all that a wise man can desire to assemble; “ for a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."

P. 122, 1. 4. From every point a ray of genius flows! By these means, when all nature wears a lowering countenance, I withdraw myself into the visionary worlds of art; where I meet with shining landscapes, gilded triumphs, beautiful faces, and all those other objects that fill the mind with gay ideas.-Addison.

It is remarkable that Antony, in his adversity, passed some time in a small but splendid retreat, which he called his Timonium, and from which might originate the idea of the Parisian Boudoir, that favourite apartment, l'on se retire pour être seul, mais ou l'on ne boude point. STRABO, 1. xvii. Plut. in Vit. Anton.

P. 122, 1. 20.

At Guido's call, fic. Alluding to his celebrated fresco in the Rospigliosi Palace at Rome.

P. 122, I. 27. And still the Few best loved and most revered The dining-room is dedicated to Conviviality; or, as Cicero somewhere expresses it, “ Communitati vitæ atque victûs." There we wish most for the society of our friends; and, perhaps, in their absence, most require their portraits.

The moral advantages of this furniture may be illustrated by the story of an Athenian courtezan, who, in the midst of a riotous banquet with her lovers, accidentally cast her eye on the portrait of a philosopher, that hung opposite to her seat: the happy character of wisdom and virtue struck her with so lively an image of her own unworthiness, that she instantly left the room; and, retiring home, became ever afterwards an example of temperance, as she had been before of debauchery.

P. 122, 1. 28.

Rise round the board “A long table and a square table,” says Bacon, seem things of form, but are things of substance ; for at a long table a few at the upper end, in effect, sway all the business.” Perhaps Arthur was right, when he instituted the order of the round table. In the town-house of Aix-la-Chapelle is still to be seen the round table, which may almost literally be said to have given peace to Europe in 1748. Nor is it only at a congress of Plenipotentiaries that place gives precedence.

P. 123, 1. 4. Read ancient books, or dream inspiring dreams;

The reader will here remember that passage of Horace, Nunc veterum libris, nunc somno, fc. which was inscribed by Lord Chesterfield on the frieze of his library.

P. 123, 1. 5. And, when a sage's bust arrests thee there, Siquidem non solum ex auro argentove, aut certe ex ære in bibliothecis dicantur illi, quorum immortales animæ in iisdem locis ibi loquuntur: quinimo etiam quæ non sunt, finguntur, pariuntque desideria non traditi vultus, sicut in Homero evenit. Quo majus (ut equidem arbitror) nullum est felicitatis specimen, quam semper omnes scire cupere, qualis fuerit aliquis.

Plin. Nat. Hist. Cicero speaks with pleasure of a little seat under Aristotle in the library of Atticus. “Literis sustentor et recreor ; maloque in illa tua sedecula, quam habes sub imagine Aristotelis, sedere, quàm in istorum sella curuli !"

Ep. ad Att. iv. 10. Nor should we forget that Dryden drew inspiration from the “ majestic face” of Shakspeare; and that a portrait of Newton was the only ornament of the closet of Buffon. Ep. to Kneller. Voyage à Montbart. In the chamber of a man of genius we

Write all down :
Such and such pictures ;-there the window;

the arras, figures,
Why, such and such.

P. 123, 1. 9. Which gathers round the Wise of every Tongue,

Quis tantis non gaudeat et glorietur hospitibus, exclaims Petrarch.—Spectare, etsi nihil aliud, certè juvat.—Homerus apud me mutus, imò verò ego apud illum surdus sum. Gaudeo tamen vel aspectû solo, et sæpe illum amplexus ac suspirans dico: O magne vir, &c.

Epist. Var. lib. 20.
P. 123, 1. 22.
As her fair self reflected seems to rise!

After 1. 22, in a former edition.
But hence away! yon rocky cave beware!
A sullen captive broods in silence there!
There, tho’ the dog-star flame, condemned to dwell,
In the dark centre of its inmost cell,
Wild Winter ministers his dread controul
To cool and crystallize the nectared bowl.
His faded form an awful grace retains ;
Stern tho’ subdued, majestic tho' in chains !

P. 124, 1. 1. These eyelids open to the rising ray, Your bed-chamber, and also your library, says Vitruvius, should have an eastern aspect; usus enim matutinum postulat lumen. Not so the picture-gallery; which requires a north light, uti colores in ope, propter constantiam luminis, immutata permaneant qualitate. This disposition accords with his plan of a Grecian house.

P. 124, 1. 15.

Like those blest Youths, See the Legend of the Seven Sleepers. GIBBON, c. 33.

« PreviousContinue »