Page images
[ocr errors]

How oft from grove to grove, from seat to seat, And She inspires, whose beauty shines in all ;
With thee conversing in my loved retreat, So soon to weave a daughter's coronal,
I saw the sun go down Ah, then 't was thine And at the nuptial rite smile through her tears
Ne'er to forget some volume half divine,

So soon to hover round her full of fears, Shakspeare's or Dryden's through the chequer'd And with assurance sweet her soul revive shade

In child-birth-when a mother's love is most alive. Borne in thy hand behind thee as we stray'd ;

No, 't is not here that Solitude is known. And where we sate (and many a halt we made)

Through the wide world he only is alone To read there with a fervor all thy own,

Who lives not for another. Come what will, And in thy grand and melancholy tone,

The generous man has his companion still; Some splendid passage not to thee unknown,

The cricket on his hearth ; the buzzing fly Fit theme for long discourse—Thy bell has tollid!

That skims his roof, or, be his roof the sky, -But in thy place among us we behold

Still with its note of gladness passes by : One who resembles thee.

And, in an iron cage condemn'd to dwell, "T is the sixth hour.

The cage that stands within the dungeon-cell, The village-clock strikes from the distant tower.

He feeds his spider-happier at the worst
The plowman leaves the field; the traveller hears,

Than he at large who in himself is curst.
And to the inn spurs forward. Nature wears
Her sweetest smile; the day-star in the west

O thou all-eloquent, whose mighty mind (27) Yet hovering, and the thistle's down at rest. Streams from the depth of ages on mankind,

Streams like the day-who, angel-like, hast shed And such, his labor done, the calm He knows,

| Thy full effulgence on the hoary head, Whose footsteps we have follow'd. Round him glows Speaking in Cato's venerable voice, An atmosphere that brightens to the last;

Look up, and faint not-faint not, but rejoice!" The light, that shines, reflected from the Past,

From thy Elysium guide him. Age has now -And from the Future too! Active in Thought

Stamp'd with its signet that ingenuous brow; Among old books, old friends; and not unsought

And, 'mid his old hereditary trees, By the wise stranger-in his morning-hours,

Trees he has climb'd so ofi, he sits and sees When gentle airs stir the fresh-blowing flowers,

His children's children playing round his knees : He muses, turning up the idle weed;

Then happiest, youngest, when the quoit is flung, Or prunes or grafts, or in the yellow mead

When side by side the archer's bows are strung; Watches his bees at hiving-time; and now,

His to prescribe the place, adjudge the prize, The ladder resting on the orchard-bough,

Envying no more the young their energies Culls the delicious fruit that hangs in air,

Than they an old man when his words are wise ; The purple plum, green fig, or golden pear,

His a delight how pure-without alloy ; 'Mid sparkling eyes, and hands uplifted there.

Strong in their strength, rejoicing in their joy! At night, when all, assembling round the fire, Now in their turn assisting, they repay Closer and closer draw till they retire,

The anxious cares of many and many a day; A tale is told of India or Japan,

And now by those he loves relieved, restored, Of merchants from Golcond or Astracan,

His very wants and weaknesses afford
What time wild Nature revell’d unrestrain'd,

A feeling of enjoyment. In his walks,
And Sinbad voyaged and the Caliphs reign'd :- Leaning on them, how oft he stops and talks,
Of some Norwegian, while the icy gale

While they look up! Their questions, their replics,
Rings in her shrouds and beats her iron-sail, Fresh as the welling waters, round him rise,
Among the snowy Alps of Polar seas

Gladdening his spirit: and, his theme the past, Immovable for ever there to freeze!

How eloquent he is! His thoughts flow fast, Or ome great caravan, from well to well

And, while his heart (oh can the heart grow old ? Winding as darkness on the desert fell,

False are the tales that in the World are told !) In their long march, such as the Prophet bids, Swells in his voice, he knows not where to end ; To Mecca from the land of Pyramids,

Like one discoursing of an absent friend.
And in an instant lost a hollow wave
Of burning sand their everlasting grave

But there are moments which he calls his own. Now the scene shifts to Venice 10 a square

Then, never less alone than when alone, Glittering with light, all nations masking there,

Those that he loved so long and sees no more, With light reflected on the tremulous tide,

Loved and still loves--not dead-but gone before, Whore gondolas in gay confusion glide,

He gathers round him; and revives at will Answering the jest, the song on every side;

Scenes in his life-that breathe enchantment stillTo Naples next—and at the crowded gate,

That come not now at dreary intervals Where Grief and Fear and wild Amazement wait,

But where a light as from the Blessed falls, Lo, on his back a Son brings in his Sire, (26)

A light such guests bring ever-pure and holyVesuvius blazing like a World on fire

Lapping the soul in sweetest melancholy. Then, at a sign that never was forgot,

Ah then less willing (nor the choice condemn) A strain breaks forth (who hears and loves it not?)

To live with others than to think on them! From lute or organ! 'Tis at parting given,

And now behold him up the hill ascending, That in their slumbers they may dream of Heaven; Memory and Hope like evening-stars attending : Young voices mingling, as it floats along,

Sustain'd, excited, till his course is run, In Tuscan air or Handel's sacred song!

By deeds of virtue done or to be done.

When on his couch he sinks at length to rest, to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent, Those by his counsel saved, his power redressid, that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the Those by the World shunn'd ever as unblest, instant. He takes the account of the rich man, and At whom the rich man's dog growls from the gate, proves him a beggar, a naked beggar. He holds a But whom he sought out, sitting desolate,

glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes Come and stand round—the widow with her child, them see therein their deformity; and they acAs when she first forgot her tears and smiled! knowledge it. They, who watch by him, see not; but he sees, O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none Sees and exults—Were ever dreams like these? could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none have They, who watch by him, hear not; but he hears, dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world have And Earth recedes, and Heaven itself appears ! flattered, thou only hast cast out and despised : thou

"Tis past! That hand we grasp'd, alas, in vain! hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all Nor shall we look upon his face again!

the pride, cruelty and ambition of man, and covered Bul to his closing eyes, for all were there, it all over with these two narrow words, Hic jacet. Nothing was wanting ; and, through many a year,

RALEIGH We shall remember with a fond delight

Note 3, page 11, col. 2. The words so precious which we heard to-night;

Through the dim curtains of Futurity. His parting, though awhile our sorrow flows,

Fancy can hardly forbear to conjecture with what Like setting suns or music at the close!

temper Milton surveyed the silent progress of his Then was the drama ended. Not till then, work, and marked his reputation stealing its way in a So full of chance and change the lives of men, kind of subterraneous current through fear and silence. Could we pronounce him happy. Then secure I cannot but conceive him calm and confident, little From pain, from grief, and all that we endure, disappointed, not at all dejected, relying on his own He slept in peace-say rather soar'd to Heaven,

merit with steady consciousness, and waiting, without l'pbome from Earth by Him to whom 't is given impatience, the vicissitudes of opinion, and the imIn huis right hand to hold the golden key

partiality of a future generation.--JOHNSON. 'Thai opes the portals of Eternity. - When by a good man's grave I muse alone,

After line 57, col. 2, in the MS. Methinks an angel sits upon the stone;

O'er place and time we triumph ; on we go, Like those of old, on that thrice.hallow'd night,

Ranging in thought the realms above, below;

Yet, ah, how litue of ourselves we know ! Who sale and watch'd in raiment heavenly-bright;

And why the heart beats on, or how the brain And, with a voice inspiring joy, not fear,

Says to the foot, Now move, now rest again,' Saye, pointing upward, that he is not here,

From age to age we search, and search in vain. That he is risen!

Note 4, page 12, col. 1.
But the day is spent;

like the stone And stars are kindling in the firmament,

That sheds awhile a lustre all its own. To us how silent—though like ours perchance See "Observations on a diamond that shines in the Busy and full of life and circumstance;

dark."-BOYLE's Works, i, 789. Where some the paths of Wealth and Power pursue, Of Pleasure some, of Happiness a few;

Note 5, page 12, col. 1. And, as the sun goes round-a sun not ours

Schooled and trained up to Wisdom from his birth. While from her lap another Nature showers

Cicero, in his Essay De Senectute, has drawn his Gifts of her own, some from the crowd retire, images from the better walks of life ; and Shakspeare, Think on themselves, within, without inquire ; in his Seven Ages, has done so too. But Shakspeare Ai distance dwell on all that

treats his subject satirically; Cicero as a Philosopher. All that their world reveals of good and fair; In the venerable portrait of Cato we discover no And, as they wander, picturing things, like me, traces of “ the lean and slippered pantaloon.” Not as they are, but as they ought to be,

Every object has a bright and a dark side; and I Trace out the Journey through their little Day, have endeavored to look at things as Cicero has done. And fondly dream an idle hour away.

By some however I may be thought to have followed too much my own dream of happiness; and in such a dream indeed I have often passed a solitary hour.

It was castle-building once; now it is no longer so. NOTES.

But whoever would try to realize it, would not

perhaps repent of his endeavor. Note 1, page 11, col. 2.

Note 6, page 12, col. 1.

The hour arrives, the moment wished and feared. Our pathway leads but to a precipice. See Bossuet, Sermon sur la Résurrection.

A Persian Poet has left us a beautiful thought on

this subject, which the reader, if he has not met with Note 2, page 11, col. 2.

it, will be glad to know, and, if he has, to remember, Wo fly; no resting for the foot we find.

Thee on thy mother's knces, a new-born child,

In tears we saw, when all around thee smiled. "I have considered,” says Solomon, “all the works So live, that, sinking in thy last long sleep, that are under the sun; and behold, all is vanity and Smiles may be thine, when all around thee weep. vesation of spirit.” But who believes it, till Death tells For my version I am in a great measure indebted i us! It » Death alone that can suddenly make man to Sir William Jones.


passes there,

-he reveres

Note 7, page 12, col. 2.

visit Sicily and Greece, when hearing of the troubles “These are my Jewels!"

in England, he thought it proper to hasten home. The anecdote here alluded to, is related by Valerius

Note 13, page 13, col. 1.
Maximus, lib. iv, c. 4.

And Milton's bell.
Note 8, page 12, col. 2.

I began thus far to assent... to an inward prompt"Suffer these little ones to come to me!”

ing which now grew daily upon me, that by labor and In our early Youth, while yet we live only among intent study (which I take to be my portion in this those we love, we love without restraint, and our life), joined with the strong propensity of nature, I hearts overflow in every look, word, and action. But might perhaps leave something, so written, to after when we enter the world and are repulsed by stran. times, as they should not willingly let it die.—MILTON. gers, forgotten by friends, we grow more and more timid in our approaches even to those we love best.

Note 14, page 13, col. 1. How delightful to us then are the little caresses of

P't was at matin-time. children! All sincerity, all affection, they fly into our Love and devotion are said to be nearly allied. arms; and then, and then only, we feel our first Boccaccio fell in love at Naples in the church of St. confidence, our first pleasure.

Lorenzo; as Petrarch had done at Avignon in the Note 9, page 12, col. 2.

church of St. Clair.

Note 15, page 13, col. 2.
The brow engraven with the Thoughts of Years.

Lovely before, oh, say how lovely now!
This is a law of Nature. Age was anciently synony-

Is it not true, that the young not only appear to be, mous with power; and we may always observe that but really are, most beautiful in the presence of those the old are held in more or less honor as men are more or less virtuous.“ Shame," says Homer, “ bids they love? It calls forth all their beauty. the youth beware how he accosts the man of many

Note 16, page 13, col. 2. years.” “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, And feeling hearts-touch them but rightly-pour and honor the face of an old man.”—Leviticus.

A thousand melodies unheard before ! Among us, says a philosophical historian, and

Xenophon has left us a delightful instance of conwherever birth and possessions give rank and au jugal affection. thority, the young and the profligate are seen continu- The king of Armenia not fulfilling his engagement, ally above the old and the worthy: there Age can never Cyrus entered the country, and, having taken him find its due respect. But among many of the ancient and all his family prisoners, ordered them instantly nations it was otherwise ; and they reaped the benefit before him. Armenian, said he, you are free; for you of it. “Rien ne maintient plus les meurs qu'une are now sensible of your error. And what will you extrême subordination des jeunes gens envers les give me, if I restore your wife to you !-All that I am vieillards. Les uns et les autres seront contenus, ceux- able. What, if I restore your children?-All that I là par le respect qu'ils auront pour les vieillards, et am able. And you, Tigranes, said he, turning to the ceux-ci par le respect qu'ils auront pour eux-mêmes.” son, What would you do, to save your wife from

MONTESQUIEU. servitude ? Now Tigranes was but lately married, Note 10, page 12, col. 2.

and had a great love for his wife. Cyrus, he replied, Like Her most gentle, most unfortunate.

to save her from servitude, I would willingly lay Before I went into Germany, I came to Brodegate

down my life. in Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noble Lady

Let each have his own again, said Cyrus; and when Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholding he was departed, one spoke of his clemency; and Her parents

, the Duke and Duchess, with all the another of his valor; and another of his beauty, and Household, Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, were

the graces of his person. Upon which, Tigranes hunting in the park. I found her in her chamber, asked his wife, if she thought him handsome. Really, reading Phædo Platonis in Greek, and that with as said she, I did not look at him.—At whom then did much delight as some Gentlemen would read a merry you look ?— At him who said he would lay down his tale in Boccace. After salutation and duty done, with life for me.- -Cyropadia, 1. iii. some other talk, I asked her, why she would lose such

Note 17, page 14, col. 2. pastime in the park? Smiling, she answered me, “ I He goes, and Night comes as it never came ! wist, all their sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure that I find in Plato."-Roger ASCHAM.

These circumstances, as well as some others that

follow, are happily, as far as they regard England, of Note 11, page 12, col. 2.

an ancient date. To us the miseries inflicted by a Then is the Age of Admiration.

foreign invader are now known only by description. Dante in his old age was pointed out to Petrarch Many generations have passed away since our counwhen a boy; and Dryden to Pope.

trywomen saw the smoke of an enemy's camp. Who does not wish that Dante and Dryden could

But the same passions are always at work every. have known the value of the homage that was paid where, and their effects are always nearly the same; them, and foreseen the greatness of their young though the circumstances that attend them are inadmirers ?

finitely various. Note 12, page 13, col. 1.

Note 18, page 15, col. 1. Scenes such as Milton sought, but sought in vain.

That House with many a funeral-garland hung. He had arrived at Naples; and was preparing to A custom in some of our country.churches.

Note 19, page 15, col. 1.

Mr. Attorney-General. Yes, a Servant.
Soon through the gadding vine, etc.

Lord Chief Justice. Any of your Servants shall An English breakfast; which may well excite in assist you in writing anything you please for you. others what in Rousseau continued through life, un

Lord Russel. My Wife is here, my Lord, to do gout vif pour les déjeunés. C'est le tems de la jour. it.-State Trials, ii. née nous sommes les plus tranquilles, nous causons le plus à notre aise.

Note 25, page 15, col. 2. The luxuries here mentioned, familiar to us

Her glory now, as ever her delight. they now are, were almost unknown before the Revolution.

Epaminondas, after his victory at Leuctra, rejoiced

most of all at the pleasure which it would give his Note 20, page 15, col. 2.

father and mother; and who would not have envied Like Hampdeo struggling in his country's cause. them their feelings? Zeuxis is said to have drawn his Helen from an Cornelia was called at Rome the Mother-in-law assemblage of the most beautiful women; and many of Scipio. “When,” said she to her sons, “shall I a writer of fiction, in forming a life to his mind, has be called the mother of the Gracchi ?" recourse to the brightest moments in the lives of others.

Note 26, page 16, col. 1. I may be suspected of having done so here, and

Lo, on his back a Son brings in his Sire. of having designed, as it were, from living models; but by making an allusion now and then to those An act of filial piety represented on the coins of who have really lived, I thought I should give Catana, a Greek city, some remains of which are something of interest to the picture, as well as better still to be seen at the foot of mount Ætna. The illustrate my meaning.

story is told of two brothers, who in this manner

saved both their parents. The place from which Note 21, page 15, col. 2.

they escaped was long called the field of the pious; On through that gate misnamed.

and public games were annually held there to com-
Traitor's gate, the water-gate in the Tower of memorate the event.
Note 22, page 15, col. 2.

Note 27, page 16, col. 2.
Then to the place of trial.

Oh thou, all-eloquent, whose mighty mind.
This very slight sketch Civil Dissension is

Cicero. It is remarkable that, among the comforts taken from our own annals; but, for an obvious of Old Age, he has not mentioned those arising from reason, not from those of our own Age.

the society of women and children. Perhaps the The persons here immediately alluded to lived husband of Terentia and “ the father of Marcus felt more than a hundred years ago, in a reign which something on the subject, of which he was willing Blackstone has justly represented as wicked, san. to spare himself the recollection." guinary, and turbulent; but such times have always afforded the most signal instances of heroic courage and ardent affection.

Great reverses, like theirs, lay open the human heart. They occur indeed but seldom ; yet all men BEFORE I conclude, I would say something in are liable to them; all, when they occur to others, favor of the old-fashioned triplet, which I have here make them more or less their own; and, were we ventured to use so often. Dryden seems to have to describe our condition to an inhabitant of some delighted in it, and in many of his most admired Other planet, could we omit what forms so striking poems has used it much oftener than I have done, a circumstance in human life?

as for instance in the Hind and Panther,' and in

Theodore and Honoria, where he introduces it three, Note 23, page 15, col. 2.

four, and even five times in succession. and alone.

If I have erred anywhere in the structure of my In the reign of William the Third, the law was verse from a desire to follow yet earlier and higher altered. A prisoner, prosecuted for high treason, examples, I rely on the forgiveness of those in whose may now make his full defence by counsel. ear the music of our old versification is still sounding.

Note 24, page 15, col. 2.
Like that sweet Saint who sate by Russel's side

1 Pope used to mention this poem as the most correct speciUnder the Judgmeat-soat.

men of Dryden's versification. It was indeed written when he

had completely formed his manner, and may be supposed to Lord Russel. May I have somebody to write, to exhibit, negligence excepted, his deliberate and ultimate scheme assist my memory?

of metre.-Johnson.


An Epistle to a friend.


et pauper agelle,
Me tibi, et hos unâ mecum, et quos semper amavi,


| Point out the green lane rough with fern and flower;

The shelter'd gate that opens to my field, Every reader turns with pleasure to those pas. And the white front through mingling elms reveal'd sages of Horace, and Pope, and Boileau, which de- In vain, alas, a village-friend invites scribe how they lived and where they dwelt; and To simple comforts, and domestic rites, which, being interspersed among their satirical writ. When the gay months of Carnival resume ings, derive a secret and irresistible grace from the Their annual round of glitter and perfume ; contrast, and are admirable examples of what in When London hails thee to its splendid mart, Painting is termed repose.

Its hives of sweets, and cabinets of art; We have admittance to Horace at all hours. We And, lo, majestic as thy manly song, enjoy the company and conversation at his table; and Flows the full tide of human life along. his suppers, like Plato's, “non solum in præsentia, sed Still must my partial pencil love to dwell etiam postero die jucundæ sunt.” But when we look On the home-prospects of my hermit-cell; round as we sit there, we find ourselves in a Sabine The mossy pales that skirt the orchard-green, farm, and not in a Roman villa. His windows have Here hid by shrub-wood, there by glimpses seen; every charm of prospect; but his furniture might have And the brown pathway, that, with careless flow, descended from Cincinnatus; and gems, and pictures, Sinks, and is lost among the trees below. and old marbles, are mentioned by him more than Still must it trace (the flattering tints forgive) once with a seeming indifference.

Each fleeting charm that bids the landscape live. His English Imitator thought and felt, perhaps, more Oft o'er the nead, at pleasing distance, pass (1) correctly on the subject; and embellished his garden Browsing the hedge by fits the pannier'd ass; and grotto with great industry and success. But to The idling shepherd-boy, with rude delight, these alone he solicits our notice. On the ornaments Whistling his dog to mark the pebble's flight; of his house he is silent; and he appears to have re- And in her kerchief blue the cottage-maid, served all the minuter touches of his pencil for the With brimming pitcher from the shadowy glade. library, the chapel, and the banqueting-room of Far to the south a mountain-vale retires, Timon." Le savoir de notre siècle,” says Rousseau, Rich in its groves, and glens, and village-spires : “tend beaucoup plus à détruire qu'à édifier. On cen- Its upland-lawns, and cliffs with foliage hung, sure d'un ton de maitre; pour proposer, il en faut Its wizard-stream, nor nameless nor unsung : prendre un autre."

And through the various year, the various day, (2) It is the design of this Epistle to illustrate the virtue What scenes of glory burst, and melt away! of True Taste; and to show how little she requires to When April-verdure springs in Grosvenor-square, secure, not only the comforts, but even the elegancies And the furr'd Beauty comes to winter there, of life. True Taste is an excellent Economist. She She bids old Nature mar the plan no more ; confines her choice to few objects, and delights in Yet still the seasons circle as before. producing great effects by small means : while False Ah, still as soon the young Aurora plays, Taste is for ever sighing after the new and the rare; Though moons and Mambeaux trail their broadest blaze; and reminds us, in her works, of the Scholar of As soon the sky-lark pours his matin-song, Apelles, who, not being able to paint his Helen Though evening lingers at the mask so long. beautiful, determined to make her fine.

There let her strike with momentary ray,
As tapers shine their little lives away;

There let her practise from herself to steal,

And look the happiness she does not feel; An invitation-The approach to a Villa described—Its The ready smile and bidden blush employ situation-Its few apartments—furnished with casts

At Faro-routs that dazzle to destroy ; from the Antique, etc.

Fan with affected ease the essenced air, -The dining-room—The library-A cold-bath-A winter-walk-A sum

And lisp of fashions with unmeaning stare.

Be thine to meditate a humbler flight, mer-walk-The invitation renewed_Conclusion.

When morning fills the fields with rosy light;

Be thine to blend, nor thine a vulgar aim, WAEN, with a Reaumur's skill, thy curious mind Repose with dignity, with quiet fame. Has class'd the insect-tribes of human kind,

Here no state-chambers in long line unfold, Each with its busy hum, or gilded wing,

Bright with broad mirrors, rough with fretted gold; Its subtle web-work, or its venom'd sting;

Yet modest ornament, with use combined, Let me, to claim a few unvalued hours,

Attracts the eye to exercise the mind.

« PreviousContinue »