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Protogenes and Apelles.
When poets wrote and painters drew,
As nature pointed out the view;
Ere Gothic forms were known in Greece,
To spoil the well-proportion'd piece;
And in our verse ere monkish rhymes
Had jangled their fantastic chimes;
Ere on the flowery lands of Rhodes,
Those knights had fixed their dull abodes,
Who knew not much to paint or write,
Nor car'd to pray, nor dar'd to fight:
Protogenes, historians note,
Liv'd there, a burgess, scot and lot;
And, as old Pliny's writings show,
Apelles did the same at Co.
Agreed these points of time and place,
Proceed we in the present case.
Piqu'd by Protogenes's fame,
From Co to Rhodes Apelles came,
To see a rival and a friend,
Prepar'd to censure, or commend;
Here to absolve, and there object,
As art with candour might direct.
He sails, he lands, he comes, he rings;
His servants follow with the things:
Appears the governante of th' house,
For such in Greece were much in use:
If young or handsome, yea or no,
Concerns not me or thee to know.
Does Squire Protogenes live here?
Yes, sir, says she, with gracious air
And curtsy low, but just call'd out
By lords peculiarly devout,
Who came on purpose, sir, to borrow
Our Venus for the feast to-morrow,
To grace the church; 'tis Venus' day:
I hope, sir, you intend to stay,
To see our Venus? 'tis the piece
The most renown'd throughout all Greece;
So like th' original, they say:
But I have no great skill that way.
But, sir, at six ('tis now past three),
Dromo must make my master's tea:
At six, sir, if you please to come,
You'll find my master, sir, at home.
Tea, says a critic big with laughter,
Was found some twenty ages after;
Authors, before they write, should read.
'Tis very true; but we'll proceed.
And, sir, at present would you please
To leave your name.-Fair maiden, yes.
Reach me that board. No sooner spoke
But done. With one judicious stroke,
On the plain ground Apelles drew
A circle regularly true:
And will you please, sweetheart, said he,
To show your master this from me?
By it he presently will know
How painters write their names at Co.
He gave the pannel to the maid.
Smiling and curtsying, Sir, she said,
I shall not fail to tell my master:
And, sir, for fear of all disaster,
I'll keep it my own self: safe bind,
Says the old proverb, and safe find.
So, sir, as sure as key or lock-
Your servant, sir-at six o'clock.
Again at six Apelles came, Found the same prating civil dame. Sir, that my master has been here, Will by the board itself appear. If from the perfect line be found He has presum'd to swell the round, Or colours on the draught to lay, "Tis thus (he order'd me to say),
Thus write the painters of this isle; Let those of Co remark the style.
She said, and to his hand restor❜d The rival pledge, the missive board. Upon the happy line were laid Such obvious light and easy shade, The Paris' apple stood confess'd, Or Leda's egg, or Chloe's breast. Apelles view'd the finish'd piece; And live, said he, the arts of Greece! Howe'er Protogenes and I
May in our rival talents vie;
Howe'er our works may have express'd
Who truest drew, or colour'd best,
When he beheld my flowing line,
He found at least I could design:
And from his artful round, I grant,
That he with perfect skill can paint.
The dullest genius cannot fail
To find the moral of my tale;
That the distinguish'd part of men,
With compass, pencil, sword, or pen,
Should in life's visit leave their name
In characters which may proclaim
That they with ardour strove to raise
At once their arts and country's praise;
And in their working, took great care
That all was full, and round, and fair.
[Richard's Theory of the Mind.]
say, whatever you maintain Of Almal in the heart or brain,
The plainest man alive may tell ye,
Her seat of empire is the belly.
From hence she sends out those supplies,
Which make us either stout or wise:
Your stomach makes the fabric roll
Just as the bias rules the bowl.
The great Achilles might employ
The strength design'd to ruin Troy;
He dined on lion's marrow, spread
On toasts of ammunition bread;
But, by his mother sent away
Amongst the Thracian girls to play,
Effeminate he sat and quiet-
Strange product of a cheese-cake diet!
Observe the various operations
Of food and drink in several nations.
Was ever Tartar fierce or cruel
Upon the strength of water-gruel!
But who shall stand his rage or force
If first he rides, then eats his horse?
Sallads, and eggs, and lighter fare,
Tune the Italian spark's guitar;
And, if I take Dan Congreve right,
Pudding and beef make Britons fight.
Tokay and coffee cause this work
Between the German and the Turk;
And both, as they provisions want,
Chicane, avoid, retire, and faint.
Is now no longer what it was,
And you may e'en go sell the case.
So, if unprejudiced you scan
The goings of this clock-work, man,
You find a hundred movements made
By fine devices in his head;
But 'tis the stomach's solid stroke
That tells his being what's o'clock.
If you take off this rhetoric trigger,
He talks no more in trope and figure;
Or clog his mathematic wheel,
His buildings fall, his ship stands still;
Or, lastly, break his politic weight,
His voice no longer rules the state:
Yet, if these finer whims are gone,
Your clock, though plain, will still go on :
But, spoil the organ of digestion,
And you entirely change the question;
Alma's affairs no power can mend;
The jest, alas! is at an end;
Soon ceases all the worldly bustle,
And you consign the corpse to Russel.1
The prose works of Addison constitute the chief source of his fame; but his muse proved the architect of his fortune, and led him first to distinction. From his character, station, and talents, no man of his day exercised a more extensive or beneficial influence on literature. JOSEPH ADDISON, the
son of an English dean, was born at Milston, Wiltshire, in 1672. He distinguished himself at Oxford by his Latin poetry, and appeared first in English verse by an address to Dryden, written in his twenty-second year. It opens thus:
How long, great poet! shall thy sacred lays
Provoke our wonder, and transcend our praise!
Can neither injuries of time or age
Damp thy poetic heat, and quench thy rage?
Not so thy Ovid in his exile wrote;
Grief chill'd his breast, and check'd his rising thought;
1 Probably an undertaker.
Pensive and sad, his drooping muse betrays The Roman genius in its last decays.
The youthful poet's praise of his great master is confined to his translations, works which a modern eulogist would scarcely select as the peculiar glory of Dryden. Addison also contributed an Essay on Virgil's Georgics, prefixed to Dryden's translation. His remarks are brief, but finely and clearly written. At the same time, he translated the fourth Georgie, and it was published in Dryden's Miscellany, issued in 1693, with a warm commendation from the aged poet on the most ingenious Mr Addison of Oxford.' Next year he ventured on a bolder flight-An Account of the Greatest English Poets, addressed to Mr H. S. (supposed to be the famous Dr Sacheverell), April 3, 1694. This Account is a poem of about 150 lines, containing sketches of Chaucer, Spenser, Cowley, Milton, Waller, &c. We subjoin the lines on the author of the Faery Queen, though, if we are to believe Spence, Addison had not then read the poet he ventured to criticise:
Old Spenser next, warm'd with poetic rage,
In ancient tales amus'd a barbarous age;
An age, that yet uncultivate and rude,
Where'er the poet's fancy led, pursued
Through pathless fields, and unfrequented floods,
To dens of dragons and enchanted woods.
But now the mystic tale, that pleas'd of yore,
Can charm an understanding age no more;
The long-spun allegories fulsome grow,
While the dull moral lies too plain below.
We view well-pleased, at distance, all the sights
Of arms and palfreys, battles, fields, and fights,
And damsels in distress, and courteous knights.
But when we look too near, the shades decay,
And all the pleasing landscape fades away.
This subdued and frigid character of Spenser shows that Addison wanted both the fire and the fancy of the poet. His next production is equally tame and commonplace, but the theme was more congenial to his style: it is A Poem to His Majesty, Presented to the Lord Keeper. Lord Somers, then the keeper of the great seal, was gratified by this compliment, and became one of the steadiest patrons of Addison. In 1699, he procured for him a pension of £300 a-year, to enable him to make a tour in Italy. The government patronage was never better bestowed. The poet entered upon his travels, and resided abroad two years, writing from thence a poetical Letter from Italy to Charles Lord Halifax, 1701. This is the most elegant and animated of all his poetical productions. The classic ruins of Rome, the heavenly figures' of Raphael, the river Tiber, and streams immortalised in song,' and all the golden groves and flowery meadows of Italy, seem, as Pope has remarked, to have raised his fancy, and brightened his expressions.' There was also, as Goldsmith observed, a strain of political thinking in the Letter, that was then new to our poetry. He returned to England in 1702. The death of King William deprived him of his pension, and appeared to crush his hopes and expectations; but being afterwards engaged to celebrate in verse the battle of Blenheim, Addison so gratified the lordtreasurer, Godolphin, by his 'gazette in rhyme,' that he was appointed a commissioner of appeals. He was next made under secretary of state, and went to Ireland as secretary to the Marquis of Wharton, lord-lieutenant. The queen also made him keeper of the records of Ireland. Previous to this (in 1707), Addison had brought out his opera of Rosamond, which was not successful on the stage. The story of fair Rosamond would seem well adapted for
[From the Letter from Italy.]
For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise;
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground;1
For here the muse so oft her harp has strung,
That not a mountain rears its head unsung;
Renown'd in verse each shady thicket grows,
And every stream in heavenly numbers flows.
See how the golden groves around me smile,
That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle;
Or when transplanted and preserved with care,
Curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air.
Here kindly warmth their mounting juice ferments
To nobler tastes, and more exalted scents;
Even the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom,
And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume.
Bear me, some god, to Baia's gentle seats,
Or cover me in Umbria's green retreats;
Where western gales eternally reside,
And all the seasons lavish all their pride;
Blossoms, and fruits, and flowers together rise,
And the whole year in gay confusion lies.
How has kind heaven adorn'd the happy land,
And scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand!
But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that heaven and earth impart,
The smiles of nature, and the charms of art,
While proud oppression in her valleys reigns,
And tyranny usurps her happy plains?
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain
The redd'ning orange, and the swelling grain :
Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines,
And in the myrtle's fragrant shade repines:
Starves in the midst of nature's bounty curst,
And in the loaded vineyard dies for thirst.
O liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling plenty leads thy wanton train;
Eas'd of her load, subjection grows more light,
And poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day.
Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores;
How has she oft exhausted all her stores,
How oft in fields of death thy presence sought,
Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought!
On foreign mountains may the sun refine
The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine;
With citron groves adorn a distant soil,
And the fat olive swell with floods of oil:
We envy not the warmer clime, that lies
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies;
Nor at the coarseness of our heaven repine,
Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine:
'Tis liberty that crowns Britannia's isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains smile.
How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
How sure is their defence!
Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help Omnipotence.
In foreign realms, and lands remote, Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
And breathed in tainted air.
1 Malone states that this was the first time the phrase classic ground, since so common, was ever used. It was ridiculed by some contemporaries as very quaint and affected.