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transports through the gloom and thom! At this hour of my sad mathe cares of perfect reason and me- turity, I remember the throb of heart lancholy maturity. Once in a way, with which I used to welcome this in a spring morning, perhaps, a gen- metaphysical stranger; how I chucktleman of soher habits feels himself, led and crowed, as my dazzled eye on the first taste of the air, very un- followed him through the changeful accountably disposed.If he be in figures of his fantastical harlequinthe country, he falls incontinently ade.- What it was, or how it came, to rolling in the grass, or takes to it never occurred to me to inquire; kicking his heels, or tries a short run it was regarded simply as one of the with a jump at the end of it, with delicious accidents of life, sent on other caprices of motion, which have purpose to puzzle and to please. nothing at all to do with getting on, Soon, however, a tender instructor and for which, very likely, he hearti- broke in upon my senseless delight, ly despises himself. He is soon re- and explained to me the cause of the lieved. His habitual feelings, and phenomenon. From that moment numberless little circumstances of his the sprightly meteor danced and gamdaily experience, are at hand to bolled unheeded over my head.quell his romping vivacity at a mo- Who remembers, without regret, the ment's notice. He feels a twinge of extinction of his thrilling belief on the rheumatism, or recollects a bad the subject of that grim couple in bargain, - and we see no more of his Guildhall, Gog and Magog? « And jumps.
do they really come down?” Why For my part, whenever a fit of this ride in a coach, when one is no longer sort of coltishness comes upon me, I convinced that the houses are runnot only indulge in it without remorse, ning away after one another on each but encourage it by all the means side of us? Who cares for Punch in my power. Oh! for the secret when he is nearly certain that he is of commanding such a spirit at all not alive? and what do we go to a times! the noble art of going through play for, after the time when we life with a hop and a skip! How turned to mamma to beg her not grievous it is that we cannot always to let the man stab the lady? And be boys; that we cannot grow from then the Man in the moon not to three feet to six, without an absolute mention the precision with which you change of nature! Lady Mary Wort- absolutely made out his face! Can ley observes, with her usual liveli- we forget that such things were, and ness, “ It is a maxim with me, to be can we forgive ourselves that they young as long as one can. There is
cease to be nothing can pay one for that valuable But if we regret the changes which ignorance which is the companion of time and knowledge produce in the youth; those sanguine, groundless sights and sounds of the physical hopes, and that lively vanity, which world as they affect our young fanmake up all the happiness of life.- cies, how much more may we grieve To my extreme mortification, I find for those which they establish in our myself growing wiser and wiser every moral attributes, our passions, affecday.” “ 'Tis folly to be wise,” is tions, loves, and aversions ! What not a mere conceit. But we can't a cost of honest nature goes to make help it. The most limited experience up a gentleman! Talk of teaching of life is sufficient to dispel the dogs to dance --what is it, compared charming illusions of ignorance.- with the barbarity necessary to make Every day, from the hour of our a man, in the common sense of the birth, takes from us some happy term, polite? There is a politeness, error, never to return. The fugitive the gift of nature; but it has many enchantments of our swaddling clothes awkwardnesses and simplicities of are superseded by the frail wonders feeling, gesture, and carriage, which of short coats; these again we are must be removed or refined before it soon taught to despise; and so, as will pass current in the commerce of we live, we are reasoned or ridiculed genteel life. See the poor biped out of all our jocund mistakes, till turning out his toes in the stocks; the full-grown man sees things as see him under the slow torture of they are, and is just wise enough to elaborating a bow, and then trace be miserable. Ah! a Jack-a-lan- him through all the heart-aches of
his moral drilling, that system of himself and them, because he must disguising, cramping, twisting, and return their visit; goes out when he pinching, by which, inside and out, would rather be within, because his body and soul Lord help us! what horse is at the door; and stays at have we done to deserve all this? home when he is longing to be ac
The school-boy looks forward with broad, because it is only noon, and rapture to the time when, says he, nobody goes out till two. And this “ I shall be my own master.” Idle is being his own master. anticipation! His first essay, per- No pity for simple nature, straighthaps, as a free agent, is in the criti- forward will, and comfortable igno. cal business of love ; his young heart rance. Learn-leari—is the cry burning for the realities of that ten- till we give up all we love, and bear der passion which he has doated on all we hate. While yet untaught in the creations of poetry and ro- and unpractised, how eager are we mance. He is informed, however, to trust all that smile upon us; to that he must not love Miss Brown, give all we can to all that want; to for whom he is really dying, because love and to hate as the heart directs; she is only beautiful and amiable~ to speak what we think, and all we he must learn, nevertheless, he is think; to despise all that is despicatold, to love the ugly Miss Jones, ble; to cherish those that have served because she is rich, with the same us; to love our country for its own sort of respect for his natural predi. sake ; and to love religion for God's lections as was shown when he was sake. But alas ! what sad havoc do formerly taught to swallow rhubarb instruction and fashion make with without making faces, like a man. these native impulses and fresh deHe has a sincere friendship for an old sires. Confidence must learn to look crony of his school days, because he about her ; charity, to listen to reason admires his talents and honours his and to self; love, how to keep a principles ; but he must learn to give house over its head; hate, not to him up, or see him at the risk of make faces; sincerity, to hold its being disinherited, because he is tongue; scorn, to be polite; gratiwickedly of a family opposite to his tude, to forget ; patriotism, to get a father in political interests and opi- place; and religion, to be a bishop. nions. He has a just indignation a- “ Men are but children of a larger gainst a certain patriot who sold his growth,” might be a high compliconscience for a place; but he must ment to human nature-but, unfore learn to treat him with respect, be- tunately, it is not true. If old age cause who knows what may happen. could be regarded only as a condition He is disposed to be on very easy of ripe infancy, it would be full of terms with an agreeable foreigner attraction and endearment; but, who falls in his way; but he must stamped with the impress of the learn to be shy and distant, because world, with all its tricks, its shuffling nobody knows him : while he must wisdom and callous experience, it no go premeditatedly to dine with Mr. more resembles the open soul of Crump, notorious only for his dull- childhood, than a sallow and wrink. ness, because, in fact, he lives at the led skin resembles the smoothness, next door but one, and is an old ac- and softness, and bloom of its smiling quaintance. He plays at whist, which face. Once in a century, indeed, one he abhors, lest Mrs. Screw should be meets a man who may seem to make out of humour; drinks wine, which out the vision of the poet-one who always makes him ill, because he is has borne the shock of conflicting inasked ; goes to bed, when he is not terests and passions, untaught, or at sleepy, because it is eleven o'clock; least unchanged; who has pushed and gets up, when dying for more his way through the crowd of this sleep, because it is time to rise ; sits villainous world, and yet, in every shivering with cold, because it is respect of moral simplicity, still wears June; faints for want of food, bee his bib and tucker and eats with a cause dinner is not ready; or eats spoon. Such a person makes but a without hunger, because it is ready; bad figure “ on Change," and would sees visitors who only annoy him, be out of all decent costume at court. because they call; and then annoys He is much too young for the law, and not quite old enough for the pressing him with the remark,church. It is not impossible that “ Brother, you ought to know better.” you might find him among the cu- But, poor man, he never improved rates; but never think of looking for like all children he was very impahim in a wig. I have known one in- tient of leading strings, and would dividual of this description, and only be running alone though he got one; a joyous baby of threescore, many a bump on the head for his with whom I once went a bird-nests pains. He died, I grieve to say, a ing in company with his grand-chil- martyr to a game at nine-pins. dren. It was in a spring morning, Such characters, according to my early, when the dew still sparkled on observation, are among the rarest in the grass, and all nature was an the motley crowd of mankind. An image of youth and freshness. The “old buck,” and an “old boy,” are grey head of my companion might common phrases; but they apply be considered a little out of season; rather to a system of blood and but his cheerful eye, his lively talk, juices, than to any moral distinctions. and ready laugh, were in perfect A fine “old boy," is one somewhat keeping with the general scene. shrunk, perhaps, in the legs, and a Time had set his mark upon him; little protuberant in the belly, but but, like an old thorn, he blossomed active withal-- who
buckto the last. Age had stiffened his skins—is carnivorous,-no flincher joints, and hardened his sinews; but from the bottle, and can walk up his affections were still full of spring stairs without touching the banisand flexibility. He could not exactly ters. I by no means wish to unplay at leap-frog ; but he could still dervalue the merits of such a perstand and look on with wonderful It is said of him " that he agility. I would not have these con- wears surprisingly well,” as one says sidered as the happiest instances of of a pair of boots; and that, let me his childishness. The simpleton, after tell you, is something. The “old sixty winters, was still warm-heart- boy," however, whom I desiderate, ed and disinterested ; had still faith is quite of another description ; he in the natural kindliness of man; and would answer better, perhaps, to the an immoveable conviction, that to do world's denomination of an old fool; good was to be happy, and to be one whom a knave might cheat, happy, the end of his living. He or a hypocrite over-reach, somewhat was not ignorant of the use and the more easily than they could practise power of money; but somehow or upon other people; and with whom other, it was seldom connected in his they might have gained all their mind with any more dignitied asso- ends, fairly and openly, by trusting ciations than bull's-eyes and sugar- to that benevolence which was as balls; and he never could be brought little able to deny as to suspect. The to admit, by any force of calculation, Vicar of Wakefield, when lie suffered that it was a component part of love himself in his wisdom and expeand friendship. He had many other rience to be cheated out of his horse peculiarities, which he cherished with by the cosmogony man, was cera reference to his own feelings, rather tainly an old fool. His son Moses than the opinion of the world. He had the excuse of youth, and the fahad a shocking habit of laughing at talism of his thunder-and-lightning grave faces, and at all sorts of gra- great coat-but the great Monogavities not founded in sincerity. He mist- what shall we say for him? could look sad, and be sad, at a tale This same Vicar, indeed, is a deliof distress, and had a laugh always cious example, in all respects, of the ripe for a joke, or even the intention kind of old boy so much the object of one; but the artifices of affecta- of my love and respect; and as I tion, mere physiognomical solemnity, have mentioned him, I will leave the or a smile discovering more teeth associations inseparable from his than pleasantry, excited in him no name to perfect and embellish for kind of emotion. His sister, who, me the character that I have been in relation to him, was altogether of aiming to illustrate. R. A. the Antipodes, was perpetually op
DEFENCE OF THE CLAIMS OF PROPERTIUS.
There were a good many choice and has, moreover, a fondness for things in The Reflector, a quarterly crossing his legs in an easy chair by magazine, of which only a few num- the fire, or dangling them over a bers were published. I have, how- river bank, is sure to place himself in ever, a quarrel with the essay “on the predicament of Candide, who for the claims of Propertius.”
his indifference as to how his mutton fortunate poet had exclaimed in his was drest, provided only it was tenfine manner (as I presume to call it,) der, drew on himself the sputtering At mihi, quod vivo detraxerit invida turba, reproaches and fisty-cuff expostula
Post obitum duplici fænore reddet Honos. tions of two factions. This proseOmnia post obitum fingit majora vetustas ; lytizing and damnatory zeal pursues Majus ab exsequiis nomen in ora venit. you from the library to the exhibition
(El. 1—21, b. 3.) room, and erects a court of inquisition What th'envious herd deny me whilst I live, in the pit of the theatre. If your Fame to my ashes shall with interest give; attention is arrested by the strong From human ashes breaks a brighter fame, mental power of Rippingille's pencil, And tongues are loud to lend the dead á
you are ngrily twitched by the el
bow and reminded of Wilkie. If This prophecy has been verified to you venture to admire the gay bold. the letter: but the critic in the Re- faced villainy and supple-smooth hy. flector is extremely angry at this. I pocrisy of Booth's Richard, I would shall take the liberty to contest some not answer for your making your esof his positions.
cape through the lobbies without One reason of a grudging dislike being jostled by the people who towards the poet of Umbria is the choose to see nobody but Kean. And overweening fondness entertained by thus it is in books: if you can bear most classical readers towards his to read the tale of Anningait and contemporary Tibullus. The praise Ajut, you must give up the Vision of Propertius is uniformly construed of Mirza: if you confess a parinto an indirect slur thrown upon tiality to some passages in the Es. Tibullus. We are indignantly re- say on Man, it is quite clear you minded of the pedantry of courting a have no taste for Paradise Lost: if mistress by eternal allusions to the you talk of the dramatic vivacity of fables of mythology; and the Re- Propertius, then you shall never read flector sums up his proofs of the Pro- another line of Tibullus as long as pertian stiffness, and turgidity, and you live.
, hardness, and what not, by an ana- The « head and front of offendthematizing clause, savouring of ing” in Propertius, seems to be that something like the odium theologicum: he writes elegies in a different man“I shall now conclude, wishing no ner from Tibullus. Now this, which other evil to the friends of Proper- some think an unanswerable objectius, than that they may have no re- tion, I consider as a decisive recomlish for the beauties of Tibullus.” mendation. I am tired out with exThis is, to be sure, mightily con- cellence only of one kind. It is inclusive.
deed affirmed that Propertius posBut why, because I recur some- sesses no excellence of any kind; but times to one or two favourite passages this 1 hope to disprove. of Tibullus, must I, to be consist- There is a double absurdity in this ent, absolutely toss Propertius out of objection. It supposes both that the my window? In this land of party, subject of elegy is restricted to an we can never be allowed to like one effusion of tender sentiment, and that person or thing but we must hate the passion which Propertius usually another. A “good hater," as John- describes is precisely similar to that son terms it, seems to be thought sy- felt and described by Tibullus; or nonymous with a good patriot, a good that there is but one character of churchman, a staunch dissenter, a passion, and can be but one way of sound classical scholar; and the man describing it. But the Elegy emwho loves his species and his books, braces as wide a latitude as the Gre
cian Idyll, or the Italian sonnet. It Semper amatorum ponderat illa sinus. bends itself to invective as well as
(Ibid. 12.) eulogy ; to reproach as well as sup- She weighs the merits of her lover's purse : plication. Propertius indulges in strokes of satire, and gives way to has a sarcastic pithiness peculiarly impulses of resentment, much more his own. This brevity of expression frequently than Tibullus. To object is often the vehicle of pregnant rethat his style is less easy and flowing, flection: as in the close of an easy is to censure him for adapting his and natural passage, where he blames language and rhythm to the sen- himself for being the slave of an intiment and to the occasion. The glorious attachment. critic's designation of the verses of Tot jam abiêre dies, cùm me nec cura Propertius as “ frigid,” is as com
theatri, plete a misnomer as ever was ha- Nec tetigit campi ; nec mea Musa juvat: zarded in the spirit of sweeping dog- Ah pudeat, certè pudeat: nisi fortè (quod matical censure. They are often
aiunt) caustic, indignant, acrimonious, phi- Turpis amor surdis auribus esse solet. losophically and morally vitupera
(El. 16, 33, b. 2.) tive; they are not therefore frigid. So many days are gone, and I in vain Let us take an instance or two.
Would haunt the ring, the stage, or pen · How spirited is the following com
the strain ; plaint of his mistress's capricious cu
Where is thy blush ?—but shameful pas.
sion still pidity! (El. 24, 11, b. 2.)
Stoppeth the ears, conjure it as you will. Et modò pavonis caudæ flabella superbæ Et manibus durâ frigus habere pilâ :
Of this concise sententiousness nuEt cupit iratum talos me poscere eburnos, merous single verses might be cited
Quæque nitent Sacrâ vilia dona viâ : from his works, many of which take Ah! peream, si me ista movent dispendia: the shape of apophthegms: such as verùm
Una sit et cuivis femina multa mala. Fallaci dominæ jam pudet esse jocum.
(El. 25, 48, 2.) She'll now a gaudy peacock fan demand, Nullus liber erit, si quis amare volet. Or the hard crystal ball, to cool her hand ;
(El. 23, 24, 2.) For ivory dice with teazing coil entreat, Siqua venit serò, magna ruina venit. And tawdry baubles of th' accursed street;
(El. 25, 28, 2.) Ah! let me die if I regard the cost ; To be a jilt's diversion shames me most.
A single woman is a troop of ills.
Who choose to love, choose never to be In such quotations as I shall have
free. occasion to make, I shall transcribe the Latin text at full, that the ori. Slow comes the ruin, mightier is the fall. ginal may not suffer from any in- This axiomatic condensation of adequacy in the translation.
thought and language is not a mark The taunt which he throws at his of “ contemptible mediocrity.” mistress, in allusion to a prætor who Sudden and unlooked-for turns of had supplanted him in her good feeling, and the transition from a graces,
has a bitterness of irony which tone of seeming acquiescence or comis any thing but frigid.
pliment to passionate accusation, are Quare, si sapis, oblatas ne desere messes,
commonly characteristic of this poet's Et stolidum pleno vellere carpe pecus.
style and manner, and are not easily Deinde, ubi consumto restabit munere pau- reducible under the class of " dula per,
ness :” thus in detailing Cynthia's Dic, alias iterum naviget Illyrias. pleas for leaving Rome.
(El. 16, 7, b. 2.)
Scilicet umbrosis sordet Pompeia columnis Then if you're wise the tempting harvest
Porticus, aulæis nobilis Attalicis : reap;
Et creber platanis pariter surgentibus ordo, Shear to the quick; fleece, fleece the sim
Flumina sopito quæque Marone cadunt; ple sheep;
Et leviter Nyinphis totã crepitantibus urbe, And when the pauper fool stands bare, Quum subito Triton ore recondit aquam. pursue
(El. 32, 11, b. 2.) Your voyage, friend !-the provinces ! Yes-Pompey's shadowy colonnade, inadieu !"
wrought The verse in which he lashes Cyn- With gorgeous tapestries, palls upon thy thia's avarice,