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Apollo no sooner had taken a chair, And
rung for the landlord to order the fare, Than he heard a strange noise, and a knock from without, And scraping and bowing, came in such a rout! There was Reynolds, and Arnold, Hook, Dibdin and Cherry, All grinning as who should say
Shan't we be
Oh, the waiters, I see-ah, it's all very well;
The God fell a laughing to see his mistake, But stopp'd with a sigh for poor Comedy's sake; Then gave mine host orders, who bow'd to the floor, And presented three cards that were brought to the door. Apollo just gave them a glance with his eye “ Spencer,-Rogers --Montgom’ry”—and putting them by, Begg’d the landlord to give his respects to all three, And say he'd be happy to see them to tea.
Your Majesty then,' said the Gaius, don't know
A hem was then heard, consequential and snapping,
ship, of “my lads,” is very classical. Virgil even puts it into the mouth of Augustus
Pascite, ut ante, boves, pueri, submittite tauros. And again, when Anchises would dissuade the shades of Cæsar and Pompey from indulging in those passions which must ultimately tend to the destruction of their country, he addresses them with this friendly appellative
Ne puéri, ve tanta animis assuescite bella. The reader's impatience, if he is a punster, will probably suggest another example :-
Claudite jam rivos, pueri, sat prater. I huve found a fund, the most vulgar of all 'exprsssions in English, becomes an elegance in Greek, when used by Herodotus in that highly argumentative and eloquent speech, which Artabanus ad. dresses to Xerxes on the subject of his intended expedition into Greece. It must almost reconcile us to the language of the Stock Exchange, when we read in the Memorabilia of the elegant Xenophon that he did not make money of those who were desirous of receiving instruction from him, (eds τες εαυτο επιθυμόντας επραττετο xenuata); and many persons, no doubt, who heard of the flood of tears in which it is said the Petronius of his day indulged upon hearing of the levity with which the gods and goddesses of the Pantheon had been treated, drew a classical parallel between him and tlie satirist Lucian, δακρυων τες οφθαλμες υποπλεως-literally crying his eyes full, as he records of himself upon being con. demned to the trade of making gods and goddesses. When the Misses Fellmonger and the Misses Drysalter, of the city, talk of taking the pleasure of a walk to Highgate, it is clear that they must have the λαβων τερψιν χαρμoναν of the Greek dramatist in their eye: and when the same description of ladies exclaim, What a charming thing of jewels! What pretty things of necklaces ! it is evident they are indulging in a Grecism, as the following passage in Aristophanes will demonstrate, though I leave it to men of warmer complexion than myself to translate the passage:
υς δη καλον το χεημα των τιτθιων εχεις. Lysistrata, 52. Though I have hitherto derived my examples chiefly from the lower classes of society, it is far from any wish of mine to insinuate, that the upper orders of life are deficient in exhibiting a taste for classical customs or phraseology. I was much surprised, a few days back, at hearing a lady of rank by an elegayt metonymy call the lowest of our extremities foot-fingers; but looking into a commentator upou Aristophanes, I found the word dextudo.
« Οε σεατ.” *
translated digiti pedum, which solved the mystery presently. I should conceive Mr. Perceval's propensity for the “ good things” of the world, must be partly ascribed to ideas excited by the corresponding bona niegotia in Latin, and avoidai in Greek. Lord Grenville's passion for Greek, may probably be in some measure derived from the delicacy with which that language, in exact con. formity to the English, calls a very prominent part of the body,
Υπο την εδραν αυτην υπηλθε γαργαλυς, says an author whom I have quoted before. My Lord Chatham, I am convinced, must be fond of the classics to distraction, by the very exact manner in which, during his memorable expedition to Walcheren, he exemplified a passage in Ηerodotus, πολλές τε και αγαθες απο Badwy, literally throwing away many brave men.
Our present ministers too (who by the bye call themselves
men in office, merely because it appears from a passage in the Philoctetes of Sophocles, that the higher powers, in ancient days, were spoken of by the title of T8s sv tidst, i. e. the men in office),—the mi. nisters, I say, have evinced a minuteness of deference for classical authority, which is not easily to be paralleled. I allude to their conduct towards Ireland, or Erin.
The name of Erin, as every scholar knows, is derived to Ireland from the Greek word Egruvus;t because, as the author of the Orphic Argonauts assures us, the avenging fury of Absyrtus here made his appearance, and pur. sued the ship Argo all the way home. Now can any thing evince a more decided taste for the classics, than the conduct which ministers have hitherto pursued towards that unfortunate country, and by which they seem resolved that the avenging fury shall be again obliged to resume his old habitation and name. fear is, that this same Fury may be inclined to change his quarters, and visit those, who by a different course of conduct might have pared his nails, and kept him quiet at home. I could not forbear this tribute of applause to Mr. Perceval and his colleagues ; as in all other respects, whatever you, Mr. Reflector, may think to the contrary, their conduct has been merely that of true Englishmen, anxiously attentive to the interests of their country.“ To seduce others, and be corrupt yourself,” says Tacitus," is called life ;''-corrumpere et corrumpi sæculum vocatur : would not any one swear that a late ducal establishment, the pernicious effects of which are still felt, had been formed upon this model ; and when Virgil talks of infelix victus, or sorry food, does not every person see the standard by which a classical and learned Law Officer would regulate the economy of his table, if he could
* Μαθεσιν αυδω κ' και μαθησιν σιγω. Æschylus.
+ The very learned Mr. Faber, who sees the word Noah in every name be meets with, would of course derive this from 778 1773, Noah's Ark.
ever be prevailed upon to give a dinner? It is really curious to observe the exact conformity which prevails in many of our little liabits and customs with those formerly practised by the ancients. I am aware how easily the human mind is warped by a favourite hypothesis ; and therefore it is probable that some of the resem. blauces which I may produce, exist only in my own fancy : as Lord Erskine's imagination identifies every thing with the Trial by Jury, and as Sir Francis Burdett thinks it is expected that he should make a speech whenever the word Corruption is used: But let me ask, is there no association of ideas between a cityö feast and this line in Virgil ?
Implentur vereris Bacchi pinguisque ferinæ. Can any person doubt, that the custom with cooks of throwing flour upon meat when róàsting, is either a tradition handed down from very remote ages, or derived from an attentive perusal of Homer, who certainly in his Odyssey alludes to the practice :
Οπτήσας δ' αμα παντα φερων παρεθηκ’ Οδυσης,
Odyss. B. XIV. 1, 90, Which Mr. Pope tery properly translates
Then on the floor display'd,
With ffour imbrown'd. in the punishments which Virgil allots to the guilty souls in Tartarus, are there not evident allusions to English customs and feelings ? What is the dantem salmonea pænas, as I heard a gentleman of high attainments observe, but an open allusion to our practice of crimping salmon, cod, and other fish? Why is Theseus described as such a very sedentary person; or who would have thought of mentioning perpetual sitting as one of the in. fernal punishments, but a person, who witnessing the restless and anquiet habits of an Englishman, would from thence be led to imagine that a privation of locomotion might constitute the severest of punishments. That Virgil beheld it in this light is evident from this : that after describing this gentleman's sedentary habits, sedet æternumque sedebit; he immediately adds, as if struck with compassion at his pitiable situation, infelix Theseus. I am persuaded, that if a due consideration had been made for this inherent tendency in us to follow the practices of the ancients, a man of respectable family, whose name need not be mentioned, would bare been exposed to less obloquy for undertaking to superintend the masticating and Bibulous operations of a low pugilist: let any person peruse the Odes of Pindar, and see in what light the Wipta or trainer was held formerly, and he will no longer be
surprised surprised that an officer should abandon his professional pursuits for so high and honourable an employment as that of regulating the secretions of a boxer. It must gratify every true scholar to hear, that the science of boxing is extended every day. In what estimation this art was held by the Greeks is evident from the pathetic complaints which Antilochus makes in Homer's Iliad; that his father Nestor (who was undoubtedly a man of fashion in his day, and even one of the old school) could no longer indulge in the amusements of boxing and foot-racing; and from the glee with which the old gentleman recounts his former achievements in those arts. I have alluded to Nestor's rank in society, because I know many people affect to be indignant, that boxing and foot. faces form the principal amusements of many of our present men of fashion. I have already hinted at the perverted view, under which objects are apt to appear to a person who is forming a system : it is with deference, therefore, that I suggest the follow. ing new translation of a passage in that exquisite poem of Mu. sæus, the Loves of Hero' and Leander. The passage which I allude to is that in which the young lady tells her lover,
Παρθενικης επι λεκτρον αμηχανον εσιν ικεσθαι. . Which is commonly rendered, that it is a difficult matter to ascend the bed of a virgin. Now this we know is not so very true in point of fact, as to warrant Hero in making so broad and general an assertion; besides, after the lengths she had gone and the lengths' which she appeared disposed to go with the young gentleman, the expression does not seem applicable to the existing state of things as they then stood between the two parties. A modern fashion with regard to the furniture of a bed-chamber led me to think that a more' true translation of the passage might be given in the following manner :- Ajingayon is a compound of the privitive d; and pingarna ladder. The expression, therefore, meant nothing less than an assignation; and gave Leander to understand, that it was easy to reach a young lady's bed without a ladder, contrasting the couch of an unmarried person with that of a wedded woman, which in general it is very difficult to ascend without that convenience. I candidly confess, that I have not a Musæus at hand to see whether the context bears me out in this idea; and therefore, as I said before, I leave it at the reader's mercy. If I have not already said enough to prove, that from the very close resemblance which our language bears to that of the two learned nations of antiquity, we might very reasonably be justified in claiming for ourselves at least as early an origin as themselves, I will submit two more facts to the reader's consia deration, and then beg of him to say, whether there would be any extravagance in asserting that we have a claim to the title of