« ForrigeFortsett »
comforts of a cottage; or, at all events, ily careful not to offend the “ wordwith the contented industrious po- catchers who live on syllables." I verty of a hut: with fresh and artless wonder you were not equally attenhome affections: with the sort of tive to the matter-of-fact readers incidents recorded in Bloomfield's ex- (no insignificant body), who expect quisite ballad of Market Night: dates, names, and reasons, in TrusI see him clothed in snow—'tis he!
ler-chronology order. Pray what exDapple was housed: the weary man cuse have you for leaving them all at With joy glanced o'er his children's bed. sea in the critical controversy of the A. You have left out
Batrá — you will excuse my pro
nouncing the word oftener than there Thus spoke the joyful wife, and ran
is absolute occasion? In grateful steams to hide her head :
I. “ I'll not answer that, but say it is What has the smoking of broth and
my humour." turnips to do with poetry?
However, they shall have a sample, if 1. Yet you are too staunch a they wish it. There is Herodotus in classic to find fault with Patroclus his Life of Homer (which, by the cooking and carving for the guests of bye, he did not write), and there are Achilles. In Bloomfield, as well as · Martial, and Statius, and Fulgentius, in Homer, the circumstances belong and Suidas; all which good folks to poetry by right of association.
seriously take it upon trust that A. Bloomfield and Homer! Do Homer burlesqued his own heroes. you remember the Mæonian line Then, as to the reasons, if they be And dirt usurps the empire of his shocs ? worth groping for they may find 1. That comes of Robert's paying
enow of them, and to spare, in too much deference to your principle Barnes and Maittaire; who have sate of poetry. He was afraid of being down to refute, in form and seriatim, vulgar. He disdained his hob-nail all actual or conceivable objections shoes, and got upon stilts. Take a
to the right of authorship being vested similar image as treated by Crabbe :
in Homer. There is, or was, a piece She picks her way
of antique sculpture, where Homer
stands, or stood, with mice about his Slowly and cautious in the clinging clay.
feet. Therefore, he wrote the mice and A. For heaven's sake, let us get frogs : what can be more clear and out of the mire and talk of Homer; conclusive? The reading-desk and though we are at present on boggy owl under Boileau's wigged effigies ground, even with him. What could
are nothing to it. So pronounced possess you to ride cheek by jowl Wetstein and Kuster. But then with Tom Parnell in his jog-trot he comes Schott; and he contends that roic? I dash'd into my subject some- the epic burlesque (or apologue, as thing in this way:
one ingenious gentleman, whose name Ye muses nine, that dwell upon the verdant has given me the slip, chooses to call hill of Helicon,
it) has no necessary relation to the With inspiration fire my soul to sing of mice in the marble ; for that these deeds of glory.
are, in fact, the Zoili, “ the jealous, 1. But in this case, how should I waspish, wrong-head, rhyming (or have fared with the wig-blocks of the reviewing) race” of antiquity, nibgood Queen Anne's school, who de- bling at the writings of which they termine what is rhythm, not by their were envious: and indeed the supear, but by their fingers ? You may porters of the other side of the quesbe as rhythmical, or as lyrical, as tion are, I think, bound to account you please. They will only look at for the absence of Monsieur Frog. your long lines, and it is as much A. Yet though the army of mice, as they can) count them. They will (I wonder if they are the same that discover that you have got sixteen took by storm Bishop Hatto's tower syllables in your first verse, and on the Rhine, as the Lakite Laureate fifteen in your second ; and will talk said or sang ?) though the army of to you, with a supercilious hoist of mice, and the knights of the bulthe eyebrows and a wise simper, rush, do not stand out in alto relievo, about polish and correctness, and they may all the while be lying snug Mister Pope.
in the parchments. Why is Homer A. You seem to have been might to be always seen roaring out heroics
with limestone eye-balls, and a mouth dashing Carian Queen; who set the like the mask of angry Chremes ? fashion of swallowing the ashes of He could shake his sides now and dead husbands, and building mauso then: witness lame Vulcan playing leums, which thus were necessarily the cup-bearer ; bully Thersites; and cenotaphs. The former is a little the milling bestowed by Ulysses on out of date. Henry Stephens acIrus the beggar, in presence of the tually met with an ancient copy of suitors, who seem to have been lads the Batrachomyomachia, intituled the fancy.
ΤΙΓΡΗΤΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΚΑΡΟΣ. . I. I never could see much drollery A. So-you have let the author out in these incidents. Shakspeare has of the bag at last. As you dismiss made Thersites, Ajax, and others, the Frog-and-Mouse-battle with so immeasurably more entertaining than little ceremony, I will lay my life Homer. After all, this is not even you will not be more complaisant to properly comedy; much less parody: the Hymns. Some I am ready to it is history-painting; and I do not give up; but Thucydides and Pauexcept such traditions respecting the sanias quote one or two as Homer's. gods as might appear to take a tinc- I suppose, if you profess to say anyture of humour. The traits of ludi- thing of these, you will say it in crous character came in his way: they good earnest; and not shuffle the belonged to the truth of his person- trouble off your hands, as you did ages; they were recognised as touches when you ran a tilt at me, instead of of legendary portrait-painting; and breaking a spear with clarissimo viro do not seem to have been sought and Barnesio. If you try to get off by singled out by that gust of satirical such shabby shifts here, we will humour which sports itself with such have you shut up in a dark stable, luxuriant activity in the Troilus and à la Morland, with one of your Cressida. But if we admit certain sleepy shaggy colts. descriptions and portraits in the Iliad I. Nay, I mean to be quite partiand Odyssey to be properly comic, the cular and methodical, I assure you. conclusion is a great deal too violent, Let me recommend you and your that the poet either did or could fur- friends to the Abbé Suchay's Dissernish out a work so different in its tations on the Hymns of the Ancients; kind as the heroi-comic. Harles, or Snedorf's De Hymnis veterùm with his usual sagacity, remarks Græcorum; or Ruhnken's Epistola that satire and burlesque are not the Critica in Homeridarum Hymnos. growth of such rude and simple A. I shall scarcely set out to the times as those of Homer, but assort Bibliothèque Royale to search for them. better with a certain refinement of Can't you particularize? I thought institutions, and that fastidiousness you said you would. which is the fruit of the corruption I. Well then—the Scholiast on of manners; such, for instance, as Pindar ascribes to Cinethus of Chios prevailed in Greece after the im- the Hymn to Apollo. This is the one portation of Persian luxury. In quoted as Homer's by Thucydides. short, he boldly pronounces (and But as the latter wrote his history in he has philosophy on his side) that the eighty-ninth Olympiad, and Ciin the rude and simple times of nethus lived only in the sixty-ninth, Homer, no such phenomenon as a it seems scarcely probable that the mock-heroic poem could have had historian should have mistaken a any existence.
poem of so recent an era for Homer's; A. Well, this is a short way of and yet Cinethus might have made getting rid of the question, and free with Homer's name, as Onomapretty effectual. But if Homer did critus did with that of Orpheus. not write it pray who did ?
Pausanias mentions the Hymn to I. Why, Plutarch, at the end of Ceres as Homer's; and quotes a his book On the Malevolence of He- passage from it which is extant in rodotus, tells us that Pigres or Tigres the copy discovered by Mathæi at (the letters are often, you know, Moscow. Ruhnken thinks the author interchanged in the old MSS.) was uncertain (a most safe and politic thought to be the real author. He guess), but places him near Homer's lived about the time of Xerxes: and time. Groddeck argues that the was the brother of Artemisia, the notions contained in it savour of
the philosophical subtleties which ob- citers: and it is likely, that from tained a footing in a later age. Pro- the spirit of emulation, and the clus, in the fragment of the Life of power of habit, they might have Homer, where he enumerates his acquired such a facility of inipoems, makes no mention of any tating the Homerical style as might hymns at all. As to the Hymn to have deceived even sagacious judges, Mercury, the Sophist Apollonius, in and those who lived much nearer his Homeric Lexicon, denied that to those ancient times than ThuApollo was ever called by Homer cydides and Pausanias. We have Letoides (son of Leto, or Latona). an instance of highly spirited imitaYet in this hymn the epithet occurs tion even in a comparatively modern more than once. I leave you to draw poet; I mean Quintus Calaber. But the inference.
Athenæus, b. 1, c. 19, directly hints A. Do you mean to assert that at the idea that one of the HomeHomer composed no hymns what- ride was the author of the hymn to ever? Why hymns are quite as an- Apollo. I know that his name will cient as war-songs.
have weight with you, and here I Pamphus, and Olen, and I don't rest my cause. · know who besides—to say nothing A. I must say it is something reof Orpheus; though perhaps you freshing to rest on so euphonious a think he never existed.
name as Athenæus, after the stone1. I don't think he ever did : and cutting combinations with which you I use Homer's name more as the have lulled my ears for the last distinction of a particular point of quarter of an hour. Schott, Wetantiquity, than of an identical bard, stein, Kuster, Groddeck:- pray, the author of extended poems. But didn't you talk something about a I allow, that there were very ancient “ brazen candlestick ? " I think the hymns called Orphic, and there least you can do is to run off a few might have been Homeric hymns glib verses. I don't care whether also. The question is, are these the you have the fear of Pope before same?
your eyes, or whether you choose to A. Why not?
astonish dunder-head critic 1. We have no evidence that they with the “ numerous verse” of noble are, beyond a vague and conjectural old Chapman ; whom, my easel to a tradition. Internal evidence is against pig-stye, he never heard of. Suppose the position. The style is a trifle you try your hand at one of the more sweet and florid than the style hymns? If you don't choose to call of Homer. We have also very sub- it Homer's, you may call it Homestantial grounds for belief that the rical, or rhapsodical, or Cinæthian, Homeridæ, or Homeric Rhapsodists, or anything you will. What say you did not barely recite Homer's oral to Bacchus or the PIRATES? poems, but forged others. You will 1. Aye, you find the picturesque in remember they were not mere re- it. I will see what can be done.
Daughters of England! where has Nature given
Creatures like you, so delicately form'd ?
With tender thoughts and blushes ever warm'd!
That woman's beauty fail'd to lead astray?
On Beauty's face, and calmly turn away?
Where is the soul that never lost its rest,
From stolen glances on a heaving breast
- Servetur ad imum Qualis ab inceptu processerit, et sibi constet. Many people boast of being mas- incorrigible to proof as need be. I am ters in their own house. I pretend attached to them in consequence of to be master of my own mind. I the pains, the anxiety, and the waste should be sorry to have an ejectment of time they have cost me. In fact, served upon me for any notions I may I should not well know what to do chuse to entertain there. Within that without them at this time of day; little circle I would fain be an abso- nor how to get others to supply their lute monarch. I do not profess the place. I would quarrel with the best spirit of martyrdom; I have no am- friend I have sooner than acknowbition to march to the stake or up to ledge the right of the Bourbons. I a masked battery, in defence of an
seldomer than I hypothesis: I do not court the rack: did, because I cannot agree with him I do not wish to be flayed alive for about the Catalogue Raisonnée. I affirming that two and two make remember once saying to this gentlefour, or any other intricate propo- man, a great while ago, that I did not sition: I am shy of bodily pains and seem to have altered
of penalties, which some are fond of, since I was sixteen years old. “ Why imprisonment, fine, banishment, con- then," said he, “ you are no wiser fiscation of goods : but if I do not now than you were then !” I might prefer the independence of my mind make the same confession, and the to that of my body, I at least prefer same retort would apply still. Cole it to every thing else. I would avoid ridge used to tell me, that this pertithe arm of power, as I would escape nacity was owing to a want of symfrom the fangs of a wild beast: but pathy with others. What he calls symin as to the opinion of the world, I see pathizing with others is their admiring nothing formidable in it. " It is the him, and it must be admitted that eye of childhood that fears a painted he varies his battery pretty often, in devil.” I am not to be brow-beat or order to accommodate himself to this wheedled out of any of my settled sort of mutual understanding. But convictions. Opinion to opinion, I I do not agree in what he says of me. will face any man. Prejudice, fashion, On the other hand, I think that it is the cant of the moment, go for no- my sympathizing beforehand with the thing; and as for the reason of the different views and feelings that may thing, it can only be supposed to rest be entertained on a subject, that prewith me or another, in proportion to vents my retracting my judgment, the pains we have taken to ascertain and flinging myself into the contrary it. Where the pursuit of truth has extreme afterwards. If you proscribe been the habitual study of any man's all opinions opposite to your own, life, the love of truth will be his rul- and impertinently exclude all the eviing passion. “Where the treasure is, dence that does not make for you, it there the heart is also.” Every one stares you in the face with double is most tenacious of that to which he force when it breaks in unexpectedly owes his distinction from others. upon you, or if at any subsequent Kings love power, misers gold, wo- period it happens to suit your intemen flattery, poets reputation—and rest or convenience to listen to objecphilosophers truth, when they can tions which vanity or prejudice had find it. They are right in cherishing hitherto overlooked. But if you are the only privilege they inherit. If aware from the first suggestion of a “ to be wise were to be obstinate,” I subject, either by subtlety of tact or might set up for as great a philoso- close attention, of the full force of pher as the best of them; for some of what others possibly feel and think of my conclusions are as fixed and as it, you are not exposed to the same Vol. IV.
vacillation of opinion. The number story somewhere in Don Quixote, of of grains and scruples, of doubts and two champions coming to a shield difficulties thrown into the scale hung up against a tree with an inwhile the balance is yet undecid- scription written on each side of it. ed, add to the weight and steadi- Each of them maintained, that the ness of the determination. He who words were what was written on the anticipates his opponent's arguments, side next him, and never dreamt, till confirms while he corrects his own the fray was over, that they might be reasonings. When a question has different on the opposite side of the been carefully examined in all its shield. It would have been a little bearings, and a principle is once es more extraordinary if the combatants tablished, it is not liable to be over- had changed sides in the heat of the thrown by any new facts which have scuffle, and stoutly denied that there been arbitrarily and petulantly set were any such words on the opposite aside, nor by every wind of idle doc- side as they had before been bent on trine rushing into the interstices of a sacrificing their lives to prove were hollow speculation, shattering it in the only ones it contained." Yet such pieces, and leaving it a mockery and is the very situation of some of our a bye-word; like those tall, gawky, modern polemics. They have been staring," pyramidal erections which of all sides of the question, and yet are seen scattered over different parts they cannot conceive how an honest of the country, and are called the man can be of any but one—that Follies of different gentlemen! A which they hold at present. It seems man may be confident in maintain- that they are afraid to look their old ing a side, as he has been cautious in opinions in the face, lest they should chusing it. If after making up his be fascinated by them once more. mind strongly in one way, to the best They banish all doubts of their own of his capacity and judgment, he feels sincerity by inveighing against the himself inclined to a very violent re- motives of their antagonists. There vulsion of sentiment, he may general- is no salvation out of the pale of their ly rest assured that the change is in strange inconsistency. They reduce himself and his motives, not in the common sense and probity to the reason of things.
straitest possible limits—the breasts I cannot say that, from my own ex. of themselves and their patrons. perience, I have found that the per- They are like people out at sea on a sons most remarkable for sudden and very narrow plank, who try to push violent changes of principle have every body else off. Is it that they been cast in the softest or most sus- have so little faith in the cause to ceptible mould. All their notions which they have become such staunch have been exclusive, bigoted, and converts, as to suppose that, should intolerant. Their want of consist- they allow a grain of sense to their ency and moderation has been in ex- old allies and new antagonists, they act proportion to their want of can will have more than they? Is it that dour and comprehensiveness of mind. they have so little consciousness of Instead of being the creatures of sym- their own disinterestedness, that they pathy, open to conviction, unwilling feel if they allow a particle of honesto give offence by the smallest differ- ty to those who now differ with them, ence of sentiment, they have (for the they will have more than they? Those most part) been made up of mere an- opinions must needs be of a very fratipathies--a very repulsive sort of gile texture which will not stand the personages—at odds with themselves, shock of the least acknowledged opand with every body else. The position, and which lay claim to reslenderness of their pretensions to spectability by stigmatizing all who philosophical inquiry has been ac do not hold them for “ sots, and companied with the most presump- knaves, and cowards.” There is a tuous dogmatism. They have been want of well-balanced feeling in every persons of that narrowness of view such instance of extravagant versatiand headstrong self-sufficiency of lity; a something crude, unripe, and purpose, that they could see only one harsh, that does not hit a judicious side of a question at a time, and palate, but sets the teeth on edge to whichever they pleased. There is a think of. “ I had rather hear my