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name) for your perusal, which I am afraid will hardly stand that test. Nevertheless I leave you at your full liberty; so here it follows.
O D E.
Awake, in all thy glories drest,
See all her works demand thy aid;
Come then, with Pleasure at thy side,
VIII. M. R. G R A Y TO M R. W. EST.
London, May 8, 1742. I REJoic E to see you putting up your prayers to the May: she cannot choose but come at such a call. It is as light and genteel as herself. You bid me find fault; I am afraid I cannot; however I will try. The first stanza (if what you say to me in it did not make me think it the best) I should call the worst of the five - K
(except the fourth line). The two next are very picturesque, Miltonic, and musical; her bed is so soft and so snug that I long to lie with her. But those two lines, “Great Nature,” are my favourites. The exclamation of the flowers is a little step too far. The last stanza is full as good as the second and third; the last line bold, but I think not too bold. Now as to myself and my translation, pray do not call names. I never saw Broukhusius in my life. It is Scaliger who attempted to range Propertius in order; who was, and still is, in sad condition f * * *. You see, by what I sent you, that I converse as usual, with none but the dead; they are my old friends, and almost make me long to be with them. You will not wonder therefore, that I, who live only in times past, am able to tell you no news of the present. I have finished the Peloponnesian War much to my honour, and a tight conflict it was, I promise you. I have drank and sung with Anacreon for the last fortnight, and am now feeding sheep with Theocritus. Besides, to quit my figure (because it is foolish), I have run over Pliny’s Epistles and Martial ik trapépyov ; not to mention Petrarch, who, by the way, is sometimes very tender and natural. I must needs tell you three lines in Anacreon, where the expression seems to me inimitable. He is describing hair as he would have it painted.
Guess, too, where this is about a dimple.
Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo
f Here some criticism on the Elegy is omitted for a former reason.
IX. M.R. W. EST TO MR. GRAY. Popes, May 11, 1742. You R fragment is in Aulus Gellius; and both it and your Greek delicious. But why are you thus melancholy? I am so sorry for it, that you see I cannot forbear writing again the very first opportunity; though I have little to say except to expostulate with you about it. I find you converse much with the dead, and I do not blame you for that; I converse with them too, though not indeed with the Greek. But I must condemn you for your longing to be with them. What, are there no joys among the living? I could almost cry out with Catullus, “Alphene immemor, atque unanimis false sodalibus !” But to turn an accusation thus upon another, is ungenerous; so I will take my leave of you for the present with a “Vale et vive paulisper cum vivis.” X. M.R. G. R. A.Y TO MR. WEST. London, May 27, 1742. MINE, you are to know, is a white melancholy, or rather leucocholy for the most part; which though it seldom laughs or dances, nor ever amounts to what one calls joy or pleasure, yet is a good easy sort of a state, and ga me laisse que de samuser. The only fault of it is insipidity; which is apt now and then to give a sort of ennui, which makes one form certain little wishes that signify nothing. But there is another sort, black indeed, which I have now and then felt, that has somewhat in it like Tertullian's rule of faith, Credo quia impossibile est; for it believes, nay, is sure of every thing that is unlikely, so it be but frightful; and, on the other hand, excludes and shuts its eyes to the most possible hopes, and every thing that is pleasurable; from this the Lord deliver us! for none but he and sunshiny weather can do it. In hopes of enjoying this kind of weather, I am going into the country for a few weeks, but shall be never the nearer any society; so, if you have any charity, you will continue to write. My life is like Harry the Fourth's supper of hens. “Poulets a la broche, poulets en ragóut, poulets en hächis, poulets en fricasées.” Reading here, reading there; nothing but books with different sauces. Do not let me lose my dessert then ; for though that be reading too, yet it has a very different flavour. The May seems to be come since'your invitation; and I propose to bask in her beams and dress me in her roses.
Et Caput in vernå semper habere rosa.
I shall see Mr. * * and his wife, nay, and his child too, for he has got a boy. Is it not odd to consider one's contemporaries in the grave light of husband and father? There is my Lords " " and * * *, they are statesmen: do notyou remember them dirty boys playing at cricket? As for me, I am never a bit the older, nor the bigger, nor the wiser than I was then: no, not for having been beyond the sea. Pray how are you?
I send you an inscription for a wood joining to a park of mine (it is on the confines of mount Cithoeron, on the left hand as you go to Thebes); you know I am no friend to hunters, and hate to be disturbed by their noise.
• In the twelfth Letter of the first Section, Mr. Gray says of his friend's transation of an Epigram of Posidippus, “Graecam illam épixelay mirifice sapit.” The 'orned reader, I imagine, will readily give this tetrastic the same character.
throw to Syphax, king of the Masaesylians, then an ally of the Romans. Soon after Asdrubal, son of Gisgo the Carthaginian general, gave the beautiful Sophonisba, his daughter, in marriage to the young prince. But this marriage was not consummated on account of Massinissa's being obliged to hasten into Spain, there to command his father's troops, who were auxiliaries of the Carthaginians. Their affairs at this time began to be in a bad condition; and they thought it might be greatly for their interest, if they could bring over Syphax to themselves. This in time they actually effected; and, to strengthen their new alliance, commanded Asdrubal to give his daughter to Syphax. (It is probable their ingratitude to Massinissa arose from the great change of affairs which had happened among the Massylians during his absence; for his father and uncle were dead, and a distant relation of the royal family had usurped the throne.) Sophonisba was accordingly married to Syphax; and Massinissa, enraged at the affront, became a friend to the Romans. They drove the Carthaginians before them out of Spain, and carried the war into Africa, defeated Syphax, and took him prisoner; upon which Cirtha (his capital) opened her gates to Laelius and Massinissa. The rest of the affair, the marriage, and the sending of poison, every body knows. This is partly taken from Livy, and partly from Appian. sophonisBA MAssinissa.