« ForrigeFortsett »
• teors and stars of our own making; and all the
High-street lighted up from one end to ano• ther, with a galaxy of candles. We collected
a largess for the multitude, who tippled elemofynary until they grew exceedingly vocife
There was a pasteboard pontiff, with a little swarthy demon at his elbow, who by his diabolical whispers and insinuations;
tempted his holiness into the fire, and theri • left him to shift for himself. The mobile were very
sarcastic with their clubs, and gave • the old gentleman several thumps upon his
triple head-piecet. Tom Tyler's phiz is some
thing damaged by the fall of a rocket, which • hath almost spoiled the gnomon of his counte
The mirth of the commons grew • so very outrageous, that it found work for
our friend of the quorum, who, by the help • of his amanuensis, took down all their names " and their crimes, with a design to produce his
manuscript at the next quarter-lellions, &c. &c. &c.'
I shall subjoin to the foregoing piece of a letter the following copy of verles translated from an Italian poet, who was the CLEIVELAND of his age, and had multitudes of admirers. The subject is an accident that happened under the reign of Pope Leo, when a fire-work, that had been prepared upon the castle of St. Angelo, began to play before its time, being kindled by a flash of lightning. The author has written a poem in the same kind of style as that I have already ex+ The Pope's Tiara, or triple Mitre.
emplified in profe. Every line in it is a riddle, and the reader must be forced to consider it twice or thrice, before he will know that the Cynic's tenement is a tub, and Bacchus's cast-coat a hogshead, &c.
** 'Twas night, and Heaven, a Cyclops all day,
And Argus now did countless eyes display; • In every window Rome her joy declares, • All bright and studded with terrestrial stars. • A blazing chain of lights her roofs entwines, . And round her neck the mingled lustre shines : • The Cynic's rolling tenement conspires, • With Bacchus his caft-coat to feed the fires.
The pile, still big with undiscover'd shows, • The Tuscan pile did last its freight disclose, " Where the proud tops of Rome's new Ætna rise, • Whence giants sally and invade the skies.
• Whilft now the inultitude expect the time, And their tir'd eyes the lofty mountain climb, • As thousand iron mouths their voices try, • And thunder out a dreadful harmony; • In treble notes the small artillery plays, · The deep mouth'd cannon bellows in the bass, • The lab'ring pile now heaves, and, having given 'Proofs of its travail, sighs in flames to Heaven.
* The following copy of verfes is a translation from the Latin in STRADA's Prolufiones Academicæ, &c. and an imitation originally of the style and manner of Camello Querno, surnamed the Arch-poet. His character and his writings were equally singular; he was poet and buffoon to Leo X, and the common butt of that facetious pontiff and his courtiers. See STRADA “ Prolusiones,” Oxon. 1745, p. 244; and Bayle's “ Dictionary," Art. Leo X.
· The clouds envelop'd Heav'n from human fight, Quench'd ev'ry star, and put out ev'ry light;
Now real thunder grumbles in the skies, . And in disdainful murmurs Rome defies;
Nor doth its answer'd challenge Rome decline; • But, whilst both parties in full concert join, " While heav'n and earth in rival peals resound, " The doleful cracks the hearer's sense confound; • Whether the claps of thunderbolts they hear, • Or else the burst of cannon wounds their ear; " Whether clouds rag'd by struggling metals rent,
Or struggling clouds in Roman metals bent: ' But O, my Muse, the whole adventure tell, ' As ev'ry accident in order fell.
· Tall groves of trees the Hadrian tower surround, , • Fictitious trees with paper garlands crown'd. · These know no spring, but when their bodies sprout • In fire, and shoot their gilded blofioms out;
When blazing leaves appear above their head, ' And into branching ilaines their bodies spread. • Whilft real thunder splits the firmament, "And heav'n's whole roof in one vaft cleft is rent, • The three-fork'd tongue amidst the rapture lolls, " Then drops, and on the airy turrets falls.
The tices now kindle, and the garland burns, - A thousand thunderbolts for one returns : ' Brigades of burning archers upward fly, • Bright spears and thining spearmen mount on high, * Flash in the clouds, and glitter in the sky. • A seven-fold shield of spheres doth heaven defend, . And back again the blunted weapons send; * Unwillingly they fall, and, dropping down, · Pour out their souls, their sulph'rous fouls, and
• With joy, great fir, we view'd this pompous
Thow, " While Heaven, that fat SpecTATOR still till now, • Itself turn'd actor, proud to pleasure you; « And so 'tis fit, when Leo's fires appear,
That Heaven itself should turn an engineer ; • That Heaven itself should all its wonders show, « And orbs above consent with orbs below.
N° 618. Wednesday, November 10, 1714.
Neque enim concludere versum
Hor. 1. Sat. iv. 40.
OU having, in your two last SPECTA
TORS, given the town a couple of re• markable letters in different styles, I take this
opportunity to offer to you some remarks upon • the epistolary way of writing in verse. This • is a species of poetry by itself; and has not to • much as been hinted at in any of the Arts of Poetry, that have ever fallen into
hands : • neither has it in any age, or in any nation, • been so much cultivated, as the other several • kinds of poesy. A man of genius may, if he pleases, write letters in verse upon all manner
• of subjects, that are capable of being embel
lished with wit and language, and may render • them new and agreeable by giving the proper • turn to them. But, in speaking at present of
epistolary poetry, I would be understood to
mean only such writings in this kind as have • been in use among the ancients, and have
been copied from them by some moderns. « These
be reduced into two classes: in the ' one I shall range love-letters, letters of friend• ship, and letters upon mournful occasions: in • the other I shall place such epistles in verse as
may properly be called familiar, critical, and • moral; to which may be added letters of mirth " and humour. Ovid for the first, and Horace • for the latter, are the best originals we have 6 left.
• He, that is ambitious of succeeding in the • Ovidian way, should first examine his heart
well, and feel whether his passions (especially " those of the gentler kind) play easy; lince it ! is not his wit, but the delicacy and tenderness • of his sentiments, that will affect his readers. • His versification likewise should be soft, and all • his numbers flowing and querulous.
• The qualifications requisite for writing epirtles, after the model given us by Horace, are • of a quite different nature. He that would ' excel in this kind must have a good fund of
strong masculine sense : to this there must be joined a thorough knowledge of mankind, together with an insight into the business and
the prevailing humours of the age. 'thor must have his mind well seasoned with