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hedge or a tree, and every object, as satire was never more unmercifully it presents itself, becomes the subject used than in the friendly admonitions of conversation. Horace dwells on no he gives them, from verse 469 to verse one subject long enough to gratify the 485; it is, perhaps, impossible to desire of knowledge; seldom gives a laugh with more bitterness and conrule with such precision as to make tempt than he does at the poor devils its application easy to a novice in the in the seven last verses of this passage. art; goes off every moment from par- In this humour he returns, before he ticulars to universals; from dramatic is aware, to versification ; and now he poetry to poetry in general; and ne- carries it so far with his brethren of glects no opportunity of aiming a side the quill, aš to inform them what an thrust at those who would be poets Iambus is(the young Pisos must invitâ Minervâ. In this manner he have learned that from their preceptor goes on from the 165th to the 287th at home.) Next, with a certain deverse, when he now seems in good gree of indignation at the partiality of earnest to initiate his pupil into the the Romans for their old poets, he resecrets of the dramatic art. He in proaches them with the want of orreality touches, especially from v. 339 ganic acuteness to judge of the harto v. 356, on some points of the great- mony of a verse, and, at the same est moment; but after having intro- time, declares, that their indulgence duced the beautiful sketch of the four to those who could not subinit to the ages of man, he soon hastens away labour of the file was the chief cause from any thing that has the smallest why, in all the departments of poetry, resemblance to a precept in this kind and particularly in the dramatic, they of poetry, to dwell upon the part to remained so far behind their masters, be performed by the chorus, which, the Greeks. Correctness is, in his from the tragedies of Greece, must opinion, the great perfection of the have been sufficiently known to the art; and he conjures, one may say, Romans of the Augustan age. He the young Pisos, by the lustre of now wanders into a kind of historico- their house, (vos 0 P. sanguis,) to let philosophical deduction of the causes nothing pass for a poetical work which why, and the manner in which the has not, by unwearied diligence, been Chorus, by degrees, became that brought to the highest polish, and which Æschylus made it, and how from where beauty is not found without the Chorus of the oldest tragedies, or spot or blemish. It was his opinion goat-songs, satirical plays arose. If that the Romans set too high a value this distinguished poet had really in- on the mental powers, and too little tended to write an Art of Poetry, it on the labours of art; that to a poem, would be altogether inconceivable why which should merit the name, the lathe should dwell longer on such an in- ter were no less necessary than the significant sort of coarse little pieces former; and that what made the than on tragedy and comedy them- Greeks so much excel was, that fire selves. But an author, who has bound or genius in the composition was alhimself to nothing, cannot be called to ways, among them, united to diligence a strict account; and, having in his and perseverance in giving the finishmind a certain ideal how such satires ing hand to their productions. should be written, he falls into a kind In the passage from verse 594 to of reverie, musing how he himself 694, Horace gives excellent precepts, would go to work in this way, and and makes profound reflections upon seems for some moments to forget that the formning of a poet; points out the he was not alone. What he says, on deep and laborious studies through this occasion, of the peculiar language which he must pass; and shows how that he would adopt for this species of much these contribute to the produccomposition, is excellent, and may fur- tion of a work that shall survive its nish a poet of real genius with a great author.. But the whole is thrown tovariety of useful hints. He amuses gether in such confusion, that the ahimself so much and so long with this greeable carelessness of the epistolary idea, that he becomes warmer than style is not a sufficient apology for the we have hitherto found him; his hu- poet, and that one is almost tempteil mour increases, and, with uninter- to believe he introduced this disorder rupted vivacity, he gives the poetas- on purpose to confound the young ters lash after lash. The scourge of Piso by the multiplicity and incoherence of his rules, and, by his manner sus :-From time to time, when he of representing the subject, to make sees him quite crest-fallen, quite disthe difficulty appear so much the mayed at the magnitude and difficulty greater. Such a conjecture gains more of the things required of him, he seem's and more credibility, when we ob- willing to reanimate his courrge; he serve, that, in the midst of all this speaks of the rule of Five Acts (a rule confusion, which would be intolerable as easily followed by a dunce as by in a poem really didactic, there are an Æschylus) as a matter of the utfound, here and there, very visible most importance ; he teaches him how traces of a certain fine maneuvring, to make trimetrical iambics ; he speaks and of the poet's eye being continual- of faults which we must overlook in a ly directed to what he has in view. poet, observing, that, after all, we If, from the beginning, he had shown must not expect any thing like pertoo clearly at what he aimed, he might fection from the weakness of human have been almost certain he would nature ; and, at last, concludes by miss the mark. But our author shows taking him, with great ceremony, aa little more dexterity. He makes an side, and whispering into his ear, with offer, in the friendliest manner, to the the air of saying something of vast young gentleman, who is all on fire to importance, that there was nothing in mount the arduous hill of the Muses, the world more insufferable than meto be his fellow-traveller and guide. diocrity in a poet. He leads him along a path, by the Here it is (from verse 694) that the length and steepness of which the real design of Horace, in composing boldest might have been dishearten- this piece on poetry and poets, begins ed. The youth is now dismayed, he to be perfectly manifest. We have had imagined the way so short and only to read to see his intention. Afpleasant; he had never dreamed of so ter all he had done, to convince his many dangers and difficulties; he be young friend how difficult and hacomes quite fatigued before he is half zardous the road to the temple of the way up; his guide encourages him; Muses was, Piso had still one way left makes him stop a little to take breath; of putting illusion on himself. “ Very brings him, before he is aware, to a well,” might he say, “ you are prospot, from which he shows him, in bably in the right; but it is not my the best possible light, the end of all design, nor is it at all necessary, to be his wishes. They set out again ; but a great master in the art. I make the road becomes always longer and verses for my amusement. Hundreds longer, and, the more they advance, of young fellows like myself have the more difficult. The beautiful written tragedies, comedies, elegies, temple, of which they have, from time and iambics, without wishing or preto time, a distant peep, seems, instead tending to any high rank among poets. of coming nearer, always to retire far- Supposing that my verses are not the ther from them; and the guide, con- most polished in the world, is not gestantly dragging the disheartened nius always more than art? And then youth along, has the ill-nature to talk every one is not so severe a critic as to him of dangers which, without you, Sir. Those friends to whom I more than usual good fortune, it have recited my essays were very well would be impossible for them to es, pleased with them. With my own cape. He speaks of quagmires where eyes I have seen the effect which this they might easily be swallowed up; or that happy passage produced.”. All of dreadful precipices; of steep as- these downy pillows on which our cents that still lay before them; of young gentleman might have wished what had befallen many others who to put his uneasy poetical conscience had attempted what they were now to sleep, our author now softly pulls, attempting. And, when he had set one after another, from under his all this before him, he, at last, abrupt- head. In managing this delicate afly tells him, that it depended on him. fair, there is not a word to be said aself whether he would continue this gainst his good breeding. He even perilous journey all alone, or, which tells the young man that he by no was the safest course, abandon his de- means needs to blush at his love to sign. It is nearly in this manner that the Muses; but, at the same time, Horace treats the young Piso, whom takes from him the possibility of eshe accompanies on his tour of Parnas- caping him by any loop-hole whatever. Not even the smallest occasion. This Horatian way of treating a young al poem is allowed him. He tells him, man who, in spite of Nature, will be that one entertained too high an opi. a poet, is the very best that could be nion of his understanding to believe it taken. Is the desired effect producpossible he should ever condescend to ed, and does he throw away the pen ? make one in the crowd of under-par So much the better. But if, notwithwriters; but, if ever he should re- standing all that has been said to him, solve on producing any thing, he is he still proceeds, it is a sure sign that advised to be on his guard against he was born to be either a poet or a faithless and artful friends, who flock madman.
M. R. about poets of rank and fortune. He is to submit his performance to the severest critics, and to let it lie nine
THE MODERN DECAMERON. years in his desk, that he may have
No. II. full time for blotting, for touching, and retouching, or even for burning,
Nay, an thou'lt mouth, should purifying by fire be at last
I'll rant as well as thou. found necessary. When we consider
Hamlet. how much in earnest Horace is in We were sitting with great selfwarning his young friend against those complacency in the arm-chair mene civil gentlemen, who are ever so ready tioned in a former Number, contemwith their pulchre, bene, recte,-how plating the close of our labours for the strenuously he recommends the most month, and lazily turning over several inexorable criticism,-how he ever re- papers which lay before us, to make a turns, in a new manner, and with new selection of materials for our remainmotives, to the grand point of turning ing pages, when the door again burst the stylus,—we shall be at no great open, and our friends Jannes and loss to see that he thought he had rea- Jambres broke in upon us with the son to question Piso's poetical talents. same want of ceremony which we alSo good a judge as he was does not so ready complained of. We put our anxiously warn where any thing is in hands upon our papers, and were hasta time to be expected. Nor does our ily conveying them out of sight, when poet, in the whole course of the piece, these two learned Egyptians secured so much as once, in a single word, the spoil by main force, before we give us to understand that he expects could deposit it under lock and key. ed any thing from the young Piso. “ What is this?” cried Jannes, with He sees nothing but the danger of a most facetious grin, “ no less than disgrace; and, in order still more five more letters from Holland !"strongly to impress on the young gen- “And what have we got here," retleman's mind the idea of this dis- echoed Jambres, “ more old women's grace, he once more, at the conclusion, stories of the superstitions of Tiviottreats mere pretenders to poetry só dale? My dear Mr Editor, this is roughly, that the young man must quite pitiable. If you go on at this absolutely have belonged to the incu- rate, do you suppose any body will rables if, after reading such a manu- read one word of your Magazine ? duction to the poetic art, he had still Do you not know that it is already retained the smallest inclination to currently reported that your readers pursue so perilous a course.
are reduced to the smallest possible Might this translation, * or para- number, and do you think you are phrase, or humble imitation, be so fulfilling the duty of an Editor if you fortunate as to produce on all those of do not provide such articles as are inour own country who resemble the teresting and amusing to the public?" young Roman the same effect that -"My good friends,” replied we, “as Horace wished to produce on him! to the number of our readers, or the This is the greatest advantage that amusement of the public, we, in truth, can be obtained from the epistle to take very little concern. We have only the Pisos. The author, I repeat it, one rule, which is, to print whatever had obviously nothing else in view. pleases ourselves. We enjoy the im.
mense gratification of a despotic sove• The reader will recollect that the pre. reign, and le Roi le veut is the sole sent article is Wieland's introduction or maxim by which we are guided. If key to his translation of this Epistle. we are deserted by the reading public of the present day, we sit among my. “This is all very fine," said Jannes : riads of delighted readers of genera- “ but, depend upon it, Mr Editor, tions yet unborn, whom we fancy to you are going down hill. It has been ourselves imbibing wisdom and virtue publicly asserted that you have not afrom our immortal pages. The mush- bore one hundred or one hundred and room race at present existing makes fifty readers, and" but a very small figure in our imagi- Ed. Indeed! they might surely nation. Our existence goes back to have left us three hundred, the num“ their fathers, and to the old time ber of patriots that fell with Leonidas before them ;” and we shall continue at Therinopylæ. We tell you again, to exist long after every one of this we do not care whether we are much idle swarm of ephemera has “flutter- read or not; like the old oak in Lued through its little day.”-" I do can, we are, at least, certain of being not quite understand you,” said Jam- universally respected. bres.-"Do you think,” said we, “that the existence of the Scots Magazine Qualis frugifero quercus sublimis in agro depends. like that of other vulgar mo- Exuvias veteres populi sacrataque gestans dern publications, on the matcrials of Dona ducum : nec jam validis radicibus which it is composed, or on the good
will of its readers? Is the first, the "°
Pondere fixa suo est : nudosque per aëra
ramos greatest, and most important of all Effundens, trunco, non frondibus efficit the literary compilations of this an- umbram : cient and learned nation to hang up- At quamvis primo nutet casura sub Euro on such slight cobwebs as these ? Tot circum silvæ firmo se robore tollant, Forbid it every thing that is noble Sola tamen colitur ! and patriotic in the breast of man!
• Do you think it is our duty to de
Jambres. So you admit that you scend to the low paltry employment of are nodding, and that your roots are watching the “ tides in the affairs of not very firmly fixed ? men," and catching every breeze of a
: Ed. These are the only lines that transient popularity? We exist much
do not apply. We sometimes nod, to more in a grand abstract, than in any
be sure, like Homer, but it is solely real and individual nature. But, is
from a little tendency to sleep; and, not the existence of every thing mag
as to our roots, we believe thein to be nificent of the same kind ? What is just as closely interwoven with the the British Constitution itself but a e
no existence of Scotland itself as a sublime general idea ? And what man
man sheep's head or a haggis. There is of sense now-a-days is at all occupied ollconies much more gratitude in human nature
Old friends with the insignificant concern. how than you are aware of. for the Constitution for the time hein, are not speedily forgot, and we shall may happen to be rightly administer
S as soon believe that the Parliament ed or not? If it is true, what we can
House will be levelled to the ground not possibly believe, thât the number (To be sure, the new-facing its venerof our readers is at all diminishing,
able old front looked a little ominous, we shall only say, that it is a wretch
? and held out to us rather an unfortued sign of the times, not certainly any
nate model for imitation) as the Scots
- Magazine. proof that there is a falling-off in our M
Do you remember the literary status. It must be one of the a most fatal symptoms of that revolu- of all versifiers ? tionary radical spirit which has arisen All travellers at first incline to blast the land, and we are sure no Where'er they see the fairest sign, one can have given up our Journal And, if they find the chambers neat, except he is wofully under that des. And like the liquor and the meat, picable delusion. Surely none of our Will call again, and recommend good steady customers who have a
The Angel Inn to every friend.
What though the painting grows decay'd, stake in their country can be so mi.
The house will never lose its trade; serably infatuated. We should as
US Nay, tho' the treacherous tapster Thomas readily suppose, that, in any of the Hangs a new Angel two doors from us. worthy old families of sober citizens As fine as dauber's hands can make it, or country lairds, Donaldson's Adver
In hopes that strangers may mistake it,
In hopes that strangers may m tiser can have been displaced by the We think it both a shame and sin Scotsman.”
To quit the true old Angel Inn !
And this, we are persuaded, is the up- Jambres. Who cares for the Philo. permost feeling in the hearts of our sophy of the Human Mind ? Every generous countrymen. 'If, for a time, body now is convinced that it is mere we may seem to be losing ground by fudge. Can't you give us something the attacks which are made upon us, entertaining ? -to recur again to the simile of the Ed. We don't know what other oak,- the issue, depend upon it, will people may think, but we maintain be
that there never was any thing writi Duris ut ilex tonsa bipennibus
ten more entertaining than the deNigræ feraci frondis * in Algido, scription of the great organ of HaarPer damna, per cædes, ab ipso lem, in our last letter from Holland ; Ducit opes animumque ferro ! and we are ourselves so thoroughly
persuaded of the inimitable excellence so that, in this way, we feel perfectly
of all these letters, that we are quite desecure; and, although we should doze
termined to print every one of them on occasionally through numbers or vo
in due time. There is an infinite deal lumes in as hum-drum a state as we
of Attic wit scattered throughout our please, we have no kind of apprehension
writings, which we cannot exemplify about the result. Wedecidedly standat
at present, but it must have irresista the head of the literature of Scotland.
ibly struck all our readers, and, alWe know very well that all its lite
though it makes no great dash, it tells rary glory depends, in a manner, up
prodigiously in the long run.-But we on our existence. In our pages, we
have said enough in our own praise have no doubt, will be found the
for one bout; would you like now ebauches of every splendid and import
to have a peep into any of our private ant speculation or discovery of which
stores ? There are one or two little our inventive country can boast. We
pieces which we can find time to read do not, indeed, at this moment, re
Ah! here is an original letter of the collect any instance but one. No less
great Franklin. We cannot tell you a person than the eloquent and philo
any thing at all about the subject of sophic Dugald Stewart acknowledges
it-but'there it is. Read it aloud, that some of his speculations on the
friend Jannes. state of the inind in dreaming, though
Junnes. “ Copy of a letter from Dr not borrowed by him from the Scots Franklin
Franklin to Dr Fothergill. Magazine, yet were very singularly anticipated there; but we, moreover, “ Philadelphia, March 14, 1764. boldly affirm, that the first rude ideas « Dear DOCTOR-I received your of Hume's, Smith's, and Kames's spe- favour of the 10th December. It was culations-not to mention Dr Black's a great deal for one to write whose latent heat and Mr Watt's steam-en- time is so little his own. gine-must necessarily be found by a
“ By the way, when do you intend careful search into our mysterious vo- to live? ¿. e. to enjoy life. When lumes. There are only about ninety of will
will you retire to your villa, give yourthem, so that it will be no great labour
self repose, delight yourself in view. for our one hundred and fifty readers to
ing the operations of nature in the verify our assertion. They need not
vegetable creation, assist her in her take so much as a volume a-piece. At
works, get your ingenious friends at this very hour, if we are not greatly
times about you, make them happy mistaken, our correspondent Philo
with your conversation, and enjoy theus is throwing out hints which will give an entire new aspect to the Philosophy of the Human Mind, and, it claim a priority in the statemen
claim a priority in the statement and apthe world is so stupid as not to see
plication of this principle,—but we put this, it is no fault of ours. *
him one home question. Did he ever read
the 21st volume of the Scots Magazine ? * Frondis pro silvæ, per synecdochen. This unexpected query, we know, will come SCRIBL.
like a thunderbolt upon him, but we hope + We would not have Philotheus, how. will not actually be his death. A foot note ever, plume himself too highly on his me- of Mr Stewart, in which his principle has taphysical discoveries. A Mr John Fearn been slightly glanced at, has lain upon him has beat him all to nothing with his grand for five years like a night-inare, and al6 Generic Principle of the Varieties of most suffocated him. Never while he lives Colours.” Mr Fearn is very anxious to let him read another foot note. VOL. VII.