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be a gem in the dunghill, it is well to seSonnets.
cure it and set it where its brilliancy may UNLESS strikingly good, immediately for
be seen. More often the rudiments of a gotten. They please us like the scenery of thought are found—the seed that will only a tame country; we look with pleasure upon vegetate in a good soil, and must be warmed a green field, and the light ash that bends by the sun into life and blossom. So in over its hedges, and the grey alders along this Milton has done—he has quickened its clear brook side. But the next copse, grub ideas into butterfly beauty. or the little arch that spans the brook, effaces the faint impression ; and they in their The heroic writers of these countries turn yield to the following picture. But must not be meted by the Epic measure; the woods of the Wye, and the rocks of they are as our Drayton and Daniel in their Avon, even these we long remember, and plans. Writers that never can be popular years will scarcely blunt the recollection of yet ought not to be despised. The analogy the Tagus, and the heights of Lisbon, and indeed of language fails. Ours has been the thousand-fold beauties of Cintra. the slow-growing oak; theirs of so rapid a
growth, that it never has exceeded sapling Kett has well observed the likeness of strength. This is disadvantageous. A little the sonnet to the Greek epigram.
rust would hide the poorness of the medal.
Upon amatory poems a general condem- POETICAL ornaments. These are not nation may be past. It is unfortunate that enough. If the groundwork be bad, they men will write nonsense, as well as talk it, are like the rich colouring of a dauber's picto the women, with whom they amuse them- ture, like the jewels that bedizen a clumsy selves; this is little honourable to the com- church-idol. To lard a good story with mon sense of either sex. Cupid was very prettinesses, were like periwigging and powwell in his day, on a cameo or a bas-relief, dering the Apollo Belvidere—and dressing but his bastard descendants are insufferable the Venus of Florence in a hoop. that figure in a song or sonnet on an upholsterer's shop card, or a hair-dresser's In poetry, as in painting, mediocrity is shop sign at a watering-place.
probably attainable by all. In these coun
tries the poets resemble missal-painters ;Personal sonnets form a large class ;- their colours often rich, their pencilling delords, dukes, kings, queens, and poets have licate; but no knowledge of design or perhad their share. Of these, the most are spective, and often as deformedly incorrect utterly worthless; some only useful as hints in outline as the pictures of the Mexicans. to the literary history of the times—like our There are masons enough, but no architect. old introductory verses — mementos of who They have raised huge edifices, but faced and who associated together-of the names them with a confused mixture of mud and we know.
Devotional poetry usually unsuccessAt the revival of letters, almost every ful, not because the subject is bad, but bepoet was proud of imitating the ancients; cause it has usually been managed by blockthe manner and the matter were new to an heads. unlearned people, and they produced a better taste.
NARRATIVE. Milton. Klopstock. Gess.
ner. Bodmer. G. Fletcher. St. Isidro. The COPYing from obscure writers. If there | Antony-poems. Vida. Sannazarius. Marino. Hymns. Surely no worse a subject than necessary; and it has ever been the plan old Pagan faith.
of priestcraft to keep the people ignorant.
A writer of original genius must wield MYSTICAL. The Orientals. Crasbaw. St. language at his will. The syntax must bend Teresa.
to him. He must sometimes create-who
else are the makers of language ? ALLEGORY. Ph. Fletcher. John Bunyan Much as I shall do, much will remain. the Great. Calderon.
Many a pleasant bye-path remains, into
which chance may lead the future traveller. But Popery has culled the absurdities, Many a store of hidden treasure is to be and magnified them as in a solar microscope. found among the mouldering libraries. The Real Presence, the Immaculate Con- Many a conquest yet to be made from the ception ; without the genius of Quarles, or worms and spiders. I omit no labour ; but even Herbert, they are tenfold more ridi- the traveller of most anxious curiosity wants culous. Ledesma. The Nun of Mexico. a guide. I am not parsimonious; but there
are bounds which independence must not The early poets must not be translated. pass. God has given me abundant talents, Because they are not worth translating. which have not been buried; but from so
Because we have no language wherein to ciety I have not received capital enough to translate them. That of Chaucer is too produce interest. rugged, and almost as difficult. Modern versification would be like an attempt to polish freestone. It would but caricature
[Spanish Bombast.] the grossness of old ideas.
“ Tu auras les conceptions grandes et hautes, et non monstrueuses ny quintes
sencieuses comme sont celles des EspagModern Latin.
nols. Il faudroit a un Apollon pour les At the revival of letters it was fashion- interpreter, encor il y seroit bien empesché able to be a scholar. Latin was more spo- avec tous ses oracles et Trepieds."—Ronken, and more written, than now.
SARD. Pref. to the Franciade, p. 25 the epistolary and colloquial language of the learned. The modern languages were scarcely
[Outcast ] formed. There were
conventional phrases of poetry; no beaten road which
Is our word outcast in any way traceable the imitator might follow.
to Hindostan? The mediocre poets, as in their vernacular works, have such. Have the better
[Gothic Genius.] ones speculated amiss? Would Vida Fracastorius-above all, Flaminius, have been Gothic genius improved every fiction now so generally known, had they written which it adopted. Like torch-light in a in Italian ? Could Erasmus have made cathedral, its strong lights and shades made Dutch readable ?
every thing terrible, and as it were living. Yet among the modern Latinists is no See now the Seven Sleepers. one poet of great and original genius. The " In the weste syde of Germania is a reason is obvious.
people called Scribonius, that hath snowe The Jesuit system had its influence. A all the somer tyme, and eteth rawe flesshe, club composed of all nations conspiring for and ben clothed in ghoot buck skynnes. universal rule. A common language was In theyr countrees whan the nyght is short
men may see all the nyght the sonne bemes. skulles, made of woode or barke of trees, and
very lively made with feathers.”
[St. Peter, the Sailor's Patron.] “ As simily is dilated metaphor, so ma
“And beyng at sea, Cortes willed all his chinery is dilated personification." The
navie, as the use is, to have S. Peter for their Sailor at San Miguels. Milton has not
patrone, warning them alwayes to follow the used machinery—for the supernatural pow.admirall, wherein he went, bycause he carers are the characters of his poems, the ried light for the night season to guide agents themselves, not the wire-workers.
them the way."
[Inventory of Grijalva's Treasure.]
[Long Hair of the Indians.] “In the inventorie of the treasure that
“ ORDINARILY the Indians wear long hair, Grijalva brought from his wars, are
and on their solemne feastes and in wars “A whole harness of furniture for an they use their hair platted and bound about armed man, of gold thinne beaten.
their forheads. “Another whole armour of wood, with “ The heare of their heades platted and leaves of golde, garnished with little black bound aboute their foreheads, like unto
women." “Four pieces of armour of wood, made for the knees, and covered with golden leafe.
[Censering of Cortez.] “The armour wherewith the Indians of
“ Teudilli, according to their usance, did Tabasco defend themselves are targets and his reverence to the captains, burning frank
incense and little strawes touched in bloud | FORBY, in his Vocabulary of East Anglia, of his own bodie. And at Chiauiztlan, the explains it,—“A small fretted place in a garment." It is pure Anglo-Saxon. See “ Bos. i.e. A casque or head-piece. See NARES' WORTII," in v. Wim-wam-wam."
Gloss. in v. and MENAGE sub v. Salade.
J. W. W.
lord toke a little chafyngdishe in his hande and cast into it a certaine gume, whyche savoured in sweete smel much like unto frankincense, and with a sencer he smoked Cortez with the ceremonye they use in theyr salutations to theyr gods and nobilitie.”
Kings' Presents. “ Many skinnes of beast and foule, corried and dressed in their feathers and in haire.
“ Twenty-four targets of gold feathers, and set with pearl, both curious and gallant to behold. Five targets of feathers and silver."
March 3rd, Prospect Place, 1797.
“ The woodde whereof they make their armour and targettes is verye hard and strong, for they use to toast it at the fire."
“ To send a shield and an arrow was the mark of defiance.”—TORQUEM, vol. 1, p. 128.
"The temple and palace courts so polished, that they actually shone like burnished gold or silver in the sun.”—Ibid, p. 251.
[Writers of Comedy.] “ Writers of comedy are very apt to overdo and overstrain, in complacency to the judgment of their audience, of whom the greatest part could not find out the jest, if it was within nature. They must understand delicacy, and the just bounds of wit, to relish natural beauties ; but they can see the jest of a muff as big as a barrel, of a steinkirk' as large as a towel, and if thoughts are stretched in proportion, they will mistake the extravagance for humour, or wit, or both; and the writer acquires the reputation of an excellent poet.” — OLD
Xarifa and Fatima. La mañana de San Juan, Al punto que alborcava, Gran fiesta bazen los Moros Por la Vega de Granada : Rebolvienda sus cavallos Jugando van de las lanças, Ricos pendones en ellas Labrados por sus amadas; Ricas aljubas vestidas De oro y seda labradas; El Moro que amores tiene Alli bien se señalava ; Y el Moro que no los tiene Por tenerlos trabajava. Mirando las damas Moras De las torres del Alhambra, Entre las quales avia Dos de amor muy lastimadas La una llaman Xarifa, La otra Fatima se llama. Solian ser muy amigas Aunque agora no se hablan ; Xarifa llena de celos A Fatima le hablava,
I "A muslin neckcloth carelessly put on, from the manner in which the French officers wore their cravats when they returned from the battle of Steenkirk.”—Grose's Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue, in v.-J. W. W.
Ilay Fatima hermana mia
Now they shunn'd each other's converse,
For they now were friends no more. To her comrade spake Xarifa
Jealous thoughts were in her breastFatima! ah my poor sister,
How art thou by Love possess'd ! “Once your cheeks were fresh and blooming,
Pale and sickly is your browOnce in love-tales you delighted
You of love are silent now. “ Would you therefore see the pastime,
Draw towards this window near, You may see Abindarraez
And his gallant carriage here." Fatima, for she was prudent,
Thus the jealous maid address'd— “ Love-tales I have never heeded,
Nor am I by love possess'd. " If my cheeks have lost their colour,
I have cause enough for pain For the slaughter of my father,
Who by Alabez was slain. " And of this be sure, my sister,
If my heart were turn'd to love, Many cavaliers are yonder,
Who are mine if I approve. “ Gallant as Abindarraez,
He whose merits you allow.”
And they ceased their converse now.
Translation. On the morning of St. Juan,
When the sun was in the east, In the plain before Granada,
Did the Moors begin their feast. Now they spur their stately coursers,
Now their banners they unfold, By their favourite ladies' labours
All adorn'd with silk and gold. He who has obtain'd a mistress
Seeks applause before her eyes, And the youth who is without one
Now to gain a mistress tries. From the towers of the Alhambra
Many a lady saw the sport; Two were there by Love subjected,
Maidens of the Moorish court. Fatima and fair Xarifa,
They were ardent friends before,
La gran Perdida de Alhama. “ Y POR alegrarse un dia, se passeava (el Rey Chico) con otros principales cavalleros por la ciudad, por dar alivio a sus penas, rodeando de sus Zegris y Gomeles ; le vino una triste nueva, como era ganada Alhama
los Christianos. Con loqual embaxada, el Rey Chico ayna perdiera el seso, como aquel que quedava heredero del Reyno. Y tanto dolor sintio, que al mensagero que la nueva le traxo le mando matar, y descavalgando de una mula en que se yva passeando, pidio un cavallo, en el qual subio y muy apriessa se fue al Alhambra,