« ElőzőTovább »
("7) Page 195. Sophocles lived to be nearly a hundred years old : and to typify the perpetual fame of their “sweet Attic bee,” the Athenians used to decorate his tomb with festoons of flowering ivy.
(18) Page 196. Mr. Catlin, in his interesting work on the North American tribes, vol. i. p. 10, alludes to “the usual mode of the Omahas, of depositing their dead in the crotches, and on the branches of trees, enveloped in skins," &c.
(19) “Hemmed in by hostile foes, the trifler is busied on an epigram.
Page 212. Even in matters temporal, a literal instance of this occurs in the history of Frederick the Great of Prussia, who, during the mortal struggles of the seven years' war, frequently occupied the eve before a battle in the studious composition of profane jests, and bad poetry.
(20) “Nine Homers," foc. Page 218. It is true that seven of these have so perished from memory, that we know nothing of their works; we only know they lived: an eighth, however, he of Hierapolis and one of the poetic Pleiades of the age of Philadelphus, is reported to have written no less than five-and-forty plays.
Musæus, a little lower down, is Virgil's tall prophet in the Elysian fields, mentioned Æn. vi. 667.
“ Musæum ante omnes ; medium nam plurima turba
Hunc habet, atque humeris extantem suspicit altis.”
(2') “Sons of Maltathias,” foc. Page 221. John, Simon, Judas, Eleazar, and Jonathan, who liberated Israel from the domination of the Greeks, about B. c. 160 ; and who were known by the general name of the Maccabees, from the initial Hebrew letters of the first four words from Ex. xv. 11, being inscribed on their standard.
(22) “The word for both is one,” fc. Page 225. πίστις, a derivative from πείθομαι, will almost as readily bear the sense of obedience, as of persuasion, and of credence. I know not whether a similar latent sympathy may be thought to exist between our own old English word “ faith,” and the Norman “ fait,” factum, a deed: at any rate, the coincidence is worth a passing notice.
(23) “Ovid had been wise for winking.” Page 229. The poet Ovid was exiled for life to the shores of the Black Sea for having seen, and indiscreetly divulged, some intrigue in the family of Augustus. He complains frequently o this hard lot ; for example,
“ Inscia quod crimen viderunt lumina plector,
Peccatumque oculos est habuisse meum.”
(24) Page 238. Madame de Staël somewhere uses these words: To enjoy ourselves, we must seek solitude. It was in the Bastile that I first became acquainted with myself.”
Scipio is reported to have originated the popular sayings, “ I am never less idle than when I have most leisure," and "I am never less alone than when alone.”
The Emperor Charles V., with the example of Dioclesian before him, resigned his crown, and retired from the world to the monastery of St. Just, at Plazencia, in Spain: where, as Robertson says, “ he buried in solitude and silence his grandeur and his ambition."
(25) Page 241. It may be necessary to acquaint the reader that this section takes a retrospective glance at my former series of subjects treated in the proverbial style: a brief recapitulation of the present series follows, finishing the work.
A THOUSAND LINES.
My heart presents her gift; in turn, of thee
I ask a little time, an idle hour, Kindly to spend with these my thoughts and me,
Wooing the fragrance of the Muses' bower; Not without name or note, yet nameless now
As one devoid of fame and skill and power,
Bearing no charge upon mine argent shield, A candidate unknown with vizored brow,
Full of young hopes I dare the tented field :Not so :—this is no time for measuring swords ;
Thou art no craven though thy spirit yield, For yonder are fair looks and friendly words:
Choose a more peaceful image:-here, reveald Shines a small sample of my golden hoards.