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elements aud varieties of his nature, like a true poet; and
and his translation has consequently this special mark of all true poetry, translated or original, -that when the circumstances in the story or description alter, it gives us a proper and pervading sense of the alteration The surfaces are not all coloured alike, as in a bad anatopous picture. We have no silken armour, as in Pope's eternal enamel; nor iron silks, as in Chapman (who is perhaps the only other various translator nevertheless) nor an everlasting taste of chips instead of succulence, as in the Ariosto of Harrington.
We repeat, however, that the reader must not expect a perfect version in Fairfax, much less at the outset. Tasso himself, in our opinion, does not well warm you!
into his work till after several books; but set out resolutely with him or his translator, or with both, get past some cold looking places, and scratch through a few of Fairfax*s roughnesses and obscurities, and you come upon a noble territory, full of the romantic and the sweet, of stately and of lovely shapes, of woods, waters, and sunny pleasures, -with drearier
, seclusions apart, and fields of sonorous battle. We do not wonder that Collins was fond of this author and his translator, since Johnson has told us, in that piece of prose music of his, that “ he loved fairies, genij, and monsters,"_that “ he delighted to rove through the meanders of enchantment, to gaze on the magnificence of golden palaces, and to repose by the waterfalls of Elysium." Collins has given Fairfax a high and proud eulogy in his ode on the Popular Superstitions of the Highlands. Speaking of Tasso, he says, Ministrit
ossibil situin Delos visit tes"}!!!! How have I sat, when piped the pensive wind, 2630 160 To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung, 120 PST 01 Prevailing poet! whose undoubting
mind Believed the magic wonders which he And then he goes on in a strain of softness and luxury, that seem irritated from the countryman he is praising. Yet Collins, be it observed, was an accomplished scholar, and quite conversant with the merits of the original, Indeed that was one great cause of his eulogy. Waller, did so, were both great admirers of Fairfax. Waller professed to have
hon ve known Italian, and Drvden who undoubtedly “ derived the harmony of his numbers” from him; and so did Dryden, if a reported speech of his to the Duke of Buckingham is to be taken for graders He gives him high praise at any rate, and joins him with Spenser great masters in our language." But his greatest title to regard on the score of authority comes from Milton, who when he borrowed from Tasso, took care to look at Fairfax also, and to add now and then something from him by the way.
The Editor will be happy to take up both of the subjects mentioned by J. C. He had already intended to write upon the latter; and the other will fall in excellently with the spirit of his little work.
: Orders received by the Newsmen, by the Booksellers, and by the Publisher, Joseph Appleyard.
Printed by Joseph Appleyard, No. 19, Catherine Street, Sırand
No. XXVI.-WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5th, 1820.
DEATHS OF LITTLE CHILDREN.
A GRECIAN philosopher being asked why he wept for the death of his son, since the sorrow was in vain, replied, “I weep on that very account.” And his answer became his wisdom. It is only for sophists to pretend that we, whose eyes contain the fountains of tears, need never give way to them. It would be unwise not to do so on some occasions. Sorrow unlocks them in her balmy moods. The first bursts may be bitter and overwhelming; but the soil, on which they pour, would be worse without them. They refresh the fever of the soul,--the dry misery, which parches the countenance into furrows, and renders us liable to our most terrible 6 flesh-quakes.”
There are sorrows, it is true; so great, that to give them some of the ordinary vents is to run a hazard of being overthrown. These we must rather strengthen ourselves to resist; or bow quietly and drily down in order to let them pass over us, as the traveller does the wind of the desert. But where we feel that tears would relieve us, it is false philosophy to deny ourselves at least that first refreshment; and it is always false consolation to tell people that because they cannot help a thing, they are not to mind it. The true way is, to let them grapple with the unavoidable sorrow, and try to win it into gentleness by a reasonable yielding. There are griefs so gentle in their very nature, that it would be worse than false heroism to refuse them a tear. Of this kind are the death of infants. Particular circumstances may render it more or less advisable to indulge in grief for the loss of a little child; bùt ia general, pareuts should be no more advised to rea press their first tears on such an occasion, than to repress their smiles towards a child surviving, or to indulge in any other sympathy. It is an appeal to the same gentle tenderness; and such appeals are never made in vain. The end of them is an acquittal from the barsher bonds
of afliction, - from the tying down of the spirit to one melanclioly idea.
It is the nature of tears of this kind, however stroogly they may gush forth, to run into quiet waters at last. We cannot vasily, for the whole course of our lives, think with pain of any good and kind
pers son whom we have lost. It is the divine nature of their qualities to conquer pain and death itself; to turn the memory of them into pleasure; to survive with a placid aspect in our imaginations. We are writing at this moment, just opposite a spot which contains the grave of one inexpressibly dear to'us. We see from our window the frees about it, and the church-spire. The green fields lie around. The clouds are travelling over head, alternately taking away the sunshine and restoring it. The vernal winds, piping of the flowery summer-time, are nevertheless calling to mind the far distant and dan. gerous ocean, which the heart that lies in that grave had many reasons to think of. And yet the sight of this spot does not give us pain. So far from it, it is the existence of that grave which doubles escry charm of the spot; which links the pleasures of our childhood and manhood together; which puts a hushing tenderness in the winds, and a patient joy upon the landscape; which seems to unite heaven and eartti, mora tality and immortality, the grass of the tomb and the grass of the green field, and gives a more maternal aspect to the whole kindness of
It does not hinder gaiety itself. Happiness was what its tenant, through all her troubles, would have diffused. To diffuse happiness, and to enjoy it, is not only carrying on her wishes, but realizing her hopes; and gaiety, freed froin its only pollutions, malig. nity and want of sympathy; is but a child playing about the knees of its mother.
The remembered innocence and endearments of a child staud us in. stead of virtues that have died older. Children have not exercised the voluntary offices of friendship ; they have not chosen to he kind and good to us; nor s
stood by us, from conscious will, in the hour of adversity. But they have shared their pleasures and pair:s with us as well as they could : the interchange of good offices betisten us hus, of necessity, been less mingled with the troubles of the world; the sorrow arising from their death is the only one, which we can associate with their memories. These are happy thoughts that cannot alie. Our loss may always render them pensive ; but they will not malways be painful. It is a part of the benignity of Nature, that pain does not survive like pleasure, at any time ; much less where the cause of it is an innocent one. The smile will reuiaiu reflected by memory, as the moon reflects the light upon us, when the suu has gone into hearen.
When writers like ourselves quarrel with earthly pain, (we mean writers of the same intentions, without implying, of course, any thing about abilities, or otherwise) they are misunderstood if they are supa posed to quarrel with pains of every sort. This would be idle and effeminate. They do not prétend indeed, that humanity might not wish, if it could, ko bo entirely free from pain; for it endeavours at alle
THE INDICATOR. Bud! (0)
times to turn juin into pleasure, or at least to set off the one with the other; to make the former a zest, and the latter a refreshment. The most unaffected dignity of suffering does this; and if wise, acknowledges it. The greatest benevolence towards others, the most unselfish relisli of their pleasures, even at its own expense, does but look to encreasing the general stock of happiness, though content, if it could, to have its identity swallowed up in that splendid contemplation.
We are far from meaning that this is to be called selfishness. We are far indeed from thinking so, or of so confounding words. But neither is it to be called pain, when most unselfish; if disinterestedness be truly. understood. Tlie pain that is in it softens into pleasure, as the darlier hue of the rainbow melts into the brighter. Yet even if a harsher lino is to be drawn between the pain and pleasure of the most unselfish mind, (and ill health, for instance, may draw it), we should not quarro! with it, if it contributed to the general mass of comfort, and were of a nature which general kiudliness could not avoid. Made as we are, there are certain pains, without which it would be difficult to conceive certain great and overbalancing pleasures. We may couceive it possible for beings to be made entirely happy; but in our composition, something of pain seems to be a necessary ingredient, in order that the materials in
may turn to as fine account as possible; though our clay, in the course of ages and experience, may be refined more and more.
We may get rid of the worst earth, though not of earth itself.
Now the liability to the loss of children, or rather what renders us sensible of it, the occasional loss itself, seems to be one of these necessary bitters, thrown into the cup of humanity, We do not mean that every body must lose one of his children, in order to enjoy the We allude to the deaths of infants iu general. These might be as few EST; or that every individual loss allicts us in the same proportion.. as we could render them. But if noue at all ever took place, we should regard every little child as a man or woman secured; and it will easily be conceived, what a world of endearing cares and hopes this security would endanger. The very idea of infancy would lose its continuity with us. Girls and boys would be future men and women, not present children. They would hare attained their fuil growth in our imaginations, and might as well have been men and
On the other hand, those who hare lost an infant, are nerer, as it were, without an infant child. They are the only persons, who, in one senist, retain it always; and they furnish their neighbours with the same idea*.
The other children grow up to manhood and womanhood, and suffer all the changes of mortality. This one
wonien at once.
e alone is rendered an immortal child. Death lias arrested it withi liis hindly harshness, and blessed it into an eternal image of youth and inuocélice
*" I sigheid," says old Captain Bolton, “ when I envied you the two bonnie children, but I sigh pot vosy to call citier the monk or the soldier mine own."Mionusliny, Vol. III. p. 351.
Of such as these are the pleasantest shape that visit our fancy and our hopes. They are the ever-smiling emblems of joy; the prettiest pages that wait upon imagination. Lastly, “ of these are the kingdom of heaven." Wherever there is a province of that benevolent and all-accessible empire, whether on earth or elsewhere, such are the gentle spirits that must inhabit it. To such simplicity, or the resemblance of it, must they come. Such must be the ready confidence of their hearts, and creativeness of their fancy. And so ignorant must they be of the “knowledge of good and evil,” losing their discernment of that self-created trouble, by enjoying the garden before them, and not being ashamed of what is kindly and incocent.
ANOMALIES OF SHAPE. THE STORY OF CYLLARUS AND
It is not one of the least instances of the force of habit, to see how poetry and mythology can reconcile us to shapes, or rather combinations of shape, unlike any thing in nature. "The dog-headed deities of the Egyptians were doubtless not so monstrous in their eyes, as in ours. The Centaurs of the Greeks, as we shall see presently, could be imagined possessing beauty enough for a sort of human love-story: and our imaginations find nothing at all monstrous" in the idea of an angel, though it partakes of the nature of the bird. The angel, it is true, is the least departure from humanity. Its wings are not an alteration of the human shape, bat an addition to it. Yet, leaving a more awful wonder out of the question, we should be startled to find pinions growing out of the shoulder-blades of a child; and we should wait with anxiety to see of what nature the pinions were, till we became reconciled to thèm. If they turoed out to be ribbed and webbed like those of the imaginary dragon, conceive the horror. If, on the other hand, they became feathers, and tapered off like those of a gigantic bird, comprising also grace and splendour as well as the power of flight, we can easily fancy ourselves reconciled to them. And yet again, on the other hand, the Flying Women, described in the Adventures of Peter Wilkins, do not shock us, though their wings partake of the ribbed and webbed nature, and not at all of the feathered. We admire Peter's gentle and beautiful bride, notwithstanding the phenomenon of the Graundee, its light whalebone-like intersections, and its power of dropping about her like drapery. It even becomes a matter of pleasant curiosity. We find it not at all in the way. We can readily apprehend the delight he felt at possessing a creature so kind and sensitive; and can sympathize with him in the happiness of that bridal evening, equally removed from prudery and grossness, which he describes with a mixture of sentiment and voluptuousness beyond all the bridals we ever read.