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of people who take the ipse dixits of the critics. After giving a fine sense of the irrepressible thirst of writing is a poet, he says,
Yet wish I those whom I for friends have known,
Why should the man, whose wit ne'er had a stajni,
Whose very reading makes verse senseless prose.
Methonght I saw the grave where Laura lay,
And curst th' access of that celestial thief. This is highly imaginative and picturesque. We fancy ourselves in one of the most beautiful places of Italian sepulture, quiet and hush. ing looking upon a tomb of animated sculpture. It is the tomb of the renowned Laura. We feel the spirit of Petrarch present without being visible. The fair forms of Love and Virtue keep affectionate watch orer the marble. All on a sudden, from out the dusk of the chapel door, the Faery Queen is beheld approaching the tomb. The soul of Petrarch is heard weeping;- a most intense imagination, whick affects one like the collected tears and disappointment of living bumanity. Oblivion lays him down on the tomb.;
?! And from thenceforth those Graces were not seem
The other marbles bleed at this: the ghosts of the dead groan;
and the very spirit of Homer is felt to tremble. It is a very grand and high sounet, worthy of the dominant spirit of the writer. One of its beauties however is its defect; if defect it be, and not rather a fine instance of the wilful. Comparisons between great reputations are dangerous, and are apt to be made too much at the expense of one of them, precisely because the author knows he is begging the question. Oblivion has laid him down neither on Laura's hearse nor the Faery Queen's; and Raleigh knew he never would. But he wished to make out a triumphant case for his friend, in the same spirit in which he pushed his sword into a Spanish settlement and carried all before him.
The verses of Andrew Marvell prefixed to Paradise Lost, begiuning
When I beheld the poet, blivid yet bold, are well known to every reader of Milton, and justly admired by all who know what they read. We remember how delighted we were to find who Andrew Marvell was, and that he could be so pleasant and lively as well as grave. Spirited and worthy as this panegyric is, the reader who is not thoroughly acquainted with Marvell's history does not know all their spirit and worth. That true friend and excellent patriot stuck to his old acquaintance, at a period when all canters and time-servers turned their backs upon him, and would have made the very knowledge of him, which they themselves had had the honour of sharing, the ruin of those that put their desertion to the blush. There is a noble burst of indignation on this subject, in one of Marvell's prose works, against one Parker, who succeeded in getting made a bishop. Parker seems to have thought that Marvell would have been afraid of acknowledging his old acquaintance; but so far from resembling the bishop in that or any other particular, he uot only publicly proclaimed and gloried in the friendship of the overshadowed poet, but reminded Master Parker that he had once done the same.
We must be cautious how we go on quoting verses upon this agreeable subject; for they elbow one's prose out at a great rate. They sit in state, with a great vacancy on each side of them, like Henry the 8th in a picture of Ilolbein's. The wits who flourished after the time of the Stuarts were not behind the great poets of the age of Elizabeth in doing justice to their contemporaries. Dryden hailed the appearance of Congreve and Oldham. Congreve's merits were universally acknowledged, except by the critics. We need not refer to the works of Pope, Gay, Steele, Prior, &c. If Swift abused Dryden (who is said 1d have told him he would never be a poet), he also abused in a most unwarrantable and outrageous manner Sir Richard Steele, for whose Tatler he had written. llis abuse was not a thing of literary jealousy, but of some personal or party spite. The union of all thrée was á quintessence of consciousness, reserved for the present times. But Swift's very fondness vented itself, like Bonaparte's, in slaps of the cheek. İle was morbid, and liked to create himself cause for pity or regret. “ The Dean was a strange man." According to Mrs. Pilkington's account, he used to give her a pretty hard thump now and then,
of course to see how amiably she took it. Upon the same principle, hé tells us in the verses on his death that,
Friend Pope will grieve a month, and Gay
A week, and Arbuthnot a day. This was to vex them, and make them prove his words false by complaining of their injustice. He himself once kept a letter unopened for some days, because he was afraid it would contain news of a friend's death. See how he makes his very coarseness and irritability contribute to a pauegyric :
When Pope shall in one couplet fix 33 EU More sense than I can do in six,
I gives me such a jealous fit,
I cry, “ Pox take him and his wit!” We must finish our quotations with a part of some sprightly verses addressed to Garth on his Dispensary by a friend of the name of Codrington. Codrington was one of those happily tempered spirits, who united in high style the characters of the gentleman, the wit, and the man of business. He was in the best sense of the words, " a person of wit and honour about town,"
The courtier's, scholar's, soldier's, eye, tongue, sword. He was born in Barbadoes, where after residing some time in England, and serving with great gallantry as an officer in various parts of the world, he was appointed Governor-General of the Leward Islands. He resigned his government in the course of a few years, and died in the sume place in the midst of his favourite studies. Among the variety of his accomplishments he did not omit
t even divinity, and was accounted a special master of metaphysics. His public life he had devoted to his country; his private he divided among his books and friends. If the verses before us are not so good as those of the old poets, they are as good in their way, are as sincere and cordial, and smack of the champaigne on his table. We like them on many accounts, for we like the panegyrist, and have an old liking for his friend :-we like the taste they express in friendship and in beauty; and we like to fancy that our good-humoured ancestors in Barbadoes enjoyed the Governor's society, and relished their wine with these identical triplets.
TO MY FRIEND THE AUTHOR, DESIRING MY OPINION OF HIS POEM
Ask me not, friend, what I approve or blame;
Literary loves and jealousiš were much the same in the ancient and middle ages as the present; but we hear a great deal more of the lore's than the reverse; because genius survives and ignorance does not. The ancient pbilosphers had a delicate way of honouring their favourites, by inscribing treatises with their names.
It is thought a strange thing in Xenophon that he never once mentions Plato. Thre greater part of the miscellaneous poetry of the Greeks is lost; or we should doubtless see numerous evidences of the intercourse of their authors. The Greek poets of Sicily, Theocritus and Moschus, are very affectionate in recording the merits of their contemporaries. Varius and Gallus, two eminent Roman poets, scarcely survive but in the panegyrics of Horace, Virgil, and Ovid; all of whom were fond of paying their tributes of admiration. Dante does the same to his contemperaries and predecessors. Petrarch and Boccacio publicly honoured, as they privately lored, each other. Tasso, the greatest poet of his time, was also the greatest panegyrist; and so, as might be expeeted, was Ariosto. He has introduced a host of his friends by name, male and female, at the end of his great work, coming down to the shores of poetry to welcome him home after his voyage. There is a pleasant imitation of it by Gay, applied to Pope's conclusion of Homer. Montaigne, who had the most exalted notions of friendship, which he thougnt should have every thing in common, took as much zeal in the literary reputation of his friends, as in every thing else that concerned them. The wits of the time of Henry the Fourth, of Louis the 14th, and of Louis the 15th Malherbe, Racan, Corneille, Moliere, Racine, Chaulieu, La Fare, D'Alembert, Voltaire, &c. not excepting Boileau, where he knew a writer, --all do honour in this respect to the sociality of thtir nation. It is the same, we believe, with the German writers; and if the Spanish winced a little undvr the domination of Lope de Vega, they were chivalrous in giving him perhaps more than his due. Camoens had the admiration of literary friends as poor as himself, if he had iiothing else; but this was something.
F. is informed, in answer 10 his welcome question, that a Title-page and Index to the First Volume of the INDICATOR will appear in the next Number.
We regret that we have mislaid some verses which were sent us from Lincoln's Inn, and which, if they were written by a young man, were of considerable promise. The signature, we think, was S.
We will take into due consideration the remonstrance offered against our types by J. W., who contrives to make his rebukes as pleasant as other men's praises.
Printed and published by JobFpR APPLEYARD, No. 19, Catherine-sfreet, Strand.
Price 2d.-And sold also by A. Glidnon, Importer of Snuffs, No. 31, Tavistockstreet, Covent-garden. Orders received at the above places, wed by all Bouke sellers and Newsmen.
There le arriving round about doth flie,
No. LII. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4th, 1820.
Index making has been held to be the driest as well as lowest spea cies of writing. We shall not dispute the humbleness of it; but since we have had to make an index ourselves, we have discovered that the task need not be so very dry. It is true, our index is made up out of our own work; and as Indicator, we may reasonably be supposed to point out our own good things with no great unwillingness. But we do not so much allude to the one before us, as to others. Had the thought struck us sooner, we might have turned the former inta something really entertaining. As it is, we have been obliged to cut it down to fit in to our number, till it is worth little or nothing any way. But calliog to mind indexes in general, we found them presenting us a variety of pleasant memories and contrasts. We thought of those to Spectator, which we used to look at so often at school, for the s thought of the index to the Pantheon or Fabulous Histories of the Heathen Gods, which we used to look at oftener. We remember how we imagined we should feel some day, if ever our name should appear in the list of Ils; as thus, Home, Howard, Hume, Huniades,
The poets would have been better, but then the names, though more fitting, were not so flattering; as for instance, Halifax, Hammond, Harte, Hughes, . We did not like to come after Hughes.
We have just been looking at the indexes to the Tatler and Spectator, and never were more forcibly struck with the feeling we formerly expressed about a man's being better pleased with other writers than himself. Our index seems the poorest and most second-hand thing in the world after theirs : but let any one read theirs, and then call an index a dry thing if he can. As there is a soul of goodness in things évil, so there is a soul of humour in things dry, and in things dry by profession. Lawyers know this, as well as index-makers, or they would die of sheer thirst and aridity. But as-grapes, ready to burst with wine, issue out of the most stony places, like jolly fellows bringing burgundy out of a cellar; so an Index, like the Tatler's, often gives us a taste of the quintessence of his humour. For instance,