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Miltons, who begin intellectually old, and still intellectual, end physic cally old, are indeed Methusalems; and may such be our author, their son.
Mr. Keats's versification sometimes reminds us of Milton in his blank ve
se, and sometimes of Chapman both in his blank verse and rhyme ; but his faculties, essentially speaking, though partaking of the unearthly aspirations and abstract yearnings of both these poets, are altogether his own. They are ambitious, but less directly so. They are more social, and in the finer sense of the word, sensual, than either. They are more coloured by the modern philosophy of sympathy and natural justice. Endymion, with all its extraordinary powers, partook of the faults of youth, though the best ones; but the reader of Hyperion and these other stories would never guess that they were written at twenty. The author's versification is now perfected, the exuberances of his imagination restrained, and a calm power, the surest and loftiest of all power, takes place of the impatient workings of the younger god within him. The character of his genius is that of energy and voluptuousness, each able at will to take leave of the other, and possessing, in their union, a high feeling of humanity not common to the best authors who can less combine them. Mr. Keats undoubtedly takes his seat with the oldest and best of our living poets.
We have carried our criticism to much greater length than we intended; but in truth, whatever the critics might think, it is a refresh. ment to us to get upon other people's thoughts, even though the rogues be our contemporaries. Oh! how little do those minds get out of themselves, and what fertile and heaven-breathing prospects do they losa, who think that a man must be confined to the mill-path of his own homestead, merely that he may avoid seeing the abundance of his neighbours! Above all, how little do they know of us eternal, weekly, and semi-weekly writers! We do not mean to say that it is not very pleasant to run upon a smooth road, seeing what we like, and talking what we like; but we do say, that it is pleasanter than all, when we are tired, to hear what we like, and to be lulled with congenial thoughts and higher music, till we are fresh to start again upon our journey. What we would not give to have a better Examiner and a better Indicator than our own twice every week, uttering our own thoughts in a finer manner, and altering the world faster and better than we can alter it! How we should like to read our present number, five times bettered; and to have nothing to do, for years
and years, but to pace the green lanes, forget the tax-gatherer, and vent ourselves now and then in a verse.
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There he arriving round about doth flie,
No. XLV.-WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18th, 1820.
FARINETTA AND FARINONNA;
HOW TO MAKE FIVE PLEASURES OF ONE, AND BE IN FIVE PLACES AT ONCE.,
A FAIRY TALE.
There were once two sisters, who lived near a forest haunted by Fairies. They were both young, handsome, and lively; only it was said that Farinetta was the more liked the more you knew her, while Farinonna seemed to get tired of one friend after another like a toy. If you went to see them, Farinetta would keep the same face towards you all day, and try all she could to make you happy. Farinonna would do as much for a time, and be exceedingly pleasant; but if any thing crossed or tired her, she would exclaim, with a half pottish look,
Well, I've had quite enough of this, haven't you?” It was a look as much as to
say, If you haven't, you're a great fool; and whether you have or not, I shall do something else." Every one accordingly had their Buts for Farinonna. They would say,
" Farinonna is a handsome girl, but Yes, Farinonna is a very handsome girl, but”. People had also their Buts for Farinetta; but then it was only such people as had too many Buts of their own.
This difference in the tempers of the two girls was mainly attributed to Farinetta's acquaintance with the inhabitants of the forest. She was the more thoughtful of the two; and this led her to make herself mistress of the Fairy language, which was the only passport necessary to a complete intimacy with the speakers. Farinonna, who had walked in the forest, yet never seen any Fairies, did not believe in them; and she used to laugh at her sister for thinking that the language taught her to see more in what she read and observed, than herself. Do
that such fine writers as Homer, and Tasso, and Shakspeare, want any other key to their language than their own? Do I not know a gword when I see
it, or a horse, or a man, or å dance? Is it necessary for me, when & gentleman is introduced to my acquaintance, to keep saying out loud the meaning of the word gentleman in Fairian,-gentleman, gentleman, gentleman,-like a great gawky school-girl at her lesson,-in order to have a proper sense of what he is ? Or is it requisite that I”
No, sister,” said Farinetta laughing; “ the power to translate a word into Fairian only gives you a very vivid sense indeed of the beauties of the original.”
“Oh-my compliments pray to the very vivid sense, which appears to me, begging your pardon, sister,—very like mighty fine non
So instead of saying gentleman out loud to the gentleman, I am to keep saying to my very vivid sense Generomildeasibol-What is the horrid long word Generomiideasiboldunsel-Oh--its no use. I can't see, for my part, why it is not quite as good to say
Gentleman at once, and not plague one's head about the matter. Every one knows a gentleman at sight, without any of your vivid senses. Do you think I want any language but my mother's to tell me the meaning of the words “ As I'm a gentleman;' or to help me to a passage in Shake speare or Milton ?"
“ Why now, sister,” said Farinetta, “there was a passage the other day which was quoted from Hesiod, and which you said was unintelligible.”
“ Well, I know," replied the other; “it is unintelligible; and would remain so were it translated into all the languages in Europe."
“ No,” said Farinetta; “ if you could speak Fairian, you would see it has a meaning, and one of the finest in the world."
“Now there, sister,” returned Farinonna colouring, “ you really make me angry. It doesn't follow that because a man's name is lesiod, he could not say a silly thing. Wise men say silly things sometimes, and so might he, for all he was a beardy old Greek. I'm sure he did a foolish thing, when he let his brother cheat him of half his estate; and I cannot see that he proved his wits a bit better, by add, ing that he was contented, because forsooth the half was greater than the whole. The half greater than the whole! Is half this fan greater than the whole ?. Or half this peach? Or half the lawn there? Or half a dinner, my dear; which will be up in a quarter of an hour, and I'm prodigiously hungry.
"Yes," said Farinetta, laughing as good-naturedly as before," half a dinner is greater than the whole, on many occasions. I tell you what pow” (for she saw her sister getting more impatient):" you know the flowers which the Fairy gave me.
“Yes, I do. Chuck half of them away, and see whether the rest will be doubled.
No, sister, that is not the way of doubling in Fairy-land. But since you admired them so yesterday, I intended one half for you, ayd there they are in the window.”
“Well- that's a good, kind, generous sister as ever lived; but hey! presto! why don't the others double.”
“ They do,” said Farinetta. “ I feel a double perfume from them :
wbat is more,
I see a double red in the roses, and a double fairness in the lilies. And
I shall see your lowers when they have gone out of the room.”
" Oh," returned Farinonna, “ I forgot that the knowledge of Fairian was to double one's eyesight, as well as one's knowledge. I suppose it doubles one's presence too?”
“ Why, it might as well, sister," said Farinetta, “ while its about it; and it does accordingly."
“Sister, sister," re-iterated the other, with a reddening gravity, and forgetting her flowers in her impatience ;you know I love you; for the truth is you are very generous, and when you don't take these freaks into your head, very sensible. But the more I love you, the more angry you make me at seeing you let yourself be so imposed upon by this nonsense about Fairies. Do you think one's common senses are to be deceived? Why, upon this principle of a double presence, you ought yourself to be able to be in five or six places at: once, enjoying yourself.”
“My dear sister," said Farinetta with a pleasant earnestness, “ give me a kiss, and don't spoil your beautiful mouth. You see that new gown of mine, worked all over with curious imagery. I say nothing to you but what I will prove,--this very evening, if you please ;-but if-I do certain things, and then put on that Fancy-Dress, I can be in five or six places at once, and enjoy myself in all. I will give away, for instance, half the peaches off my best tree, send them in portions to five or six of your friends and mine, and go the same day and enjoy them with
every one.” Farinonna wept outright at this assertion, partly with impatience, partly at her sister's being so extravagant, and partly from a lurking notion how silly and uninformed she must be herself, if all this were true. After a variety of Pshaws! Nonsenses! and Now Positivelys! the upshot was, that she agreed to let her sister make the experiment, and to write letters to the receivers of the fruit all round, in order to : see what they would say in answer. “ But then," said she, recollecting herself, supposing this impossibility of yours to be possible, we shall not have half the peaches we should have had, to eat for the next fortnight:-that will be very foolish.” “Well, but dear Nonna, for the sake of the experiment, you know."_“ Well, well, for the sake of the experiment"- So half laughing, and half blushing at being so ridiculous, Farinonna helped her sister to put the peaches in green leaves and baskets, and send them off with their several letters. Farinetta then put on her fancy-dress, and saying
Fairies, Fairies, wise and dear,
Send me there and keep me here, sat down very quietly at the window, to the equal amusement of herself and her sister; of the latter for seeing her still remain where she was, and of the former for seeing the amusement of the latter.
Farinetta, though the more thoughtful of the two, had as much or more animal spirit occasionally; and she entertained herself exces
sively in the course of the evening with her sister's extreme watchfuldless over her. The latter, knowing the other's love of truth, and seeing her at once so confident and so merry, began to have a confused and almost fearful notion that there was more in the business than she fancied. "Perhaps," thought she, as the dusk of the evening gathered in, and she recollected the ghost-stories of her childhood," these Fairies are evil spirits who have put a phantom here in '
my sister's shape;" and creeping towards her with as much courage as she could muster, she put forth her trembling hand, and touched her. Farinetta guessed what she was thinking about, and burst into a fit of laughter. This set the other off too, and they both laughed till the room rang again, the one at her sister's fears, and the other at her own.
Farinonna, all that evening, walked about with her sister, sat with her, talked with her, played music with her, sung with her, laughed with her, nay, was silent and looked grave with her; and at last, went to bed with her. She would not suffer her out of her sight.. Tis plain flesh and blood, you goose," said Farinetta, seeing the other look wistfully at her hand, which she jerked against her cheek as she spoke. “ So is this, for that matter," said Farinonna, and was peevishly lifting her own to give her sister a little harder smack, when it suddenly smote herself on the cheek. « My dear sister !” exclaimed the other gravely, and at the same time embracing her,-« Thank you for that. You were angry with yourself for intending me a little bit of a twinge, and so resolved to let it recoil on your own cheek. I hail the omen." “ Hail the omen !" cried her sister, half in alarm, and half angry : “ I did feel a little as you say, but I as- . sure you
I know not by what odd sort of palsy or convulsion I gave myself a blow.” “ Enough!" returned Farinetta, embracing her still more warmly: 66 I see how it is : the Fairies have begun with you : you will know and love them soon.” So saying, she blessed her and went to sleep. Enough! thought Farinonna, rubbing her cheek; but : she kept silent, and shortly after dropped asleep too.
The next morning the answers to the letters were brought to Farinonna all at once. She snatched them from the servant's hand, exclaiming “ Now then! “A good phrase,” said Farinetta,.that same Now then :--you will believe in another presently,--Here there."
It was true enough. The first letter ran as follows:
DEAR FARINONNA,What do you mean by asking whether your sister was with us yesterday? To be sure she was. She joined us during the desert, in her beautiful fancy-dress, and was the merriest among the party. Didn't she tell you ?
L. Y. Letter the second :
Dear FARINONNA,– What has come to you? Your sister told us at the desert yesterday, that she had just parted with you. Her fancydress and her peaches were the admiration of us all. You would have thought we should devour one as we did the other, I am learning Fairian,