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household. It is still more extraordinary Plutarch relates that Hephæstion and that Hercules should be ignorant of Al- Craterus were fighting a duel, but were ceste's death, at the very time when they separated by Alexander. Quintus Curtius were carrying her to her tomb.

tells us, that two other of Alexander's Tastes must not be disputed, but such officers fought a duel in the presence of scenes as these would, assuredly, not be Alexander, one of them armed at all tolerated at one of our country fairs. points, the other, who was a wrestler,

Brumoy, who has given us the Théâtre supplied only with a staff, and that the des Grecs (Greek Theatre), but has not latter overcame his adversary. Besides, translated Euripides with scrupulous fi- what has duelling to do with Admetus and delity, does all he can to justify the scene his father Pheres reproaching each other of Admetus and his father : the argument by turns with having too great a love for he makes use of is rather singular. life, and with being cowards ?

First, he says, that “there was nothing I shall give only this one instance of offensive to the Greeks in these things the blindness of translators and commenwhich we regard as horrible and indecent; } tators; for if Brumoy, the most impartial therefore it must be allowed that they were of all, has fallen into such errors, what not exactly what we take them to have are we to expect from others ? I would, been; in short, ideas have changed.” To however, ask the Brumoys and the Dathis it may be answered, that the ideas of ciers, if they find much sult in the polished nations on the respect due from language which Euripides puts into the children to their fathers have never mouth of Polyphemus ?—“'I fear not the changed.

thunder of Jupiter ; I know not that JuHe adds, “Who can doubt that in dif- piter is a prouder or a stronger god than ferent ages ideas have changed, relative myself; I care very little about him. If to points of morality of still greater im- he sends down rain, I shut myself up in portance ?” We answer, that there are my cavern; there I eat a roasted cast or scarcely any points of greater importance. some wild animal ; after which, I lie down

A Frenchman," continues he, “is in- all my length, drink off a great potful of sulted; the pretended good sense of the milk, and send forth a certain noise, which French obliges him to run the risk of a { is as good as his thunder.” duel, and to kill or be killed, in order to The schoolmen cannot have very fine recover his honour.” We answer, that it noses, if they are not disgusted with the is not the pretended good sense of the noise which Polyphemus makes when he French alone, but of all the nations of has eaten heartily. Europe without exception. He pro They say that the Athenian pit laughed ceeds

at this pleasantry, and that the Athenians “The world in general cannot be fully { never laughed at anything stupid. So the sensible how ridiculous this maxim will whole populace of Athens had more appear two thousand years hence, nor wit than the court of Louis XIV.! and how it would have been scoffed at in the the populace are not the same every time of Euripides.” This maxim is cruel where! and fatal, but it is not ridiculous ; nor would Nevertheless, Euripides has beauties, it have been in any way scoffed at in the and Sophocles still more; but they have time of Euripides. There were many in- much greater defects. We may venture stances of duels among the Asiatics. In to say, that the fine scenes of Corneille, the very commencement of the first book and the affecting tragedies of Racine, are of the Iliad, we see Achilles half-unsheath- { as much superior to the tragedies of So ing his sword, and ready to fight Aga- { phocles and Euripides, as these two Greeks memnon, had not Minerva taken him by were to Thespis. Racine was quite senthe hair, and made him desist.

sible of his great superiority over Euri

pides, but he praised the Greek poet for rhetorical pleadings, fitter for provincial the sake of humbling Perrault.

schools than for a tragedy. The same Moliére, in his best pieces, is as supe-person will discover weakness and unirior to the pure but cold Terence, and to {formity in some of Racine's characters; the buffoon Aristophanes, as to the merry- } and in others, gallantry and sometimes andrew Dancourt.

even coquetry; he will find declarations Thus there are things in which the mo- } of love breathing more of the idyl and the derns are superior to the ancients; and elegy, than of a great dramatic passion; others, though very few, in which we are and will complain that more than one their inferiors. The whole of the dispute well-written piece has elegance to please, reduces itself to this fact.

but not eloquence to move him. Just so

will he judge of the ancients; not by Certain Comparisons between Celebrated their names—not by the age in which Works.

they lived — but by their works them

selves. Both taste and reason seem to require that we should, in an ancient as well as in this day to come and present to us, by

Suppose Timanthes the painter were at a modern, discriminate between the good and the bad, which are often to be found the side of the paintings in the Palais in contact with each other.

Royal, his picture in four colours of the The warmest admiration must be ex

Sacrifice of Iphigenia, telling us that men cited by that line of Corneille’s, unequalled that it was an admirable artifice to veil the

of judgment in Greece had assured him by any in Homer, in Sophocles, or in face of Agamemnon, lest his grief should Euripides :

appear to equal that of Clytemnestra, and Que vouliez-vous qu'il fit contre trots. Qu'il mourut. the tears of the father dishonour the maWhat could be do against three wea poat.-Die.

jesty of the monarch. He would find And, with equal justice, the line which connoisseurs who would reply—it is a follows will be condemned.

stroke of ingenuity, but not of painting ; The man of taste, while he admires the } a veil on the head of your principal persublime picture, the striking contrasts of} sonage has a frightful effect; your art has character, and strong colouring in the last { failed you. Behold the master-piece of scene of Rodogyne, will perceive how Rubens, who has succeeded in expressmany faults, how many improbabilities, ing, in the countenance of Mary of Mehave prepared the way for this terrible dicis, the pain attendant on child-birthsituation-how much Rodogyne has be- the joy, the smile, the tenderness-not lied her character, and by what crooked with four colours, but with every tint of ways it is necessary to pass to this great { nature. If you wished that Agamemnon and tragical catastrophe.

should partly conceal his face, you should The same equitable judge will not fail have made him hide a portion of it by to do justice to the fine and artful contex- } placing his hands over his eyes and foreture of Racine's tragedies, the only ones, { head; and not with a veil, which is as perhaps, which have been well wrought } disagreeable to the eye, and as unpicturfrom the time of Æschylus down to the esque, as it is contrary to all costume. age of Louis XIV. He will be touched } You should then have shown some fallby that continued elegance, that purity of ing tears which the hero would conceal, language, that truth of character, to be and have expressed in his muscles the found in him alone ; by that grandeur convulsions of a grief which he struggles without bombast, that fidelity to nature to suppress : you should have painted in which never wanders in vain declamations, this attitude majesty and despair. You sophistical disputes, false and far-fetched are a Greek, and Rubens is a Belgian ; images, often expressed in solecisms or but the Belgian bears away the palm.


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On a Passage in Homer. the Highest gave his voice, hailstones and . A Florentine, a man of letters, of clear coals of fire." understanding and cultivated taste, was “ In them hath he set a tabernacle for one day in Lord Chesterfield's library, the sun. Which is as a bridegrooni comtogether with an Oxford professor, and a {ing out of his chamber.” Scotsman, who was boasting of the poem “ Break their teeth in their mouth, O of Fingal, composed, said he, in the God; break the great teeth of the young Gaëlic tongue, which is still partly that of } lions, O Lord. Let them pass away, as Lower Brittany. “Ah!" exclaimed he, waters that run continually : when he “how fine is antiquity !" the poem of bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let Fingal has passed from mouth to mouth { them be as cut in pieces. As a snail for nearly two thousand years, down to } which melteth, let every one of them pass us, without any alteration. Such power away ; like the untimely birth of a wohas real beauty over the minds of men ! } man, that they may not see the sun. BeHe then read to the company the com- } fore your pots can feel the thorns, he shall mencement of Fingal :

take them away as in a whirlwind, both “Cuthullin sat by Tara's wall : by the living, and in his wrath.”. tree of the rustling sound. His spear “ They return at evening ; they make leaned against a rock. His shield lay on a noise like a dog. But thou, O Lord, the grass, by his side. Amid his thoughts shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all of mighty Carbar, a hero slain by the the heathen derision. Consume them in chief in war, the scout of ocean comes, wrath ; consume them that they may not Morau, the son of Fithil !

Arise," says the youth,“ Cuthullin, The hill of God is as the hill of Baarise! I see the ships of the north! many, shan, a high hill as the hill of Bashan. chief of men, are the foe; many the heroes Why leap ye, ye high hills? The Lord of the sea-born Swaran !”. “ Moran," said, I will bring again from Bashan I replied the blue-eyed chief, “thou ever will bring up my people again from the tremblest, son of F'ithil ! thy fears have depths of the sea : That thy feet may be increased the foe. It is Fingal, king of } dipped in the blood of thine enemies, desarts, with aid to green Erin of streams.

.” and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.” “I beheld their chief,” says Moran, “ tall “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill as a glittering rock. His spear is a blasted it.” I ine. His shield the rising moon! He “O my God, make them like a wheel; sat on the shore, like a cloud of mist on as the stubble before the wind. As the the silent hill !" &c.

fire burneth the wood, and as the flame “ That,” said the Oxford professor, “is setteth the mountains on fire; so persethe true style of Homer ; but what pleases cute them with thy tempest, and make me still more is, that I find in it the sub- } them afraid with thy storm.” lime eloquence of the Hebrews. I could “He shall judge among the heathen ; fancy myself to be reading passages such he shall fill the places with dead bodies; as these from those fine canticles

he shall wound the heads over many “ Thou shalt break them with a rod of countries." iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like “ Happy shall he be that taketh and a potter's vessel.”

dasheth thy little ones against the stones," w Thou hast broken the teeth of the } &c. &c. &c.

The Florentine, having listened with «« Then the earth shook and trembled ; į great attention to the verses of the cantithe foundation also of the hills moved and cles recited by the doctor, as well as to were shaken, because he was wroth. The the first lines of Fingal bellowed forth by Lord also thundered in the heavens; and the Scotsman, confessed that he was not

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- greatly moved by all these Fastern figures, tal charger before which the proudest and that he liked the noble simplicity of coursers of Limousin flee, as the bleating Virgil's style much better.

sheep and the tender lambs crowd into At these words the Scotsman turned the fold at the sight of a terrible wolf pale with wrath, the Oxonian shrugged issuing from the forest with fiery eyes, his shoulders with pity, but Lord Ches- with hair erect, and foaming mouth, terfield encouraged the Florentine by a theatening the flock and the shepherd with smile of approbation.

the fury of his murderous jaws. The Florentine becoming warm, and • Martin, the famed protector of them finding himself supported, said to them, who dwell in fruitful Touraine, Genevieve, “ Gentlemen, nothing is more easy than the mild divinity of them who drink the to do violence to nature; nothing more waters of the Seine and the Marne, Dedifficult than to imitate her. I know nis, who bore his head under his arm in something of those whom we in Italy call the sight of man and of immortals, tremimprovisatori ; and I could speak in this bled as they saw George proudly traversOriental style for eight hours together, }ing the vast fields of air. On his head without the least effort; for it requires was a golden helmet, glittering with dianone to be bombastic in negligent verse, monds that once paved the squares of overloaded with epithets almost continu- the heavenly Jerusalem, when it appeared ally repeated, to heap combat upon com- to mortals during forty diurnal revolubat, and to describe chimeras."

tions of the great Luminary and his in“What !” said the Professor, you constant sister, who with her mild ramake an epic poem impromptu !" “ No: } diance enlightens the darkness of night. a rational epic poem in correct verse, like “In his hand is the terrible and saVirgil," replied the Italian, “ but a poem cred lance with which, in the first days of in which I would abandon myself to the the world, the demi-god Michael, who current of my ideas, and not take the trou- executes the vengeance of the Most High, ble to arrange them."

overthrew the eternal enemy of the world “I defy you to do it,” said the Scots- } and the Creator. The most beautiful of man and the Oxford graduate at once. the plumage of the angels that stand “Well," returned the Florentine, “ give about the throne, plucked from their imme a subject.” Lord Chesterfield gave mortal backs, waved over his casque; him as a subject the Black Prince, the and around it hovered Terror, destroying conqueror of Poictiers, granting peace | War, unpitying Revenge, and Death the after the victory.

terminator of man's calamities. He came The Italian collected himself, and thus like a comet in its rapid course, darting began—

through the orbits of the wondering pla“ Muse of Albion, Genius that presid- nets, and leaving far behind its rays, pale est over heroes, come sing with me—not } and terrible, announcing to weak mortals the idle rage of men implacable alike to the fall of kings and nations. friends and foes—not the deeds of heroes “ He alighted on the banks of the Chawhom the Gods have favoured in turn, rente, and the sound of his immortal without any reason for so favouring them arms was echoed from the spheres of Ju-not the siege of a town which is not piter and Saturn. Two strides brough: taken—not the extravagant exploits of the } him to the spot where the son of the magfabulous Fingal, but the real victories of nanimous Edward waited for the son of a hero modest as brave, who led kings the intrepid de Valois," &c. captive, and respected his vanquished The Florentine continued in this strain enemies.

for more than a quarter of an hour. The “George, the Mars of England, had words fell from his lips, as Homer says, descended from on high, on that immor- more thickly and abundantly than the snows descend in winter : but his words < ships ; he seeks Neptune, finds him, conwere not cold; they were rather like the jures him to give the victory to the rapid sparks escaping froin the furnace, Greeks, and returns with a rapid fight to when the Cyclops forge the bolts of Jove Lemnos. I know of nothing so nimble on resounding anvil.

as this God of Sleep. His two antagonists were at last obliged “In short, if in an epic poem there to silence him, by acknowledging that it must be amorous matters, I own that I was easier than they had thought it was to į incomparably prefer the assignations of string together gigantic images, and call in Alcina with Rogero, and of Armida with the aid of heaven, earth, and hell; but Rinaldo. they maintained that to unite the tender “ Come, my dear Florentine, read me and moving with the sublime, was the those two admirable cantos of Ariosto and perfection of the art.

Tasso." “For example," said the Oxonian, The Florentine readily obeyed, and his " can anything be more moral, and at the lordship was enchanted ; during which same time more voluptuous, than to see time the Scotsman re-perused Fingal, the Jupiter reposing with his wife on Mount Oxford professor re-perused Homer ; and Ida ?"

every one was content. His lordship then spoke — “Gentle- It was at last agreed, that happy is he men," said he, “ I ask your pardon for who is sensible to the merits of the Anmeddling in the dispute. Perhaps to the cients and the Moderns, appreciates their Greeks there was something very inter- { beauties, knows their faults, and pardons esting in a God's lying with his wife upon them. a mountain ; for my own part, I see nothing in it very refined or very attractive.

ANECDOTES. I will agree with you that the handker- Ir Suetonius could be confronted with chief, which commentators and imitators the valets-de-chambre of the twelve have been pleased to call the girdle of Cæsars, think you that they would in Venus, is a charming figure; but I never every instance corroborate his testimony ? understood that it was a soporific, nor And in case of dispute, who would not how Juno could receive the caresses of back the valets-de-chambre against the the Master of the Gods for the purpose of historian? putting him to sleep. A queer God, lu our own times, how many books are truly, to fall asleep so soon! I can founded on nothing more than the talk of swear that, when I was young, I was not the town !-just as the science of physics so drowsy. It may, for aught I know, was founded on chimeras which have been be noble, pleasing, interesting, witty, and repeated from age to age to the present decorous, to make Juno say to Jupiter, { time. . If you are determined to embrace me, Those who take the trouble of noting let us go to your apartment in heaven, down at night what they have heard in which is the work of Vulcan, and the door the day, should, like St. Augustin, write of which closes so well that none of the a book of retractations at the end of the gods can enter.'

year. *I am equally at a loss to understand Some one related to the grand-audihow the God of Sleep, whom Juno prays į encier L'Etoile, that Henry IV. hunting w close the eyes of Jupiter, can be so near Creteil, went alone into an inn, brisk a divinity. He arrives in a moment where some Parisian lawyers were dining from the isles of Lemnos and Imbros ;- in an upper room. The king, without there is something fine in coming from making himself known, sent the hostess two islands at once He then mounts a { to ask them if they would admit him at pire, and is instantly among the Greektheir table, or sell him a part of their

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