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some favourite object is embraced by the monarch, which opposes the happiness of his people, for then, the sacrifice of the latter to the former is made without hesitation. Thus this very Henry IV. after he had brought his kingdom, by the assistance of Sully, into such a flourishing state, that he was able by heavy imposts to fill his coffers, was about to put the public welfare to a hazard, in pursuit either of a grand scheme of ambition, or of a licentious passion disgraceful to his age and station.
The prince who says my people, in the same sense that he would say my dogs or horses, is in perpetual danger of using them, like those animals, only as instruments of his pleasure or pastime.
PASSAGE IN Pope's HOMER CRITICISED.
To the Editor of the Athenaum. Sir,
HAPPENING the other day to take up Pope's Translation of Homer's Iliad, I was arrested at the following line, Book ii. verse 833, as conveying, if not a wrong, at least, a very equivocal meaning. The words are,
Full fifty ships BENEATH Achilles' care;
which, taken without reference to the context, might be understood to mean that the fifty ships were unworthy Achilles' notice. Thus Whitehead, in his “ Youth and the Philosopher," has
The time profusely squandered there
But Homer, in the original says,
Homeri Ilias, Lib. ii. 685,
Of whose fifty ships Achilles was commander.
Pope, for the sake of his verse, appears to have hazarded the word 66 beneath” for under, though they are by no means synonymous : as in the metaphorical sense in which he must have considered them, the former invariably, I believe, signifies " unworthy of” and the latter " in subjection to," which may be shewn by numerous authorities. With all deference to the general excellence of Mr. Pope's version, I conceive the use of the word “ beneath,” in the before-mentioned passage, as amounting to more than a poetic liberty—as an inaccuracy, which ought to be pointed out for the sake of cultivating precision in our own language, and especially as being committed by one to whom
we look as a model. Under this conviction I am emboldened to request the insertion of this comment in your excellent publication,
MEMORIAL DUE TO BLAKE.
To the Editor of the Athenæum. Sir,
WHILE I concur with your correspondent in the wish that a public monument should be erected for the excellent Locke, I must beg leave to mention another great man for whose memory such a testimony of respect is forcibly claimed, as due not only on account of his high merits, but by way of reparation of an insult offered to his remains. It is well known, that immediately after the Restoration, one act by which the base spirit of the new reign was displayed, was to disinter several persons who had been honoured with a burial in Henry the seventh's chapel, and to treat their corpses, some with indignity, others with neglect. Among these was the renowned ADMIRAL BLAKE, whose body, which had received the highest national honours through the patriotic feelings which animated the administration of Cromwell, was no longer thought worthy to lie among kings and the relatives of kings, and was deposited in some obscure corner in St. Margaret's church-yard. Mr. Fox, in the manly introduction to his posthumous historical volume, has affixed a just note of infamy to the meanness of Monk, who could see without interference this dishonourable treatment of the remains of the man with whom he had successfully fought his country's battles. It is scarcely necessary to observe, that the English navy never produced a braver or abler commander than Blake, who, says lord Clarendon, “first brought ships to contemn castles on shore, and taught seamen to fight in fire as well as upon water;", and that his public spirit, integrity and disinterestedness were equal to his valour. He was, indeed, in all respects one of the noblest characters of the age. After the most active services to the cause which, in the civil wars, his conscience led him to prefer, he consented, under a government which he regarded as an usurpation, to serve his country against foreign enemies, and made its name feared and respected on every coast visited by its fag: and so liberally did he share his purse with his friends and sailors, that all his high posts and rich captures did not add five hundred pounds, to his patrimony. Amid the honours justly paid to so many other heroes of the British navy, it is surely discreditable to the nation that no memorial of one who
may be placed at the head of the list is to be found, except in the pages of history.
96. Writing Tables.' It is remarkable, says Mr. Douce, that neither public nor private museums should furnish any specimens of these table-books, which seem to have been very common in Shakespeare's time; nor does any attempt appear to have been made towards ascertaining exactly the materials of which they were composed.”
I happen to possess a table-book of Shakespeare's time. It is a Jittle book, nearly square, being three inches wide and something less than four in length, bound stoutly in calf, and fastening with four strings of broad, strong, brown tape. The title as follows: “ Writing Tables, with a Kalender for xxijii yeeres, with sundrie necessarie rules. The Tables made by Robert Triple. London. Imprinted for the Company of Stationers.” The tables are inserted immediately after the almanack.
At first sight they appear like what we call asses-skin, the colour being precisely the same, but the leaves are thicker; whatever smell they may have had is lost, and there is no gloss upon them. It might be supposed that the gloss has been worn off
, but this is not the case, for most of the tables have never been written on. Some of the edges being a little worn, shew that the middle of the leaf consists of
paper; the composition is laid on with great nicety. A silver style was used, which is sheathed in one of the covers, and which produces an impression as distinct and as easily obliterated as a black-lead pencil. The tables are interleaved with common paper.
97. Lions of Romance. There is a distinction made in Palmerin de Oliva between Leones Coronados and Leones Pardos. The former, who may be called Lions Royal, are those who know blood-royal instinctively, and respect it, I
suppose, as a family sort of tie. The others have no such instinct. Maulequi, the soldan of Babylon, had sworn to throw Palmerin into the lion's den ; this oath he could not break, but, at his daughter Alchidiana's request, he gave orders that he should be put in the den and the gates shut upon him, and then instantly let out.
There were fifteen lions in the den, twelve royal ones and three pardos; these three attacked him, for he did not chuse to retreat (c. 79), As all fifteen are called Lions, and the keeper is called Leonaro, it is evident that the leones þardos are not meant to be leopards, but that it is some imaginary distinction. For though, according to old fabulous history, this was a species of mule beast, produced by the lioness and leopard having conjunction together, or the lion and leopardess, there was an enmity between the true lion and these bastards, so that they never could have been kept in one den. The true lion is jealous of this beast, who " is a very tyrant, and advouterous in his kind ;” and he knoweth, sayth Pliny, when the lyonesse hath played him false play,
and hath played the advoutresse with the libard, by a certain rammish* smell or sweate which ariseth of them both; yet if she washeth herselfe throughly, she may deceyve him. The leoparde hath his cabbage in the yearth, with two contrary wayes undermined to enter into it, or to run out of it at his pleasure; verie widie at the coming in, but as narrow and straight about the mid cabbage: whether his enemie the lion, running sometimes after him and apace, at the first coming in thither is narrowly pent, insomuch that he cannot neyther get forward nor backwarde. That seeing the leoparde, he runneth apace out at the furder hole, and commeth to that whereas the lion first ran in, and having him hard pent and his back towards him, bighterh and scratcheth him with tooth and nayle, and so by art the leoparde getteth the victory, and not by strength.
The greene Forest, or a naturale Historie, &c. compiled by John Maplet, M of Arte and student in Cambridge, entending hereby thal God night especially be glorified, and the people furdered. London, 1567.
98. Cortes. Diego Velazquez took Cortes with him to Cuba as one of his secretaries, a situation for which he was not at that time well qualified, being too apt to jest, and too fond of conversation. Whatever the cause may have been, they soon disagreed. Judges of Appellation arrived at Hispaniola, and the malcontents in Cuba drew out secretly their complaints against the governor. There was no other means of crossing over to present them than in an open canoe, and Cortes undertook this desperate service. Just as he was about to embark he was seized, and the papers found upon him. Velazquez at first was about to hang him; but, upon intercession, contented himself with putting him in irons, and embarking him on board ship to send him to Hispaniola. He contrived to rid himself of his fetters, and, while the crew were asleep; got overboard, and trusted himself upon a log of wood, for he could not swim: it was ebb tide, and he was carried a league out from the ship; the flow drove him toward shore, but he was so exhausted that he was on the point of letting loose his hold and resigning himself to his fate. It was not yet day; he hid himself, knowing search would be made for him as soon as he was mist on board; and when the church doors were opened he took sanctuary.
Near this church there dwelt one Juan Xuarez, who had a handsome sister of excellent character. Cortes liked her, and found means to let her know it. Whoi ver has seen Vertue's print of Cortes, from Titian's picture, will knovi that of all men he must have been one of the most beautiful. One day he was slipping out of the church to visit her, an Alguazil watched him, slipt in at another door, came out behind him, caught him behind, and carried him to prison.
* It is curious to see how this M. of Arte has debased the expressions of Pliny-Odore pardi coitum sentit in adulterà lea, totâque vi consurgit in penam. Idcirco eâ culpa flumine abluitur, aut longius comitatur.
L. 8. $17.
Velazquez was about to proceed against him with extreme rigour, but the governor was of a generous nature and was persuaded to forgive him.
Cortes married the girl, and said he was as well contented with her as if she had been the daughter of a dutchess. The Alguazil, Juan Escudero, who had entrapped him, was one of the conspirators whom he afterwards hung in New Spain.
Of these singular facts in the history of so extraordinary a man, no mention is made by Robertson. What that author has said of Antonio de Solis may be applied to himself: “ I know no author in any language whose literary fame has risen so far beyond his réal merit."
THE PERIPLUS OF SCYLAX OF CARYANDA.
The Periplus of Scylax of Caryanda, if genuine, will from its antiquity justly claim regard as one of the most venerable documents of geographical science now extant. The earliest notice which we possess of this navigator is that of Herodotus,* who gives the following account of an enterprize in which he is said to have been employed : “ A great part of Asia was discovered by Darius, who, wishing to ascertain the place where the river Indus (the only river, after a single exception, which produces crocodiles) falls into the sea, dispatched various persons, in whom he could place confidence, and among
them Scylax of Caryanda. Proceeding from the city of Caspatyrus, and the Pactyian territory, they sailed down the river in an easterly direction to the sea, and then continuing their voyage on the sea towards the west, in the thirtieth month they arrived at the place from which the Egyptian king dispatched the Phænicians, whoni 1 before mentioned, to circumnavigate Libya. After their voyage, Darius subdued the Indians, and opened the navigation of this sea.'
Suidas gives a very brief account of Scylax, in which he has evidently confounded different persons of the same name. “Scylax of Caryanda (a eity of Caria, near Halicarnassus) a mathematician and musician, wrote a periplus of the coasts beyond the pillars of Hercules, a book respecting Heraclides, king of the Mylassians, a description of the circuit of the earth, and an answer to the history of Polybius."
The Periplus which still remains, bearing the name of Scylax, is a brief survey of the countries along the shores of the Mediterranean and Euxine seas, together with part of the western coast of Africa, surveyed by Hanno. It commences at the straits of Gibraltar, and proceeding along the coasts of Spain and Gaul round the Mediterranean, returns to the same point, and then briefly describes the coasts
of * IV. 44.