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" Fame in the shape of one Sir Harry
(By this time all the parish know it)
A wicked imp, they call a poet:
Bewitch'd the children of the peasants,
And suck'd the eggs, and kill'd the pheasants.
“ For something he was heard to mutter,
How in the park beneath an old tree
Or any malice to the poultry,)
Yet hop'd that he might save his bacon;
He ne'er was for a conjurer taken." | No, Sir! Your neighbours will not forgive you, even if you can justly plead the excuse contained in this quotation! Why then urge them to load you with still heavier calumny? You trust to the rectitude of your intentions, and the openness of your conduct ! Alas! what a dupe are you then to the folly which you despise! These are not the weapons with which your opponents will fight. They will not meet you in the field face to face. They will way-lay you in the dark; their poison will be concealed; but it will be sure.
Your reputation will secretly moulder away; your anxieties will increase; and mortification and neglect will bring your grey hairs to the grave before their time.
“ Vive la bagatelle !” but let us have no more of this “ sober sadness !"
HARRY RANDOM. Bath, Sept. 5, 1807. * See Gray's Long Story.
ART. DCCXV. · No. XVI. Reflections arising from the Season of the
Seem o'er the ruins of the year to mourn;
Ch. Smith. I Am afraid Mr. Random will give me up as incapable of amendment, when he reads the present paper. He will find me still in my old melancholy track. Alas! though he guesses well at some of my grievances, he knows not half the causes I have for gravity.
There is something in the fall of the leaf, which always overcomes me with a pensive turn of mind. It is a cast of frame, which is most beautifully described by Thomson in his enchanting delineation of this season of the year. When he speaks of the « faint gleams” of the autumn, and “ the fading many coloured woods,” what poet can equal him? The foliage eddying from the trees, and choaking up the forest walks, is a circumstance which touciies the heart with an indescribable kind of sensation! All Mr. RANDOM's raillery cannot dissipate the sombre hue of my thoughts at such a sight. My bosom is then filled with a thousand tender and solemn reflections; and sometimes they will, in spite of me, clothe themselves in verse.
Thus it happened the other morning, when, on rising, and looking from my window, I saw that the seasor, had already begun its devastations in the shades which surround me.
Sonnet suggested by the approach of Autumn.
Another fall of leaf! And yet am I
No nearer to those sweet rewards of toil,
Year follows year, and age approaches nigh,
My painful days no sounds of fame beguile;
The rhymes I build with many a tear and sigh.
The faded foliage from the mourning trees,
Beneath the turf my weary bones be prest;
Having thus transcribed this sonnet, I hesitate to let it stand here, lest it should seem ungrateful to some respected friends, from whom, within the last year, I have received unmerited encouragement. But I am sure their candour will not interpret my expressions too strictly. From their praise I have felt a cheering consolation, which, though I have little reason to be in good humour with the world, has given in my sight new colours to existence here. I know, indeed, that I am too anxious to possess, as well as to deserve, their favourable opinion. And that he who thinks me careless of a good name, or not morbidly alive even to the whispers of calumny, is marvellously ignorant of the nature of my irritable disposition.
It has been my lot, if not innocently, at least by a very pardonable indiscretion of pen to make ene
mies; of whose life, it has, in return, become the future business to traduce and blacken me. Lost in my books, or in distant speculations, I live in hourly danger; unprotected, and undefended; while these wretches are always at their post, and working in the mine. In this gloom the praise of more impartial and more intelligent judges is all I have to lighten me; and to give me a chance of counteracting these deeds of darkness. I cannot conceal how anxious I am to retain this consolation.
Sept. 21, 1807.
No. Xyil. On some Passages of Pope's Trans
lation of Homer. “Qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non,
Plenius ac melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit.” Hor.
TO THE RUMINATOR. SIR, When the concurrent opinions of all ages, ancient as well as modern, concerning the merits of Homer, are considered, I trust I shall not be deemed to have merely had recourse to a schoolboy's common-placebook, in venturing to express my admiration of him. If he was in the opinion of Horace (judice te non sordidus auctor naturæ verique) as great in morals and philosophy, as he is universally allowed to be in poetry; if as an historian, a geographer, a soldier, and even a physician, * no succeeding writer
* In the original and proper sense of the word, 'algos included every branch of the art of healing.
in the most improved and polished age, has equalled his fame; and what the Roman poet said of his Jupiter may justly be applied to him, nec viget quicquam simile aut secundum; surely any dissertation which may tend to make him better understood, can hardly be thought foreign from the purpose of a literary work. Perhaps, therefore, you will not consider that portion of your Cen. SURA, which is appropriated to rumination, disgraced by the admission of an attempt to elucidate the meaning of a passage of the ancient Bard, which still remains doubtful and obscure, though it has been explained in several different ways.
In the third volume of Harmer's 66 Observations on Scripture, 'the ingenious and leared author gives some few specimens of his manner of applying to the classics, as well as to sacred history, illustrations taken from travels into the countries where the scene of action lay. In one of these he endeavours to explain the meaning of a part of Hector's soliloquy in the twenty-second Iliad, line 126, &c.
Hector has been deliberating whether he should meet Achilles unarmed, and offer him terms of peace; but suddenly recollecting the ferocity of his temper, and his implacable hatred, he 'exclaims, “but why do I employ my mind upon such thoughts, for he would kill me even though unarmed.”
Ου μεν πως νυν εστιν απο δρυος εδ' απο πειρης Τω οαριζεμεναι αθε παρθενος ηίθεος1ε, , Παρθενος ηθεος τ' οαριζέλνν αλληλοισιν. . In these lines is the difficulty; their literal translation is this. .66 For it is not possible now to con