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" to see his ready talents exerted on topics more
dignified or interesting. We observe several “ instances of good taste, and pretty description.”
But the time was approaching, when I had every reason to flatter my expectation with exchanging the Muses' bower for the garden of the Hesperides. Colonel Burr had been elected to the place of Vice-President of the United States, and Colonel Burr was my friend. He had just returned from the city of Washington, and with the most condescending urbanity, did me the honour to call on me at Mr. Ludlow's. Colonel Burr observed, that “ Mr. Gallattin having ex“pressed a desire to procure a Secretary who was “ skilled in composition, he had recommended
me as a person qualified to undertake the office, “and was happy to have it in his power to ac
knowledge by any service, the sensible pleasure “ he had received from my literary productions."
There is something in the professions of a great man which never fails to impart delight; our hopes become multiplied; the phantoms of imagination arise in succession, and either point to paths of pleasure, or bowers of repose. I heard “the glorious sounds," with no small emotions of joy, and looked forward with anxiety to the hour that was to exalt me from the obscurity of a pedagogue to the magnificence of a Secretary's office. It happened that when the Vice-President proposed to me a place at Washington, the term of my engagement with Mr. Ludlow had
just expired; and I was compelled to be decisive in the plan of my future operations ; I was under the necessity either of resigning the situation, or no longer indulge the visions my fancy had created, from the magnificent promises held out by the Vice-President; hope triumphed over prudence, and I abandoned a salary of a hundred guineas paid me quarterly in advance, for an exaltation that was remote, and at the same time uncertain.
My pupils could be hardly persuaded I was about to leave them, till I hade thein farewell; they shed many tears; but their grief, however violent, was of transient duration; for before I had walked half way down the street, I beheld them return to their ball-playing with more alacrity than ever, It is thus with men ; grief is ever a short-lived passion, and no person is of sufficient consequence to interrupt by his absence the pursuits of his friends.
In my way to the Stage-office, in Courtlandstreet, I called at the Post-office, where, to my unspeakable joy, I found a copious epistle from my friend at Long Island. Letters, says the illustrious Bacon, come more home to men's bosoms than either annals or lives; and, as by this time, every thing that relates to Mr. George will interest the Poet, the Scholar, and the Wit, I shall engraft without apology his letter upon my Memoirs.
“ Long Island, June 12, 1801, “ While devouring Newtown-pippins, and “ drinking cider to the health of your Bardship “ in my heart, the stage-driver brought me your “ welcome epistles. At first, the fellow pretended “ there was no letter for me, (I tolerate these “ liberties, because the Jebu has a pretty wife) “ but in a few minutes, he delivered me- the
packet. Jucundius est legere quam libere, so I “ left the old parson, and his wife, and his daugh
ter, (her nose is like the tower of Lebanon “ looking towards Damascus) and I opened, O “ Devil! thy budget of Satire. This has revived “ me, and I now walk about with your epistles
my hand, which, however, I am obliged to put down every five minutes, to hold both my “ sides while I laugh it out,
“ By Saint Patrick, I swear, thou art above all men dear to me. I love thee with more than brotherly love. I hope we shall never part. • In the vast deserts of the world, I never could “ have found such another friend as thyself; and
(to speak in the language of classic antiquity) “ I think Apollo himself must have brought us “ acquainted
" I thank you kindly for the book. It was a “ mercy you did not fill it with your letters. I 6 could wish, however, they had been longer; “ for never did you write with more grace,
and « less appearance of study.
This is a beautiful day, and I purpose to
" devote it entirely to my blank volume; not in " adding one, two, three, nor in balancing the “ preponderance of Debtor to Creditor; but in
filling it with new energies of thought, and new combinations of diction. This book is really an acquisition. It is scarcely less for
midable, than the mighty one with which John“son repressed the insolence of his bookseller, or “ to speak in a more heroic strain, that which “Cadmus of old threw wrathful at the dragon.
“ Tell me if you are about publishing your pocms? Do not go far for a title; nothing
appears so stiff and pedantic as a little book " with a magnificent title. Remember that Ho
race gives his odes no other name than Car“ minit; though, he might have accumulated a " thousand imposing epithets, to decorate his title
page. It is rumoured you intend dedicating
your cffusio:is to Burr. Avert it literature. De“dicate not the book to an American. Can Burr,
or Maddison, or Adams, or even Jefferson, add “ to the reputation of him who aspires to be read
on the banks of the Thames?
“ Was there ever so stupid a Priest as this? I “ wonder not that you hated him. Do you re“collect when we were sitting by the fire, how
you used to hem, and I to laugh at his tire“some monotony. The old grasshopper asked
me very solemnly to-day, which I thought “the better translation of Virgil; Dryden's or
Davidson's!!!* After such an interrogation, can any reasonable man expect that I will ever
go again to his church ; or is he not enough to “make any man of letters Parcus deorum cultor " et infrequens ?
“ The girls in this village are mad after litera“ ture; they know not what to be at. Miss “T”, a young lady of easy deportment, ele
gant conversation, and bold countenance, has bought Tasso's Gierusaleme, and digs in a dictionary for his meaning.
She asked me my opinion of Tasso and the Italian language. “ Madam, said I, the language of Tasso is not “ the language of heroes, but the sing-song of “ fidlers, and guitar-players. The Italian pos“ sesses neither the heroic grandeur of the Greek, " the majesty of the Roman, nor the strength of “ the English language.
“ Then, cried she, you would advise me to
study English. By all means, Madam, said I. “ And, Sir, rejoined the nymph, what book do
you think is best suited to a female ? Glasse's Cookery, Madam, said I.
“ I have passed three hours under an oak-tree by the way-side, in reading the Iliad.
Blair, in his Lectures, says of Homer, that in description he is concise. The descriptions
* Pope pronounced Dryden's translation of Virgil, the poblest version ever produced by one Poet of another ; Davidson's translation is in limping, hobbling, shuffling prose; the solace of Dunces; the clandestine refuge of schoolboys,