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ACT IV. Sc. vii.


[The author passed a part of the summer and autumn of 1850 at Ventnor, in the Isle of Wight. He usually, when walking alone, had with him a book. On one occasion, as he was loitering in the landslip near Bonchurch, reading the Rudens of Plautus, it struck him that it might be an interesting experiment to attempt to produce something which might be supposed to resemble passages in the lost Greek drama of Diphilus, from which the Rudens appears to have been taken. He selected one passage in the Rudens, of which he then made the following version, which he afterwards copied out at the request of a friend to whom he had repeated it.]

DÆMONES. O Gripe, Gripe, in ætate hominum plurimæ Fiunt transennæ, ubi decipiuntur dolis;

Atque edepol in eas plerumque esca imponitur.
Quam si quis avidus pascit escam avariter,
Decipitur in transenna avaritia sua.

Ille, qui consulte, docte, atque astute cavet,
Diutine uti bene licet partum bene.
Mi istæc videtur præda prædatum irier:
Ut cum majore dote abeat, quam advenerit.

Egone ut, quod ad me adlatum esse alienum sciam,
Calem? Minime istuc faciet noster Dæmones.

Semper cavere hoc sapientes æquissimum est,

Ne conscii sint ipsi maleficiis suis.

Ego, mihi quum lusi, nil moror ullum lucrum.

GRIPUS. Spectavi ego pridem Comicos ad istum modum

Sapienter dicta dicere, atque iis plaudier,

Quum illos sapientis mores monstrabant poplo;

Sed quum inde suam quisque ibant diversi domum, Nullus erat illo pacto, ut illi jusserant.1

1 ΔΑΙΜ Ω Γρίπε, Γρίπε, πλεῖστα παγίδων σχήματα ἴδοι τις ἂν πεπηγμέν ̓ ἐν θνητῶν βίφ,


καὶ πλεῖστ ̓ ἐπ' αὐτοῖς δελέαθ ̓, ὧν ἐπιθυμίᾳ
ὀρεγόμενός τις ἐν κακοῖς ἁλίσκεται·
ὅστις δ ̓ ἀπιστεῖ καὶ σοφῶς φυλάττεται
καλῶς ἀπολαύει τῶν καλῶς πεπορισμένων.
ἅρπαγμα δ' οὐχ ἅρπαγμ ̓ ὁ λάρναξ οὑτοσὶ,
ἀλλ ̓ αὐτὸς, οἶμαι, μᾶλλον ἁρπάξει τινά.
τόνδ ̓ ἄνδρα κλέπτειν τἀλλότριο — εὐφήμει, τάλαν
ταυτήν γε μὴ μαίνοιτο μανίαν Δαιμονῆς.
τόδε γὰρ ἀεὶ σοφοῖσιν εὐλαβητέον,

μή τί ποθ' ἑαυτῷ τις ἀδίκημα συννοῇ·
κέρδη δ ̓ ἔμοιγε πάνθ' ὅσοις εὐφραίνομαι,
κέρδος δ ̓ ἀκερδὲς ὁ τοὐμὸν ἀλγύνει κέαρ.

κἀγὼ μὲν ἤδη κωμικῶν ἀκήκοα

σεμνῶς λεγόντων τοιάδε, τοὺς δὲ θεωμένους
κροτεῖν, ματαίοις ἡδομένους σοφίσμασιν
εἶθ ̓, ὡς ἀπῆλθ ̓ ἕκαστος οἴκαδ ̓, οὐδενὶ
οὐδὲν παρέμεινε τῶν καλῶς εἰρημένων.





HAIL, day of Music, day of Love,
On earth below, in air above.
In air the turtle fondly moans,
The linnet pipes in joyous tones;
On earth the postman toils along,
Bent double by huge bales of song,
Where, rich with many a gorgeous dye,
Blazes all Cupid's heraldry

Myrtles and roses, doves and sparrows,
Love-knots and altars, lamps and arrows.

What nymph without wild hopes and fears
The double rap this morning hears?
Unnumbered lasses, young and fair,

From Bethnal Green to Belgrave Square,
With cheeks high flushed, and hearts loud beating
Await the tender annual greeting.

The loveliest lass of all is mine

Good morrow to my Valentine!

Good morrow, gentle Child! and then
Again good morrow, and again,

Good morrow following still good morrow,

Without one cloud of strife or sorrow.

And when the god to whom we pay

In jest our homages to-day

Shall come to claim, no more in jest,
His rightful empire o'er thy breast,
Benignant may his aspect be,
His yoke the truest liberty:
And if a tear his power confess,
Be it a tear of happiness.

It shall be so. The Muse displays
The future to her votary's gaze;
Prophetic rage my bosom swells
I taste the cake - I hear the bells!
From Conduit Street the close array
Of chariots barricades the way
To where I see, with outstretched hand,
Majestic, thy great kinsman stand,1
And half unbend his brow of pride,
As welcoming so fair a bride.
Gay favors, thick as flakes of snow,
Brighten St. George's portico:
Within I see the chancel's pale,
The orange flowers, the Brussels veil,
The page on which those fingers white,
Still trembling from the awful rite,
For the last time shall faintly trace
The name of Stanhope's noble race.
I see kind faces round thee pressing,
I hear kind voices whisper blessing;
And with those voices mingles mine-
All good attend my Valentine!

St. Valentine's Day, 1851.


1 The statue of Mr. Pitt in Hanover Square.



[In the summer of 1856, the author travelled with a friend through Lombardy. As they were on the road between Novara and Milan, they were conversing on the subject of the legends relating to that country. The author remarked to his companion that Mr. Panizzi, in the Essay on the Romantic Narrative Poetry of the Italians, prefixed to his edition of Bojardo, had pointed out an instance of the conversion of ballad poetry into prose narrative which strongly confirmed the theory of Perizonius and Niebuhr, upon which The Lays of Ancient Rome are founded; and, after repeating an extract which Mr. Panizzi has given from the chronicle of The Monk of St. Gall, he proceeded to frame a metrical paraphrase. The note in Mr. Panizzi's work (vol. i. p. 123, note b) is here copied verbatim.]

"The monk says that Oger was with Desiderius, King of Lombardy, watching the advance of Charlemagne's army. The king often asked Oger where was Charlemagne. Quando videris, inquit, segetem campis inhorrescere, ferreum Padum et Ticinum marinis fluctibus ferro nigrantibus muros civitatis inundantes, tunc est spes Caroli venientis. His nedum expletis primum ad occasum Circino vel Borea cœpit apparere, quasi nubes tenebrosa, quæ diem clarissimam horrentes convertit in umbras. Sed propiante Imperatore, ex armorum splendore, dies omni nocte tenebrosior oborta est inclusis. Tunc visus est ipse ferreus Carolus ferrea galea cristatus, ferreis manicis armillatus, etc., etc. His igitur, quæ ego balbus et edentulus, non ut debui circuitu tardiore diutius explicare tentavi, veridicus speculator Oggerus celerrimo visu contuitus dixit ad Desiderium: Ecce, habes quem tantopere perquisisti. Et hæc dicens, pene exanimis cecidit. (Monach. Sangal. de Reb. Bel. Caroli Magni. lib. ii. § xxvi.) Is this not evidently taken from poetical effusions?"


To Oggier spake King Didier:
"When cometh Charlemagne?
We looked for him in harvest;
We looked for him in rain.

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