« ZurückWeiter »
the young man frankly acknowledged to and by sometimes adopting their opis hiin, that he had been three days seeking nions. Annibal Caracci often declared, . for an exordium to a discourse, and that that he had learnt to judge of two piche was now quite in despair, at not tures of the inartyrdom of St. Andrew, having been able to find any thing that which Albano and Domenichino had pleased bim. Is it not, returned Florus, painted to rival each other, from an old smiling, because you wish to do better woman, who stopped for sometine with than you can! There is certainly a great her daughter to sit before the picture of deal of presumption in this difficult dis- Domenichino, and who afterwards passed position. We reject every thing, because silently before that of Albano. The we think every thing unworthy of us; excellent works are those which immeand we act in nearly the same manner diately strike, and which are directed to as those ladies, who never think that the heart. their portraits reseinble then, because
THE FATHERS ATTACKED, they ibiok themselves more beautiful Barbeyrac, the Icarned translator of than any that can be drawn for them. Puffendorf, attacked in his preface the It often happens, that from self-love, and blind veneration paid by the Catholics to not from want of knowledge, we have so the Fathers. This of course roused the many faults in our works. Poets and indignation of the Romish church, Père painters, particularly, are liable to have Ceillier published a voluminous defence too much affection for their own produce of these primitive Christians, but which tions; and to alter any of them, is to in fact is a continued invective against them a most painful operation. A poet the Protestants. Barbeyrac retorted will clearly see that a thought which with great ingenuity by his “ Traité de la struck him, in the warmth of his enthu. Morale des Pères de l'Eglise," a curious siasmi, is not just, or that it does not suit work, in which, not satistied with having his subject : but there will be something attacked their talents, he even aims at brilliant in it which pleases him, and their morals. In a chapter to each, he which makes him desire to preserve it. He amasses all the ridiculous things he can wavers, reason puts the pen in his hand collect against them. to suppress it; but he is immediately Justin Martyr, in order to shew the softened, and self-love easily obtains beauty of the cross, says that nothing is grace for it. Seneca has preserved an done in this world without a cross; that example of an author's tenderness in the the masts and yards of a ship, and the person of Ovid. Some of his friends shape of most instruments, have all having advised him to repress in his crosses; and adds, that what most disworks, two or three of his verses, which tinguishies man from the brute creation did not do bin much credit, he consented is, that in an elevated posture be can exto it upon condition, that they should tend his arms, so as to forin a cross with find no fault with three verses that he was his body. going to write, privately begging them at Irenæus, highly approves of thievery, the same time to write down those verses in justifying the Israelites robbing the they wished to be omitted. Having Egyptians; for, (says he) whatever we agreed to these conditions, be found that acquire, though unjustly, if we employ it, the three verses his friends had con- in the service of the Lord, we are jusdemoed, were the very same for which tified. he had obtained grace; and he declared Of Clement, of Alexandria, our author to them, says Seneca, that he was not has produced a copious fund of absurjgnorant of their defects; but that he dities. Clement tediously refutes those could not dislike them. I am astonished who, because the title of children is given that a man who burnt the fifteen books to Christians, would infer that there was of the Metamorphoses, with the design to any thing childish in the gospel. This suppress them, could be so difficult for father has a hundred such puerile disthree verses.
tinctions and dissertations; he makes The eyes of the vulgar frequently see every part of the Scriptures mystical. what escapes those of the learned. It is He has poured out declamations with said of Malherbe, that he consulted the respect to manners, and considers the ear of an old domestic; the same thing use of looking glasses as idolatry, beis related of Molière. Every one knows cause Moses forbids the making of uny the esteern of Apelles for the judgment image! This will be sufficient. of the people, which he evinced by ex- Terwyllian coudemas all thentrical pusing his finest works to their criticisms, exlaibitions, because, says bie, the actor's
buskins give the lie to C , who told its excellent founder. Conducted by the us, that we could not add one cubit to our hand of the invisible Jesus, they walked stature! Tertullian, with all the fathers, in a path of roses, and slept in visions of considered marriage as criminal; he immortality. writes to his wife, that after the resurs rection, they will not make use of any
ON BOCCACIO, AND HIS DECAMERON. voluptuous turpitude, for God bas nothing Boccacio was born at a little village filthy in his presence.
near Florence. His birth was obscure; Origen advises us to mucilare our man and his father, in consequence of his pohood, if we would become good Chris- verty, sent hiin against his inclination to a tians; he not only preached this preoepi, merchant, to learn commerce: he rebut. what was still more extravagant, he mained with hiin some time, but having really set the example. His allegorical been to Paris with his master, and having explanations of the Scriptures are still seen there a little of the world, he soon more extravagant.
became disgusted with his profession: St. Cyprian's continence tormented The love of the Belles-lettres made him so him terribly, besides the censeless im- neglect all inercantile affairs, that the portunities of his exasperated lady. He merchant sent him back to Florence. His hardly disapproves of suicide; so that father then, by the advice of his friends, had their continence and their suicide made him 'study the law; but young prevailed among the Christian sect, (tor Boccacio did not find his inclination lead at that moment christianity can only be him to that either: he quitted the bar for considered as a sect), Europe would have the study of polite literature and poetry. been in time quite depopulated. St. His genius unfolded itself, and he compoAmbrose oudly observes, that where sed some tolerably good verses; but those there are Nuns, there are fewer persons of Petrarch, who flourished at that time, born; and he would increase their num. appeared to him so infinitely superior, ber as much as possible. They were so that he resolved to burn his; preferring partial to martyrdom, that they accused rather to inake none, than to yield to anthemselves of crimes, as a stratagem to other in that respect; it is true, that if we be put to death.
judge of his talent by the verses at the Such were the fanatic propagators of end of his Decaineroli, we shall not form primitive Christianity. Men who are a very advantageous idea of his poetry. held in saintly veneration by the bigoted However, he and Petrarch were great children of Ronie, yet who perhaps friends; for Petrarch constantly wore a committed more absurdities than any ring on his finger, on which was the porbody of fanatics that have yet appeared. trait of Boccacio; and the latter wore one, Sometimes they take a passage in the on which was the portrait of Petrarch. literal sease, and sometimes they accept Boccacio was handsome and well it in a loystical one; their holy indigna- made; and his manners were charming. tion against the heathen, hindered them He was passionately fond of the womeli, froin dwelling on moral topics; and the as we may see by his works, and he was fine ethics of the ancient philosophers, also much beloved by them; amongst with which they might have enriched others by the natural daughter of the king their miserable writings, were contemned, of Naples, from whom it is said, he rea because they were frequently considered ceived the greatest favours, and who is so as so many faygots, proper only to be celebrated in bis works under the name of burnt,
Fiammetta. Had there not been something more The Decameron is his master-piece; attractive in the nature of Christianity, this work is full of fine and delicate than the savage piety of these fathers; thoughts, his expressions are happy, and Christianity would have gradually ex- he gives an air of gallantry to all he says; pired, as a flame dies in its own ashes, but we cannot too much admire the purity But the flame of this religion was nou- of his style; the Italians, fastidious as they rished by a sweet oil and an agreeable are on this point, still read it with pleaperfume. The females were allured by sure; and they have hired readers, or prothe flattering honours paid to the Virgin, fessors, who explain it. It is to be wished which convinced them that the sex was we could judge as favorably of his morals; not despicable; and the susceptible mind but in some parts he pushes libertinisin of youth was delighted by the meek too far. Unfortunately, if we were to take character, and the patient sufferings of away these parts, we should take from MONTULY Mar. 184.
Boccacia Boccacio all his graces and his beauties. having committed a great many more, With respect to his judgment, that is a Every wise man who considers the imfaculty he least excels in, for it very often mense extent of his design, the prodigious fails him: he makes women, whom he quantity of knowledge, and of curiosities calls virtuous, hold conversations which which it contains, the infinite number of would be shameful in the most infamous books from which he was obliged to take places; at other times, he makes them his materials, and that in the midst of speak as Epicureans, without considering considerable occupations, military as wellwho are the persons whom he introduces as political, must be struck with a just ad. on the scene; and even his description of miration of the excellence of his history. the plague of Florence, pathetic as it is, He will say with the candour of Horace : does not appear to me quite in its proper Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis place.
Offcndar maculis, quas aut incuria fudit,
Aut bumana parum cavil natura.
But in a poem elegantly writ,
I would not quarrel with a slight mistake, What respect is not due to the memory Such as
memory Such as our nature's frailty may excuse. of Pliny? He is without exception one of the greatest men of antiquity: he is an
He will laugh at those literary bullies,
who, incapable of perceiving the solid author who has received praises from all the truly wise, and who is only despised
beauties with which a work abounds,
think themselves great persons for discoby the valgar literati, as i: has been remarked by one of our most formidable
vering some trifling defects. In fact, he
will say, with one of the most judicious critics, Plinius tantus vir ul non mirum
critics of the last century, that whoever sit, si vulgus illum inprobet, quum minimé
speaks ill of Pliny, hurts that great man's sit Auctor vulgaris. Gibbon bas inge.
reputation much less, than he does his niously described his work as “the Li. brary of the Poor Man." Nevertheless,
own: Non tantum Pliniano detraxit noe those who have praised him the most,
mini quam suo. have discovered in hini many defects; but,
PETRARCI'S WILL. for the greater part of these defects he There is a Life of Petrarch, published by ought not to incur censure. Was he Jerome Squarzaficus of Alexandria, very obliged to know more of Physic, Medicine, scarce, bui printed in the curious edition or Astronomy, of the virtues of plants of Petrarch's Latin works, in folio, at Veand minerals, or of other things of the nice, in 1501. It also contains his will, same nature, than was known in his time? which is rather singular, for the whimsical If he has appeared too credulous with
and good-humoured satire with which be respect to some facts, which have the air disposes of his legacies to his friends and of the marvellous, has he not acted in the domestics. same manner as all the illustrious histori- He bequeaths to Lombardus Asericus ans of his age; and amongst others, Livy, bis silver gilt goblet, out of which he is to whom I could on this subject turn into drink water, which he likes better than ridicule, as easily as Phiny has been?
wine : “ cum quo bibat aquam, quam liben. I have always thought, and I do still, ter bibit, multo libentius quam vinum;" to that great men ought not to be con- John de Bochelta, vestry-keeper of his demned so inconsiderately: Modestè et church, his great breviary, which had cost circumspecto judicio de tantis viris pro him a hundred francs; to John de Cernunciandum. I allow, that we should not
taldo seu Boccatio, fifty gold florins, of
taldo seu Boccatio. fifty copy their errors; but before we pro- Florence, to buy him a winter garment, nounce judgment against them, we fit for
fit for his studies and his vigils; to Thoshould consider well whether some ex
mas de Bambasia de Ferrare, his lute, cuse might not be offered for them; rea- that be might make use of it to sing the son and equity command it, and so dues praises of ihe Lord, non pro vanitute the self-interest of those who ever attempt sæculi fugacis ; to Barthelmi de Sienne. to write.
called Pancaldus, twenty ducats, with After all, though Pliny committed some the proviso, that he does not game thein faults (which we cannot deny), we ought away, Quos non ludut. to be less surprized at that, chan at his not
TO EURILLA IN ADVERSITY. For Sympathy, blest instinct of our kind,
Is purest opium to the tortur'd mind.
Seek, then, some Friend, who carly learn'd
to grieve * Where, save the feather'd choir who ca.
At others' woe, who lives but to relieve; rol gay, No sound obtrudes; where Silence rears her
Some breast so much in concert with thiya TM
own. throne, By mute Oblivion's poppies overgrown,
As, when thou smilst, or weep'st, to joy or
groan; And with such sway despotic rules the soul,
With sweet Mimosa be her temples crown'd, As e'en the starts of Sorrow to controul; As e'en to bid the fears of Friendship cease,
By patient Prudence let her lips be bound; And make me fancy all my cares at peace.
Of all thy griefs let her have felt the smart, Yet, wheresoe'er my wand'ring footsteps
And shew where once they rankled in her
heart; tread, My thoughts, by some spontaneous impulse
Let her (rare gift!) possess the skill to know
When to check tears, and when to bid them led,
flow; Fly fast to thee; nor will I pause to own,
Thus will her hand be competent to-spread Thou most art with me when I'm most alone.
Comfort's soft roses o'er thy thorny bed.
But, once again, dear suff'ring Saint, take
heed Hath oft disgusted by officious zeal,
This Friend be deck'd with Caution's choicest And widen'd wunds she fondly hop'd to
meed; heal, More irksome now thou’lt deem th'obtrusive
For Grief unlocks the soul, and brings to
view Whose notes I waken with increas'd desire ;
Each thought, each inerit, and each failing Thy woes to soothe-forgive th'advent'rous
Seek then a Friend, sage, cautious, faithstrain, Which dares the rigours of thy fate arraigo ;
ful, kindWhich dares lamenc-(0 pardon, righteous
But hold !-I know the temper of thy mind.
If some good Angel such a Friend bestow'd, Heav'n!) That Peace to thankless A pathy is giv'n;
To rescue thee from Grief's o'erwhelming Whilst Virtue's self, in human formen
Thy soul wou'd doat on her's--and should'st shrin'd,
thou lose To cruel, hateful Warfare seems consign'd. Fall well I know reproach were vainly
This first of blessings-Hold! ah, hold, my
Nor paint a scene which Nature could not Against the unfeeling baseness of this world:
bear. Full well I know how impotent each art To melt, with Pity's drops, the Ainty heart;
Yes--scek a Friend! a firmer Friend than
e'er To check the bitter taunts of scowling Pride, Make ranc'rous Envy throw
Adorn'd our mortal clay- Friend, whose her snakes
mind aside, Compel cursd Falsehood at Truth's shrine to
Not all the malice of this world combin'd kncel,
Can e'er wean from thee-a celestial Guard ; Or rob the hand of Malice of its steel:
Who, from thy breast each stroke of Fate to Yet, cho thy woes, with my upbraidings
O'er Fate herself presides, o'er Time, o'er join'd, la vain wou'd strive to meliorare mankind,
Space, Still are there means all potent to confound
And all the myriads of the Human Race; The iron breasts thy suff'rings fail to wound: Who knows no change, whose love will never Still to their pow'r superior mayst thou rise,
cease, e, Whose voice is comfort, and whose paths are
w And ev'ry arrow of their wrath despise.
peace. Toe just, too ample is thy cause for woe; Then check not tears, but freely let them
O turn to him, to God! the only Friend,
On whom thou may'st, without a fear, deflow; Affliction's tide, by constant force repress'd. ... pend;
And learn, that, mid Adversity's dark maze, And closely pent within a single breast,
Or gay Prosperity's seductive hlaze, Tlu te ragés fierce, with direst mischiefs rife,
He only knows vur erring steps to guide, Dethsoning Reason, and o'erwhelming Life.
Where spotless Truth, and deathless Joy preThen give it way; and, to some kindred
side. heart, Thy ev'ry care, thy ev'ry thought impart ; Exmouth.
IMPROMPTU LINES TO SIR JOHN CARR, Of murder, villainy, and teeming acts,
AFTER BEADING HIS NORTHERN SUM. That call for hell and vengeance ! Could MER
these bones, THO’ much you've honour'd martial men,
The slender relics of thy little strength,
Once dare to stretch their feebie nothingness
Against the fiats of Omnipotence ? You, by your pencil and your pen,
Qf tardy justice mock th' impending balt? Make every realm you reach your own.
Or clip the thread of gratitude and love, The wreath, for which the hero sighs, Inwoven in thy nature? Rather say,
Is stain'd with blood, however bright; Thou could'st forget the splendour of thy But you bring home a sporless prize,
birth Of rich instruction and delight.
And bend thee supple, fraught with lies, and Your Northern Summer seems a day,
smiles, As we retrace iis varied hours;
In the lov'd sunshine of a patron's grace. Well pleaş'd and proudly we survey
Say rather, thou didst busy thee in vain Your graceful wreath of “ Polar Flowers." Amid the phantom scenes of luxury
H. Irresolute; or, with extended arms,
Didst follow the receding, vagrant blaze
Of pleasures gross, as fatal. Yet, how grim, THE SKULL.
How bare thy joys have left these worthless " Mors sola fatetur
bones! Quantula wint bominum corpuscula!" Juv,
Might the dread seal of secrecy be burst,
What noble converse could the charnel'd [The following Lines were occasioned by the
dead accidental discovery of a Skull, by the
Pour in the list'ning ear! And truly thou Plough, at no great distance from a populous
Couldst weave a fit discourse to curb the rage town in the West of England.]
Of frantic man.-Perbaps to thee was given W ITHIN this earthy barrier confin'd To reach the depth and treasures infinite
Once breath'd a heav'n-born soul, long Of sacred lore; to commerce with those since remov'd :
bards To bear the tale and story of these bones, And rev'rend sages of far distant times, When yet the streams of life cours'd over Whose sense unhallow'd still directs to them.
heav'n; Mean dwelling of that wond'rous guest! To trace the myriads of shining worlds, Couldse thou
That compass this mean speck ; to spurn the Unfold the narrow volume of thy span;
sway Could that unsecmly feature of grimace And endless throne of space; to name and That sneers upon its former state and that
range Which now I wear, relax, and break the The hidden and disclosed stores of things, term
That croud the earth, and give a zest to life! of its ordained silence, how intent
Perchance in thee the lamp of genius burn'd, Would I the thousand scenes eventful change And thou could'st tread the steepy heights of Of thy unknown mortality record, *
verse, Th’instructive lessons of a friend deceas'd! Or wind the maze of raptur'd thought, and
To thee, poor, tenantless, exhausted case pore Of man's frail compass, once belong'd the With wonder and delight upon the worlds rule
Of sportive forms, thou didst thyself create. Of passions headstrong as the wint'ry tide : Celestial joy!-Now, those rich day dreams To thee the helm and steerage uncontrould fled, of that slight pinnace, man; the sov'reigo Have left this monument, this clay-cold ash will
Of fire extinct. To brook the buffets of an adverse wind;
Immortal man! the caro To dare the rocks, and struggle under storms And nursling of a Sire all provident, Of seas untried; or (happier lot!) to bask Th' inheritor of weakness, sin, and death, In moorings of some enviable port!
Suspended from the moment by a hair, Haply thy days are pencil'd by the hand
Whose big designs, and lordly acts, embalm or living fame, or stand enrolld above Thy name within the frail survivor's breast; Within the page alone of mortal doom, These are the base memorials thou shalt Whorn por ambition sway'd, nor empty glare leave : Of praise.Oh! the Aesh creeps upon my This the vile shell, in which that mighty bones,
soul When lancy paints thee some black harden'd Once quickened, and inform'd thy prou exwretch,
ploils, Distain'd in beart with spots of unwash'd Must be the goal of beauty, rank, and fame. crime,
A. B, E.