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dia to the garden of Italy; and saw Windsor Castle in no other view than the Capitoli immobile saxum.* I wish a committee of the House of Commons may ever seem to be the senate; or a bill appear half so agreeable as a billet-doux. You see how deep you have carried me into old stories; I write of them with pleasure, but shall talk of them with more to you. I can't say I am sorry I was never quite a schoolboy: an expedition against bargemen, or a match at cricket, may be very pretty things to recollect; but thank my stars, I can remember things that are very near as pretty. The beginning of my Roman history was spent in the asylum,f or conversing in Egeria's hallowed grove ; not in thumping and pummelling King Amulius's herdsmen. I was sometimes troubled with a rough creature or two from the plough ; one that, one should have thought, had worked with his head, as well as his hands, they were both so callous.

One of the most agreeable circumstances I can recollect is the Triumvirate, composed of yourself, Charles, and

Your sincere Friend.

*"The immovable rock of the Capitol."

The infant city of Rome, when it was a refuge for offenders.

Charles Montagu, brother of George, afterwards a general in the army. Another of these schoolboy coteries was called the Quadruple Alliance, and consisted of Walpole, Gray, West, and Ashton (afterwards a clergyman). Walpole's schoolfellows gave themselves names out of the classics and old romances, such as Tydeus, Plato, Oroondates, and Almanzor. Such things have always been going on in schools, and always will as long as schools continue to be worth anything at all, and cultivate a respect for generous and exalted sentiments.

Ode on solitude.


Pope never wrote more agreeable or well-tuned verses than this interesting effusion of his boyhood. Indeed there is an intimation of sweetness and variety in the versification, which was not borne out afterwards by his boasted smoothness: nor can we help thinking, that had the author of the Ode on Solitude arisen in less artificial times, he would have turned out to be a still finer poet than he was. But the reputation which he easily acquired for wit and criticism, the recent fame of Dryden, and perhaps even his little warped and fragile person, tempted him to accept such power over his contemporaries as he could soonest realize.

It is observable that Pope never repeated the form of verse in which this poem is written. It might have reminded him of a musical feeling he had lost. All the little concluding lines of the stanzas have a spirited yet touching modulation, very unusual with him afterwards :

In his own ground-
In winter fire-

Quiet by day, &c. The closeness and straightforwardness of the style are remarkable in so young a writer, and singularly announce his future conciseness. The reader smiles to think of the unambitious wish expressed in the final stanza; yet it is pleasant to consider that the youthful poet remained true to his love of the country all his life; and still more pleasant, that he was rich enough to indulge it. The Ode was probably written at Binfield in Windsor Forest, when he was a happy child, living with

his father and mother, and feeling the first delighted power of making verses, in scenery fitted to inspire them.


APPY the man whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air

In his own ground:

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter fire.

Blest who can unconcern’dly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,

Together mixid; sweet recreation ;
And innocence, which most doth please

With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;

Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

Sir Bertrand.-1 Fragment.


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If we may judge of others' impressions by our own, and have not been led to overrate the merit of this Fragment by early associations, there is nothing perused in boyhood which is of a nature to remain longer in the recollection, or to link itself more strongly with analogous ideas. The tolling bell, the bloody stump of the arm, the lady who addresses the knight "in these words” (not related), and above all, the "dreary moors” at the commencement, and the light seen at a distance, have recurred, we think, oftener to memory in the course of our life than any other passages in books, with the exception of some in Gray, Spenser, and the Arabian Nights. We cannot read them to this day without feeling a sort of thrilling and desolate evening gloom fall upon our mind; nor can we ever see a piece of moorland, or a distant light at the close of day, without thinking of them. The finest poetry has only added to their impression; not displaced it. The “woulds” that Sir Bertrand crosses, are precisely those in which the ear listens at evening to

“ Undescribed sounds,
That come a-swooning over hollow grounds,

And wither drearily on barren moors." Dr. Aikin was a writer from whom this effusion was hardly to have been looked for. He was bred in a limited and somewhat formal school of taste, and was no very sensitive critic; but a good deal of enthusiasm was repressed in him by circumstances; and he was brother

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of an undoubted and fervid woman of genius, Mrs. Barbauld. There was more in the Aikin family than academical and sectarian connections suffered to come out of it.


IR BERTRAND turned his steed towards the woulds,

hoping to cross these dreary moors before the curfew. But ere he had proceeded half his journey, he was bewildered by the different tracks; and not being able, as far as the eye could reach, to espy any object but the brown heath surrounding him, he was at length quite uncertain which way he should direct his course. Night overtook him in this situation. It was one of those nights when the moon gives a faint. glimmering of light through the thick black clouds of a louring sky. Now and then she emerged in full splendour from her veil, and then instantly retired behind it, having just served to give the forlorn Sir Bertrand a wide extended prospect over the desolate waste. Hope and native courage awhile urged him to push forwards, but at length the increasing darkness and fatigue of body and mind overcame him; he dreaded moving from the ground he stood on, for fear of unknown pits and bogs; and alight ing from his horse in despair, he threw himself on the ground. He had not long continued in that posture when the sullen toll of a distant bell struck his ears-he started up, and turning towards the sound, discerned a dim twink

, ling light. Instantly he seized his horse's bridle, and with cautious steps advanced towards it. After a painful march he was stopt by a moated ditch surrounding the place from whence the light proceeded; and by a momentary glimpse of moon-light he had a full view of a large antique mansion, with turrets at the corners, and an ample porch in the centre. The injuries of time were strongly marked on everything about it. The roof in various places was fallen in, the battlements were half demolished, and the windows


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