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veetest thrub ple violet, and so and cull in Pring;

dropt the sheephook from my trembling hand, whilft thou reclining on my trouble! breast, in broken accents told me thou didít love.' O Lycas ! faidst thou, Lycas ! (--I love thee! witness ye peaceful groves and solitary fountains ; for oft you have heard the soft complaints I made; and you, ye flowers that I have bedewed with tears. O Chloe! how enraptured is thy fwain! yes, love's a blessing words cannot express. This spot be consecrated then to love. I'll plant young rose trees round about this elm. Around its trunk the scammony fhall grow, adorned with flowers of purplefpotted white. Here I will gather all the sweets of spring; the piony and lily here shall blow. I'll go and cull in meads and verdant fields the purple violet, and sweet-scented pink, and all the sweetest shrubs and plants that grow. Of these I'll form a little grove of flowers, breathing perfumes ; and round it will I turn the nighbouring stream, to form an Ise, to which a fence of thorns I'll raise beside, to keep the goats and sheep from browzing here. . “Come then ye plaintive turtles, hither come, who live in love, and coo beneath my elm. Hither ye little birds, too, come away, and count your mates beneath the rose-tree's thorn. And you, ye vagrant butterflies, so gay, here sport on beds of Aowers, embrace, and vent your transports.

« Then shall the shepherd, as he passes by, and scents the sweet perfumes that Âll the air, cry out, “What goddess “ claims this consecrated place? Is it to Venus sacred ? or 66 hath Diana deckeç it out so fine, to slumber here when “ wearied with the chace?”

In the above piece Mr. Gesner has made near approaches to the beautiful fimplicity of Theocritus. The invention of gardens, a subject which we do not remember to have seen treated before, is accounted for very naturally; and the images of pastoral love and innocence are happily conceived. The author has made the invention of the lyre, and of singing, the subject of another of these essays. The first hint for the lyre he observes, with more than poetical probability, was caught from the twang of a bowstring, and the art of singing was first derived from the imitation of birds. Both these events are very poetically introduced, and love and innocent enthusiasm are made the principal agents.

We doubt not that this little account of these juvenile performances of Mr. Gefner will excite in our readers a curiofity to see the whole. Of the translation we have likewise given sufficient specimens,

Occasional Occasional thoughts on the study and chara&ter of clasical authors,

on the course literature, and the present plan of a learned education with fome incidental comparisons between Homer and Ollian, 8vo. 2 s. Richardson. T HE author of these thoughts is a literary sceptic of the

fame stamp with the author of the Reflections on learning, but his scepticism is of a less dangerous tendency. He combats received opinions with the eagerness of Baker, but with unequal force. He is always wordy, but seldom clear,

Sometimes, however, his opinions are well founded. The insufficiency of that system of education which is followed in our schools must be obvious to all who have got clear of pedantic prejudices. .

There is something, likewise, in his observations on an age of ornament. Then, says he, “the aim of every one will be rather to exhibit the little he knows with shew and oftentation, than to examine into the principles on which it is founded. For this purpose the grand object of his attention will be language. The men of learning, at such a time, will be, strictly speaking, men of letters ; instead of laying in a stock of useful knowledge, they will fill the storehouses of science with nothing but idioms and phrases; and in working upon these fiimsy materials, will the chief ingenuity of these artists be shewn. Words will be derived from words, and books will be made from books-Men will write upon Homer and Aristotle ; but they will not write nor think upon nature. It is here then that we may expect to be entertained with every trick which can be played with words—we Thall see them cut and moulded into a thousand different shapes, exhibiting to our view a hatchet or a handfaw, an egg or a pyramid. And this not by any intrinsic meaning, but in plain outward form; as if people thought this was the only way in which a combination of letters could possibly represent a material object.” .“ In fact, whatever reference to real existence the first inventors of letters or characters might havz, and whatever resemblance to natural objects the symbols they devised might bear, so as to be an easy mcans of bringing the appearance of things to our vivo, inftead of things themselves; this in time gradualiy wears off, and as language is refined, words ceafe to be regarded as the representatives of things ; and are so far from carrying the mind on to any farther contemplation, that they rather invite it to stop at them alone ; forming, as it

14

were,

were, a specious kind of skreen between us and nature; which we must either throw down, or turn our eyes some other way, if we would obtain a true view of things. And the more exquisite the painting on this skreen appears, the more it will attract our regard, and the less likely shall we be to divorce ourselves from it to look on the rougher and less polished face of nature. They too whose business it is to beautify this splendid picce of patchwork; to dispose their gaudy purple colouring in the most striking point of view; must be fo intirely taken up with this employment, that it is not to be sup: posed, they can have much opportunity, if they had inclination, to bestow their attention on more useful purposes.”

The author, whether he might intend it or not, has given us an instance in the above passage of that. kind of writing which he condemns. What a multitude of words has he employed to tell us that too much ornament makes us lose sight of nature !

There is some humour in the following paragraph, and posibly there may be also in it some truth.

" I have often amused myself with considering the wonderful analogy which I am confident might be discovered to obtain in there matters; so that the same age which gives into ornament in dress and architecture ; which tortures nature into quaint shapes in their gardens; should uniformly be found to play the famie pranks with their food, both of body and mind and I have not the least doubt with myself, but that Gllogilins and mince-pies, prædicaments and folomon gundy, forced meat and school-divinity would appear, on due inquiry, to be exactly cozeval.”

As inost of these occasional thoughts seem to depreciate the ancient classic writers, and were ultimately intended, as we mall foon have occasion to observe, to raise one name on the ruins of another, we shall consider those arguments that more inmediately tend to that purpose. The following observations on the defects of ancient languages must not pass uncensured.

“ Whoover cxamines them with any accuracy will find that all ancient languages are extremely defective in this reípect, that their words are only signs of very general and inderminate ideas. In Hebrew this perhaps might be extended even to ve: bs and nouns ; but in Greek and Latin it is obfervable chiefly in epithets, or the names of qualities. On this account ancient poely, and indeed all other ancient

writings writings whatever (if we except only a few triling distinctions in logic) are and necessarily must be conveyed in very indistinct and indefinite terms: so that the size and shape of any object, or at least its peculiar marks and features must in all such descriptions be set before us in a very vague and confused manner. Their writing like their painting at such times, is either all of one colour with only fome general variations of white and black, light and shade; or the colours and figures, through a want of accuracy, run into each other, and are so blended together, that all diftinction of the different parts and bounds is entirely lost.

“ This necessary imperfe&tion, though it may not be so sensibly felt in the sublime, to which it is not perhaps altogether unsuitable, in all the fofter species of poetry, where a more delicate penciling is required, where certain minute strokes and touches are the leading characters, must be an essential loss.”

The author would have done well to inform us to what ära he would have these observations on the defects of ancient languages confined. If he would impute them to the classical ages, he muft, notwithstanding his pretensions to the contrary, have a very superficial knowledge of the expressive power of the ancient languages. “ In all the softer species of poetry, where a delicate penciling is required, where certain minute strokes and touches are the leading characters,” in all the nice dilcriminations of passion, sentiment, character and description the works of the illustrious ancients are eminently fine; their languages therefore could not in this respect be deficient. Perhaps a passage or two from their writings may be moro fatisfactory : observe then the following,

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Bis 1.vr xxAcion. A g e ra:ks and features in these descriptions set before

in a very vague and confused manner"? Is “the painting e kr 2 of one colour, with only some general variations of white and black, light and shade”? Are " the colours and E res, through a want of accuracy, run into each other”? and are they ~ 10 blended together, that all distinction of the Cirrent parts and bounds is intirely loft”? Who does not ke the injustice of these assertions? — But it is a fine thing to Dare a few terms ready to draw off upon occasion! How focaly runs the declamatory stream! how easily the words fall into their order ; where if they stand full and fair, their truth is never disputed!

However, as we have produced paffages from an ancient riter that make against this occasional and, let us add, superAizminéer's objections to the ancient languages, we mult, in artice to hiin, give admission to what he has quoted in favour of his opinion.

- Perhaps (says he) an instance which just now occurs to ce may more fully explain my meaning. It is one, which, I am ture, will not be thought disadvantageous to ancient pery: I KNOW NOT, indeed, whether a more favourable che could be selected. In the eleventh book of the Æneid, where Virgil is describing the funeral-obsequies of the young wahappy Pallas; amongst other circumstances, all finely imagined, he throws in that most striking one of the dead warFour's horse; whose part, in this mournful scene, is set before us in the two following beautiful lines,

« Post bellator equus, politis infignibus, Æthon,

“ It lachrymans, guttifque humectat grandibus ora." This, if ought ever was, must undoubtedly be reckoned true pocity, and just painting. The poet is not contented with barely telling us that Æthen wept, or, as the historian says of Cæsar's horses, “ quod ubertim fieret;" but with an enumeration of particulars, adds

- guttisque humectat grandibus ora ! I am far from meaning to infinuate that there is the least

et in this pasiaye : perhaps any thing more minute night have the dignity of the circumiance. But if the reader will only

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