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never better pleased than with a plain man's compliment, who, upon his friend's telling him that he would like the Spectator much better if he understood the motto, replied, « Good wine needs no bush."

I have heard of a couple of preachers in a country town, who endeavoured which should outshine one another, and draw together the greatest congregation. One of them being well versed in the fathers, used to quote every now and then a Latin sentence to his illiterate hearers, who it seems found themselves so edified by it, that they flocked in greater numbers to this learned man than to his rival. The other finding his congregation mouldering every Sunday, and hearing at length what was the occasion of it, resolved to give his parish a little Latin in his turn; but being unacquainted with any of the fathers, he digested into his sermons the whole book of Quæ Genus, adding, however, such explications to it as he thought might be for the benefit of his people. He afterwards entered upon As in præsenti, which he converted in the same manner to the use of his parish. ioners. This in a very little time thickened his audience, filled his church, and routed his antagonist.

The natural love to Latin, which is so prevalent in our common people, makes me think that my speculations fare never the worse among them for that little

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which

appears at the head of them; and what the more encourages me in the use of quotations in an unknown tongue, is, that I hear the ladies, whose approbation I value more than that of the whole learned world, declare themselves in a more particular manner pleased with my Greek mottoes.

Designing this day's work for a dissertation upon the two extremities of my paper, and having already despatched my motto, I shall, in the next place, discourse upon those single capital letters which are placed at the end of it, and which have afforded great matter of speculation to the curious. I have heard various conjectures upon this subject. Some tell us, that C is the mark of those papers that are written by the Clergyman, though others ascribe them to the Club in general. That the papers marked with R, were written by my friend Sir Roger. That L signifies the Lawyer, whom I have described in my Speculation; and that T stands for the Trader or Merchant: but the letter X, which is placed at the end of some few of my papers, is that which has

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puzzled the whole town, as they cannot think of any name which begins with that letter, except Xenophon and Xerxes, who can neither of them be supposed to have had any hand in these speculations.

In answer to these inquisitive gentlemen, who have many of them made inquiries of me by letter, I must tell them the reply of an ancient philosopher, who carried something hidden under his cloak. A certain acquaintance desiring him to let him know what it was he covered so carefully, “I cover it (says he) on purpose that you should not know.

." I have made use of these obscure marks for the same purpose. They are, perhaps, little amulets or charms to preserve the paper against the fascination or malice of evil eyes; for which reason I would not have my reader surprised, if hertafter he sees any of my papers marked with a Q, a Z, a Y, an &c., or with the word Abracadabra.

I shall, however, so far explain myself to the reader, as to let him know that the letters C, L, and X, are cabalistical, and carry more in them than it is proper for the world to be acquainted with. Those who are versed in the philosophy of Pythagoras, and swear by the Tetracthtys, that is, the numper four, will know very well that the number ten, which is signified by the letter X, (and which has so much perplexed the town,) has in it many particular powers; that it is called by Platonic writers the complete number; that one, two, three, and four, put together, make up the number ten; and that ten is all. But these are not mysteries for ordinary readers to be let into. A man must have spent many years in hard study before he can arrive at the knowledge of them.

We had a rabbinical divine in England, who was chaplain to the Earl of Essex in Queen Elizabeth's time, that had an admirable head for secrets of this nature. Upon his taking the doctor of divinity's degree, he preached before the university of Cambridge, upon the first verse of the first chapter of the first book of Chronicles, in which (says he) you will see the three following words,

Adam, Sheth, Enosh. IIe divided this short text into many parts, and discovering several mysteries in each word, made a most learned and elaborate discourse. The name of this profound preacher was Doctor Alabaster, of whom the reader may find a more particular account in Doctor Fuller's book of English W

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thies. This instance will, I hope, convince my readers, that there may be a great deal of fine writing in the capital letters which bring up the rear of my pap?r, and give them some satisfaction in that particular. But as for the full explication of these matters, I must refer them to time, which discovers all things.

No. 223. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15.

O suavis anima! qualem bonam

Antehac fuisse, tales cùm sint reliquiæ! PHÆD. WHEN I reflect upon the various fate of those multitudes of ancient writers who flourished in Greece and Italy, I consider time as an immense ocean, in which many noble authors are entirely swallowed up, many very much shattered and damaged, some quite disjointed and broken into pieces, while some have wholly escaped the common wreck; but the number of the last is

very

small.

Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto. Among the mutilated poets of antiquity, there is none whose fragments are so beautiful as those of Sappho. They give us a taste of her way of writing, which is perfectly conformable with that extraordinary character we find of her, in the remarks of those great critics who were conversant with her works when they were entire. One may see by what is left of them, that she followed nature in all her thoughts, without descending to those little points, conceits, and turns of wit, with which many of our modern lyrics are so miserably infected. Her soul seems to have been made up of love and poetry: she felt the passion in all its warmth, and described it in all its symptoms. She is called by ancient authors the Tenth Muse; and by Plutarch is compared to Cacus, the son of Vulcan, who breathed out nothing but flame. I do nut know by the character that is given of her works, whether it is not for the benefit of mankind that they are lost. They were filled with such bewitching tenderness and rapture, that it might have been dangerous to have given them a reading.

An inconstant lover, called Phaon, occasioned great calami. ties to this poetical lady. She fell desperately in love with hiin, and took a voyage into Sicily, in pursuit of him, he bav. ing withdrawn himself thither on purpose to avoid her. It was in that island, and on this occasion, she is supposed to have made the Hymn to Venus, with a translation of which I shall present my reader. Her hymn was ineffectual for the procuring that happiness which she prayed for in it. Phaon was still obdurate, and Sappho so transported with the violence of her passion, that she was resolved to get rid of it at any price.

There was a promontory in Acarnania called Leucate, on the top of which was a little temple dedicated to Apollo. In this temple it was usual for despairing lovers to make their vows in secret, and afterwards to fling themselves from the top of the precipice into the sea, where they were sometimes taken up alive. This place was therefore called The Lover's Leap; and whether or no the fright they had been in, or the resolution that could push them to so dreadful a remedy, or the bruises which they often received in their fall, banished all the tender sentiments of love, and gave their spirits another turn; those who had taken this leap were observed never to relapse into that passion. Sappho tried the cure, but perished in the experiment.

After having given this short account of Sappho so far as it regards the following Ode, I shall subjoin the translation of it as it was sent me by a friend, whose admirable pastorals and winter-piece have been already so well received. The reader will find in it that pathetic simplicity which is so peculiar to him, and so suitable to the Öde he has here translated. This Ode in the Greek (besides those beauties observed by Madame Dacier) has several harmonious turns in the words, which are not lost in the English. I must fur. ther add, that the translation has preserved every image and sentiment of Sappho, notwithstanding it has all the ease and spirit of an original. In a word, if the ladies have a mind

, to know the manner of writing practised by the so much

· Mr. Ambrose Philips ; who was a friend of our author, but being a great party-man, drew upon himself much envy, and, of course, the ridicule of the wits; such of them, I mean, as lived in connexions opposite to his.

As a poet, however, he had real merit, which consisted in a certain natural turn of sentiment and expression, called by his friends, simpricity; and by his enemies, we may be sure, insipidity. The worst part of his character is that he was generally thought (and I believe on good grounds) to have done Mr. Pope ill offices with Mr. Addison ; for which bu is treated by that poet, on many occasions, with great severity.

celebrated Sappho, they may here see it in its genuine and Datural beauty, without any foreign or affected ornamento.

AN HYMN TO VENUS.

I.
O Venus, beauty of the skies,
To whom a thousand temples rise,
Gaily false in gentle smiles,
Full of love-perplexing wiles :
O goddess ! from my heart remove
The wasting cares and pains of love

II.
If ever thou hast kindly heard
A song in soft distress preferred,
Propitious to my tuneful vow,
O gentle goddess, hear me now.
Descend, thou bright, immortal guest,
In all thy radiant charms confest.

III.
Thou once didst leave Almighty Jove,
And all the golden roofs above :
The car thy wanton sparrows drew,
Hovering in air they lightly flew;
As to my bower they winged their way'
I saw their quivering pinions play.

IV.
The birds dismist (while you remain)
Bore back their empty car again:
Then you, with looks divinely mild,
In every heavenly feature smiled,
And asked what new complaints I made.
And why I called you to my aid !

V.

What phrensy in my busom raged,
And by what cure to be assuaged ?
What gentle youth I would allure,
Whom in my artful toils secure ?
Who does thy tender heart subdue,
Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who ?

VI.
Though now he shuns thy longing arms,
He soon shall court thy slighted charms;
Though now thy offerings he despise,
He soon to thee shall sacrifice;
Though now he freeze, he soon shal! 34.9mm
And he thy victim in is turn

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