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serviceable to his friend. What were Mr Hole's other contributions, I have now no means of ascertaining; but, at no great distance of time, he engaged in another review, where he presided for many years in the poetical department with great spirit and ability. To point out the articles which he contributed, and to discriminate their peculiar merit, is scarcely at this time in my power, and would certainly extend this sketch too far, were it attempted. We must return to the hymn and the translation.
Whether the hymn to Ceres be the work of Homer, or of a later author, is a question not yet decided, and which, at least, makes no part of our present subject. It was found in the same volume with the other poems of the immortal bard; is of high antiquity, and of peculiar simplicity and beauty. It is the legendary tale of Ceres wandering in pursuit of Proserpine; and though not a hymn, according to our ideas, is such when compared with other poems of antiquity, announced and quoted by the same title. The translation was executed very rapidly, but it betrays few marks of taste. The language has an epic dignity; the pauses are judiciously varied; but a faulty rhyme may sometimes be found, and, as perhaps the easier task, we find occasionally a few paraphrases, instead of the simple terseness of the original. The following description of Ceres in her disguise is highly picturesque, and happily finished.
“Beside a path, while o'er her drooping head His grateful shade a verdant olive spread; As by her feet Parthenius' waters flow, She sits, a pallid spectacle of woe. Her faded cheeks no more with beauty bloomed,
But now the form of wrinkled age assumed. She seemed like those whom each attractive
grace Forsakes, when Time with wrinkles marks the face; From whom the Cyprian pow'r indignant flies,
Her gifts refuses, and her charms denies; Who, in some regal dome, by fate severe, Are doomed to nurse, and serve another's heir."
"Four gentle nymphs, light, moving o'er the plain, Approach; four brazen urns their arms sustainGreat Celeus was their sire-he bade them bring The limpid water from Parthenius' spring.
The notes are short and explanatory. Mr Hole points out many apparent defects in the copy, and particularly in that part where the lines quoted by the scholiast on Nicander would probably have appeared. Not finding these lines in the present poem, has furnished some critics with an argument, that this is not the hymn originally attributed to Homer. Mr Hole possessed sufficient merit to enable me, without injury to his fame, to add, that the very elegant emendation of saga for a was suggested by archdeacon Moore, and the note on the Eleusinian Mysteries in part furnished by Mr Badcock. Seven years elapsed before Mr Hole appeared again as an author, in his own name. In this interval, however, he was not wholly idle. In the year 1782, Mr Badcock was engaged as an occasional contributor to the London Magazine, a very early rival of the Gentleman's, which for a time shared with it the public favour and encouragement. It had, however, been gradually sinking in both, when Mr Badcock's abilities were expected to raise this publication to its former rank. Major Drewe and Mr Hole promised their aid; and the former was a very liberal and lively coadjutor. A paper called The Link-boy was begun with some spirit, and a welldrawn character, the member of a supposed club, if I remember rightly, was communicated by our friend-a little Jeu d'Esprit on the recovery of a young attorney, of little practice, from a dangerous indisposition, we shall transcribe from this collection.
It is signed H. O. our friend's usual signature:
"On his sick-bed as Simple lay,
And die without a cause.
Jove wondering hears; his gracious nod
Without a cause he lives.
The principal and most important part of Mr Hole's communications, consisted of a series of dialogues between ideal personages. The beings who "hold converse sweet" had " name" only without a "local habitation," or indeed an existence but in the eye of poetic phrenzy or superstius ignorance. Yet, as having affixed characters, these may be, at least, supported in a dialogue, and become a vehicle for remarks of different kinds-the characters introduced are Belcour and Serjeant Kite, the Serpent of Regulus and the Dragon of St George, Mr Shandy, senior, and Matthew Bramble; Don Quixote, Sancho Panza, and Parson Adams.
There are some others of which I cannot ascertain the titles, but they may be perhaps found among his manuscripts, which are yet untouched, The conclusion, which contains a slight defence of the plan, I have happily recovered, and shall add a short extract from it:
latter wore at the river Granicus. I cannot conclude without expressing the satisfaction that glows within my breast, at thus finding out, and exhibiting to the world what a wonderful piece of thoughtism, as well as mechanisin, man is. Let the phraze animated nature be appropri ated to him alone, he may contain continents of animacula; his mind may be peopled with inhabitants ad infinitum, as they cannot crowd one another in regard to space. It might be mathematically demonstrated, that myriads may be contained in less than a needle's point; but I hate an ostentatious display of erudition. I leave it to future Priestleys to reduce them to materialism, and future thinkers to dissect them if they can."
"If the locality of abode, and reality of those dialogists should be enquired after, and lest any of my readers should suspect that they never had, or deny that they now have, any kind of existence, (for some malicious critics will suspect every thing, and say any thing) I do upon the honour of a gentleman and an author, most seriously assert, that this race of beings possesses the same kind of existence, and inhabits the sensorium of thousands, in the same manner as Pompey, Cæsar, or the greatest heroes of antiquity; and I defy Priestley himself to prove the contrary. The idea of Parson Adams is as much an inmate of the mind as of Alexander the Great, and may, for aught I know, go hand in hand with him to the latest posterity. His unaccomplished journey to London, and his ludicrous adventures on the road, maintain there as firm a possession as the hero's battles and heroic progress through Asia; and his hat, which had every colour but the original one, is as much remembered, and possessed of the same reality, as the eagle-plumed helmet, which the
The idea of conveying critical or satirical remarks, by dialogues between imaginary characters, was too happy to be overlooked, and some imitations of inferior execution appeared. There were two, however, which merit an exception; the author's of a dialogue between the Theseus of Corneille, and the Hamlet of Shakspeare; and of one between Clarissa Harlowe and Sophy Western. former was published, but the latter, the production of a lady of peculiar delicacy and distinguished abilities, was, I believe, never sent to the collection for which it was originally designed. Other communications from our friend to this work, but of no particular importance or value, I could point out. They were humorous descriptions of the follies of the day, and satirical hits in his grave or ironical style. To conclude his monthly connexions, we may just mention the British Magazine, a more recent attempt, which owes some valuable communications to his pen; and the Gentleman's Magazine, to which he was a long but not a very frequent contributor.
In 1789, Arthur, or the Northern Enchantment," which Mr Hole calls a poetical romance, appeared. This is a poem from the School of Ariosto, and probably begun in his more ardent, youthful days. He declares it to be an imitation of the old Metrical Romance, with some of its harsher features softened and modified. It is, indeed, too desultory to be considered as a regular epic, and too well connected, as well as too important in its action, to deserve the humbler title of a romance. The events and manners of the actors most
nearly resemble those of the Italian school, while the correcter imagery, and the uniform loftiness of the style, shew the author to be no mean proficient in that of Homer. The fable is artfully involved, and the catastrophe developed with peculiar skill. The third book, which relates the landing of Arthur in Solway Frith, is particularly interesting. It is full of romantic incidents; spells, prodigies, and enchantments attend us in every step; and it is more extravagantly, perhaps more pleasingly wild than any other part of the poem; yet few of the incidents appear to be new. We shall select two specimens; one of horror, another descriptive of elegance and beauty:
"Their voices well the British hero knew, And in his eyes swell'd pity's pearly dew. Their chains unbound, he led them to the
light, But ah! what horrid objects met his sight! Their hair, like elf-locks round their shoulders clung,
Each limb was weakened, every nerve unstrung.
Pale meagre famine sate in either faceExtinct the manly form, and martial grace. In hollow sockets dimly rolled their eyes, Their lab'ring bosoms heaved with frequent
sighsWith staggering steps they totter o'er the ground, And gain at length their prisons utmost bound; Then dropping on the verdant turf, inhale The long-lost sweetness of the fresh'ning gale."
mer productions; the language is more bold and energetic, the lines less monotonous; the measure more varied in its pauses; yet the minuter critic has discovered, that the variety is sometimes carried too far; and that the attempt to avoid an uniformity of cadence, too often interrupts the harmonious flow of the verse.-The periods it has been also said, sometimes run over a couplet into the third line. It may be admitted also, for our friend was not ashamed of confessing it, that the verses were not polished with the care which distinguished the version of Fingal; that the lines are not always sufficiently energetic, or the rhyme faultless. The lines which relate to "liberty" are highly animated and poetical. The poet is peculiarly happy in styling gray-hairs the following line, in the description the "Wreath of honoured age," and of the introduction of christianity from the north, is truly sublime: "And Sion's sacred song burst from the Celtic lyre."
The notes display copious and exmythology, and were, I believe, wholtensive knowledge of the Scandinavian ly his own, without any assistance
whatever. The Celtic and Gothic customs are carefully and ably discriminated, though so often confounded by authors even of distinguished reputation.
In a collection of miscellaneous
poetry, by gentlemen of Devon and Cornwall, the communications of Mr Hole are exclusively lyric. The tomb of Gunnar, imitated from an ancient Islandic fragment, preserved by Bartholine, is the first; the Ode prefixed to Fingal; Odes to Melancholy; Terror and Stupidity, follow in order:
We must revert to the institution of this society in the year 1792. In its first outline, the number of members was nine only, afterwards increased to twelve. Mr Hole was one of the "muses" of the first institution, and I need not recall to your recollection the various modes in which he has repeatedly entertained and instructed us. Sindbad, Shylock, and Iago, are well known; but the voyages of Ulysses, the modern dress of the Exmoor scolding, with various slight occasional communications, in the style of dry humour, in which he peculiarly excelled, must rise to the recollection of every one
now present; and it would be an insult to their feelings, to suppose for a moment that they could be forgotten. I know not that I particularly mentioned Mr Hole on the occasion, but the translations from the Argonautics of Orpheus, in a paper which I had the honour of reading to this society, were the productions of Mr Hole, and possessed considerable merit.
I need scarcely add in this place what Mr Hole was :-the sincere, the unaffected grief of the whole circle of his family and friends, demonstrates, more strikingly than words can paint, his worth, his merits, and his talents. Friendly and affectionate in the more limited circle, he claimed and obtained, in his turn, the warmest and most sincere attachment. The world in general saw in his character, honour, generosity, learning, and religion, and freely accorded their approbation and regard. His knowledge was solid and
well founded; his religion sincere and unaffected; his benevolence warm and unconfined. Without the parade of superior learning, he gained the esteem and confidence of those with whom he conversed; and never in a single instance lost a friend by a fault of his own. Mr Jackson, who soon followed Mr Hole to the grave, remarked, that he had known Hole more than thirty years, without having discovered a single fault in his character. No one possessed a more acute and penetrating discernment; no one was better acquainted with Mr Hole.
Of his works I need not again speak. A correct taste, gave an elegant polish to sound learning and solid information. In his conversation he was unaffectedly cheerful, humorous, entertaining, and instructive: in private life conciliating the warmest affection; in public the most solid esteem."
To the preceding sketch it is intended to add but a few words on the subject of some of the author's publications, which are there slightly noticed, or merely alluded to, and of the unpublished papers which he left behind him. Among the former, the Essay on the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, which is barely mentioned by reference to the principal subject of it, the voyages of the celebrated navigator Sindbad, was, in its origin, only a communication to the society above noticed, but afterwards written into a separate publication, and is perhaps the most learned, and, at the same time, the most ingenious and entertaining, of all the performances of its author. Its object was to illustrate the prodigies of Oriental fiction, which we are accustomed to regard in no other light than as the unrestrained and lawless wanderings of a wild or sportive imagination, by comparison with passages in history, with the real miracles of nature, and the grave relations of lying travellers, so as to prove that they might either have formed the subjects of actual belief, or have been attended by a much greater degree of apparent probability than they at present possess, in the minds of those who first heard and admired them, and for whose understandings or services they were designed and calculated.
The half sportive, half serious, essays on the characters of Iago and Shylock, are contained in the volume published by the society, together with a more elaborate paper by the same author, illustrative of the originality of Shakspeare's genius, which is highly indicative of his just taste, and strong poetical feeling.
For some time previous to his death, he had been engaged in another work of research and amusement, which he undertook upon near the same principles as the observations on Sindbad, which he had already given to the society, and afterwards to the public;-Remarks on the Voyages of Ulysses, as narrated in the Odyssey-a work which often delighted and instructed the writer of these pages while in its progress, but which was left by its author in a very imperfect and scattered state, except a part which was designed for an introduction to the remainder, and which was published after his death by the friend who composed the foregoing memoir, under the title of "An Essay on the Character of Ulysses, as delineated by Homer." This essay also had been read at the Exeter literary society. With regard to the unfinished work, of which it was to have formed a part, if the papers in which it was contained any longer exist, they have for the present eluded the search which has been made for them, under the supposition that, although certainly not in a state for separate publi
cation, they might have furnished considerable portions of interesting matter for the pages of a miscellaneous repository.
Of the remaining MSS. which have fallen into the hands of the present writer, the greater part appear to consist of short essays and pieces of fugitive poetry, which have already been given to the world in various periodical and other works of miscellaneous literature; besides a common place book, from which (as containing notices of much abstruse reading in books of unusual occurrence, and observations upon them) something may be hereafter gleaned which will answer the purpose of this publication. Some original plays,"Pyrrhus,"-" The Castilian Matron," and the " Trial of Friendship," tragedies, and others, of which also some account, with occasional specimens, may hereafter be given, and the little humorous poem which has given occasion to the insertion of the preceding memoir. Of this it is only intended to observe, that it is calculated to afford a just idea of the prevailing cast and turn of humour which characterised its author,-and that its foundation is a clever performance, by Thomas Brice, who was, half a century ago, a wellknown bookseller in Exeter, written on the same principle as Tim Bobbin's Toy-shop, and similar works, and entitled, “An Exmoor scolding, between two sisters, Wilmot Moreman and Thomasin Moreman, as they were spinning; also, an Exmoor Courtship; both in the propriety and decency of the Exmoor dialect, Devon; to which is adjoined a collateral paraphrase in plain English, for explaining barbarous words and phrases." The first part of this little work of humour, consisting of the scolding, our author did not venture to touch; but, among his papers has been found the commencement of what was probably intended as a pendant to his Theocritian, or rather a Virgilian version of the courtship-viz. a translation into Exmoor of the first eclogue of Virgil.
NOTICES OF THE ACTED DRAMA IN LONDON.
DRURY LANE THEATRE.
The Dwarf of Naples.
A DRAMA of this name was produced here on Saturday, March 18. We do not very well know how to speak of this work. As a whole, it is undoubtedly a strange and incomprehensible farrago; and yet there is a something about it that makes us feel that we are not entitled to consign it over to mere contempt. As wise people some times do very weak things, so it is very possible for a man of genius to produce a very dull and silly work. But yet there will always be a spice of redeeming virtue to be detected some where about it. We are inclined to think that the Dwarf of Naples is in this predicament. Nothing can be more forced, extravagant, and unnatural than the serious part of it, or more halting, unconnected and unintelligible than the comic; and yet there is some lively and pleasant writing in the latter part, and a few poetical thoughts and passages in the former. The serious part of the piece is
occupied with the attempts of Malvesi, the Dwarf (Mr Kean) to ruin and destroy his brother Guilio (Mr H. Kemble) precisely, as it appears, because he is his brother, and does every thing in his power to deserve his love and gratitude. The play opens at the return of Guilio, who is a Neapolitan general, and favourite of the king,from a successful campaign against the enemies of his country. Malvesi is filled with malice and envy at the triumphant reception of his brother, and forms a plan for his destruction. For this purpose he forges a letter, by which it appears that Guilio is secretly acting in concert with the Venetians, the enemies of Naples. This letter is, by a contrivance of Malvesi, produced at the moment of Guilio's intended nuptials, at which the king is present, who believes its contents, and in consequence banishes the supposed traitor from Naples, on pain of death; and his inheritance is conferred on Malvesi. Not content with this successful issue to his plans, Malvesi employs an agent to destroy