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gance. The windows look immediately upon the river, that brawls along its craggy channel at the feet of those high and sylvan rocks, which, circling round the glen, and shutting out every other prospect, make the lovely solitude a very JuanFernandez. I should have liked to have met you in this secluded dell, and there introduced you to our party. Surely the years which have passed away since our only and transient personal interview, have not been so oblivious, but we should have known each other. Why do you think me .cold to the idea of meeting you ? You have no reason for such a suspicion, unless you put that odd construction upon my desire that you should bring your wife with you.
A little more about this same party of ours to Downton. One of the nymphs that formed it, contributed, by au happy frolic, to make us fancy ourselves in one of the beautiful wilds of the southern latitudes.
She has immense animal spirits, and at times a great deal of genuine archness. Her sprightliness, and the command of her father's horses and servants, make her an inevitable ingredient in all the Ludlow parties of excursion. She is brunette, almost to swarthiness; and, though her features are not disagreeable, there are the thick lips, and
the large, dark, heavy eyes of the torrid zone. She had, that day, no powder in her sable locks, from which the heat, and riding on horseback, had taken every degree of curl.
In another seclusion, romantic as that of the mill, and more absolute, since it contained no trace of human habitation, or even footstep, the valley again widening into a circular glen, , we sat down, beneath one of the surrounding rocks, to shelter ourselves from the noon-beams.
Whether the idea struck our little nymph of making the scene more perfectly Otaheitean I know not, but she ran to the river-brink, threw off her riding-hat, and, parting her long coarse black hair down the sides of her face, danced to her own purposely dissonant. singing, in all sort of antic postures, and became the very figure we had seen represented in Cook's Voyages. We were all seized with the same idea, and exclaimed to each other“ what a complete little savage we are certainly in Otaheite.”
I have procured the handsomest frame our neighbourhood produces for the * Armida-Imogen, as you oddly term your Lucy.
You were very good to the family you mention
* Pript of Mrs Hardinge, and her little nephew.
shivering on the Cambrian mountains. The bar, barity they met from the fat Plurality of Windsor, amply entitled him to the lashes he received from your avenging wit.
I have been infinitely diverted with your image, presented to me walking solemnly up. Brecon church, in your large flowing wig, while the requisite gravity of your judgeship’s countenance was put to so severe a trial by the organ striking up, on your entrance,“ God save great * George our King.”—0! it was irresistible. Nor less ludicrous the choice of air selected by your preceding trumpeters, who played before you, “ Youth's the season made for joy," as prelusive to the hanging sentences. These same trumpeters certainly understood the disposition of the judge, or else had received a private hint from you to make that odd experiment upon the risibility of your council.
It flatters me that my sonnet, which begins
“ Since dark December shrouds the transient day,
Has, on the whole, pleased you so much—but I
* Mr Hardinge's name is George ; he is one of the Welch Judges.
cannot adopt your dislike to the word ire, perpepetually as it is used, by our best poets, as synonymous to anger; not only by the elder, but the modern poets. Pope's Homer says of Achilles,
“ Black choler fill’d his breast, that boild with ire,”
And of another warrior,
“ So rag'd Tydides, boundless in his ire.”
Milton also frequently uses that word in his blank verse, where its great convenience, as a rhyme, could be no temptation,
Thus, while he spoke, each passion dimm'd his face,
And Eve exclaims,
Me, me, only just object of his ire."
If, writing so well in rhyme, you were to write oftener in it, you would find the inconvenience of taking pet at words, and modes of expression in common use with our purest and finest writers. It would impede you more than you are aware of, in the ease, strength, and variety of your verses.
Dr Darwin is going to publish the second part of his brilliant poem, The Botanic Garden, from which I lately sent you extracts. Perhaps it may be too resplendent. Darwin polishes higher than even Pope, and is apt to fancy every thing prose which is not picture ; forgetting that the sober parts of a composition, by contrasting the blazing ones, contribute to the general perfection of the work. He should reflect that admiration cannot exist long on the full stretch, but requires repose to recruit her strength and recover her elasticity; « that we gaze a while with delight on eminences glittering with the sun, but soon turn our dazzled eyes to verdure, and to flowers."
I am however surprised to find you cold to Darwin's poetic powers; to see you terming him too much of an epithet-monger to be a fine poet in your estimation. Surely his genius is strong, glowing, and original; his numbers grand, rich, and harmonious, though perhaps not sufficiently easy and various.
The feeble make-weight epithet I dislike, as much as you can do—but the plenteous use of judicious picturesque epithets is vital to poetry. Milton, who imitates Homer closely, has, like his model, more epithets than any of our bards; since, besides the frequent compound epithet, he often gives four or five to a single substantive.