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jesty and filled up the fore-ground. “ Ah! no doubt, my lord,” said Canning; “ your elephants, wise fellows ! staid behind to pack up their trunks!” This floored the ambassador for half an hour.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries almost all our ambassadors were distinguished men. * Read Lloyd's State Worthies. The third-rate men of those days possessed an infinity of knowledge, and were intimately versed not only in the history, but even in the
* Yet Diego de Mendoza, the author of Lazarillo de Tormes, himself a veteran diplomatist, describes his brethren of the craft, and their duties, in the reigns of Charles the Emperor and Philip the Second, in the following terms :
O embajadores, puros majaderos,
Que si los reyes quieren engañar,
Comienzan por nosotros los primeros.
Y jamas hacer cosa, ni dezilla,
Que no corramos riesgo de enseñar.. What a pity it is that modern diplomatists, who, for the most part, very carefully observe the precept contained in the last two lines of this passage, should not equally bear in mind the importance of the preceding remark — that their principal business is just to do no mischief. -- ED.
heraldry, of the countries in which they were resident. Men were almost always, except for mere compliments, chosen for their dexterity and experience — not, as now, by Parliamentary interest.:.
The sure way to make a foolish ambassador is to bring him up to it. What can an English minister abroad really want but an honest and bold heart, a love for his country and the ten commandments? Your art diplomatic is stuff:— no truly great man now would negotiate upon any such shallow principles.
August 30. 1833.
MAN CANNOT BE STATIONARY - FA
TALISM AND PROVIDENCE.
If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil. He cannot stop at the
beast. The most savage of men are not beasts ; they are worse, a great deal worse.
The conduct of the Mohammedan and Western nations on the subject of contagious plague illustrates the two extremes of error on the nature of God's moral government of the world. The Turk changes Providence into fatalism; the Christian relies upon it when he has nothing else to rely on. He does not practically rely upon it at all.
September 2. 1833.
CHARACTERISTIC TEMPERAMENT OF NA. TIONS. – GREEK PARTICLES. – LATIN COMPOUNDS.-PROPERTIUS.-TIBULLUS. - LUCAN. - STATIUS. - VALERIUS FLACCUS. - CLAUDIAN. – PERSIUS. PRUDENTIUS. — HERMESIANAX.
The English affect stimulant nourishmentbeef and beer. The French, excitants, irritants — nitrous oxide, alcohol, champagne. The Austrians, sedatives—hyoscyamus. The Russians, narcotics — opium, tobacco, and
It is worth particular notice how the style of Greek oratory, so full, in the times of political independence, of connective particles, some of passion, some of sensation only, and escaping the classification of mere grammatical logic, became, in the hands of the declaimers and philosophers of the Alexandrian æra, and still later, entirely deprived of this peculiarity. So it was with Homer as compared with Nonnus, Tryphiodorus, and the like. In the latter there are in the same number of lines fewer words by one half than in the Iliad. All the appoggiaturas of time are lost.
The old Latin poets attempted to compound as largely as the Greek; hence in Ennius such words as belligerentes, &c. In nothing did Virgil show his judgment more than in rejecting these, except just where common usage had sanctioned them, as omnipotens and a few more. He saw that the Latin was too far advanced in its formation,
and of too rigid a character, to admit such composition or agglutination. In this particular respect Virgil's Latin is very admirable and deserving preference. Compare it with the language of Lucan or Statius, and count the number of words used in an equal number of lines, and observe how many more short words Virgil has.
I cannot quite understand the grounds of the high admiration which the ancients expressed for Propertius, and I own that Tibullus is rather insipid to me. Lucan was a man of great powers; but what was to be made of such a shapeless fragment of party warfare, and so recent too! He had fancy rather than imagination, and passion rather than fancy. His taste was wretched, to be sure; still the Pharsalia is in my judgment a very wonderful work for such a youth as Lucan* was.
* Lucan died by the command of Nero, A.D. 65, in his twenty-sixth year. I think this should be printed at the beginning of every book of the Pharsalia. —ED.