Page images
[ocr errors]

kind. But let our poet, while he writes epistles, though never so familiar, still remember that he writes in verse, and must for that reason have à more than ordinary care not to fall into profe, ' and a vulgar diction, excepting where the nature • and humour of the thing does neceffarily require fi-it. In this point Horace hath been thought by • some critics to be sometimes careless, as well as s too negligent of his versification ; of which he < seems to have been sensible himself.

• All I have to add is, that both thefe manners of writing may be made as entertaining, in their

way, as any other species of poetry, if underta* ken by perfon's duly qualified; and the latter fort

may be managed so as to become in a peculiar * manger inftructive.

"I am, co

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

I shall add an observation or two to the remarks of my ingenious correfpondent, and, in the firft place, take notice, that subjects of the most sublime nature are often treated in the epiftolary way with advantage, as in the famous epistle of Horače to Auguftus. The poet surprises us with his pomp, and feems rather betrayed into his subject, than to have aimed at it by defign. He appears like the vifit of a king incognito, with a mixture of famillarity and grandeur. In works of this kind, when the dignity of the fübject hurries the poet into de. fcriptions and sentiments, feemingly unpremeditated, by a sort of inspiration ; it is usual for him to recollect himself, and fall back gracefully into the natural ftile of a letter.

I might here mention an epistolary poem, just published by Mr. Eufden on the King's acceffion to the throne ; wherein, amongst many other noble and beautiful ftrokes of poetry, his reader may see this rule very happily obferved.


NO 619. FRIDAY, November 12.

- Dura Exerce imperia, et ramos compefce fluentes.

VIRG. Georg. ii. ver. 369.

Exert a rigorous fway,
And lop the too luxuriant boughs away.

Have often thought, that if the feveral letters

which are written to me under the character of SPECTATOR, and which I have not made use of, were published in a volume, they would not be an unentertaining collection. The variety of the subjects, ftiles, sentiments, and informations, which are transmitted to me, would lead a very curious, or very idle reader, insensibly along, through a great mapy pages. I know some authors, who would pick up a Secret History out of such materials, and make a bookseller an alderman by the copy. I shall therefore carefully preserve the original papers in a room fet apart for that purpofe, to the end that they may be of service to pofterity; but shall at present content myself with owning the receipt of several letters, lately come to my hands, the authors whereof are impatient for an answer..

Clarisa, whose letter is dated from Cornbill, de. fires to be eased in some fcruples relating to the kill of astrologers, Referred to the dumb man for an answer.

J. C. who proposes a, as he calls it, to che Love-cafuift, is hereby defired to speak of it. to the minister of the parish; it being a case of conscience,

The poor young lady, whose letter is dated Ottober 26, who complains of a harsh guardian, and an unkind brother, can only have my good wishes, unless the pleases to be more particular.



The petition of a certain gentleman, whose name I have forgot, famous for renewing the eurls of decayed periwigs, is referred to the cenfor of fmall

The remonstrance of T. C. againft the profanation of the Sabbath by barbers, shoe cleaners, &c. had better be offered to the society of reformers.

A learned and laborious treatise upon the art of fencing, returned to the author.

To the gentleman of Oxford, who defires me to insert a copy of Latin verses, which were denied a place in the university-book. Answer. Nonuni prematur in annum.

To my learned correspondent who writes against masters gowns, and poke-fleeves, with a word in defence of large fcarves. Antwer. I resolve not to raise animofities among the clergy.

To the lady who writes with rage against one of her' own sex, upon the account of party-warmth. Answer. Is not the Lady sbe writes against reckored handsome ?

I delire Tom Truelove, (who fends me a Sonnet upon his mistress, with a desire to print it immediately) to consider, that it is long fince I was in love.

I shall answer a very profound letter from my ola friend the upholsterer, who is Itill inquisitive whether the King of Sweden be living or dead, by whispering him in the ear, That I believe he is alive.

Let Mr. Dapperwit confider, What is that long ftory of the cuckoldom to me?

At the earneft defire of Monimia's. lover, who.. declares himself very penitent, he is recorded in my paper by the name of The faithful Caftalio.

The petition of Charles Cocksure, which the peti. tioner ftiles very reasonable.RejeEted.

The memorial of Philander, which he desirès may be dispatched oat of handy popponed

I degre

I defire S. R. not to repeat the expreffion under the fun, fo often in his next letter.

The letter of P. S. who desires either to have it printed intire, or committed to the flames. Not to be printed entire.


Hic vir, hic eft, tibi quem promitti fæpiùs audis.

VIRG. Æn. vi. ver. 791. Behold the promis'd chief !

of verfas full of the false fublime, I shall here communicate to hin an excellent specimen of the true : Though it hath not been yet published, the judicious reader will readily discern it to be the work of a master: And if he hath read that noblè poem on The prospect of peace, he will not be at a loss to guess at the autbor.

The 'ROYAL PROGRESS. WH HEN BRUNSWICK first appear'd, each honest :

heart, Intent on verse, disilain'd the rules of art; For him the fongfers, in unmeasur'd odes, Debas'd Alcides, and dethron'd the gods, In golden chains the Kings of India led, Or rent the turbant from the Sultan's head. Dre, in old fables, and the Pagan Atrain, With-Nymphs and Tritons, wafts him o'er the main Another draws fierce Lucifer in arms, And fills thinfernal region with alarms; Athird awakes fome Druid, to foretel. Each future triumph from his dreary cell. Exploded fancies!' that in vain deceive, While the mind haufeates what she can't believe.

[ocr errors]

My muse th' expected hero shall pursue
From climé to clime, and keep him fill in view :
His fbining march describe in faithful lays,
Content to paint him, nor prefume to praise: 1,
Their charms, if charms they have, the truth supplies,

from the theme unlabour'd beauties rife.

By longing nations for the throne design.d,
And callid to guard the rights of human-kind;
With secret grief his godlike foul repines,
And Britain's crown with joyless luftre foines,
Wbile prayers and tears his destin'd progress stay,
And crouds of mourners choke their sov'reign's way.
Not so he marcb'd, when hostile squadrons ftood
In scenes of death, and fir'd his gen'rous blood ;
When his hot courser paw'd th' Hungarian plain,
And adverse legions stood the sbock in vain.
His frontiers past, the Belgian bounds he views,
And cross the level fields his march pursues.
Here, pleas'd the land of freedom to survey, .
He greatly Scorns the thirst of boundless sway.
O'er the thin foil, with filent joy, he spies.
Transplanted goods, and borrow'd verdure rise ;
Where ev'ry meadow won with toil and blood,
From haughty tyrants, and the raging flood,
With fruits and

flow'rs the careful hind supplies,
And clothes the marshes in a rich disguise.
Such wealth for frugal hands doth Heav'n decree,
And such thy gifts, celestial liberty!

Through stately towns, and many a fertile plair,
The pomp advances to the neighbouring main.
Whole nation's croud around with joyful cries,
And view the hero with insatiate eyes.

In Haga's towers he waits, 'till eastern galesi
Propitious rise to well the British Jails.
Hither the fame of England's Monarch brings
The vows and friendships of the neighbring Kings:


« PreviousContinue »