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Great-Britain is indebted sor the happy conduct of her sirms, in whom she can boast, that she has produced a ;nan formed by Nature to lead a nation of Heroes.
N° 6. Saturday, April 23, 1709.
Will'% Cosi'ee-house, April 22.
IAM just come from visiting Sappho, a sine Lady, who writes verses, sings, dances, and can fay and do whatever she pleases, without the imputation of any thing that can injure her character; sor she is so well known to have no passion but self-love; or folly, but affectation; that now, upon any occasion, they only cry, "It is her way, and, that is so like her," without farther reflection. As I came into the room, she cries, Oh! Mr. Bkkerslaff, I am utterly undone; I have broke that pretty Italian fan I shewed you when y.u uere here last, wherein were so admirably drawn our sirst parents in Paradise, asleep in each other's arms. But there is such an affinity between painting and poetry, that 1 have been improving the images which were raised by that picture, by reading the fame representation in two of our greatest poets. Look you, here are the passages in Milton and in Dryden. All Milton's thoughts are wondersully just and natural, in that inimitable description which Jdam makes of himself in the eighth .book of Paradise Losi. But there is none of them liner than that contained in the sollowing lines, where he tells us his thoughts, when he was falling asleep a little after the creation:
While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not whither,
First sound me, and with soft oppression seiz'd
But now I cannot sorgive this odious thing, this Dryden, who, in his State cf Innocence, has given nry great grandmother E-ve the fame apprehension of annihilation on a very different occasion; as Adam pronounces it of himself, when he was seized with a pleasing kind of stupor and deadness, Eve fancies herself failing away, and dissolving in the hurry of a rapture. However, the verses are very good, and I do not know but what stlc' fays may be natural; 1 will read them:
When your kind eyes look'd languishing on mine,
She went, and faid a thoufand good things at random, but so strangely mixed, that you would be apt to fay, all her wit is mere good luck, and not the effect of reason and judgment. When I made my escape hither, I sound a Gentleman playing the critic on two other great Poets, even Virgiland Homer. He was observing, that Virgil is more judicious than the other in the epithets he gives his Hero. Homer's usual epithet, faid he, is TloSz; uxvr, or noSa^tr-:, and his indiscretion has beea often rallied by the critics, for mentioning the nimble^ ness of. soot in Achilles, though he describes him standing, sitting, lying down, sighting, eating, drinking, or in any other circumstance, however foreign or repugnant to speed and activity. Virgil's common epithet to Æneas is Pius, or Pater. I have theresore considered, faid he, what passage there is in any of his Hero's actions, where either of these appellations would have been most improper, to see if I could catch him at the C 4. fame fame fault with //awfr .' And this, I think, is his meetings with Dido in the cave, where Pius Æneas would have been absurd, and Pater Æneas a burlesque: The Poet J»as therefore wisely dropped them both for DuxTrcjaims^
Speluncam Dido dux & T'rojanus eandem
Which he has repeated twice, in Juno's speech and hi». ewn narration: For he very well knew, a loose actions might be consistent enough with the usual manners of a Ibldier, though it became neither the chastity of a pl•us man, nor the gravity of the father of a people.
Grecian Cossee-house, April 22.
While other parts of the town are amused with th» present actions, we generally spend the evening at this table in. enquiries into antiquity, and think any thingNews which gives us new knowledge. Thus we are Raking a very pleafant entertainment to ourselves, inputting tLe aclkns of Homer's llicd into an exact. Joui nal.
This Poem is introduced by Chryjes, King of Chrysa and Priest of Apollo, who comes to re-demand, his daughter, who had been carried off at the taking of that city,, snd given to Agamemnon for his part of the booty. The resufal he received enrages Apollo, who for nine days showered down darts upon them, which occasioned the pestilence.
The tenth day Achilles assembled the Council, and encourages Cbalcas to speak for the surrender of Chiyse'isy to appease Apollo. Agamemnon and Achilles storm at one another, notwithstanding which, Agamemnon will not release his prisoner, unless he has Brifeis in her stead.. .After long contestations, wherein Agamemnon gives a glorious character of Achilks's valour, he determines to restore Chryfiis to her father, and sends two heralds to setch away Brifeis from Achilles, who abandons himself lo sorrow and despair. His mother Thetis comes to comfort him under his asfliction, and promises to represent iis sorrowsul lamention to Jupiter: But he could not
attend attend to it; sor, the evening besore, he had appointed to divert himself sor two days beyond the seas with the harmless Æthiopians.
It was the twenty sirst day after Chrysetth arrival at the camp, that Thetis went very early to demand an audience of Jupiter. The means he used to fatisfy her were, to persuade the Greeks to attack the Trejant; that so they might perceive the consequence of contemning Achilles, and the miseries they suffer, if be does not head them. The next night he orders Agamemnon, in a dream, to attack them ; who was deceived with the hopes of obtaining a victory, and also taking the city, without sharing the honour with Acbiller.
On the twenty-second in the morning he assemble* the Council, and having made a feint of raising thar siege and retiring, he declares to them his dream; and, together with Nestor and Vhjses, resolves on-an engage* ment.
This was the twenty-third dayr which is full of incidents, and which continues from almost the beginning of the second Iliad to the eighth. The armies-being then drawn up in view of one other, Hetlor brings it about that Menelcms and Paris, the two persons concerned in the quarrel, should decide it by a single combat, which tending to the advantage of Menelaus, was interrupted by a cowardice insused by Minerva: Then botharmies engage, where the Trojans have the difadvantage; bnt being afterwards animated by Apollo, they repulse the enemy, yet they are once again sorced to give ground ? but their asfairs were retrieved by HeiTor, who has a single combat with Ajax. The gods threw themselves into the battle; Juno and Minerva took the Grecians part, and Apollo and Mars the Trojans; But Mars and P'enuszre both wounded by Diomedes.
The truce sor burying the flain ended' the' twentythird day, after which the Greeks threw up a great intrenchment, to secure their navy from danger. Qouneils are held on both sides. On the morning of the twenty-sourth day the battle is renewed, but Jn a very difadvantageous manner to the Greeks, who are beaten back to their retrenchments. Agamemnon being in despair at this- ill success, proposes to the Council to quit Cj the
the enterprize, and retire from Troy. But by the advice of Nester, he is persuaded to regain Achilles, by returning Brifiis, and sending him considerable presents. Hereupon Ulyjses and Ajax are sent to that hero, who continues inslexible in his anger. Ulysses, at his return, joins himself with Dicmedes, and goes in the night to gain intelligence of. the enemy: They enter into their very camp, where sinding the centinels asleep, they made a great slaughter. Rhesus, who was just then arrived with recruits from Thrace sor the Trojans, was killed in that action. Here ends the tenth Iliad. The sequel of this Journal will be inserted in the next article from this place.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 22.
'We hear from Italy, that notwithstanding the Pope has received a letter from the Duke of Anjou, demanding of him to explain himself upon the affair of acknowledging king Charles, his Holiness has not yet thought sit to send any answer to that prince. The Court of Rome appears very much mortisied, that they are not to see his Majesty of Denmark in that city, having perhaps given themselves vain hopes from a visit made by a Protestant Prince to that See. The Pope has dispatched a Gentleman to compliment his Majesty, and sent the King a present of all the curiosities and antiquities of Rome, represented in seventeen volumes very richly bound, which were taken out of the Vatican library. Letters from Genoa of the sourteenth instant fay, that a Felucca was arrived there in sive days from Marfeilkti with an account, that the people of that city had made an insurrection, by reason of the scarcity of provisions; and that the Intendant had ordered some companies of marines, and the men belonging to the gallies, to stand to their arms to protect him from violence; but that he began to be in as much apprehension of his guards, as those from whom they were to desend him. When that vessel came away, the soldiers murmured publicly sor want of pay; and it was generally believed they would pillage the magazines, as the garrisons of Grenoble and ether towns of France had already done. A vessel which