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your sleep be as sound as your bed will be sumptuous, and your nights at least will be well provided for.
I shall send up the sixth and seventh books of the Iliad shortly, and shall address them to you. You will forward them to the General. I long to show you my workshop, and to see you sitting on the opposite side of my table. We shall be as close packed as two wax figures in an old-fashioned picture frame. I am writing in it now. It is the place in which I fabricate all my verse in summer time. I rose an hour sooner than usual this morning, that I might finish my sheet before breakfast, for I must write this day to the General.
The grass under my windows is all bespangled with dewdrops, and the birds are singing in the apple trees, among the blossoms. Never poet had a more commodious oratory in which to invoke his Muse.
TRANSLATION OF HOMER-THE NONSENSE CLUB.
OLNET, June 9, 1786. The little time that I can devote to any other purpose than that of poetry is, as you may suppose, stolen. Homer is urgent. Much is done, but much remains undone, and no schoolboy is more attentive to the performance of his daily task than I am. You will therefore excuse me if at present I am both unfrequent and short.
I had a letter some time since from your sister Fanny, that gave me great pleasure. Such notices from old friends are always pleasant, and of such pleasures I have received many lately. They refresh the remembrance of early days, and make me young again. The noble institution of the Nonsense Club will be forgotten, when we are gone who composed it; but I often think of your most heroic line, written at one of our meetings, and especially think of it when I am translating Homer,
"To whom replied the Devil yard-long-tailed.” 1 There never was any thing more truly Grecian than that triple epithet, and were it possible to introduce it into either Iliad or Odyssey, I should certainly steal it. I am now flushed with expectation of Lady Hesketh, who spends the summer with us. We hope to see her next week. We have found admirable lodgings both for her and her suite, and a Quaker in this town, still more admirable than they, who, as if he loved her as much as I do, furnishes them for her with real elegance.
1 See page 70 under “Moral Plays."
ON A PARTICULAR PROVIDENCE.1 How mysterious are the ways of Providence! Why did I receive grace and mercy? Why was I preserved, afflicted for my good, received, as I trust, into favor, and blessed with the greatest happiness I can ever know or hope for in this life, while others were overtaken by the great arrest, unawakened, unrepenting, and every way unprepared for it? His infinite wisdom, to whose infinite mercy I owe it all, can solve these questions, and none beside him. If I am convinced that no affliction can befall me without the permission of God, I am convinced, likewise, that he sees and knows that I am afflicted. Believing this, I must in the same degree believe that, if I pray to him for deliverance, he hears me; I must needs know likewise with equal assurance that, if he hears, he will also deliver me, if that will, upon the whole, be most conducive to my happiness; and if he does not deliver me, I may be well assured that he has none but the most benevolent intention in declining it. He made us, not because we could add to his happiness, which was always perfect, but that we might be happy ourselves; and will he not, in all his dispensations towards us, even in the minutest, consult that end for which he made us? To suppose the contrary, is (which we are not always aware of) affronting every one of his attributes; and at the same time the certain consequence of disbelieving his care for us is, that we renounce utterly our dependence upon him. In this view, it will appear plainly that the line of duty is not stretched too tight, when we are told that we ought to accept every thing at his hands as a blessing, and to be thankful even while we smart under the rod of iron with which he sometimes rules us. Without this persuasion, every blessing, however we may think ourselves happy in it, loses its greatest recommendation, and every affliction is intolerable. Death itself must be welcome to him who has this faith, and he who has it not, must aim at it, if he is not a madman.
1 From a letter to Lady Hesketh, dated Sept. 4, 1765.
QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION,
WHEN THE WORK IS USED AS A
COLLEGE OR SCHOOL TEXT-BOOK.
SIR JOAN MANDEVILLE, (page 17.) i his chief work? What is its nature? In Date of birth and death? In whose reign what character, therefore, is Barbour to be did he flourish? Date of Edward III.'s reign?
considered? What does he say, himself, of When did he leave England for foreign tra
his work? Repeat the paraphrase of his vel? How long was he gone? Through
A postrophe to Freedom, (note.) [The last what countries did he travel? In what lan
two lines of the original are much superior,
and should be imbedded in the memory.] guages did he write his travels? What entitles him to great consideration? What ac
GEOFFREY CHAUCER, (p. 27.) counts did he give which were not believed at the time, but which later testimony has
Date of Chaucer's birth and death? Reproved true? How does he prove the spheri
peat Spenser and Wordsworth's lines. By cal form of the earth? Give his reasoning.
what title is he distinctively known? What What does he say of the Chinese? What
does Warton say of him? In whose reign evidence of the popularity of his work?
did he flourish? To what family did he be
come connected by marriage? Where did he (note, p. 19.) What books referred to? (note.)
travel? With whom did he become ac
quainted? Who were the three chief schoJOHN WICLIF, (p. 21.)
lars of Italy in the 14th century, and for Date of Wiclif's birth and death? In what distinguished ? (note.) What public whose reign did he flourish? T Here the office did Chaucer receive? When did he scholar must not be governed by the name die? In what respect does Chaucer resemble of the monarch at the top of the page over Cowper? What is his great work? From the author's name, for as the authors are what did he take the idea? What was the arranged according to the dates of their Decameron? Its etymology? Where was death, some will be found to have died the Canterbury? Why were pilgrimages made very first or second year of a new king's there? In what respect is Chaucer's plan reign; of course, therefore, they cannot be superior to Boccacio's? What is the plan of said to have “flourished in his reign.” Thus, the Decameron? What knowledge do the though Wiclif died in the reign of Richard Canterbury Tales give us? What great cause II., his great works were mostly written, and did they subsequently aid? (note.) [Here his great labors chiefly exerted in the reign the instructor may direct the scholar to comof Edward III.; he, therefore, must be said | mit to memory such extracts from the varito have “flourished” in the reign of that ous authors, as he may deem best. Of those monarch.) What was he called? What from Chaucer, I would recommend “The does Milton say of him? Where was he | Parson.” *) What are the four other prineducated ? For what did he early distinguish cipal works of Chaucer? Give an account of himself? What title did he acquire? What was henceforth the great business of his *I cannot too strongly urge upon the young life? Repeat the quotation from Milton re- the advantage of committing to memory the lative to Wiclif. State the comparative
choicest passages in prose and poetry in Eng
choicest passages in nrose and noetry merits of Wiclif and Luther, as reformers.
lish Literature. What we learn thoroughly Repeat the fine remark of Burnet, (note.) When did Wiclif die? What did the Coun
when young, remains by us through life. “Sir," cil of Constance decree? What is the re said the great Doctor Johnson to Boswell, “in mark of Fuller ? Repeat the lines of Words my early days I read very hard. It is a sad reworth, (note.) What is said of Wiclif's writ
flection, but a true one, that I knew almost as ings? What was his chief work? What honor belongs to him? What did the papal
much at eighteen as I do now. My judgment, to clergy say of his labors? (note.) What was
be sure, was not so good; but I had all the facts, his character? What books referred to? I remember very well when I was at Oxford, an (note.)
old gentleman said to me, “Young man, ply your JOHN BARBOUR, (p. 25.)
book diligently now, and acquire a stock of Date of Barbour's birth and death? To knowledge: for when years come unto you, you what country did he belong? In whose will find that poring upon books will be but reign did he flourish? What is the title of irksome task.'"
himself? What hat did he early distimas be Parson."*ycer, I would recomst.
metreat at Ant what effort How was
«Troilus and Creseida.” Of the “Romaunt | made? When did Wiclif die? What Conof the Rose.” Of “ The House of Fame.” vocation twenty-four years after? What did Of "The Flower and the Leaf.” Who has it decree? When was the Latin Vulgate first imitated Chaucer's " House of Fame," and in printed? When the Hebrew? When the what? Repeat the lines from Pope, (note.) Greek? What did the Monks say of them? What books referred to? (note, p. 33.)
What did one of the priests declare? Date
of Tyndale's birth and death? In whose JOHN GOWER, (p. 34.)
reigns did he flourish? Where was he eduIn whose reigns did he flourish? With cated? What is said of his scholarship? whom contemporary? When die? In what What did a priest once say to him? What does he resemble Chaucer? In what differ was Tyndale's noble reply? Where did Tynfrom him? What is his chief work? What dale go in 1523? For what purpose? When is its subject? Give an account of the story did he finish his translation of the Testaof Florent.
ment? What was the result? How was his
retreat at Antwerp discovered? What was JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND, (p. 38.)
done to him? What efforts made to release Who was he? When born? How, and by him? With what success? How was he emwhom was he imprisoned? For what are we ployed in prison? What was finally done to indebted to his imprisonment? What is his him? Give an account of his martyrdom chief poetical work? Ilis merits as a king? and last prayer. Repeat the lines on his How die, and when? What is said of him death. How was his prayer answered ? as a poet?
What is said of his translation ?
SIR THOMAS WYATT, (p. 55.) In whose reigns did he flourish? Why Date of birth and death? With whose will his name ever be cherished ? Repeat name is his generally associated ? For what the verses in his praise. Give the outline of was he early distinguished? What were his his life. What is said of the history of print- accomplishments ? What were some of the ing? (note.) What two cities claim the honor traits of his character? On what mission of the discovery? Who discovered the prin was he sent? What was the cause of his ciple of the art? Who invented movable death? What qualities did he unite in his types? Who first founded types ? State the character? For what was he most distinconclusion, (note.) What was the first book guished? How did he ennoble learning and ever printed in the English language, where, poetry? What of his prose writings? and when ? What was the first book printed in England, and when? What is said of
EARL OF SURREY, (p. 60.) Caxton's character? How many works did Date of birth and death? In whose reigns he print? What works referred to?
did Surrey and Wyatt flourish? When did
he enter upon public life? What honor was WILLIAM DUNBAR, (p. 44.)
conferred on him in 1542? What did he do Date of birth and death? What does Ellis | 1544? What effect had his popularity on say of him? What are his chief poems? Henry VIII.? Who was his chief malicious What is the story of the “Thistle and the enemy? What was done to Surrey? Of Rose ?” Give an account of “The Dance." what was he aceu sed? Who was the chief SIR THOMAS MORE, (p. 47.)
witness against him? What was the charge?
What was the result? When was he judiRepeat Thomson's lines. In whose reign cially murdered? What is said of his char did he flourish? What is said of him? What racter? What is said of his endowments ? remark was made of him when a boy? To What of his moral virtues? What of his rewhat offices was he appointed? Why did he | gard for religion ? Repeat the lines on “The incur the displeasure of Henry VIII.? How | Happy Life." did he die? What does Hume, the historian, say of his death? What is said of More's
HUGH LATIMER, (p. 65.) genius and character? Relate the interview Date of birth and death? Where educated? between him and Erasmus. What couplet By whose means converted? What is said is attributed to him? What great incon of him during the reign of Edward VI.? In sistencies did he display? What is his most the reign of Mary? What did he refuse to celebrated work? Why so called ? (note.) do? What was the result? Give an ac What is its character? What are some of | count of his and Ridley's martyrdom. What the excellent principles in it? Describe the did Latimer say to Ridley? What is said of island. What of their trades, &c.? Of tra- his sufferings? What of Ridley's? welling? Of ale-houses? Of their notions of wealth? Of hunting? Of laws and law
SIR JOHN CHEKE, (p. 68.) yers? Of war? General remarks on the Utopia? What other works of More arei Date of birth and death? What professormentioned? What of Richard III, and the ship did he early fill? To whom was he princes? How often was he married? What tutor? Milton's lines? (note.) What was öf his first wife? What of his second? What the consequence of his Protestantism? What lnoks recommended to be read?
choice was offered to him? Which did he
take? What followed? When did he die? WILLIAM TYNDALE, (p. 53.)
What is said of the period in which he Who gave us the first English Version of flourished? What did he introduce in be Bible? From what was the translation Greek! How improve English? What
incur the air was he appointed on a boy? 10 Facter? What is what is said as his judi
said of his works? What is the title of the work of Sidney? What is said of it? What chief one extant?
does Hallam say? (note.) What Warton!
(note.) JOHN HEYWOOD, (p. 70.)
CHRISTOPHER MARLOW, (p. 87.) What is said of the age of Queen Elizabeth? (note.) To what does the name of | What commonly called? With whom was John Heywood introduce us? How many he contemporary ? Date of birth and death? divisions in the history of the Drama, and For what was he most known in his life? what are they? When were the Miracle For what now? Repeat it. What is a madPlays in vogue? Why called so? What | rigal? (note.) were some of their subjects? By whom acted? What is said of them? What was the next division? What were “Moral
ROBERT SOUTHWELL, (p. 88.) Plays ?” What is said of them? What Date of birth and death? Where eduscriptural character in them? What is said cated? Where did he go, and to what order of the “Interludes ?” Why did the “Moral did he attach himself? Whence did he go, Plays" die away? What successful writer and in what capacity? What treatment did of them ? Date of his birth and death? | he meet with? For what was he tried ? What of his genius? What did he expose? | What was the result? Was he probably What is the name of one of his best Inter- guilty? What is said of the whole transacludes? What is it, and who were the cha- tion? Did he do any thing more than he racters? How does the piece open? What had a right to do? What is said of putting does the Pardoner say? What the Palmer? | down opinions by force? Repeat Bryant's How does the Pardoner reply? What says lines. What is said of Southwell's poetry? the Poticary? What the Pedler? What does | What is said of his prose? [Commit “Times the Pedler propose to end the dispute ? Who I go by turns,” and “Scorn not the Least.” begins ? Who gains the victory ? Repeat the lines. What exclamations follow?
EDMUND SPENSER, (p. 93.)
Date of birth and death? In whose reign JOHN STILL, (p. 73.)
did he flourish? Repeat Thomson's lines. Who was John Still? What is the first What is said of his parentage? What does comedy in our language? What is said of Gibbon say? How did he enter Cambridge ? it? What the characters? Its plot? Give What is a “sizer,” and why so called? What an account of it.
work did he first publish? What is it? In what capacity did he go to Ireland ? What
grant did he receive? Where did he go to ROGER ASCHAM, (p. 74.)
reside? Who visited him there? What did In whose reign did he flourish? Where he style him? What was he persuaded to educated? What does Johnson say ? (note.) do? What does Campbell say of Raleigh's To whom was he preceptor? What office did visit to Spenser? What is Spenser's great he fill? When did he die? What are his work? Of how many books does it consist? two principal works? What is the Toxo How many is it said he intended to write ? philus? Etymology? What is its design? Did he probably finish his design? What Who are the speakers? What influence had happened to him in Ireland ? Where did he his work upon the language? What motive die, and when? What is said of the influfor writing it suggested ? (note.) What was ence of his works? What of his minor his other work? What does Johnson say of poems? What have prevented the “Faerie it? What does Ascham say of the influence Queene" from being generally read? What of foreign travel? What criticisms on his is said of the allegory? What does Spenser works? (note, p. 75.)
say is the “end of all the books”? Who is the hero? Who is intended by the “Faerie
Queene"? What does Prince Arthur repreSIR PHILIP SIDNEY, (p. 80.)
sent? The knight and virtue of the first What is said of his character? In whose book? Of the second? Of the third? Of reign did he flourish? When did he enter the fourth? Of the fifth? Of the sixth ? Oxford? When begin his travels? What Commit-at pleasure.] What does Sir James happened to him at Paris ? On what em | Mackintosh say of Spenser? What does Hazbassy sent? Whom did he marry? To what litt? What Campbell? What is his chief high post abroad was he elected? Who was prose work? Books and criticisms to be read ? opposed to his accepting of it, and why? What public service was he next engaged in ? Relate the particulars of his death.
RICHARD HOOKER, (p. 104.) What effect did it produce in England ? On Date of birth and death? What is said of what does his literary reputation rest? How him? Where educated? What profession may he be regarded as a prose writer? What did he select? Where did he preach? What does Cowper say of him? (note,) and what of his marriage? Did he love a city life? does he say of poesy?” What is the Ar-What did he request? Where did he die? cadia? Where is the scene of it laid? Who What is his great work called? What its are the heroes of the romance? What is design? To what does it owe its origin? their fortune? What is the other great What is said of its learning? Of its style!