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He now the treason of the foe relates,
How soon, as past the mountain's upland straits,
They changed the colour of their friendly shew,
And force forbade his steps to tread below :
the critics in the same manner; and that this piece of raillery in the Lufiad
is by much the politest, and the least reprehensible of any thing of the kind
in the four poets. In Homer are several strokes of low raillery. Patroclus
having killed Hector's charioteer, puns thus on his sudden fall.
pity be is not nearer the sea! He would soon catch abundance of oysters, nor would
the forms frighten him. See how, he dives from bis chariot down to the land !
What excellent divers are the Trojans !” Virgil, the most judicious of all poets,
defcends even to the style of Dutch painting, where the commander of a
galley tumbles the pilot into the sea, and the sailors afterward laugh at him,
as he sits on a rock spewing up the salt water:
In mare præcipitem puppi deturbat ab alta.
At gravis ut fundo vix tandem redditus imo eft
Jam senior, madidaque fluens in veste Mencetes,
Summa petit fcopuli ficcaque in rupe resedit.
Illum et labentem Teucri, et risere natantem;
Et falsos rident revomentem pectore flu&tus.
And though the characters of the speakers, (the ingenious defence which has been offered for Milton) may in some measure vindicate the raillery which he puts into the mouths of Satan and Beliál, the lowness of it, when compared with that of Camoëns, must still be acknowledged. Talking of the execution of the diabolical artillery among the good angels, they, says Satan,
Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell
As they would dance, yet for a dance they seem'd
Somewhat extravagant and wild, perhaps
For joy of offer'd peace.-
To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood,
Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight,
Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home,
Such as we might perceive amus'd them all,
And stumbled many-
this gift they have beside,
They thew us when our foes walk not upright.
How down the coverts of the steepy brake
Their lurking stand a treacherous ambush take ;
On us, when speeding to defend his flight,
To rush, and plunge us in the shades of night:
Nor while in friendship would their lips unfold
Where India's ocean laved the orient shores of gold.
Now prosp’rous gales the bending canvas swell’d;
From these rude shores our fearless course we held :
Beneath the glistening wave the God of day
Had now five times withdrawn the parting ray,
When o'er the prow a sudden darkness spread,
And slowly floating o'er the mast's tall head
A black cloud hover'd: nor appear’d from far
The moon's pale glimpse, nor faintly twinkling star;
So deep a gloom the louring vapour cast,
Transfixt with awe the bravest stood aghaft.
Meanwhile a hollow bursting roar resounds,
As when hoarse surges lash their rocky mounds;
Nor had the blackening wave, nor frowning heaven
The wonted signs of gathering tempest given.
Amazed we stood-O thou, our fortune's guide,
Avert this omen, mighty God, I cried;
Or through forbidden climes adventurous stray'd,
Have we the secrets of the deep survey'd,
Which these wide folitudes of seas and sky
Were doom'd to hide from man's unhallowed eye?
Whate'er this prodigy, it threatens more
Than midnight tempests and the mingled roar,
When sea and sky combine to rock the marble shore.
I spoke, when rising through the darken'd air,
Appalld we saw an hideous phantom glare ;
High and enormous o'er the flood he tower'd,
And thwart our way with fullen aspect lour'd:
An earthly paleness o'er his cheeks was spread,
Erect uprose his hairs of wither'd red;
Writhing to speak, his fable lips disclose,
Sharp and disjoin'd, his gnashing teeth's blue rows;
His haggard beard flow'd quivering on the wind,
Revenge and horror in his mien combined ;
His clouded front, by withering lightnings scared,
The inward anguish of his soul declared.
His red eyes glowing from their dusky caves
Shot livid fires: Far echoing o'er the waves
His voice resounded, as the cavern'd shore
With hollow groan repeats the tempest's roar.
Cold gliding horrors thrillid each hero's breast,
Our bristling hair and tottering knees confest
Wild dread; the while with visage ghaftly wan,
His black lips trembling, thus the fiend' began :
? The apparition.-Tlie partiality of translators and editors is become almost proverbial. The admiration of their author is supposed when they undertake to introduce him to the public; that admiration, therefore, may without a blush be confessed; but if the reputation of judgment is valued, all the
the boldest of the nations, fired By daring pride, by lust of fame inspired,
jealousy of circumspection is necessary, for the transition from admiration to partiality and hypercriticism, is not only easy, but to oneself often imperceptible. Yet however guarded against this partiality of hypercriticism the translator of Camoëns may deem himself, he is aware that some of his colder readers may perhaps, in the following instance, accuse him of it. Regardo less however of the sang froid of those who judge by authority and not by their own feelings, he will venture to appeal to the few whose taste, though formed by the classics, is untainted with classical prejudices. To these he will appeal, and to these he will venture the affertion, that the fiction of the apparition of the Cape of Tempests, in sublimity and awful grandeur of imagination, stands unsurpassed in human composition.-Voltaire, and the foreign critics, have confeffed its merit. - - In the prodigy of the Harpies in the Æneid, neither the
Virginei volucrum vultus, fedisima ventris
Proluvies, uncæque manus, et pallida semper
Ora fame :
Though Virgil, to heighten the description, introduces it with
nec fævior ulla Piftis et ira eiim Stygiis sese extulit undis : Nor the predictions of the harpy Celæno, can, in point of dignity, bear any comparison with the fiction of Camoëns. The noble and admired de. feription of Fame, in the fourth Æneid, may seem indced to challenge competition :
Fama, malum quo non aliud velocius ullum:
Mobilitate viget, virefque acquirit eundo :
Parva metu primò; mox Seje attollit in auras,
Ingrediturque solo, & caput inter nubila condit :
Illam Terra parens, ira irritata Deorum,
Extremam ( ut perhibent ) Cæo Enceladoque fororem
Progenuit ; pedibus celerem et pernicibus alis:
Monstrum horrendum, ingens; cui quor sunt corpore pluma,
Tot vigiles oculi subter ( mirabile diffu)
Tot lingua, totidem cra fonant, tot fbriget aures.
Noste volat cæli medio terræque, per imbram
Stridens, nec dulci declinat lumina fomno :
Luce fedet cuftos, aut fumui culmine retti,
Turribus aut altis, et magnas terrifat urbes.
Who scornful of the bowers of sweet repose,
Through these my waves advance your fearless prows,
Fame, the great ill, from small beginnings grows;
Swift from the first, and every moment brings
New vigour to her fights, new pinions to her wings.
Soon grows the pigmy to gigantic size,
Her feet on earth, her forehead in the skies:
Enraged against the gods, revengeful earth
Produced her last of the Titanian birth.
Swift in her walk, more swift her winged hafte,
A monstrous phantom, horrible and vast;
As many plumes as'raise lier lofty flight,
So many piercing eyes enlarge her sight:
Millions of opening mouths to Fame belong,
And every mouth is furnish'd with a tongue,
And round with listning ears the flying plague is hung;
She fills the peaceful universe with cries,
No Numbers ever close her wakeful eyes :
By day from lofty towers her head she shews. Dryv.
The Mobilitate viget, the Vires acquirit eundo, the Parva metu primo, &c. the Caput inter nubila condit, the plume, oculi lingua, ora, and aures, the Norte volat, the Luce sedet cuftos, and the Magnas territat urbes, are all very great, and finely imagined. But the whole picture is the offspring of careful attention and judgment; it is a noble display of the calm majesty of Virgil, yet it has not the enthusiasm of that heat of spontaneous conception, which the ancients honoured with the name of inspiration. The fiction of Camoëns, on the contrary, is the genuine effufion of the glow of poetical imagination. The description of the spectre, the awfulness of the prediction, and the horror that breathes through the whole, till the phantom is interrupted by Gama, are in the true spirit of the wild and grand terrific of an Homer, or a Shakespeare. But however Camoëns may, in this passage, have excelled Virgil, he himself is infinitely surpased by two passages of Holy Writ,
was secretly brought to me," says the author of the book of Job, « and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep jeep falleth on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to Jhake: then a spirit passed before my face; the bair of my flesh ftood up: it food Hill, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was filence, and I beard a voice : Shall mortal man be more just than God! mall man be more pure than bis Maker! Bebold, he put no truft in his servants, and his