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dicrous portrait of the giver of the banquet in Smollett's “ Feast of the Ancients ;" but this piece of lively though exaggerated ridicule can fix no stigma on any man's character. The choice of subject in Akenside's principal poem is peculiarly felicitous The Pleasures of the Imagination is the prototype of the long list of “ Pains” and “ Pleasures" on which subsequent poets have ex patiated. In all his writings his images, if redundant, are always appropriate, and often strikingly beautiful and original. We forgive his sounding amplitude and fantastic diffusion, from admiration of their attendant affluence and splendour. Even the elaborate artifice of his diction displays the delicacy and address of a classic taste. His Hymn to the Naiads has much elegance and classic propriety, and, as a specimen of lyric verse, is worthy of the author of his
great poem. Akenside died of a putrid fever. He is characterized by
Johnson as one of those who make a sounding love of public liberty the disguise of an acrimonious temper. But from Johnson justice to the memory of an avowed whig is scarcely to be expected.
FROM THE PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION.
MIND, mind alone, (bear witness, Earth and
Heaven!) The living fountains in itself contains Of beauteous and sublime : here, hand in hand, Sit paramount the Graces ; here enthroned, Celestial Venus, with divinest airs, Invites the soul to never-fading joy.
Look then abroad through Nature, to the range
FROM THE SAME.
Oh ! blest of Heaven, whom not the languid songs
Of pageant Honour, can seduce to leave Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store Of Nature fair Imagination culls To charm the enliven'd soul! What though not all Of mortal offspring can attain the heights Of envied life ; though only few possess Patrician treasures or imperial state ; Yet Nature's care, to all her children just, With richer treasures and an ampler state, Endows at large whatever happy man Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp, The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns The princely dome, the column and the arch, The breathing marbles and the sculptured gold, Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claiin His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the Spring Distils her dews, and from the silken gem Its lucid leaves unfolds : for him, the hand Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn, Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings ; And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes The setting Sun's effulgence, not a strain From all the tenants of the warbling shade Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake Fresh pleasure, unreproved.
BORN 1721-DIED 1771.
SMOLLETT is chiefly known as a novelist and historian; yet
there is a classic beauty and genuine vigour of fancy in several of his poetical pieces which must make the admirers of the Ope to INDEPENDENCE and the TEARS OF
SCOTLAND regret that he has left so little verse. Smollett was descended of a family of some note in Dum.
bartonshire. He studied medicine at Glasgow, and was for a short time a surgeon in the navy. But most of his busy life was spent as a man of letters, who lived by his writings. After a long course of bad health, Smollett went abroad with his wife, but without receiving much advantage from change of climate. He died at Leghorn in very distressed circumstances, though to him literature had been a very lucrative pursuit.
ODE TO LEVEN WATER.
On Leven's banks, while free to rove,
Pure stream! in whose transparent wave
While, lightly poised, the scaly brood
EXTRACT FROM THE ODE TO INDEPEN
Tuy spirit, Independence ! let me share ;
(a) The par is a small fish, not unlike the smelt, which it rivals in delicacy and flavour.