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her own camel, while his other slaves performed the whole journey on foot. His leathern sacks were filled with all the choice provisions which the Shendy market could afford, particularly with sugar and dates, and his dinners were the best in the caravan. To hear him talk of morals and religion, one might have supposed that he knew vice only by name; yet Hadji Aly, who had spent half his life in devotion, sold last year, in the slavemarket of Medinah, his own cousin, whom he had recently married at Mekka. She had gone thither on a pilgrimage from Bornou by the way of Cairo, when Aly unexpectedly meeting with her, claimed her as his cousin, and married her: at Medinah, being in want of money, he sold her to some Egyptian merchants; and as the poor woman was unable to prove her free origin, she was obliged to submit to her fate. The circumstance was well known in the caravan, but the Hadji nevertheless still continued to enjoy all his wonted reputation.”

CHAP. XVIII.

PLAGUE POETS.

“ ASSUREDLY the most unpromising of all topics for a poet,” said the Bachelor, laying down Wilson's pathetic City of the Plague, “is this same subject.”

“ And yet,” replied Egeria, “ perhaps there are few which admit of so much affecting description ; though, with the exception of Wilson, I do think that scarcely any of the Plague Poets have touched the right key."

6 Plague Poets! what a nickname !” exclaimed

Benedict. “ I was not aware that the subject had ever been set in poetry before; for I do not consider that medical-man-like manner in which Lucretius has done the symptoms into verse deserves to be considered as poetry. As for Virgil's description of a plague among cattle, in the Georgics, and what Ovid, Statius, Silius Italicus, and Manilius, have said,-in so far as they go, there is nothing very interesting, however correct the painting may be.”

“ Indeed,” said Egeria, “ the ancients, generally speaking, were not very expert at the pathetic. They were a grave race, and appear to have but seldom either laughed or wept. Thomson and Akenside have shown, in noticing the plague, more true feeling than all the ancients you have named, with Thucydides to boot, even in the verse of Bishop Sprat, and exalted by his Lordship’s additional touches ; of which, as a specimen, take the Bishop's account of the disease first shewing itself in the head and eyes.”

“Upon the head first the disease,
As a bold conqueror doth seize,
Begins with man's metropolis ;
Secured the capitol ; and then it knew
It could at pleasure weaker parts subdue:
Blood started through each eye:
The redness of that sky
Foretold a tempest nigh.”

“ But, although Bishop Sprat’s. verse is in this extravagant style, there is yet one little passage that might obtain the honour of a second reading among better poetry. I allude to his description of the sleeplessness of the sufferers."

“ No sleep, no peace, no rest,
Their wand'ring and affrighted minds possess'd;

Upon their souls and eyes
Hell and eternal horror lies,
Unusual shapes and images,

Dark pictures and resemblances
Of things to come, and of the world below,

O'er their distemper'd fancies go :
Sometimes they curse, sometimes they pray unto
The gods above, the gods beneath;
Sometimes they cruelties and fury breathe
Not Sleep, but Waking now was sister unto Death.”

“ But Wither is the true English laureate of pestilence. The following description of the consternation, packing up, and flight of the Cockneys, during the great plague of London, is equally matchless and original.”

. “ Those who, in all their life-time, never went
So far as is the nearest part of Kent:
Those who did never travel, till of late,
Half way to Pancras from the city gate:
Those who might think the sun did rise at Bow,
And set at Acton, for aught they did know :
And dream young partridge suck not, but are fed
As lambs and rabbits, which of eggs are bred:
Ev'n some of these have journeys ventured on
Five miles by land (as far as Edmonton.)
Some hazarded themselves from Lion-key
Almost as far as Erith down by sea :
Some row'd against the stream, and straggled out
As far as Hounslow-heath, or thereabout:
Some climbed Highgate-hill, and there they see
The world so large, that they amazed be;

On this, how we gone so far,

Yea, some have gone so far, that they do know,
Ere this, how wheat is made, and malt doth grow.

Oh, how they trudged and bustled up and down,
To get themselves a furlong out of town.
And how they were becumber'd to provide,
That had about a mile or two to ride.
But when whole households further off were sent,
You would have thought the master of it meant
To furnish forth some navy, and that he
Had got his neighbours venturers to be ;
For all the near acquaintance thereabout,
By lending somewhat help to set them out.
What hiring was there of our hackney jades ?
What scouring up of old and rusty blades ?
What running to and fro was there to borrow
A safeguard, or a cloak, until the morrow?
What shift made Jack for girths? what shift made Gillian
To get her neighbour's footstool and her pillion,
Which are not yet return'd? How great a pother
To furnish and unfurnish one another,
In this great voyage did there then appear ?
And what a time was that for bankrupts here?
Those who had thought (by night) to steal away,
Did unsuspected shut up shop by day;
And (if good luck it in conclusion prove)
Two dangers were escaped at one remove:
Some hired palfreys for a day or twain,
But rode so far they came not back again.
Some dealed by their neighbours, as the Jews
At their departure did th' Egyptians use :
And some, (with what was of their own, content)
Took up their luggage, and away they went.

And had you heard how loud the coaches rumbled; Beheld how cars and carts together jumbled ; Seen how the ways with people thronged were; The bands of foot, the troops of horsemen there ;

What multitudes away by land were sent;
How many thousands forth by water went ;
And how the wealth of London thence was borne;
You would have wonder'd ; and (almost) have sworn
The city had been leaving her foundation,
And seeking out another situation;
Or, that some enemy, with dreadful power,
Was coming to besiege, and to devour.

Oh, foolish people, though I justly might
Authorise thus my muse to mock your flight,
And still to flout your follies : yet, compassion
Shall end it in a kind expostulation.”

CHAP. XIX.

GRANDEUR OF THE ANCIENTS.

One morning as the Bachelor and his Egeria were looking over a set of Henning's beautiful casts of the Athenian marbles in the British Museum, Benedict observed, with his characteristic simplicity, 6 that surely the ancients must have excelled the moderns prodigiously in grandeur of every kind.”

" If that were the case," said the nymph, “it is curious that so little of their domestic splendour has come down to us. I shall not go so far as the Irish gentleman, who said of the magnificence of Cæsar, that he had not a shirt to his back; but I very much suspect that the domestic comforts of the ancients were far inferior to our own. At the same time, I confess that the ornaments which have been ob

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