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O, sovereign of the willing soul,
And frantic passions hear thy soft control.
Now in circling troops they meet.
Glance their many-twinkling feet. Slow, melting strains their queen's approach declare;
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay. With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way. O’er her warm cheek and rising bosom move The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.
Man's feeble race what ills await!
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of fate !
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
In climes beyond the solar road,
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
3. Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep, Isles that crown the Ægean deep,
Fields that cool Ilissus laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of anguish ! Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breathed around;
Murmured deep a solemn sound,
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice that revels in her chains.
Far from the sun and summer gale,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Nor second he that rode sublime Upon the seraph wings of Ecstasy The secrets of the abyss to spy.
He passed the flaming bounds of place and time; The living throne, the sapphire blaze, Where angels tremble while they gaze, He saw; but, blasted with excess of light, Closed his eyes in endless night. Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car, Wide o'er the fields of glory bear Two coursers of ethereal race, With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace.
O, lyre divine ! what daring spirit
Through the azure deep of air :
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray,
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
HORACE WALPOLE. Horace Walpole was born in 1717, succeeded to his father's title as Earl of Orford in 1791, and died in 1797. He received from his father, for many years prime minister, a number of sinecure offices, which enabled him to gratify his artistic tastes by collecting an immense museum of curiosities and relics of ancient art in his villa at Strawberry Hill. The catalogue alone of these treasures would make a respectable volume. He was an inveterate letter writer; and his native sprightliness, his unusual facilities for obtaining early and accurate information, together with his long practice in writing, served to make his correspondence the most lively and entertaining, if not the most finished, in the language. The style is always simple and direct; if the sentences cost him any labor, no marks of revision can be seen. He wrote one grotesque, or supernatural romance, The Castle of Otranto, which was very popular for some time. He also wrote a tragedy, which was never performed. His sympathy with the American colonies, as well as his dislike of Dr. Johnson, as shown in the extracts following, proceeded rather from his partisan feelings than from any leaning towards liberty, or any just appreciation of Johnson's character. He was not wholly a triter
, certainly not a statesman, and he was content with cultivating a taste that was curious rather than refined, and with chronicling court scandal and the politics of the privy closet, instead of aspiring to the place among active men which his clever intellect and fortunate birth might have secured him. His letters have been published in eight volumes. He also wrote a work entitled Royal and Noble Authors.
WALPOLE'S LETTERS TO SIR HORACE MANN.
(A Description of Lady M. W. Montagu.) I AM ashamed to tell you that we are again dipped into an egregious scene of folly. The reigning fashion is a ghost — a ghost that would not pass muster in the paltriest convent in the Apennine. It only knocks and scratches; does not pretend to appear or to speak. The clergy give it their benediction; and all the world, whether behevers or infidels, go to hear it. I, in which number you may guess, go to-morrow; for it is as much the mode to visit the ghost as the Prince of Mecklenburg, who is just arrived. I have not seen him yet, though I have left my name for him. But I will tell you who is come, too — Lady Mary Wortley. I went last night to visit her. I give you my honor, — and you, who know her, would credit me without it, — the following is a faithful description. I found her in a little miserable bed-chamber of a ready-furnished house, with two tallow candles, and a bureau covered with pots and pans. On her head, in full of all accounts, she had an old black-laced hood, wrapped entirely round, so as to conceal all hair or want of hair. No handkerchief, but up to her chin a kind of horseman's riding-coat, calling itself a Þet-en-l'air, made of a dark green (green I think it had been) brocade, with colored and silver flowers, and lined with furs; bodice laced, a foul dimity petticoat sprigged, velvet muffeteens on her arms, gray stockings and slippers. Her face less changed in twenty years
than I could have imagined; I told her so, and she was not so tolerable twenty years ago that she needed have taken it for flattery; but she did, and literally gave me a box on the ear. She is very lively, all her senses perfect, her languages as imperfect as ever, her avarice greater. She entertained me at first with nothing but the dearness of provisions at Helvoet. With nothing but an Italian, a French, and a Prussian, all men servants, and something she calls an old secretary, but whose age till he appears will be doubtful, she receives all the world, who go to homage her as Queen Mother, and crams them into this kennel. The Duchess of Hamilton, who came in just after me, was so astonished and diverted, that she could not speak to her for laughing. She says that she has left all her clothes at Venice. I really pity Lady Bute. What will the progress be of such a commencement !
UPON AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.
You have seen the accounts from Boston. The tocsin seems to be sounded to America. I have many visions about that country, and fancy I see twenty empires and republics forming upon vast scales over all that continent, which is growing too mighty to be kept in subjection to half a dozen exhausted nations in Europe. As the latter sinks, and the others rise, they who live between the eras will be a sort of Noahs, witnesses to the period of the old world and origin of the new. I entertain myself with the idea of a future senate in Carolina and Virginia, where their patriots will harangue on the austere and incorruptible virtue of the ancient English! will tell their auditors of our disinterestedness and scorn of bribes and pensions, and make us blush in our graves at their ridiculous panegyrics ! Who knows but even our Indian usurpations and villanies may
become topics of praise to American school-boys ? As I believe our virtues are extremely like those of our predecessors, the Romans, so I am sure our luxury and extravagance are, too.
LORD MACAULAY'S VISION. For our part, I repeat it, we shall contribute nothing to the Histoire des Mæurs, not for want of materials, but for want of writers. We have comedies without novelty, gross satires without stings, metaphysical eloquence, and antiquarians that discover nothing.
Bæotum in crasso jurares aere natos! (See Appendix.)