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mentioned. Bellerus appears
in the edition 1638. But at first he had written Corineus, a giant who came into Britain with Brute, and was made Lord of Cornwall. Hence Ptolemy, I suppose, calls a promontory near the Land's End, perhaps Saint Michael's Mount, OCRINIUM. From whom also came our Author's “ CorineIDA Loxo," MANS. V. 46. And he is mentioned in Spenser's M. M. of THESTYLIS:
Vp from his tombe
The mightie Corineus rose, &c. See Gaoffr. Monin. L. xii. c. i. Milton, who took the pains to trace the old fabulous story of Brute, relates, that to Corineus Cornwall fell by lot, “ the rather by him liked, for that the hugelt giants in rocks and caves were said to lurk there ftill; which kind of monsters to deal with was his old exercise.” Hist. Engl. ubi supra, i. 6. On the fouth-western shores of Cornwall, I saw a most stupendous pile f rock-work, stretching with immense sagged cliffs and shapeless precipices far into the sea : one of the topmolt of these cliffs, hanging over the relt, the people informed me was called the GIANT'S Chair. Near it is a cavern called in Cornish the CAVE WITH THE VOICE.'
Ranking ourselves among the admirers of Milton's Lycidas, we embrace with pleasure the opportuniry which our examination of this volume affords us of combating Dr. Johnson's criticisms on it with the more judicious ones of the Laureat.
• Dr. Johnson observes, that " LYCIDAs is filled weith the hearhen deities; and a long train of mythological imagery, such as a College easily supplies.” But it is such also, as even the Court itself could now have easily supplied. The public diverfions, and books of all sorts and from all sorts of writers, more especially composicions in poetry, were at this time over-run with classical pedantries. But what writer, of the saine periud, has made these obsolete fictions the vehicle of ro much fancy and poetical description? How beautifully has he applied this fort of allusion to the Druidical rocks of Denbighshire, to Mona, and the fabulous banks of Deva! Ic is objected, that its pajforal form is disgusting. But this was the age of patioral *; and
* Dr. Newton aligns another reason for its pastoral form, viz. that Mr. King (Lycidas) and Milton had been designed for holy orders and the pajtoral care; wbich reason ought not to have been omitted, as it accounts for the introduction of several passages into it which have been thought improper in a pastoral. As far as it relates to himself at leaft, Milton confirms this fact, and moreover explains what it was that kept him from entering in:o holy orders: “ For this (the church) hy the intentions of my parents and friends I was designed of a child and ir mine own resolution, till coming to fome maturity of years, and perceiving what tyranny had invaded the church ; that he who would take orders must subscribe ilave, and take an oath withal, which unless he took with a conscience that could retch, he muit ftrait perjure or split his faith, I thought it better to prefer a blameless filence before the office of speaking bought and begun with servi. tude and forswearing.” Reason of Church Government, Part ii.
yet LYCIDAS has but little of the bucolic cant, now fo fashionable * The Satyrs and Fauns are but just mentioned. If any trite rural topics occur, how are they heightened !
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Bati’ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night, Here the day-break is described by the faint appearance of the up. land lawns under the first gleams of light: the lunset, by the buzzing of the chaffer : and the night Meds her fresh dew's on their locks. We cannot blame pastoral imagery, and pastoral allegory, which carry with them so much natural painting. In this piece there is perhaps more poetry than sorrow. But let us read it for its poetry, It is true, that passion plucks no berries from the myrtle and ivy, nor calls upon Arethuse and Mincius, nor tells of rough Satyrs with cloven heel. But poetry does this; and in the hands of Milton, does it with a peculiar and irresistible charm. Subordinate poets exercise no invention, when they tell how a shepherd has lost his companion, and must feed his flocks alone without any judge of his kill in piping : but Milton dignifies and adorns these common artificial incidents with unexpected touches of picturesque beauty, with the graces of fentiment, and with the novelties of original genius. It is said “ here is no art, for there is nothing new.” But this objection will vanish, if we consider the imagery which Milton has raised from local circumstances. Not to repeat the use he has made of the mountains of Wales, the Isle of Man, and the river Dee, near which Lycidas was shipwrecked; let us recollect the introduction of the romantic fuperftition of Saint Michael's Mount in Cornwall, which overlooks the Irish feas, the fatal scene of his friend's disaster.
. But the poetry is not always unconnected with passion. The Poet lavishly describes an ancient sepulchral rite, but it is made preparatory to a stroke of tenderness. He calls for a variety of flowers to decorate his friend's hearse, fuppofing that his body was present, and forgetting for a while that it was floating far off in the ocean. If he was drowned, it was some consolation that he was to receive the decencies of burial. This is a pleasing deception : it is natural and pathetic. But the real catastrophe recurs. And this circumstance again opens a new vein of imagination,
• Our Author has been cenfured for mixing religious disputes with Pagan and pastoral ideas. But he had the authority of Mantuan and Spenser, now considered as models in this way of writing. Let me add, that our poetry was not yet purged from its Gothic combinaiions; nor had legitimate notions of discrimination and propriety so far prevailed, as fufficiently to influence the growing improvements
What Mr. Warton observes of EPITAPHIUM DAMONIS is equally applicable to Lycidas. . It contains 10 ie passages which wander far beyond the bounds of bucolic song, and are in his own original style of the more fublime poetry. Milton cannot be a shepherd long. His own native powers often break forth, and cannot bear the assumed disguise.'
of English composition. These irregularities and incongruities muft not be tried by modern criticism.'
In addition to these remarks, we may observe that the very faulis pointed out in this poem are the source of so many beauties, that we can scarcely with them away. How strikingly does it exemplify what Pope says in his Essay on Criticism, l. 159.
Great Wits sometimes may gloriously offend,
And rise to faults true Critics dare not mend. From the many notes subjoined to the other poems, various inftances of the Editor's labour, erudition, and judgment, might be easily produced; but for these we must refer to the work it. self, finding it impossible within our narrow limits to make room for those we had particularly marked for insertion. We cannot, however, resist the temptation of transcribing the note affixed to the following couplet in Il Penserofo :
\ Add to these retired Leisure,
That in trim gardens'takes his pleasure. § Affectation and false elegance were now carried to the most ela. borate and absurd excess in gardening: Lauremburgius, a physician of Roftoch in Germany, has described fome monuments, as they may be called, of this extravagance. He says, that at Chartres in France there was a garden, where the Seven Wise men of Greece, the Twelve Labours of Hercules, with clipped explanatory verses to each Labour, the Three Graces, the Feast of the Gods, and the Ac. cubitus Romanorum, were all flourishing in immortal box. He adds, that the gardens of Italy abounded in a wonderful variety of thefe verdant sculptures. He then comes to the gardens of England, “ Eodem artificio commendabiles funt multi Angliæ horti ; interque illos; is qui est Hamptenkurti, in quo e ligustro effigiata sunt animalia varia, insignia Regum Angliæ, plurimaque alia." - That is, “ Many gardens of England are to be praised for the same curious devices : and among others, the Garden at Hampton Court, where in privet are figured various animals, the royal arms of Eng. land, and many other things." HORTICULTURA, Lib. i. cap. 29. § iii. p. 125. Francof. ad Man. 1631. 4to. The pedantry of vegetation has not yet expired in some of our remote counties.
• Milton, I fear alludes to the trim Garden in ARCADES, V. 46, Where the Genius says, that it was one of his employments,
-To curl the grove In ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove. This was furely to derogate from the dignity of the high office and character of his Genius, who is degraded to a frisseur. And in Ca. MUS, in his description of the Helperian gardens, I suspect we have something of L'Architecture du jardinage, in the spruce Spring, the cedarn allies, the crisped shades and bowers, v. 984. 985. 990. But he had changed his ideas of a garden * when he wrote the PARADISE Lost, where the brooks, but not the shades, are crisped. B. iv. 237.
• I have
* There is nothing in this poem nor in any other part of Milton's works which proves his having ever approved oft he style of gardening
• I have a scarce black-lercered quarto, printed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth called the GARDENER's LABYRINTH, &c. It has Dumerous wood-curs, exhibiting great choice of meanders both for fiowers and trees, but too intricate for modern sagacity, with plans and patterns of various inventions for putting both nature and art upon the rack in the formation of a fashionable garden. But I for. bear, especially in the narrowness of a note, to say more on a subject, which has been recently discussed with so much judgment and elegance by Mr. Walpole and Mr. Mason.'
One of the protefled objects of Mr. Warton in this work is to explain Milton's obsolete words and phrases. O bis abilities in this department of criticism, we shall adduce, as no unfavourable specimen, his note on the following line in Comus :
• 313. And every bosky bourn from side to fide.) A BOURN, the sense of which in this passage
has never been explained with precigion, pro. perly fignifies here, a winding, deep, and narrow valley, with a rivu. let at the bottom. In the present instance, the declivities are interspersed with trees or bushes. This sort of valley Comus knew from fide to fide. He knew both the opposite sides or ridges, and had consequently traversed the intermediate space. Such fituations have no other name in the west of England at this day. In the waste and open countries, Bourns are the grand separations or divisions of one part of the country from another, and are natural limits of districts and parishes. For Bourn is fimply notbing more than a Boundary. As in the TemPEST, A. ii. S. i. “ BOURN, bound of land, tilth, &c.” And in ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, “ I'll set a BOURN how far to be belov’d.” A. i. S. i. And in the WINTER's Tale, A. i. S. ii. “One that fixes no BOURN 'cwixt his and mine." Dover-cliff is called in LEAR, “ this chalky BOURN," that is, this chalky Boundary of England towards France. A. iv. S. vi. See Furetiere in BORNE, and Du Cange in BORNA, Lat. Gloss. In Saxon, Burn, or BURNA, is a stream of water, as is BOURN at present in some counties : and as rivers were the most distinguithable aboriginal feparations or divisions of property, might not the Saxon word give rise to the French Borne. There is a passage in the FaeRIE Queene where a river, or rather strait, is called a Bourn, iie vi. 10.
My little boate can safely passe this perilous Bourne. But seemingly also with the sense of division or separation. For afterwards this Bourne is filed a SHARD.
- When late he far'd
described in Mr. Warton's note. The gloomy walks in these trim gardens, are very properly enumerated among the things which give pleasure to the pensive man; but it does not hence follow that these were to the poet's taste. On the other hand, as he does not mention them in his enumeration of things exciting pleasure in L'Allegro; but for clipped ever-greens and verdant sculptures in box, substitutes
• Hedge-row elmes on billocks green;' it is evident he approved of artless nature.
Here, indeed, is a metathefis; and the active participle Sharing is confounded with the passive SHARED. This perilous BOURNE was the Boundary or division which parted the main land from Phedria's isle of bliss, to which it served as a defence. In the mean time, SHARD may fignify the gap made by the ford or frith between the two lands. But such a sense is unwarrantably catachrestical and licentious.
• Ibid. ---Bosky bourn. - ] That is woody, or rather busy. As in the Tempest, A. iv. S. i.
My BOSKY acres, and my unshrubb'd down.
In this BOSKY wood
How bloodily the fun begins to peer
Above yon BUSKY hill! Spenser has Anglicised the original French word bosquet, in May,
To gather May BUSKETS and smelling breere. Chaucer uses BUSKE, “ For there is nether BUSKE nor hay.” Rom. R. v. 54. Where hay is hedge row. Again, ibid. v. 102. Of the birds “that on the Buskis lingin clere.” Boscus is middle Latin for Wood.'
We must now leave our Readers to judge, from these specie mens, what entertainment they may promise themselves from perufing the work, reserving our farther observations on it for another article.
(To be continued.]
ART. II. Gibbon's Hiftory of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Em
pire, continued. See our last. HE fourth volume of Mr. Gibbon's valuable History, of
which, in our laft, we promised to give an account in this month's Review, comprehends nine chapters. The first chapter relates to the birth, education, and exploits of Theodoric the Goth, particularly his invasion and conquest of Italy, together with his long and prosperous reign in that country. In this part of the work, Mr. Go's readers will be particularly pleased with his account of the character, studies, and writings of the philosopher Boethius, whose death, with that of his father-in-law, the venerable Symmachus, tarnish the luftre of a reign, illiterate indeed, but generally equitable and vigorous. The guilt of Theodoric did not pass unpunished.
« Humanity,' says Mr. G. 'will be disposed to encourage any report which testifies the jurisdiction of conscience and the remorse of kings; and philosophy is not ignorant that the most horrid