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mentioned. Bellerus appears in the edition 1638. But at firft he had written Corineus, a giant who came into Britain with Brute, and was made Lord of Cornwall. Hence Ptolemy, I fuppofe, calls a promontory near the Land's End, perhaps Saint Michael's Mount, OCRINIUM. From whom alfo came our Author's "CORINEIDA Loxo," MANS. v. 46. And he is mentioned in Spenfer's M. M. of THESTYLIS:
Vp from his tombe
The mightie Corineus rofe, &c.
See Gaoffr. Monm. L. xii. c. i. Milton, who took the pains to trace the old fabulous ftory of Brute, relates, that to Corineus Cornwall fell by lot," the rather by him liked, for that the hugest giants in rocks and caves were faid to lurk there ftill; which kind of monfters to deal with was his old exercife." HIST. ENGL. ubi fupra, i. 6. On the fouth-western fhores of Cornwall, I faw a moft ftupendous pile of rock work, ftretching with immenfe ragged cliffs and fhapelefs precipices far into the fea: one of the topmost of thefe cliffs, hanging over the reft, 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 opportunity which our examination of this volume affords us of combating Dr. Johnson's criticilms on it with the more judicious ones of the Laureat.
• Dr. Johnson observes, that "LYCIDAS is filled with the heathen deities; and a long train of mythological imagery, fuch as a College cafily Supplies." But it is fuch alfo, as even the Court itfelf could now have eafily fupplied. The public diversions, and books of all forts and from all forts of writers, more efpecially compofitions in poetry, were at this time over-run with claffical pedantries. But what writer, of the fame period, has made thefe obfolete fictions the vehicle of fo much fancy and poetical defcription? How beautifully has he applied this fort of allufion to the Druidical rocks of Denbighshire, to Mona, and the fabulous banks of Deva! It is objected, that its paftoral form is disgusting. But this was the age of paftoral*; and
* Dr. Newton affigns another reafon for its paftoral form, viz. that Mr. King (Lycidas) and Milton had been defigned for holy orders and the paftoral care; which reafon ought not to have been omitted, as it accounts for the introduction of feveral paffages into it which have been thought improper in a paftoral. As far as it relates to himfelf at leaft, Milton confirms this fact, and moreover explains what it was that kept him from entering into holy orders: "For this (the church) by the intentions of my parents and friends I was defigned of a child and in mine own refolution, till coming to fome maturity of years, and perceiving what tyranny had invaded the church; that he who would take orders must fubfcribe flave, and take an oath withal, which unless he took with a confcience that could retch, he muft ftrait perjure or fplit his faith, I thought it better to prefer a blamelefs filence before the office of fpeaking bought and begun with fervitude and forfwearing." Reafon of Church Government, Part ii.
yet LYCIDAS has but little of the bucolic cant, now fo fashionable *. The Satyrs and Fauns are but juft mentioned. If any trite rural topics occur, how are they heightened!
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Here the day-break is defcribed by the faint appearance of the upland lawns under the first gleams of light: the funfet, by the buzzing of the chaffer and the night sheds her fresh dews on their flocks. We cannot blame paftoral imagery, and paftoral allegory, which carry with them fo much natural painting. In this piece there is perhaps more poetry than forrow. 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 fhepherd has loft his companion, and muft feed his flocks alone without any judge of his skill in piping: but Milton dignifies and adorns thefe common artificial incidents with unexpected touches of picturefque beauty, with the graces of fentiment, and with the novelties of original genius. It is faid "here is no art, for there is nothing new." But this objection will vanish, if we confider the imagery which Milton has raifed from local circumftances. Not to repeat the ufe he has made of the mountains of Wales, the Ifle of Man, and the river Dee, near which Lycidas was fhipwrecked; 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 difafter.
But the poetry is not always unconnected with paffion. The Poet lavishly defcribes an ancient fepulchral rite, but it is made preparatory to a ftroke of tendernefs. He calls for a variety of flowers to decorate his friend's hearfe, fuppofing that his body was prefent, and forgetting for a while that it was floating far off in the ocean. If he was drowned, it was fome confolation that he was to receive the decencies of burial. This is a pleafing 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 Spenfer, now confidered as models in this way of writing. Let me add, that our poetry was not yet purged from its Gothic combinations; nor had legitimate notions of difcrimination and propriety fo far prevailed, as fufficiently to influence the growing improvements
* What Mr. Warton obferves of EPITAPHIUM DAMONIS is equally applicable to Lycidas. It contains foe paffages which wander far beyond the bounds of bucolic fong, and are in his own ori-、 ginal ftyle of the more fublime poetry. Milton cannot be a fhepherd long. His own native powers often break forth, and cannot bear the affumed difguife.'
of English compofition. Thefe irregularities and incongruities muft not be tried by modern criticism.'
In addition to thefe remarks, we may obferve that the very faults pointed out in this poem are the fource of fo many beauties, that we can scarcely with them away. How ftrikingly does it exemplify what Pope fays in his Effay on Criticism, 1. 159. Great Wits fometimes may gloriously offend, And rife to faults true Critics dare not mend.
From the many notes fubjoined to the other poems, various inftances of the Editor's labour, erudition, and judgment, might be eafily produced; but for thefe we must refer to the work itfelf, finding it impoffible within our narrow limits to make room for those we had particularly marked for infertion. We cannot, however, refift the temptation of tranfcribing the note affixed to the following couplet in Il Penferofo :
Add to these retired Leisure,
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure.
Affectation and falfe elegance were now carried to the most elaborate and abfurd excefs in gardening. Lauremburgius, a phyfician of Roftoch in Germany, has defcribed fome monuments, as they may be called, of this extravagance. He fays, that at Chartres in France there was a garden, where the Seven Wife men of Greece, the Twelve Labours of Hercules, with clipped explanatory verfes to each Labour, the Three Graces, the Feaft of the Gods, and the Accubitus Romanorum, were all flourishing in immortal box. He adds, that the gardens of Italy abounded in a wonderful variety of thefe verdant fculptures. He then comes to the gardens of England,
Eodem artificio commendabiles funt multi Angliæ horti; interque illos, is qui eft Hamptenkurti, in quo e liguftro effigiata funt animalia varia, infignia Regum Angliæ, plurimaque alia." That is, "Many gardens of England are to be praised for the fame curious devices and among others, the Garden at Hampton Court, where in privet are figured various animals, the royal arms of England, and many other things." HORTICULTURA, Lib. i. cap. 29. § iii. p. 125. Francof. ad Moen. 1631. 4to. The pedantry of vegetation has not yet expired in fome of our remote counties.
Milton, I fear alludes to the TRIM Garden in ARCADES, V. 46, Where the Genius fays, 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 friffeur. And in CoMUS, in his defcription of the Helperian gardens, I fufpect we have fomething of L'Architecture du Jardinage, in the Spruce Spring, the cedarn allies, the crifped fhades 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 crifped. B. iv. 237.
*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-lettered quarto, printed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth called the GARDENER'S LABYRINTH, &c. It has numerous wood-cuts, exhibiting great choice of meanders both for flowers and trees, but too intricate for modern fagacity, 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 forbear, especially in the narrowness of a note, to fay more on a fubject, which has been recently difcuffed with fo much judgment and elegance by Mr. Walpole and Mr. Mafon,'
One of the profeffed objects of Mr. Warton in this work is to explain Milton's obfolete words and phrafes. Of his abilities in this department of criticifm, we shall adduce, as no unfavourable fpecimen, his note on the following line in Comus:
313. And every bosky bourn from fide to fide.] A BOURN, the sense of which in this paffage has never been explained with precifion, properly fignifies here, a winding, deep, and narrow valley, with a rivulet at the bottom. In the prefent inftance, the declivities are interfperfed with trees or bushes. This fort of valley Comus knew from fide to fide. He knew both the oppofite fides or ridges, and had confequently traverfed the intermediate fpace. Such fituations have no other name in the weft of England at this day. In the wafte and open countries, BOURNS are the grand feparations or divifions of one part of the country from another, and are natural limits of districts and parishes. For BOURN is fimply nothing 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 fet 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 'twixt 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 ftream of water, as is BOURN at prefent in fome counties: and as rivers were the most distinguishable aboriginal feparations or divifions of property, might not the Saxon word give rise to the French BORNE? There is a paffage in the FAERIE QUEENE where a river, or rather strait, is called a BOURN, ii. vi. 10.
My little boate can fafely paffe this perilous BOURNE. But feemingly also with the fenfe of divifion or feparation. For afterwards this Bourne is filed a SHARD.
-When late he far'd
In Phedria's flitt barck over that perlous SHARD.
defcribed in Mr. Warton's note. The gloomy walks in these trim gardens, are very properly enumerated among the things which give pleafure to the penfive man; but it does not hence follow that thefe were to the poet's tafte. On the other hand, as he does not mention them in his enumeration of things exciting pleafure in L'Allegro; but for clipped ever-greens and verdant sculptures in box, fubftitutes Hedge-row elmes on hillocks green;'
it is evident he approved of artless nature.
Here, indeed, is a metathefis; and the active participle SHARING is confounded with the paffive SHARED. This perilous BOURNE was the Boundary or divifion which parted the main land from Phedria's ifle of blifs, to which it ferved as a defence. In the mean time, SHARD may fignify the gap made by the ford or frith between the two lands. But fuch a fenfe is unwarrantably catachreftical and licentious.
Ibid. Bofky bourn. -] That is woody, or rather bushy. As in the TEMPEST, A. iv. S. i.
My BOSKY acres, and my unfhrubb'd down.
Where unbrubbed is ufed in contraft. And in Peele's Play of EnWARD THE FIRST, 1593:
In this BOSKY wood
Bury his corpfe.
It is the fame word in FIRST P. HENR. IV. A. v. S. i.
How bloodily the fun begins to peer
Spenfer has Anglicifed the original French word bofquet, in MAY,
To gather May BUSKETS and fmelling breere.
Chaucer ufes BUSKE, "For there is nether BUSKE nor hay." ROM. R. v. 54 Where bay is hedge row. Again, ibid. v. 102. Of the birds that on the BUSKIS fingin clere." Boscus is middle Latin for Wood.'
We must now leave our Readers to judge, from these specimens, what entertainment they may promise themfelves from perufing the work, referving our farther obfervations on it for another article.
[To be continued.]
ART. II. Gibbon's Hiftory of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, continued. See our laft.
HE fourth volume of Mr. Gibbon's valuable Hiftory, 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 invafion and conqueft of Italy, together with his long and profperous reign in that country. In this part of the work, Mr. G.'s readers will be particularly pleased with his account of the character, ftudies, and writings of the philofopher 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 pafs unpunifhed.
Humanity,' fays Mr. G. will be difpofed to encourage any report which teftifies the jurifdiction of confcience and the remorse of kings; and philofophy is not ignorant that the most horrid