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we have no doubt that the author had in his eye, not only the usual sense of “in our way,” or “to be found," but also another meaning of “on our feet;" as the kittens, not being endowed with hands whereon to place their mittens, the said mittens must naturally be transferred to the feet. Their mother, however, far from receiving the unhappy kittens with the consolations which their candour and resignation deserved, and their situation called for, receives them with most unmerited punishment and abuse
“ If it be so, ye shall not go,
For ye are naughty kittens."
Indeed, she seems, from all we hear, to be most illconditioned
a cat, and most unnatural as mother. Here the story breaks off; we are left to imagine the broken hearts of the kittens at their rebuke, and (*“ this was the most unkindest cut of all”) the eating of the Christmas pie without them, and, no doubt, the remorse of the mother at having so cruelly maltreated them. But we will pass from the beauties of this poem (which, indeed, must be evident to the meanest capacity, not only from their own clearness, but from the ink that we have shed, the pens we have spoilt, and the paper we have blotted to explain them)—we will pass from this poem, to discuss another, which we doubt not would be altogether as beautiful, if more than the first stanza were legible in the MS.
• Let not the grammarian deride this line: it is Shakspeare's.
« Poor little Dorinda,
'Ηρυθίασε μυκτήρ Before she was dead,
Πρίν ή πανύσταλ' έρρειν And each hair like a blazing wire.” Και θρίξ έλαμψ' εκάση
Ως μέρμις αιθαλούσσα." This last fragment is as good a specimen of the sublime and terrific, as the other is of the soft and pathetic. The awful idea of her nose becoming red before she was dead, strikes us with wonder at the genius which could have conceived an idea so "magnificently terrible.” And the original simile of the end of each hair being like a blazing wire, bears evident marks of the same stupendous talent. But we will now leave the gentle reader duly to chew the cud of reflection on the wonders which we have pointed out; and for Zoilus, if he attacks the English verses, we, in Scott's words,
“ Bid him defiance stern and high,
And give him in his teeth the lie.” But if he prefers attacking the Greek, we beg leave to say that the Greek, which was written before Bentley, Dawes, Porson, &c. &c. had revived or invented their myriads of canons, cannot be so perfect as in these golden days of literature it might be expected to be.
STANZAS TO *
In agony and gloom,
Pass by thy silent tomb.
“ Hæc placuit semel, hæc decies repetita placebit.”-HOR.
It has been the frequent observation of many wise and able men, which the experience of all ages tends to confirm, that every man who writes is more or less fired with ambition, and that his object is not so much to
promote the pleasure and instruction of his readers, as to obtain for himself admiration and fame. But it
may be, and perhaps is, justly considered, that to please and instruct, is one of the most certain channels to fame, and that it is somewhat unjust to suppose that every man, in sending forth his work into the world, is actuated by selfish motives, and that he does it solely with a view of gratifying his ambition : but where, I would ask, is the author, who has not been secretly incited by a desire to display his abilities, and who, notwithstanding the haughty and ostentatious beginning, the elaborate preface, and well-meaning titles of such as, “A Dissertation upon Moral and Sentimental Philosophy,” “ Hints on the Practical Parts of Education,”. &c. &c. has not looked upon his own aggrandizement as an object of more paramount importance than the wish or considera tion for the improvement of mankind? I am aware that to prove every author guilty of such ambition would be no easy task, as there are many diurnal writers, who, under fictitious names, send to the press their ephemeræ of learning, and in this secret manner delight to level their poisonous and calumnious darts against those individuals, who, either by their good fortune, abilities, or perseverance, have obtained an unrivalled pre-eminence, and rendered themselves objects of envy. Yet, it must be confessed, that, to such authors, it is no small gratification to see the objects of their raillery and calumny writhing under the sting they have received from an unknown source, and their reputation blasted without any possibility of reparation. It bas, indeed, been generally acknowledged, that to write a work, which may not only captivate for the moment, or afford a merely temporary pleasure to its readers, but which may be able to undergo the ordeal of investigation, is, perhaps, one of the most difficult undertakings which can be imagined. Arduous, however, as it is, and insuperable as the obstacles may appear which every man must encounter on his road to fame, they have been found insufficient to damp the ardour, or lessen the expectations of an aspiring mind; nor have the innumerable examples of unfortunate authors been more effectual in blackening the prospect, who, sallying forth with self-assumed arrogance, have, after undergoing all the censure of ridicule, been at length compelled to retire into obscurity. Swift computed the authors of London at several thousands, and although common observation may convince us that this cannot be an unreasonable computation, yet it is difficult to imagine what can induce so great a number to trust to the slippery path of fame, many of whose works must necessarily be neglected, whilst the authors themselves live unrewarded, and die unknown. Every man, indeed, thinks his own pretensions to literary honours unquestionable, and himself entitled by merit to every laurel which fame has to bestow; but however gratifying it may be to indulge this “chimerical ambition of immortality,” as it is termed by Johnson, it must be acknowledged, that it is of a nature too dangerous to be encouraged, as a too eager desire has often been considered as enthusiasm, and enthusiasm as the effect of inspiration; while the unfortunate individual who has deluded himself with vain hopes, has, on the first disappointment, been reduced to despair.