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Che con le lor bugie pajon divini. Mauro d'Arcano.
I Do confess, in many a sigh,
My lips have breath'd you many a lie; And who, with such delights in view, Would lose them, for a lie or two?
Nay, look not thus, with brow reproving;
If half we swear to think and do,
And now, my gentle hints to clear,
FRIEND of my soul, this goblet sip, "Twill chase that pensive tear;
It does not appear to have been very difficult to become a philosopher amongst the ancients. A moderate store of learning, with a considerable portion of confidence, and just wit enough to produce an occasional apophthegm, seem to have been all the qualifications necessary for the purpose. The principles of moral science were so very imperfectly understood that the founder of a new sect, in forming his ethical code, might consult either fancy or temperament, and adapt it to his own passions and propensities; so that Mahomet, with a little more learning, might have flourished as a philosopher in those days, and would have required but the polish of the schools to become the rival of Aristippus in morality. In the science of nature, too, though some valuable truths were discovered by them, they seemed hardly to know they were truths, or at least were as well satisfied with errors; and Xenophanes, who asserted that the stars were igneous clouds, lighted up every night and extinguished again in the morning, was thought and styled a philosopher, as generally
as he who anticipated Newton in developing the arrangement of the universe.
For this opinion of Xenophanes, see Plutarch. de Placit. Philosoph. lib. ii. cap. 13. It is impossible to read this treatise of Plutarch, without alternately admiring the genius, and smiling at the absurdities of the philosophers.
2 The ancients had their lucernæ cubiculariæ or bedchamber lamps, which, as the emperor Galienus said, "nil cras meminere ;" and, with the same commendation of secrecy, Praxagora addresses her lamp in Aristophanes, Exzàng. We may judge how fanciful they were, in the use and embellishment of their lamps, from the famous symbolic Lucerna, which we find in the Romanum Museum Mich. Ang. Causei, | p. 127.
3 Hesiod, who tells us in melancholy terms of his father's flight to the wretched village of Ascra. Egy. zai 'Husg. v. 251 4 Εννυχίαι στείχον, περικαλλια οσσαν μέσαι. Τheog. v. 10.
5 Και μοι σκηπτρον εδόν, δαφνης εξίθηλια οζον. Ιd. v. 30.
'Tis thus my heart shall learn to know
I'll tell thee, as I trim thy fire,
Swift, swift the tide of being runs,
Oh, then if earth's united power
Why were the fleeting treasures given,
And, soon as night shall close the eye
Of heaven's young wanderer in the west;
To find their future orbs of rest;
ON HER BEAUTIFUL TRANSLATION OF
Mon âme sur mon lèvre étoit lors toute entière,
How heav'nly was the poet's doom,
The trembling messenger of bliss!
And, sure his soul return'd to feel
That it again could ravish'd be ;
"Good night! good night!"— And is it so?
Oh Rosa, say "Good night!" once more,
Till the first glance of dawning light
1 'Pur te ika seraua dizzy, as expressed among the dog-duction, he calls him, "une nouvelle créature, qui pourra mas of Heraclitus the Ephesian, and with the same image by Seneca, in whom we find a beautiful diffusion of the thought. “Nemo est mane, qui fuit pridie. Corpora nostra rapiuntur fuminum more; quidquid vides currit cum tempore. Nihil ex his quæ videmus manet. Ego ipse, dum loquor mutari tpsa, mutatus sum," &c.
Aristippus considered motion as the principle of happiBess, in which idea he differed from the Epicureans, whe looked to a state of repose as the only true voluptuousness, and avoided even the too lively agitations of pleasure, as a violent and ungraceful derangement of the senses.
comprendre les choses les plus sublimes, et ce qui est bien au-dessus, qui pourra goûter les mêmes plaisirs." See his Vénus Physique. This appears to be one of the efforts at Fontenelle's gallantry of manner, for which the learned President is so well and justly ridiculed in the Akakia of Voltaire.
Maupertuis may be thought to have borrowed from the ancient Aristippus that indiscriminate theory of pleasures which he has set forth in his Essai de Philosophie Morale, and for which he was so very justly condemned. Aristippus, accord. ing to Laertius, held μη διαφέρειν το ήδονην ήδονης, which irrational sentiment has been adopted by Maupertuis: "Tant qu'on ne considère que l'état présent, tous les plaisirs sont du
Maupertuis has been still more explicit than this philosopher, in ranking the pleasures of sense above the sublimest pursuits of wisdom. Speaking of the infant man, in his pro- mėme genre," &c. &c.
WRITTEN IN A COMMONPLACE BOOK,
"THE BOOK OF FOLLIES;"
IN WHICH EVERY ONE THAT OPENED IT WAS TO CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING.
TO THE BOOK OF FOLLIES.
THIS tribute's from a wretched elf,
Light went the harp when the War-God, reclining, Lay lull'd on the white arm of Beauty to rest, When round his rich armour the myrtle hung twining,
And flights of young doves made his helmet their nest.
But, when the battle came,
Soon from his neck the white arm was flung;
While, to his wak'ning ear,
No other sounds were dear
Have we felt as if virtue forbid it?
But brazen notes of war, by thousand trumpets So innocent, love, is the joy we then sip,
But then came the light harp, when danger was ended,
And Beauty once more lull'd the War-God to rest;
When tresses of gold with his laurels lay blended, And flights of young doves made his helmet
So little of wrong is there in it,
That I wish all my errors were lodg'd on your lip, And I'd kiss them away in a minute.
Then come to your lover, oh! fly to his shed,
From a world which I know thou despisest; And slumber will hover as light o'er our bed As e'er on the couch of the wisest.
1 Εγχει, και παλιν επι, παλιν, παλιν, Ηλιόδωρας
Δακρυε φιλεραστον ιδου ῥόδον, σύνεκα κειναν
BRUNCK. Analect. tom. i. p. 28.