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guests; which (Mr. MACPHERSON juftly observes) is ftill a higher degree of generofity than that of AXYLUS in HOMER: for the poet does not fay, but the good man might, at the head of his own table, have heard with pleasure the praise bestowed on him by the people he entertained.
But chiefly theirs to mark with high regard
Such was the respect paid to poets, by the people of Sicily, long after the heroic ages, that as many of the Athenians (who were taken prisoners in the overthrow under NICIAS) as could repeat a paffage from EURIPIDES, were rewarded with their life and liberty, and fent home with distinguished marks of honour. See THUCYDIDES.
What tho' ALEUA's or the Syrian's domes
-ANTIOCHUS king of Syria. The Aleuade and Scopada reigned in Theffaly and the neighbouring islands.
The mighty Ceian.——
SIMONIDES. He wrote on the battles of MARATHON, THERMOPYLE, SALAMIS, and PLATEA. See QUINTILIAN, b. xi. c. 2.
Or ILION live, with no recording mufe.
Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Nocte, carent quia vate facro. TULLY hath made an obfervation to the fame purpose: Nifi Ilias illa extitiffet, idem tumulus qui corpus ejus contexerat, nomen ejus obruiffet. See PINDAR, Olymp. x. l. 106.
From the red brick to wash its hues away.
Similar to the facred text:
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his fpots ?-Then may ye alfo do good, 'that are accustomed to do evil.'
Hence Mr. FAWKES, perhaps, took the liberty of turning the brick into an Ethiop.
'Tis eafter far to bleach the Æthiop foul, &c. VIRGIL hath imitated this paffage:
Quem qui fcire velit, &c. Georg. b. ii. 1. 105.
Purgem me? laterem lavem.
HORACE feems to entertain a different opinion refpecting the reformation of an avaricious man:
Fervet avaritia miferoque cupidine pectus?
Sunt verba et voces, quibus hunc lenire dolorem
Of all the vices, however, that of avarice is the most difficult to be eradicated; fince it increases with our years, while other maladies of the mind lofe their ftrength as we grow old. The love of money frequently adheres to the mifer, at the moment of diffolution. I cannot-muft not-part with that, and died' -was the laft fentiment of expiring Gripus. ATHENAUS mentions a person who swallowed several pieces of money but a few minutes before his death; and ordered what he could not swallow to be buried with him.
Phanician armies fhrink in pale dismay!
The whole of this paffage is in the fpirit and manner of fcriptural prophecy. In a fimilar frain Virgil writes:
Hujus in adventum jam nunc et Cafpia regna, &c.
Grant, O fon of Saturn, grant my prayer,
Criftâque hirfutus equina, fays VIRGIL.-And the chiefs of
But the kings
the Iliad have horse-hair crefts on their helmets.
bending forward from the clouds, fend forth the roaring winds; • did not OSSIAN behold, on high, the helmet of Erin's kings. The eagle's wing fpread above it, ruftling in the breeze. A • red star looked through the plumes. I ftopped the lifted spear.' And afterwards it occurs, in the third book- FINGAL is there in his ftrength. The eagle-wing of his helmet founds.'
And ye, who honour with your guardian love
PROSERPINE and CERES were more particularly worshipped by the Syracufians.
According to Mr. SWINBURNE (the entertaining and elegant traveller, to whom the tranflator recurs with extreme pleasure) the city of Syracufe was anciently of a triangular form. Its circuit amounted to 22 English miles. It contains, at present, about 18,000 inhabitants. The buildings, in any other fituation, might be thought tolerable; but to an obferver who reflects on the ancient Syracufian architecture and opulence, they muft appear mean. The cathedral, which was the temple of MINERVA, is now dedicated to our Lady of the Pillar. The church is made out of the old building. There are also fome remains, though
not remarkable, of the temple of DIANA. Near the quay, which is small, is a large pool of water, defended from the sea by a wall, and surrounded by houses, on every other fide. This is the celebrated fountain of ARETHUSE, the miftrefs of the conftant ALPHEUS.
There thousand flocks thro' rich luxuriance play.
< The folds shall be full of sheep, and the valleys alfo fhall < stand so thick with corn that they shall laugh and fing.'
That our garners may be full and plenteous with all manner of ftore-that our fheep may bring forth thousands and ten ⚫ thousands in our ftreets. That our oxen may be ftrong to • labour—that there be no decay-no leading into captivity, and Pfalm 144.
no complaining in our streets.'
Among the fables falfely attributed to Æsor, the Ant and the Cicada may probably be numbered. We meet with it in the epiftles of THEOPHYLACTUS first published by ALDUS. This writer lived about 600 years after Chrift, in the time of the Emperor HERACLIUS. The Daw with borrowed Feathers' may also be found in his epiftles. And many of thofe fables which have been generally regarded as of high antiquity, were the product of thefe darker ages. WARTON.
Then fpiders' webs fhall fill the rusted shield,
And they shall beat their swords into plough-fhares, and their fpears into pruning-hooks: Nation fhall not lift up fword ' against nation; neither fhall they learn war any more.
Ifaiah ii. 4.
All kings fhall fall before him-All nations fhall do him • fervice.' Pfalm 72.
Every attentive obferver will concur in opinion with the tranflator, that THEOCRITUS had read the Pfalms of DAVID and the Prophecies of ISAIAH.
Where your first votary's breathing incense rofe.
ETEOCLES, the elder fon of EDIPUS by JOCASTA, is faid to have first facrificed to the Mufes at Orchomenos: hence they are called the Eteoclean DEITIES OF GRACES.
IDYLLIUM the SEVENTEENTH.
R. WARTON is inclined to think, that this magnificent encomiaftic production is not the work of THEOCRitus. But he brings no authority to corroborate an opinion drawn merely from the genius of the compofition. This fpecies of evidence is, in fome cafes, more fatisfactory than any external teftimonies whatever. But as opinions will always differ on subjects of tafte, there are many who will not be convinced by Mr. WARTON's arguments; while they imagine, in the present encomium, all thofe fimple graces-all that sweetness, chastity, and characteristic propriety, fo diftinguishable in the panegyric on HIERO.
With JOVE begin the strain
In the original εκ Διος αρχώμεσθα—the very words with which ARATUS begins his Phænomena.
On earth, join all ye creatures to extol
Him firft, Him laft, Him 'midft, and without end.