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interesting character: she is rapidly withdrawn from our view; yet we still image to ourselves the industrious fair-one, with her ivory distaff, the elegant and well-appropriated gift of our poet; such as in thefe days, however, might shrewdly enough convey—a hint of satyrical reprehension! But though our modish ladies might possibly start at so outrè a present, and feel much more gratified with the gallantry of the Gloves, the Fan, or the Rose-Bud,--the Distaff is by no means unworthy of their serious attention.



THESE jeux d'esprit, that by way of diftin&tion, we have named Anacreontic, have all the levity and delicacy of the Teian muse; but the critics will not allow them to be the production of our poet's pen.

The Honey-Stealer is an exact copy of the fortieth Ode of ANACREON: the measure of the verse is altered, while the sentiment and manner are retained.

The Death of Adonis (whoever might have been its author) hath the charm of simplicity to recommend it.

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AMONG the Greek poets, in general, Epigrams (as the word implies) were merely inscriptions. We meet with a few of the most ancient in HERODOTUS; but the Anthologia furnishes us with a various collection. The epigrams of CATULLUS and MARTIAL are of a different complexion; the one consisting throughout of lively expression, the other pointed at the end, or closing with an unexpected turn of wit.

These seem to be the three species of epigram; from which the critics, according to their different dispositions or fancies, have drawn their definitions. While one exclusively commends the grave humour, the chastised air, and the simplicity of the Greeks; another holds up to imitation the more refined delicacy and uniform diffusion of vivacity discoverable in the earlier Latin epigrammatist: A third, however, contends, that the very nature of epigram confifts in poig. nancy and point; and, perhaps, prefers one stroke of MARTIAL's pen, to all the insipid-spiritless Anthologia. The truth of the matter is, that we have excellent specimens in each line; such as no one, possessed of taste, would despise, or be alhamed to imitate. Yet the point, in modern language,


seems to be a necessary quality, of which the Jelly-Bag* is a most happy illustration. And unity of thought, concisely expressed, (though the Greeks have not always attended to it) appears to be essential to the several species we have attempted to define.

If the Epigrams of Theocritus had been entitled Idyllia, and his Honey-Stealer an Epigram, a modern definer would have found no impropriety in the change. This delicate morceau (with the Cupid turned Ploughman of Moschus) hath even smartness enough for a French Epigrammatist.


The first five epigrams of our poet are not very unlike the rustic inscriptions of AKENSIDE. Of the fourth, AKENSIDE's third inscription is plainly an imitation. The fixth closes with something like pleasantry: but the humor would have been stronger, if the shepherd's dogs had asked him, “ To what purpose he grieved for his kid, when not even a bone of it was left?” This would have been characteristic-but the embers of humor are smothered in ashes.

Of the next sixteen the Inscription on the Image of the heavenly Venus is perhaps the most pleasing; though the merit of all may be nearly alike. They have no striking beauties. They are deficient in spirit. We do not look for subtilty; but we expect some infusion of vivacity. There is a sickly languor diffused over them; nor can they be read without many a pause of lifless indifference.

* See Oxford Sausage.


The wits of the present day have looked on epigram as án objeĉt too trivial to engage a continuance of attention. To publish a collection, (like MARTIAL) and to build on it the hopes of fame, would, at this time, be considered as a glaring absurdity. And, indeed, the epigram should be the product of the moment; the effect of chance, not art; a {parkle from the collision of fortune and fancy. Of such felicities we meet with frequent examples, through a vehicle unknown to the wits of old. The periodical publication they could not boast. But the Oxford Sausage, and Carmina Quadragesimalia, present us with every species of this little composition; replete with humor and with elegance, and superior, in every point of view, to the most perfect epigrams of antiquity.


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THERE are few poffeflions of the mind more valuable than a well-disciplined imagination. Without regularity of genius, the poet runs from one image to another, with little design; and the philosopher forms visionary hypotheses, and makes experiments, with no view to a conclusion. He, who is unable to repress the luxuriances of his fancy, will often wander, amidst the false fertility, bewildered in his own creation. It seems the character of such an author, to hunt after new ideas, to catch a glittering image, to introduce a superfluity of ornament, to reject no thought that rises, to pursue his subjects without knowing when to drop the

pursuit, and to swell his works with generalities.

Whether these observations can, any way, be applied to the poets before us, a cursory view of their productions may possibly determine.

The names of Bion and Moschus have been commonly associated, and not without reason; for their beauties and defeás are naerly the same. They flourished also at the Vol. II,



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