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to pronounce his little commentary. Unwilling to deprive the literary world of any advantage which the mighty monarch of the Roman epopee may derive from his analysis, we subjoin the speech without any abridgment.
"Now, boys, for what I told ye. Them seventeen lines that Jim Naughtin consthered this minute contains as much as fifty in a modhern book. I pointed out to ye before the picture of Ascanius, an' I'll back it again the world for nature. Then there's the incipient storm :
"Interea magno misceri murmure cœlum
Erra! don't be talkin', but listen to that! There's a rumbling in the language like the sound of comin' thundher
"—insequitur commistâ grandine nimbus.'
D'ye hear the change? D'ye hear all the s's? D'ye hear 'em whistlin'? D'ye hear the black squall comin' up the hill-side, brushin' up the dust and dhry leaves off the road, and hissin' through the threes and bushes? An' d'ye hear the hail dhriven afther, and spattherin' the laves, and whitenin' the face o' the counthry? Commistâ grandine nimbus ! That I mightn't sin, but when I read them words, I gather my head down between my shouldhers, as if it was hailin' a top o' me. An' then the sighth of all the huntin' party! Dido, an' the Throjans, an' all the great court ladies and the Tyrian companions scatthered like cracked people about the place, lookin' for shelther, and peltin' about right and left, hether and thether in all directions for the bare life, an' the
floods swellin' an' coming, an' thundherin' down in rivers from the mountains, an' all in three lines:
"Et Tyrii comites passim, et Trojana juventus
An' see the beauty of the poet, followin' up the character of Ascanius; he makes him the last to quit the field. First the Tyrian comrades, an effeminate race, that ran at the sighth of a shower, as if they were made o' salt, that they'd melt under it; an' then the Throjan youth, lads that were used to it in the first book; an' last of all the spirited boy Ascanius himself. (Silence near the doore !)
"Speluncam Dido, dux et Trojanus eandem,
Observe, boys, he no longer calls him as of old, the pius Æneas, only Dux Trojanus, the Throjan laidher, an' 'tis he that was the laidher and the lad; see the taste of the poet not to call him the pious Æneas now, nor even mention his name, as if he were half ashamed of him, knowin' well what a lad he had to dale with. There's where Virgil took the crust out o' Homer's mouth in the nateness of his language, that you'd gather a part o' the feelin' from the very shape o' the line an' turn o' the prosody. As formerly, when Dido was askin' Æneas concernin' where he come from, an' where he was born? He makes
"Est locus Hesperiam Graii cognomine dicunt:
An' there the line stops short, as much as to say, just as I cut this line short in spakin' to you, just so our
coorse was cut, in going to Italy. The same way, when Juno is vexed in talkin' o' the Throjans, he makes her spake bad Latin to show how mad she is: (Silence !)
"Mene incepto desistere victam
Nec posse Italia Teucrorum avertere regem ? Quippe vetor fatis! Pallasne exurere classem Argivûm, atque ipsos potuit submergere ponto.' So he laves you to guess what a passion she is in, when he makes her lave an infinitive mood without anything to govern it. You can't attribute it to ignorance, for it would be a dhroll thing in airnest, if Juno the queen of all the gods did'nt know a common rule in syntax, so that you have nothing for it but to say that she must be the very moral of a jury. Such, boys, is the art o' poets, an' the janius o' languages.
"But I kept ye long enough. Go along to ye'r Greek now, as fast as ye can, an' reharse. An' as for ye," continued the learned commentator, turning to the mass of English scholars, "I see one comin' over the river that'll taich ye how to behave yerselves, as it is a thing ye won't do for me. Put up yer Virgils now, boys, an' out with the Greek, an' remember the beauties I pointed out to ye, for they're things that few can explain to ye, if ye hav'n't the luck to think of 'em yerselves."
"The class separated, and a hundred anxious eyes were directed towards the open door. It afforded a glimpse of a sunny green, and a babbling river, over which Mr. Lenigan, followed by his brother David, was now observed in the act of picking his cautious way. At this apparition a sudden change took place
in the condition of the entire school. Stragglers flew to their places; the impatient burst of laughter was cut short; the growing fit of rage was quelled; the uplifted hand dropped harmless by the side of its owner; merry faces grew serious, and angry ones peaceable; the eyes of all seemed poring on their books; and the extravagant uproar of the last half hour was hushed on a sudden into a diligent murmur. Those who were most proficient in the study of the Masther's' physiognomy detected in the expression of his eyes as he entered and greeted his assistant, something of a troubled and uneasy character. He took the list with a severe countenance, from the hands of the boy above mentioned, sent all those whose names he found upon the fatal record, to kneel down in a corner until he should find leisure to 'hoise' them, and then prepared to enter upon his daily functions."
For the present, however, the delinquents are saved by the entrance of a fresh character upon the
"The new-comer was a handsome young woman, who carried a pet child in her arms, and held another by the hand. The sensation of pleasure which ran among the young culprits at her appearance, showed her to be their 'great Captain's Captain,' the beloved and loving helpmate of Mr. Lenigan. Casting, unperceived by her lord, an encouraging smile towards the kneeling culprits, she took an opportunity while engaged in a wheedling conversation with her husband, to purloin his deal rule, and to blot out the list of the proscribed from the slate, after which she stole out calling David to dig the potatoes for dinner."
And so, we too will leave the school.
JOHN HOOKHAM FRERE.
LONG before "Beppo Beppo" the experiment of imitating the well-known Italian school, which unites so strangely the wildest romance of chivalry with pungent satire and good-humoured pleasantry, had been successfully tried by John Hookham Frere, one of Mr. Canning's most brilliant coadjutors in the poetry of the "Anti-Jacobin." The mock-heroic in question. bore the curious title of "Prospectus and Specimen of an intended National Work by William and Robert Whistlecroft of Stowmarket, in Suffolk, Harness and Collar Makers. Intended to comprise the most interesting Particulars relating to King Arthur and his Round-Table." Two cantos were published by Mr. Murray in 1817; and a third and fourth rapidly followed. The success was decided; but the poem has been long out of print, and is now amongst the scarcest books in modern literature.
To attempt to tell the story of a poem which travels backward and forward from knights to giants and from giants to monks, no sooner interesting you in one set of personages than he casts them off to fly to other scenes and other actors, would be a fruitless task. Who would venture to trace the adventures