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Of a very different character, and we have great pleasure in quoting it, is the subsequent passage, in which the noble author addresses the memory of the founder of his name and rank:
• Led by his hand, I first essay'd to walk,
O dear companion of my earliest steps,
Shall I forget not either thee or thine.' The lines on the vanity of Conquest in p.13. are spirited, although the subject is trite, and has been treated by poets of all ages and merits. Throughout the whole of this poem, we perceive an obvious attempt to imitate the manner of Milton: but the author has caught more of the obscurity of that great man than of his brilliancy; and the cumbrous style of the versification is ill justified by the shallow and unimportant thoughts which are wrapt up in it.
On the translation from the chorus of the Hippolitus of Euripides by Lord Chancellor Thurlow, we cannot bestow so much praise as the noble Editor seems to think it deserves. It is succeeded by a translation from the same hand, of Homer's Battle of the Frogs and Mice, which is certainly executed with great fidelity and spirit. The learned author has been particularly
happy happy in the imitation of the Greek compounds, and especially in the names of the heroes of this long celebrated war; such as Bladder-cheek, Crumb-catch, Gnaw-gammon, and Nibble-biscuit. As specimens, we may quote the speech of the unfortunate Mouse in the first canto :
“ Him Crumb-Catch answer'd quick in vocal sounds;
Why, friend, my birth demand, so known to men,
This is your food, whose dwelling is the pool.' The speech of Minerva too, when she is called by Jupiter to assist the routed Mice, is happily translated :
“ So spake the son of Saturn ; Pallas thus ; .
Oh! never, father, would I go to help
For interest on me: I am downright mad,
For they are not discreet.' The description of the crabs, which closes the poem, is another instance of successful imitation of the compound epithets of the Greek.
The production intitled Virgil's Ghost' is not without humour, but, unfortunately, for that quality of it (which constitutes its only merit) the noble author is indebted to Dr. Johnson's well-known little piece beginning “ Hermit hoar in dreary cell,”
Ariadne is a dramatic poem evidently intended as an imitation of Milton's Comus, with some borrowing from “ The Tempest." The heroine of it is not the classical personage of that name, but a fanciful lady, who (to use her own words) was born of Troy, upon the wave. The espoused queen, her mother, bringing forth, what time the Duke her father, from sweet Corinth led her (the mother) home ;' from which account, our readers will perhaps know nearly as much of her birth and family as we do. We should, however, add that her father was Menelaus Duke of Troy. The other principal characters in the piece are Amphitrite, and Ariel, her messenger, Lord Marinell, Marsaces, and Enceladus ; so that (judging by their names) they form a tolerably motley group of “all nations and languages.” Ariadne is first discovered on the shore of a desert island, weeping. Amphitrite, desirous of knowing what brought her there, and
• What the winds have done, or fortune's spite,
By wat'ry evil, that the maiden stands,
Disconsolate, upon that yellow shore,' and having requested information on those points, with some threats, from Nereus and Æolus, (but without waiting for their answers,) dispatches Ariel to bring her,
E’er the darkness steal,
Word of Ariadne's weal.' The messenger, in the disguise of a shepherd, accosts the lady, who readily tells him her history; confessing that the cause of her grief is separation from the Lord Marinell, with whom she had fled from her father's court, and from the persecution of her step-mother and of Marsaces a rival lover. In what manner the separation happened, we do not clearly comprehend: but, Ariel having carried to his mistress the information thus acquired, she conjures up the giant Enceladus, from whom Rev. Sept. 1814.
she extorts information as to the place where Marinell is to be found, and immediately dispatches Ariel to restore him to Ariadne ; which errand we are left to suppose is duly executed;
for he says,
"I will go
More fleet, than lightning, to my loved task :
Am I prophetick, O beloved Queen?' This passage, we presume, contains the ' allusion to passing events,' mentioned by the author in the preface.- Such is the story (if so it may be called) of this piece, and the composition is much on a par with it. All the lyric parts are without merit, as Ariel's song,
• See they quake,' &c. p.10. and Amphitrite’s promise to Ariel in the same;
• There, beneath the Moon's pale eye,
In a cowslip you shall lie,
Fuming from the charter'd deep. For a specimen of this kind of composition, our readers may take, once for all, the chorus of Ariel's song at the end of the second part :
• Who will, may follow me
For I go,
That these things are so and so.' 'Those parts of the poem are rather better which are in blank verse ; as may partly be seen from these lines in Ariadne's account of her early life:
« And love I knew not, nor I car'd to know.
So fifteen summers warbled o'er my head,
On the whole, the piece is most tediously drawn out through three parts, and 57 pages, with very few poetical passages and still less variety to relieve the general dullness and monotony:
The Doge's Daughter is written throughout in verses of eight syllables ; and a more delectable specimen of namby pamby we have seldom, if ever, been doomed to peruse. The Duge and his Daughter (like some other persons in similar situations, if we may allude 'to passing events,') disagree about the matrimonial arrangements of the latter; and the young lady, as the shortest mode of settling the question, under the reluctant advice of an old nurse, betakes herself to flight,--though not in a Hackney-coach. She afterwarit falls in, by a well-design’d accident, with the lover of her choice on his road to join the warriors; and the young lady, most heroically bent on assisting him, equips herself in armour, and follows him to battle. Here, however, she is very much in his way, being thrown from her horse on the first onset, and occasioning him the trouble of defending her, in addition to that of protecting himself: all this, too, from pure generosity, since he does not know who the gallant knight really is, till, the battle being over,
The shatter'd helmet he unbound,
As the reader may expect that our opinion should be justified by an extract, we take at random a part of the nurse's speech in the first canto, when she is dissuading her mistress from the imprudent step in which she afterward joins her:
• Say, the youth is fierce and brave,
Full of virtue and delight,