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told Juno of her husband's amour with Juturna, was sent to hell" by him, and courted by Mercury on the road ; the consequence of which was the birth of the Lares. This seems to have a natural reference enough to the gossiping over fireplaces.

It is impossible not to be struck with the resemblance between these lesser household gods and some of the offices of our old English elves and fairies. But of them more by and by. Dacier, in a note upon Horace (Book I., Od. 12), informs us, that in some parts of Languedoc, in his time, the fire-place was still called the Lar; and that the name was also given to houses.

Herrick, an excellent poet of the Anacreontic order in the time of Elizabeth, whose works we shall often have occasion to recommend to the reader, and who was visited perhaps more than any poet that ever lived with a sense of the pleasantest parts of the cheerful mythology of the ancients, has written some of his lively little odes upon the Lares. We have not them by us at this moment, but we remember one beginning

“It was, and still my care is,

To worship you, the Lares."

We take the opportunity of the Lars being mentioned in it, to indulge ourselves, and we hope our readers, in a little poem of Martial's, very charming for its simplicity. It is an epitaph on a child of the name of Erotion.

“Hic festinata requiescit Erotion umbra,

Crimine quam fati sexta peremit hiems.
Quisquis eris nostri post me regnator agelli,

Manibus exiguis annua justa dato.
Sic Lare perpetuo, sic turba sospite, solus

Flebilis in terra sit lapis iste tua."

THE EPITAPH OF EROTION.

Underneath this greedy stone
Lies little sweet Erotion ;

Whom the Fates, with hearts as cold,
Nipt away at six years old.
Thou, whoever thou mayst be,
That hast this small field after

me,
Let the yearly rites be paid
To her little slender shade :
So shall no disease or jar
Hurt thy house, or chill thy Lar;
But this tomb here be alone
The only melancholy stone.

[NOTE.—Herrick can hardly be called a poet of "the time of Elizabeth", since he was only twelve years old when Elizabeth died, and was living in the reign of Charles II.-E. 0.]

LUDICROUS EXAGGERATION.

M

EN of wit sometimes like to pamper a favourite joke

into exaggeration,-into a certain corpulence of face

tiousness. Their relish of the thing makes them wish it as large as possible; and the social enjoyment of it is doubled by its becoming more visible to the eyes of others. It is for this reason that jests in company are sometimes built up by one hand after another—“three-piled hyperboles ” —till the overdone Babel topples and tumbles down amidst a merry confusion of tongues.

Falstaff was a great master of this art. He loved a joke as large as himself; witness his famous account of the men in buckram. Thus he tells the Lord Chief-Justice that he had lost his voice “with singing of anthems ;” and he calls Bardolph's red nose “a perpetual triumph, an everlasting bonfirelight;" and says it has saved him “ a thousand marks in links and torches,” walking with it " in the night betwixt tavern and tavern." See how he goes heightening the account of his recruits at every step :-“You would think that I had a hundred and fifty tattered prodigals, lately come from swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad fellow met me on the way, and told me I had unloaded all the gibbets, and pressed the dead bodies. No eye hath seen such scare-crows. I 'll not march through Coventry with them, that's flat. Nay, and the villains march wide betwixt the legs, as if they had gyves on ;

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for, indeed, I had most of them out of prison. There's but a shirt and a half in all my company ; and the half-shirt is two napkins, tacked together, and thrown over the shoulders like a herald's coat without sleeves !”

An old schoolfellow of ours (who, by the way, was more fond of quoting Falstaff than any other of Shakspeare's characters) used to be called upon for a story, with a view to a joke of this sort, it being an understood thing that he had a privilege of exaggeration, without committing his abstract love of truth. The reader knows the old blunder attributed to Goldsmith about a dish of green peas. Somebody had been applauded in company for advising his cook to take some ill-dressed peas to Hammersmith, “because that was the way to Turn'em Green ;” upon which Goldsmith is said to have gone and repeated the pun at another table in this fashion :-“John should take those peas, I think, to Hammersmith.” “Why so, Doctor ?" “ Because that is the way to make 'em green.” Now, our friend would give the blunder with this sort of additional dressing. “At sight of the dishes of vegetables, Goldsmith, who was at his own house, took off the covers, one after another, with great anxiety, till he found that peas were among them ; upon which he rubbed his hands with an air of infinite and prospective satisfaction. “You are fond of peas, sir ?' said one of the company. 'Yes, sir,' said Goldsmith, 'particularly so.

I eat them all the year round. I mean, sir, every day in the season. I do not think there is anybody so fond of peas as I am.' 'Is there any particular reason, Doctor,' asked a gentleman present, 'why you like peas so much, beyond the usual one of their agreeable taste?' 'No, sir, none whatsoever ;--none, I assure you.' (Here Goldsmith showed a great wish to impress this fact on his guests). “I never heard any particular encomium or speech about them from any one else ; but they carry their own eloquence with them. They are things, sir, of infinite taste.' (Here a laugh, which put Goldsmith in additional spirits).

But, bless me!' he exclaimed, looking narrowly

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into the peas, 'I fear they are very ill done. They are absolutely yellow instead of green' (here he put a strong emphasis on green), “and, you know, peas should be emphatically green. Greenness in a pea is a quality as essential as whiteness in a lily. The cook has quite spoilt them ; but I'll give the rogue a lecture, gentlemen, with your permission.' Goldsmith then rose and rang the bell violently for the cook, who came in, ready booted and spurred. 'Ha!' exclaimed Goldsmith, “those boots and spurs are your salvation, you knave. Do you know, sir, what you have done ?' 'No, sir. “Why, you have made the peas yellow, sir. Go instantly, and take 'em to Hammersmith. "To Hammersmith, sir ? ' cried the man, all in astonishment, the guests being no less so. * Please, sir, why am I to take 'em to Hammersmith ?' • Because, sir,' and here Goldsmith looked round with triumphant anticipation, that is the way to render those peas green !'

There is a very humorous piece of exaggeration in “Butler's Remains," a collection, by-the-bye, well worthy of " Hudibras," and, indeed, of more interest to the general reader. Butler is defrauded of his fame with readers of taste who happen to be no politicians, when“ Hudibras” is printed without this appendage. The piece we allude to is a short description of Holland :

A country that draws fifty foot of water,
In which men live as in the hold of Nature ;
And when the sea does in upon them break,
And drowns a province, does but spring a leak.

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That feed, like cannibals, on other fishes,
And serve their cousin-germans up in dishes.
A land that rides at anchor, and is moor'd,

In which they do not live, but go aboard." We do not know, and perhaps it would be impossible to discover, whether Butler wrote his minor pieces before those of the great patriot Andrew Marvell, who rivalled him in wit, and excelled him in poetry. Marvell, though born later, seems to have been known earlier as an author. He was certainly known publicly before him. But in the political poems of Marvell there

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