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Oh, did our British peers thus court renown,
And grace the coats their great forefathers won!
Our arms would then triumphantly advance,
Nor Henry be the last that conquer'd France.
What might not England hope, if such abroad
Purchas'd their country's honour with their blood :
When such, detain'd at home, support our state
In William's stead, and bear a kingdom's weight,
The schemes of Gallick policy o'er-throw,
And blast the counsels of the common foe;
Direct our armies, and distribute right,
And render our Maria's loss more light.

But stop, my muse, th' ungrateful sound forbear

Maria's name still wounds each British ear:
Each British heart Maria still does a wound,
And tears burst out unbidden at the sound;
Maria still our rising mirth destroys,
Darkens our triumphs and forbids our joys.

But see, at length, the British ships appear!
Our Nassau comes! and as his fleet draws near,
The rising masts advance, the sails grow white,
And all his pompous navy floats in sight.
Come, mighty prince, desir'd of Britain, come!
May heav'n's propitious gales attend thee home!

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1 Maria's name. Queen Mary died Dec. 28, 1694, and perhaps no better proof can be given of William's feelings as a husband, than his answer to Lord Somers, who coming to the king upon business of the highest moment, found him sitting at the end of his closet in an agony of grief—“My lord, do what you will: I can think of no business."—G.

Does wound. An unlucky blemish in this, otherwise, pretty passage.Yet it is a mistake to think that these feeble expletives, do, does, did, &c. as Pope calls them, are never to have a place in our verse: the rule is, "they should not be coupled with the verb." The reason is obvious.

Come and let longing crowds behold that look,
Which such confusion and amazement strook
Through Gallick hosts: but, oh! let us descry
Mirth in thy brow, and pleasure in thy eye;
Let nothing dreadful in thy face be found,
But for a-while forget the trumpet's sound;
Well-pleas'd thy people's loyalty approve,
Accept their duty and enjoy their love.
For as when mov'd with fierce delight,
You plung'd amidst the tumult of the fight,
Whole heaps of dead encompass'd you around,
And steeds o'er-turned lay foaming on the ground:
So crown'd with laurels now, where-e'er you go,
Around you blooming joys, and peaceful blessings flow.





Salve magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus,
Magna virûm! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Aggredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes.
VIRG. Geor. ii.


[Or this poem Addison gives the following account in a letter to E. Montague:-"During my passage over the mountains (the Alps, from Italy to Geneva, Dec. 1701), I made a rhyming epistle to my Lord Halifax, which perhaps I will trouble you with a sight of, if I don't find it to be nonsense upon a review."

Johnson says (Life of Addison, p. 75): "Whatever were his other employments in Italy, he there wrote the letter to Lord Halifax, which is justly considered as the most elegant, if not the most sublime, of his poetical productions." And again (p. 106): "The letter from Italy has been always praised, but has never been praised beyond its merit. It is more correct, with less appearance of labor, and more elegant, with less ambition of ornament, than any other of his poems.”

This poem was translated into Italian by Salvini, and the translation published both by Tickell and Hurd. We have omitted it in this edition. Salvini was an excellent grammarian and worthy representative of the Crusca, but a very feeble poet.

For a sketch of Lord Halifax see Johnson's Lives of the Poets-Halifax.-G.]

a The subject, so inviting to our classical traveller, seems to have raised his fancy, and brightened his expression. Mr. Pope used to speak very favorably of this poem.


WHILE you, my lord, the rural shades admire, 1
And from Britannia's publick posts retire,
Nor longer, her ungrateful sons to please,
For their advantage sacrifice your ease;
Me into foreign realms my fate conveys, 2
Through nations fruitful of immortal lays,
Where the soft season and inviting clime
Conspire to trouble your repose with rhime.
For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects 3 rise,
Poetick fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground; 4
For here the muse so oft her harp has strung,
That not a mountain rears its head unsung,
Renown'd in verse each shady thicket grows,
And ev'ry stream in heavenly numbers flows.


How am I pleas'd 5 to search the hills and woods
For rising springs and celebrated floods!

1 This introduction is exceedingly graceful and easy, presenting an equally pleasing picture of the patron and the poet, and the compliment contained in it, is all the more honorable to both, when we remember that the per-. son to whom it was paid, was a minister out of place.-G.


Me into foreign realms my fate conveys. Compare

Compare the "Traveller".


'My fortune leads to traverse realms alone," but what a difference between Addison, inspired by "the soft season, and inviting clime," and Goldsmith spending his "pensive hour amid Alpine solitudes.”—G.


Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects. These epithets are tautological. The scene is "gilded" by the sunlight, and the prospect shines from the same cause. They have, too, the disadvantage of excessive vagueness, a serious defect in the opening of a description. But this is the only defective line in this exquisite paragraph.-G.

4 And still I seem to tread on classic ground. Quacunque ingredimur in aliquam historiam vestigium ponimus "-was applied to Athens by Cicero. The expression "classic ground," is supposed by Miss Aikin, I know not on what authority, to have been here used in English for the first time.-G.

5 How am I pleased. Not a happy line, but amply compensated by the

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To view the Nar, tumultuous in his course,
And trace the smooth Clitumnus to his source,
To see the Mincio draw his watry store
Through the long windings of a fruitful shore,
And hoary Albula's infected tide
O'er the warm bed of smoking sulphur glide.
Fir'd with a thousand raptures I survey ·
Eridanus through flowery meadows stray;
The king of floods! that rolling o'er the plains
The towering Alps of half their moisture drains,
And proudly swoln with a whole winter's snows,
Distributes wealth and plenty where he flows.


Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng,
I look for streams immortaliz'd in song,
That lost in silence and oblivion lye,
(Dumb are their fountains and their channels dry)
Yet run for ever by the muse's skill,


And in the smooth description murmur still.


Sometimes to gentle Tiber I retire,

And the fam'd river's empty shores admire,

admirable description which follows-in which the attributes are applied with singular felicity, and the verse finely adapted to each. The second line on the Mincio is particularly appropriate by its protracted movement, and the judicious choice of circumstances.-G.


1 The king of floods—Fluviorum rex Eridanus. This expression was suggested to Addison by his recollections of Virgil rather than Petrarch. "Re degli altri, superbo, altero fiume."-G.

2 Gentle Tiber. Here the description fails. "Gentle" is not a proper expression for the "saffron" stream, which runs rapidly at all seasons, and in winter violently. "Empty shores" is literally correct, though not very poetical; and both "retire and admire" sound very much as if one had called up the other without any particular warrant from the subject. "Retire" suggests something more nook-like and sequestered than the banks of the Tiber, and "shores" are seldom admired for their emptiness.-G.

a Yet run for ever, &c. This way of giving to the copy the properties of

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