Page images

you'll be of my mind, that it is most wonderfully resembling the 'Song of Solomon,' which was also addressed to a royal bride.

The nightingale now wanders in the vines :
Her passion is to seek roses.
I went down to admire the beauty of the vines :
The sweetness of your charms has ravished my soul,
Your eyes are black and lovely,
But wild and disdainful as those of a stag. (1)
The wished possession is delayed from day to day ;
The cruel sultan Achmet will not permit me
To see those cheeks, more vermilion than roses.
I dare not snatch one of your kisses;
The sweetness of your charms has ravished my soul.
Your eyes are black and lovely,
But wild and disdainful as those of a stag.
The wretched Ibraham sighs in these verses :
One dart from your eyes has pierced through my heart.
Ah! when will the hour of possession arrive ?
Must I yet wait a long time?
The sweetness of your charms has ravished my soul.
Ah, sultana ! stag-eyed-an angel amongst angels I
I desire, and my desire remains unsatisfied.
Can you take delight to prey upon my heart?
My cries pierce the heavens !
My eyes are without sleep!
Turn to me, sultana-let me gaze on thy beauty.
Adieu-I go down to the grave.
If you call me, I return.
My heart is—hot as sulphur; sigh, and it will flame.
Crown of my life !-fair light of my eyes !
My sultaza !--my princess!

[rave !
I rub my face against the earth-I am drowned in scalding tears--I

Have you no coinpassion? Will you not turn to look upon me ? I have taken abundance of pains to get these verses in a literal translation; and if you were acquainted with my interpreters, I might spare myself the trouble of assuring you that they have received no poetical touches from their hands. To Mrs. S. C. [Sarah hiswell]—Inoculation for the Small-pox.

ADRIANOPLE, April 1, 0. S. 1717. Apropos of distempers, I am going to tell you a thing that will make yon wish yourself here. The sinall-pox, so fatal and so general amongst us, is here entirely harmless, by the invention of ingrafting, which is the term they give it. There is a eet of old women who make it their business to perform the operation every autumn, in the month of September, when the great heat is abated. People send to one another to know if any of their family has a mind to have the small-pox; they make parties for this purpose, and when they are met-commonly fifteen or sixteen together the old woman comes with a nut-shell full of the matter of the best sort of smallpox, and asks what veins you please to have opened. She immediately rips open ibat you offer to her with a large needle—which gives you no more pain thau a com

1 Sir W. Jones, in the preface to his Persian Grammar, objects to this translation, The expression is merely analogous to the Doopis of Homer.

mon scratch-and puts into the vein as much matter as can lic upon the head of her needle, and after that binds up the little wound with a hollow bit of shell; and in this manner opens four or five veins. The Grecians have cominonly the superstition of opening one in the middle of the forehead, one in each arm, and one on the breast, to mark the sign of the cross; but this has a very ill effect. all these wounds leaving little scars, and is not done by those that are not superstitious, who choose to have them in the legs, or that part of the arm that is concealed. The children or young patients play together all the rest of the day, and are in perfect health to the eighth. Then the fever begins to seize them, and they keep their beds two days, very seldom three. They have very rarely above twenty or thirty in their faces, which never mark; and in eight duys' time, they are as well as before their illness. Where they are wounded, there remain running sores during the distemper, which I don't doubt is a great relief to it. Every year thousands undergo this operation; and the French ambassador says pleasantly, that they take the small-pox here by way of diversion, as they take the waters in other countries. 'I here is no example of any one that has died in it; and you may believe I am well satisfied of the safety of this experiment, since I intend to try it on my dear little son.

I am patriot enough to take pains to bring this useful invention into fashion in England; and I should not fail to write to some of our doctors very particularly about it, if I knew any one of them that I thought had virtue enough to destroy such a considerable branch of their revenue for the good of mankind. But that distemper is too beneficial to them, not to expose to all their resentment the hardy wight that should undertake to put an end to it. Perhaps, if I live to return, I may, however, have courage to war with them. Upon this occasion, admire the heroisin in the heart of your friend, &c. To Lady Rich-France in 1718.

PARIS, Oct. 10, 0, S. 1718. The air of Paris has already had a good effect upon me; for I was never in better health, though I have been extremely ill. all the road from Lyons to this place. You may judge how agreeable the journey has been to me, which did not want that addition to make me dislike it. I think nothing so terrible as objects of misery, except one had the Godlike attribute of being capable to redress them; and all the country villages of France shew nothing else. While the post-horses are changed, the whole town comes out to beg, with such miserable starved faces, and thin tattered clothes, they need no other eloquence to persuade one of the wretchedness of their condit on. This is all the French magnificence till you come to Fontainebleau, where you are shewed one thousand five hundred rooms in the king's hunting-palace. The apart ments of the royal family are very large, and richly gilt; but I saw nothing iu the architecture or puinting worth remembering.

I have seen all the beauties, and such — (I can't help making use of the coarse word) nauseous creatures ! so fantastically absurd in their dress! so monstrously unnatural in their paints! their hair cut short, and curled round their faces, and so loaded with powder, that it makes it look like white wool! and on their cheeks to their chius, un mercifully laid on a shining red japan, that glistens in a most faming manner, : o that they seem to have no resemblance to human faces. I am apt to be lieve toat they took the first hint of their dress from a fair sheep newly raddled. "Tis with pleasure I recollect my dear preity countrywomen; and if I was writing to anybody else, I shoulà say that these grotesque daubers give me still a higher este-m of the nu ural churms of dear Lady Rich's auburn huir, aud the lively colours of her unsullied complexion. To the Countess of Bute-on Female Education.

LOVERE, Jan, 23, N. S. 1753. DEAR CHILD—You have given me a great deal of satisfaction by your account of your eldest daughter. I am particularly pleased to hear she is a good arithmetician; it is the best proof of understanding: the knowledge of numbers is one of the chief distinctions between us and brutes. If there is anything in blood, you may reason. ably expect your children should be endowed with an uncommon share of good sense. Mr. Wortley's family and wine have both produced some of the greatest men that have been born in England; I mean Admiral Sandwich, and my grandfather, who was distinguished by the name of Wise William. I have heard Lord Bat's father mentioned as an extraordinary genius, though he had not many opportunities of shewing it; and his uncle the present Duke of Argyll has one of the best heads I ever knew. I will therefore speak to you as supposing L:dy Mary not only capable, but desirous of learning ; in that case, by all means let her be indulged in it. You will tell me I did not make it a part of your education ; your prospect was very differen froin hers. As you had much in your circumstances to attract the highest offers, it seemed your business to learn how to live in the world, as it is hers to know how to be easy out of it. It is the common error of builders and parents to follow some plan they think beautiful-and perhaps is so--without considering that nothing is beautiful which is displaced. Hence we see so many edifices raised, that the raisers can never inhabit, being too large for their fortunes. Vist:s are laid open over barren heaths, and apartments coutrived for a coolness very agreeable in Italy, but killing in the north of Britain ; thus every woman endeavours to breed her daughter a fine lady, qualifying her for a station in which she will never appear, and at th: same time incapicitating her for that retirement to which she is destiaed. Laruing, if she has a real taste for it, will not only make her contented, bat happy in it. No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasures so lasting. She will not wiat new fashious, nor l'egret the loss of expensive diversions, or variety of company, if she can be amused with an author in her closet. To render this annis inuat complete, she should be permitted to learn the lan. guag:3. I have heard it la'nented that boys lose so many years in mere learning of words: this is no objection to a girl, whose time is not so precious: she camot adviincs herself in any profession, and has therefore more hours to spure; and as you say her ine nory is good, she will be very agreeably employed this way. There are two cautions to be given on this subject: First, not to think herself learned when she ci read Latin, or even Greek. Languages are more properly to be called vehicles of learning than learning itself, as inay be observed in many schoolmasters, who, thonga perhips critics in gramır, are the most ignorant fellows upon earih. True knowledge consists in knowing things, not words. I would no furtherwish her a linguist than to enable her to read books in their originals, that are often corrupted, and are always injured, by translations. Two hours' application every morning will bring this about much sooner than you can imagine, and she will have leisure enough besides to run over the Englisli poetry, which is a more important part of a wonu's education than it is generally supposed. Many a young damsel has heen ruined by a fine copy of verses, which she would have laughed at if she had bät known it had been stolen froin Mr. Waller. I remember, when I was a girl. I Baved one of my companions froin destruction, who communicated to me an epistle she was quite charmed with. As she had naturally a gi od taste, she observed the lines were not so smooth as Prior's or Pope's, but had more thonght and spirit than any of their3.

Sh: was won:lerfully delighted with such a demonstration of her lover's sense and passion, and not a little pleased with her own charms, that had force enough to inspire such elegances, In the midst of this triumph, I shewed her that they were taken froin Randolph's poems, and the unfortunate trauscriber was dismissed with the scora ho deserved.

ruth, the poor plagiary was very uulucky to fall into my hands; that author being no longer in fashion, would have escaped any one of less universal reading than myself. You should encourage your daughter to talk over with you what she reads ; and as you are very capable of distinguishing, take care she does not mistake pert foily for wit and humour, or rhyme for poetry, which are the conmon errors of young people, and have a train of ill con equixes. The second caution to be given her-and which is most ab-olutely nec-53lry-is to conceal whatever learning she attains, with as much solicitude as she woull hid: crookedress or lameness: the parade of it can only serve to chair on her the envy, and consequently the most inveterate hatred, of all he and she fools, which will certainly be at least three parts in four of her acquaintance. The use of knowlerige in our sex, beside the amusement of soll. tude, is to mozlerate the passions, and learn to be contented with a small expens, which are the ceriain effects of a studious life; and it may be preferable even to that fame which men have engrossed to themselves, and will not suffer us to share At the same time I recommend books, I neither exclude work por drawing. I think it is as scaudalous for a woman not to kuow how to use a ucedlo,

To say

as for a man not to know how to use a sword. I was once extremely fond of my pencil, and it was a great mortification to me when my father turned off my master, Havirg made a considerable progress for the short time I learned. My over-eagerness in the pursuit of it had brought a weakness in my eyes, that made it necessary to leave off; and all the advantage I got was the improvement of my hand. I see by hers that practice will make her a ready writer: she may attain it by serving you for a secretary, when your health or affairs make it troublesome to you to write yourself; and custom will make it an agreeable amusement to her. She cannot have too inany for that station of life which will probably be her fate. The ultimate end of your education was to make you a good wife—and I have the comfort to hear that you are one; hers ought to be to make her happy in a virgin state. I will not say it is happier, but it is undoubtedly safer than any marriage. In a lottery, where there is--at the lowest computation-ten thousand blanks to a prize, it is the most prudent choice not to venture. I have always been so thoroughly persuadı d of this tru:h, that, notwithstanding the flattering views I had for you—as I never intended you a sacrifice to my vanity-I thought I owed you the justice to lay before you all the hazards attending matrimony: you nay recollect I did so in the strongest manner. Perhaps you may have more success in the instructing your daughter; she has so much company at home, she will not need seeking it abroad, and will more readiy take the notions you think fit to give her. As you were alone in my family, it would have been thoug it a great cruelty to suffer you no companions of your own age, especially having so many near relations, and I do not wonder their opinions influenced yours. I was not sorry to see you not determined on a s ogle life, knowing it was not your father's intention; and contented myself with endeavouring to make your home so easy, that you might not be in haste to leave it.

I am afraid you will think this a very long insignificant letter. I hope the kindness of the design will excuse it, being willing to give you every proof in my power that I am your most affectionate mother.

WILLIAM WOTTON. WILLIAM WOTTON (1666–1726), a clergyman in Buckinghamshire, whom we have mentioned as the author of a reply to Sir William Temple, wrote various other works, including remarks on Swist's • Tale of a Tub.' In childhood, bis talent for languages was so extraordinary and precocious, that it is related of him, though the statement is highly improbable, that when five years old he was able to read Latin, Greek, and IIebrew, almost as well as English! At the age of twelve he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts, previously to which he had gained an extensive acquaintance with several additional languages, including Arabic, Syriac, and Chaldee; as well as with geography, logic, philosophy, chronology, and mathematics. As in many similar cases, however, the expectations held out by his early proficiency were not justified by any great achievemenis in after-life. We quote the following passage from bis ' Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning' (1694), chiefly because it records the

ange of marmers which took place among literary men during the Sunteenth century :

Decline of Pedantry in England. The last of Sir William Temple's reasons of the great decay of modern learning is pedantry: the urging of which is an evident argument t'iat his discourse is levéllel against learning, not as it stands now, bnt as it was fifty or sixty years ago. For the new philosophy has int oduced so great a correspondence between mell of learning and men of business; which has also been increased by o:her accidents amorget the masters of other learned professions; and that pedanty which formerly was almost universul is now in a great measuire disused, especialy amongst the young men, who are taught in the universities to laugh at that freqnent citation of ecraps uf Latin in common discourse, or upon arguments that do not require it; and that nauscous 0:tentation of reading and scholarship in public companies, which formerly. was so much in fashion, Affecting to write politely in modern languages, especially the French and ours, has also helped very much 10 l ssen it, because it bas enabled abundance of men, who wanted academical education, to talk plansibly, and some exactly, upon very many learned subjects. This also has made writers habitu lly careful io avoid those ir pertinences which they know would be taken notice of and ridiculed ; and it is probable that a careful perusal of the fine new French books, which of late years have been greedily sought after by the politer sort of gentlemen and scholars, may in this particular have done abundance of good. By this means, and by the help also of some ot concurrent causes, those who were not learned themselves being able to maintain disputes with those that were, forc:d them to talk mere warily, and brought t em, by little and little, to be ont of countenance at that vain thrusting of their learning into everything, which before had been but too visible.

TOM D'URFEY AND TOM BROWN. Very different in character from these grave and erudite authors were their contemporaries, Tom D'URFEY (circa 1630-1723) and TOM BROWN (1663–1704), who entertained the public with occasional whimsical compositions both in prose and verse, which are now valued only as conveying some idea of the taste and manners of the time. D'Urfey's first work was a heroic poem “Archery Revived' (1676), and he continued to write plays, operas, poems, and songs, His comedies possess some farcical humour, but are too coarse and licentious for the stage. As a lively and facetious companion, liis society was greatly courted, and he was a distinguished composer of jovial and party songs. In the 29ih number of the Guardian,' Steele mentions a collection of sonnets published under the title of *Laugh and be Fat, or Pills to Purge Melancholy;' at the same time censuring the world for ungratefully neglecting to reward the jocose labours of D’Urfey, 'who was so large a contributor to this treatise, and to whose humorous productions so many rural squires in the remotest part of this island are obliged for the dignity and state which corpulency gives them.' In the 67th number of the same work, Addison humourously solicits the attendance of his readers at a play for D'Urfey's benefit. The songs and other pieces of D’Ursey ultimately extended to six volumes, and were entitled: "Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy,' &c. (1720). Tom BROWN appeared as an author about 1688. He was à 'merry fellow' and libertine, who, having by his immoral conduct lost the situation of schoolmaster at Kingston-upon-Thames, became a professional author and libeller in the metropolis. His writings, which consist of dialogues, letters, poems, and other miscellanies, display considerable learning as well as slirewdness and humour, but are deformed by obscene and ecurrilous buffoonery.

Letter from Scarron in the Next World to Louis XIV. All the conversation of this lower world at present runs upon you; and the devil & worul we can hear in any of our coffee-houses but what his Gallic majesty is more or less concerued in. "Tis agreed on by all our virtuosos, that since the days of Dioclo

« EelmineJätka »