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many of our present readers remember that speare, Goldsmith, and Cowper, and from the proverb which has such a true homely Aytoun's “ Bothwell.* After all, there are English sound that it seems as though it must several which seem curiously out of place be a native
in this second division; the well known “ There's many a slip,
“ Balnea, vina, Venus” hardly comes under 'Twixt the cup and the lip."
the category of “Moral ;” and we doubt
whether the subject of the following, whether is the merest literal translation of a Greek
spinster or widow, would have received it as verse—an epigram in the original sense
panegyrical" an inscription on a drinking-cup? Did the French king know, when he uttered the fa “ Though age has changed thee, late so fair,
I love thee ne'er the worse ; mous mot, Après moi le deluge,” that he
For when he took thy golden hair, was merely quoting an anonymous Greek, He filled with gold thy purse.” of no one knows how many centuries before
Some of the older complimentary verses him? We forget in what English divine's published devotions we noted a thought which are really elegant and worth preserving.
Take this on the beautiful Duchess of Devonstruck us at the time as very beautiful-and original, till we turned it up in the old An
shire canvassing Westminster for Charles
Fox : thologia—“Give us those things which be good for us even though we ask them not;
Arrayed in matchless beauty, Devon's Fair,
In Fox's favor takes a zealous part ; and those things which be hurtful to us, even
But, oh! where'er the pilferer comes, bewareif we ask them, withhold.” Heathens, were She supplicates a vote and steals a heart.” those Greeks ? they were not altogether wrong
We do not care much for tributes of this in the matter of prayer at any rate. est et ab hoste doceri.” There is a temptation
kind to anonymous young ladies, though
some of them are prettily turned enough. As to linger among the classics (especially after
has been remarked before, epigrams which reading through a book of English epigrams have a personal history are by far the most
—like the tailor who stands up to rest) to interesting. Of these Mr. Booth has omitted which we plead guilty, and for which we several which were very easy to be found, hope we have shown some excuse. recommend, in reparation to the “country of his selections.
and better in their way than very many
Such as these surely gentlemen,” an inscription for their clocks sun-dials well worth adopting, and which
deserved a place for every reason :may have the merit of novelty, for we have ON MISS VASSAL (LADY HOLLAND) AT A MASnever yet seen it in an English version-an
QUERADE, FEB. 27, 1786. other Greek “ epigram,” in the real sense of
· Imperial nymph ! ill-suited is thy name the word-a beautiful variation of the hack
To speak the wonders of that radiant frame ;
Where'er thy sovereign form on earth is seen, neyed moral, “ Tempus fugit;" we give the
All eyes are Vassals--thou alone a queen.” original below, * to make amends for any
“ON THE TWO BEAUTIFUL MISS GUNNINGS. shortcoming in our translations :“ Brief while the rose doth bloom ; gather it were proof to the sharpest and best of his darts,
“Sly Cupid, perceiving our modern beaux' hearts straight;
His power to maintain, the young urchin, grown No rose, but thorns, remain for those that wait.”
cunning, Of course, even in English, there are epi- Has laid down his bow, and now conquers by
Gunning." grams which can be classed as “ Moral and Panegyrical,” as well as “ Satirical and Humorous; though the present editor can find
(He had complained of feeling unwell at her only ninety pages of these latter to balance
house.) some two hundred of the more piquant and “ Tis true I am ill, but I need not complain, better remembered class, and even to do For he never knew pleasure that never knew this, has thought himself at liberty to include
Payne.” a good many extracts that are not epigrams And in spite of its being anonymous (so far at all, such as long passages from Shak- as we know) both as to author and subject, * Το ρόδον ακμάζει Βαιον χρόνον ήν δε παρέλθη, we should like to add this last to the editor's Ζητών είρήσεις ου ρόδον, αλλά βάτον.
ERSKINE TO LADY PAYNE.
66 ON A PATCH ON A LADY'S FACE. perhaps not very easy ;
but this kind of divi“ That artful speck upon her face
sion into " Humorous” and “ Monumental” Had been a foil in one less fair ; is certainly the most illogical that ever was In her it hides a killing grace,
attempted. We wonder under which headAnd she in mercy placed it there."
ing the editor would have classed the followWe have not much faith in impromptus, ing verses, if he had happened to meet with which usually cost their authors much time them. They are an anticipatory dirge for and pains to compose; but we are glad to see Professor Buckland, at that time the great again one of Theodore Hook’s (who really popular geologist, from the pen of Archhad the gift of making them) which if the bishop Whately. We do not know that circumstances of its production are faithfully they have been printed, except in the columns recorded, is one of the very best that was ever of a newspaper. put into print. He is said to have been sitting at the piano, composing and singing one
“ Mourn, Ammonites, mourn o'er his funeral
urn, of those extempore songs in which he adapted
Whose neck * ye must grace no more ; a verse to the name of each one of the com- Gneiss, granite and slate, -he settled your date, pany present, when a Mr. Wynter entered And his ye must now deplore. the room quite unexpectedly. Hook at once
“Weep, caverns, weep, with infiltering drip, started off as follows:
Your recesses he'll cease to explore ;
For mineral veins or organic remains, “ Here comes Mr: Winterhatever the extent si No stratum again will he bore. And that, too, without any nonsense or flummery, “ His wit shone like Crystal—his knowledge proFor though his name's Wynter, his actions are
From Gravel to Granite descended ; Of such as are really epigrams in the orig- No Trap could deceive him, no Slip confound, inal sense -inscriptions—one of the best in No specimen, true or pretended. the book, and perhaps not so commonly known - Where shall we our great Professor inter, as some others, is that said to be still visible That in peace may rest his bones ? at the Duke of Richmond Inn, at Goodwood, If we hew him a rocky sepulchre, on the carved figure-head (a lion) of Anson's
He'll get up and break the stones,
And examine each strata that lies around, ship the Centurion :
For he's quite in his element underground. “ Stay, traveller, awhile, and view I who have travelled more than you ;
“ If with mattock and spade his body we lay Quite round the globe in each degree,
In the common alluvial soil ; Anson and I have plowed the sea ;
He'll start up and snatch those tools away Torrid and frigid zones have passed,
Of his own geological toil ; And safe ashore arrived at last,
In a stratum so young the Professor disdains In ease and dignity appear
That embedded should be his organic remains. He in the House of Lords—I here."
“ Then exposed to the drip of some case-hardenThe collection is not improved by the addi ing spring, tion of a third class, containing “Monumental And to Oxford the petrified sage let us bring,
His carcass let stalactite cover ; Epigrams.” If intended as a collection of gen When duly encrusted all over ; uine epitaphs remarkable for their terseness There 'mid mammoths and crocodiles, high on or eccentricity, it is anything but complete,
the shelf, and the thing has been much better done be- Let him stand as a monument raised to himself.
“ 1st Dec. 1820.” fore. But in point of fact it is a jumble of old tombstone verses, either genuine, or The reader will find, in this last class, four which have passed for such, with the playful Latin lines which have always been a puzzle or bitter - last words ” which wits have sug- to curious scholars. They are said to be gested for their friends or enemies. By the found on a stone in Lavenham Church, Norside of inscriptions which are known to have folka local existence, we find such things as
" Quod fuit esse quod est Goldsmith's - Madam Blaize," Moore's lines
Quod non fuit esse quod esse upon Southey, and Punch's suggested epi
* The ladies of Dr. Buckland's family--if not the taph on a locomotive engine" Her end was
professor himself-occasionally wore necklaces of pieces.” The classification of epigrams is ammonites.
Esse Qriod ron esse
Why, one More and no more may well lie here
But here lies one More, and that's more than (We prefer leaving out the commas, as we have found the punctuation of other passages, Such grim puns were not thought irreverent whether the printer's or the editor's, of to the dead by the taste of the day. We are rather a hap-hazard character.) There is a not fond either of monumental witticisms or translation given—one of several which we monumental eulogy: if we must needs choose have seen, perfectly intelligible in themselves, a poetical memorial, there is one in the book but quite impossible to be got, by any fair (which really exists at Peterborough) whose grammatical process, out of the original plain-speaking strikes our fancy :Latin. The most plausible interpretation sug
· Reader, pass on, nor idly waste your time, gested—and if not the true one, it has, at
In bad biography, or bitter rhyme ; least, the merit of great ingenuity-goes upon What I am now, this cumbrous clay insures, the supposition that the name of the deceased And what I was is no affair of yours.” was Toby Watt. Then it comes out some
It will be seen that we have been unable thing like this : “ That which was Toby to compliment the present editor on his selecWatt, is what Toby Watt was not; to be tion. Especially we regret to sce some of Toby Watt, is not to be what Toby Watt is ; the modern personalities of Punch copied Toby is not, he will be.” It is true that the into his pages. They may be excused in an Lavenham epitaph is said to be upon one ephemeral publication ; they are not really John Wales : but we believe it exists else- | nalicious-indeed, nothing is more remarkwhere, with various readings : and it is by able than their general good-humor and freeno means impossible the John Wales's rela- dom from bitterness, when the temptations tives borrowed the inscription, admiring it of the professional joker are considered -and none the less that it was unintelligible. they answer the intended purpose of raising That'some such play upon words is the key a laugh. But in a book intended for the to the riddle, seems probably from another drawing-room table, as this seems to be, the epitaph in Mr. Booth’s book
same sense of propriety which has excluded “ Hic jacet Plus, plus non est hic,
some of the wittiest epigrams of former genePlus et non plus-quomodo sic?” rations on account of their grossness, should
also have suffered verses of no remarkable Of which the following, said to be in St. brilliancy, which described living and late Benet's Church, Paul's Wharf, seems to be bishops (whose names are supplied in a note a free translation
as “ Soapey” and “ Cheesey,” to remain in “ Here lies one More, and no more than he ; the files of periodical papers, or in the memOne More and no more-how can that be ? ories of their admirers.
FROM the “ American Publishers' Circular” curious matter; and Mr. B. J. Lossing announces for May, just received from Messrs. Trubner & a “History of the Rebellion." Dr. Allibone's Co., we find that Messrs. Ticknor and Fields, of "Dictionary of Authors ” is getting towards comBoston, announce a “ Life of W. H. Prescott,' pletion, and the MS. of the second volume will by Dr. George Ticknor, to be published in quarto, soon be in the printer's hands—the letter S., and with illustrations ; Messrs. Lippincott & Co., of the Smiths in particular (there being no less Philadelphia, have in press the “ History of than 680 authors of that name, of whom more Charles the Bold,” by the late Mr. Prescott's than eighty are Johns) having been a sad stumassistant, Mr. John F. Kirk; Messrs. Mason bling-block in the compiler's way. Brothers, of New York, will shortly publish a “ History of General Butler's Campaign and Administration at New Orleans,” by Mr. Parton, MICHEL CHEVALIER is engaged at this moment, whose “ Life of Benjamin Franklin” has been by command of Napoleon III., on a large work looked forward to for several years; the Hon. on the internal resources of Mexico, drawn from Edward Everett is completing the manuscript of reports prepared by special messengers, sent out “The Law of Nations, a book to which the pre- for the purpose in the train of the French army sent state of America will furnish much new and of invasion.
From The Reader. Edinburgh, in the vicinity of which he then DE QUINCEY'S REMAINS.
had his home-varied by occasional disapDE QUINCEY's writings hardly belong to pearances, during which he could not be what can be called “ current literature.” traced-were passed the last years of a man They are now rather a portion of that past who, some fifty years before, had been the English literature of which we are proud as companion of Wordsworth and Southey and a national inheritance. Hence the comple- Coleridge in the Lake-district, who had theretion of the collected edition of De Quincey's after started out from that illustrious group works in fifteen volumes by Messrs. A. and as an intellectual notability sui generis, and C. Black of Edinburgh is a topic rather for who, for thirty years or more, had been faour leading article than for one of our re- mous in London and everywhere as the Engviews. But it is an event that ought not to lish Opium-eater, and one of the finest writgo by unchronicled. A few years ago, while ers in the English language. Quietly and De Quincey was yet alive, the only collected furtively, with all this retrospect of notoriety edition of his writings was an American edi. behind him, like some small and enfeebled tion, which had been very creditably under- ticket-of-leave man, amazingly afraid of the taken by an American publisher in order to police, and dimly conscious that they might meet the demand in the United States caused still have a right to him, did De Quincey fit by De Quincey's fame. Based on this odi- about lanes and country-roads in his last tion there at last came forth a British edition, obscure retreat-occasionally clutched and superintended by De Quincey himself, and borne away in a cab (which was the only way all but finished when he died. The present of securing him) to be the lion of an Edinis a re-issue of that edition, with improve- burgh evening-party, when, after he had disments and additions. The fifteen volumes coursed most beautiful talk for hours, the ought to be in every library that aims at con- problem would arise how on earth to get him taining what is most excellent in English away again. At last, on impulse or on sualiterature. For De Quincey is one of our sion, " out into the Night,” as the German classics, one of our real immortals, and his novelists have it, he would go; and what beremains are one of the richest and most pe- came of him no one knew, and no one cared. culiar bequests that have recently fallen in to And yet this strange life must, from first the great accumulation of our standard Eng- to last, have been a life of singular industry lish prose. Whoever knows not De Quincey and labor. This singular being, this migrahas his education in our higher English liter- tory and almost disembodied intellect, this ature still to complete.
little wandering anatomy, topped with a What a strange life was De Quincey's! A brain, whom a habit of opium-eating condream rather than a life, a passive flitting to tracted in its early youth had loosened, as it and fro, almost a disembodied existence, un seemed, from all the social realities of life, bound, unregulated by any of the ties and and almost from all sense of worldly responpunctualities that bind and regulate ordinary sibility, had been leading an indefatigable lives! The end of it is within recent recol- life of its own-all observation, all memory, lection. You were walking, perhaps, with all reverie, all speculation. Howsoever and a friend in one of the quiet country-lanes near whensoever he had acquired his scholarship, Edinburgh; and there passed you timidly a there were few such learned and accomplished strange diminutive creature, with his hat men in his day as De Quincey. He had read hung on the back of his head, at whom you enormously, without ever seeming to have could not help looking back, and whom, when books by him, much less a library. He had you did look back, you found also stopping, made himself his own encyclopædia, and, as if in suspicious alarm, and looking back at wherever he was, could quote all that he you. “ That is De Quincey,” your friend wanted to quote, dates and references inwould whisper ; and the diminutive creature cluded, from memory. Then, not belonging would hastily move on, as if fearful of being to the world, but only as some merely intelcaught, and disappear round the first turn- lectual spirit moving about in the world, he ing, the rim of his hat still sloping back over had taken note of everything in it, serious or his shabby coat-collar. And so, in wander- humorous, and had forgotten nothing that ings about in the lanes and country-roads near he had once noted. With a memory thus
full and ever becoming fuller, and with a fication followed in the actual arrangement tendency at the same time to investigation, of the volumes-probably for the practical reasoning, and fantastic constructions of his reason, that the classes of writings theoretiown ideas, he had, nearly all his life, and in cally discriminated shade into each other; the main for the mere purpose of earning the but, theoretically, the classification is perfect; necessary sustenance of bread or opium, been and, had it been possible, we should have in the habit of throwing off-nay, not throw- preferred an arrangement of the writings acing off, for they were carefully written, with cording to it to any other arrangement excorrections and interlineations--articles for cept the strictly chronological. In a collected magazines and other periodicals. Each edition of an author's writings, and especially article, when written, seems to have been in a posthumous edition, the chronological thrown over his shoulder, unregistered, un- arrangement, where possible, is always the filed, uncared-for; and yet, incessantly and very best. Leaving that matter, however, laboriously, he was writing fresh articles. let us attend to De Quincey's theoretical disOf books, or things originally shaped as books, tribution of the contents of these fifteen volhe
gave but one or two to the world ; his umes. They might be distributed, he said, whole literary life was a succession of articles into three classes :—I. Writings of fact, remifor periodicals. It seemed to be the same to niscence, and historical narration. Under such him where his articles went, provided they a head, though not precisely so named, De brought him the small immediate payment he Quincey included a large and very interestwanted—whether to periodicals of note or to ing portion of the contents of these fifteen obscure periodicals ; and it is one of the odd- volumes. He cited the “ Autobiographic est things we know that this English literary Sketches ” as an example. These “ Autobicelebrity, this veteran man of genius, whose ographic Sketches” contain recollections of services the greatest periodical in the land his own life, and of his acquaintance with might have been glad to command at any Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey and others ; price, should have spent some of his last years but there are,
in the fifteen volumes, many in composing articles for local periodicals, papers of the same order, not autobiographic, posting the packets of manuscript at the but more generally historical or biographic, Lasswade post-office, and fearing lest, from which are extremely substantial and valuable. being too late, they should be rejected alto- All De Quincey's literary biographies are gether. Not till the very end of his life, and worth reading ; and we recollect his sketch then probably less on his own motion than on of Bentley's life as especially interesting and the urging of friends, did he set about col- thorough. On the whole, we will make but lecting his scattered papers, or indicating, one remark on this portion of De Quincey's from the lists in his memory, from what writings ; and that is that, whereas we have miscellaneous quarters they might be col- found that the statements of all opium-eatlected. And yet these scattered articles in ers of facts relating to themselves are to be all sorts of periodicals for some thirty or forty received with caution, or even, where they years were what De Quincey was and now is are very picturesque, are to be punctually to the world ; and the fifteen volumes in disbelieved, we have found, on the other hand, which they are now collected are, with the that, in general matters of history, opiumexception of a book or two, and some articles eaters are not necessarily inventive, but may left out as scarcely worth reprinting, De be extraordinarily exact and accurate. II. Quincey's total remains.
Speculative writings, or writings addressed to It is seldom that an author attempts a the purely rational faculty. A large proporclassification of his own writings, and more tion of De Quincey's writings are of this seldom still that a classification which an kind; and, in our opinion, these—or those author does propose of his own writings is others in which criticism and speculation are satisfactory to others. De Quincey, how- blended with biography and history-are ever, in the preface to the collected edition of among his best. His was, indeed, a singuhis writings which he himself superintended, larly subtle and, as the Germans say, spitzproposed a classification of these writings findig intellect; and, out of the class of exwhich cannot be improved upon. Neither in pressly systematic thinkers, we do not know that edition nor in the present is the classi- a recent writer whose investigations of vexed