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NOTES TO HINTS FROM HORACE

1.-Page 213, line 7.

Or low Dubost-as once the world has seen

IN an English newspaper, which finds its way abroad wherever there are Englishmen, I read an account of this dirty dauber's caricature of Mr. Has a "beast," and the consequent action, &c. The circumstance is, probably, too well known to require further comment. [Thomas Hope, Esq., the author of "Anastasius," having offended Dubost, that unprincipled painter revenged himself by a picture called "Beauty and the Beast," in which Mr. Hope and his lady were represented according to the well-known fairy story. The exhibition of it is said to have fetched thirty pounds in a day. A brother of Mrs. Hope thrust his sword through the canvass; and M. Dubost had the consolation to get five pounds damages.]

2.-Page 213, line 11.

Believe me, Moschus, like that picture seems ["Moschus."-In the original MS., "Hobhouse."]

3.-Page 213, line 15.

Poets and painters, as all artists know,

["All artists."-Originally, "We scribblers."]

4. Page 214, line 12.

To paint a rainbow, or-the river Thames.

"Where pure description held the place of sense."-POPE.

5.-Page 214, line 18.

Whose wit is never troublesome till true.

[This is pointed, and felicitously expressed.-MOORE.]

6. Page 215, line 10.

But coats must claim another artisan.

Mere common mortals were commonly content with one tailor and with one bill, but the more particular gentlemen found it impossible to

confide their lower garments to the makers of their body clothes. I speak of the beginning of 1809: what reform may have since taken place I neither know, nor desire to know.

7.-Page 215, line 12.

As Vulcan's feet to bear Apollo's frame;
["As one leg perfect and the other lame."-MS.]

8.-Page 216, line 7.

(As Pitt has furnish'd us a word or two,

Mr. Pitt was liberal in his additions to our parliamentary tongue; as may be seen in many publications, particularly the Edinburgh Review.

9.-Page 217, line 7.

True, some decay, yet not a few revive;

Old ballads, old plays, and old women's stories, are at present in as much request as old wine or new speeches. In fact, this is the millennium of black letter: thanks to our Hebers, Webers, and Scotts!-[Weber was a poor German hack, a mere amanuensis of Sir Walter Scott.]

10.-Page 217, line 22.

You doubt-see Dryden, Pope, St. Patrick's dean.

"Mac Flecknoe," the "Dunciad," and all Swift's lampooning ballads. Whatever their other works may be, these originated in personal feelings, and angry retort on unworthy rivals; and though the ability of these satires elevates the poetical, their poignancy detracts from the personal character of the writers.

11.-Page 218, line 4.

For jest and pun in very middling prose.

With all the vulgar applause and critical abhorrence of puns, they have Aristotle on their side; who permits them to orators, and gives them consequence by a grave disquisition. ["Cicero also," says Addison, "has sprinkled several of his works with them; and, in his book on Oratory, quotes abundance of sayings as pieces of wit, which, upon examination, prove arrant puns."]

12.-Page 218, line 14.

Where angry Townly lifts his voice on high.

[In Vanbrugh's comedy of the "Provoked Husband."]

13.-Page 218, line 18.

To "hollowing Hotspur" and his sceptred sire.

"And in his ear I'll hollow, Mortimer!"-1 Henry IV.

14.-Page 220, line 5.

If some Drawcansir you aspire to draw,

[Johnson. Pray, Mr. Bayes, who is that Drawcansir?

Bayes. Why, Sir, a great hero, that frights his mistress, snubs up kings, baffles armies, and does what he will, without regard to numbers, good sense, or justice."-Rehearsal.]

15.-Page 220, line 26.

Beware-for God's sake, don't begin like Bowles!

About two years ago a young man, named Townsend, was announced by Mr. Cumberland, in a review (since deceased) as being engaged in an epic poem to be entitled "Armageddon." The plan and specimen promise much; but I hope neither to offend Mr. Townsend, nor his friends, by recommending to his attention the lines of Horace to which these rhymes allude. If Mr. Townsend succeeds in his undertaking, as there is reason to hope, how much will the world be indebted to Mr. Cumberland for bringing him before the public! But, till that eventful day arrives, it may be doubted whether the premature display of his plan (sublime as the ideas confessedly are) has not,-by raising expecta tion too high, or diminishing curiosity, by developing his argument, rather incurred the hazard of injuring Mr. Townsend's future prospects. Mr. Cumberland (whose talents I shall not depreciate by the humble tribute of my praise) and Mr. Towrsend must not suppose me actuated by unworthy motives in this suggestion. I wish the author all the success he can wish himself, and shall be truly happy to see epic poetry weighed up from the bathos where it lies sunken with Southey, Cottle, Cowley (Mrs. or Abraham), Ogilvy, Wilkie, Pye, and all the "dull of past and present days." Even if he is not a Milton, he may be better than Blackmore; if not a Homer, an Antimachus. I should deem myself presumptuous, as a young man, in offering advice, were it not addressed to one still younger. Mr. Townsend has the greatest difficulties to encounter: but in conquering them he will find employment; in having conquered them, his reward. I know too well" the scribbler's scoff, the critic's contumely;" and I am afraid time will teach Mr. Townsend to know them better. Those who succeed, and those who do not, must bear this alike, and it is hard to say which have most of it. I trust that Mr. Townsend's share will be from envy; he will soon know mankind well enough not to attribute this expression to malice. [This note Lord Byron says was penned at Athens, before he was aware of Mr. Cumberland's death in May, 1811. On his return to England Lord B. wrote to a friend:-"There is a sucking epic poet at Granta, a Mr. Townsend, protégé of the late Cumberland. Did you ever hear of him and his 'Armageddon?' I think his plan (the man I don't know) borders on the sublime; though, perhaps, the anticipation of the 'Last Day' is a little too daring; at least, it looks like telling the Almighty what he is to do; and might remind an ill-natured person of the line

'And fools rush in where angels fear to tread.""

To gratify the curiosity which had been excited, Mr. Townsend, in 1815, was induced to publish eight out of the twelve books, and their eception realised Lord Byron's ominous predictions.]

16.-Page 220, line 36.

Difficile est proprie communia dicere: tuque

Mde. Dacier, Mde. de Sévigné, Boileau, and others, have left their dispute on the meaning of this passage in a tract considerably longer than the poem of Horace. It is printed at the close of the eleventh volume of Madame de Sévigne's Letters, edited by Grouvelle, Paris, 1806. Presuming that all who can construe may venture an opinion on such subjects, particularly as so many who can not have taken the same liberty, I should have held my "farthing candle" as awkwardly as another, had not my respect for the wits of Louis the Fourteenth's Augustan siècle induced me to subjoin these illustrious authorities. 1st, Boileau: "Il est difficile de traiter des sujets qui sont à la portée de tout le monde d'une manière qui vous les rende propres, ce qui s'appelle s'approprier un sujet par le tour qu'on y donne." 2dly, Batteux: "Mais il est bien difficile de donner des traits propres et individuels aux êtres purement possibles." 3dly, Dacier: "Il est difficile de traiter convenablement ces caractères que tout le monde peut inventer." Mde. de Sévigné's opinion and translation, consisting of some thirty pages, I omit, particularly as M. Grouvelle observes, "La chose est bien remarquable, aucune de ces diverses interpretations ne parait être la véritable." But, by way of comfort, it seems, fifty years afterwards, "Le lumineux Dumarsais made his appearance, to set Horace on his legs again, "dissiper tous les nuages, et concilier tous les dissentimens;" and some fifty years hence, somebody, still more luminous, will doubtless start up and demolish Dumarsais and his system on this weighty affair, as if he were no better than Ptolemy and Tycho, or his comments of no more consequence than astronomical calculations on the present comet. I am happy to say, "la longueur de la dissertation" of M. D. prevents M. G. from saying any more on the matter. A better poet than Boilean, and at least as good a scholar as Sévigné, has said,

"A little learning is a dangerous thing."

And by this comparison of comments, it may be perceived how a good deal may be rendered as perilous to the proprietors. [Many more interpretations have been given of this ambiguous passage which, if taken in its obvious sense, is at variance with the context. All the commentators are compelled to do violence to one or the other.]

17.-Page 221, line 10.

Earth, heaven, and Hades echo with the song.

[There is more of poetry in these verses upon Milton than in any other passage throughout the paraphrase.-MOORE.]

18.-Page 222, line 6.

O'er Virgil's devilish verses and--his own;

Harvey, the circulator of the circulation of the blood, used to fling away Virgil in his ecstasy of admiration and say, "the book had a devil." Now, such a character as I am copying would probably fling it away also, but rather wish that the devil had the book; not from dislike to the poet, but a well founded horror of hexameters. Indeed, the public school ance of "Long and Short" is enough to beget an antipathy to poetry the residue of a man's life, and, perhaps, so far may be an advantage

19.-Page 222, line 9.

(Unlucky Tavell! doom'd to daily cares

"Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem." I dare say Mr. Tavell (to whom I mean no affront) will understand me; and it is no matter whether any one else does or no.-To the above events, "quæque ipse miserrima vidi, et quorum pars magna fui," all times and terms bear testimony. [The Rev. G. F. Tavell was a fellow and tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge, during Lord Byron's residence, and owed this notice to the zeal with which he protested against his juvenile vagaries.]

20.-Page 222, line 21.

Master of arts! as hells and clubs proclaim,

"Hell," a gaming-house so called, where you risk little, and are cheated a good deal. "Club," a pleasant purgatory, where you lose more, and are not supposed to be cheated at all.

21.-Page 224, line 3.

A halter'd heroine Johnson sought to slay

"Irene had to speak two lines with the bowstring round her neck; but the audience cried out 'Murder!' and she was obliged to go off the stage alive."-Boswell's Johnson. [Irene for the future was put to death behind the scenes. The strangling her, contrary to Horace's rule, coram populo, was suggested by Garrick.]

22.-Page 224, line 12.

Whose postscripts prate of dyeing "heroines blue?"

In the postscript to the "Castle Spectre," Mr. Lewis tells us, that though blacks were unknown in England at the period of his action, yet he has made the anachronism to set off the scene: and if he could have produced the effect "by making his heroine blue,"-I quote him-"blue he would have made her!"

23. Page 224, line 18.

I loathe an opera worse than Dennis did;

[In 1706, Dennis, the critic, wrote an "Essay on the operas after the Italian manner, which are about to be established on the English Stage" to show, that they were more immoral than the most licentious play.]

24.-Page 225, line 7.

Ere scenes were play'd by many a reverend clerk

"The first theatrical representations, entitled 'Mysteries and Moralities,' were generally enacted at Christmas, by monks (as the only persons who could read), and latterly by the clergy and students of the universities. The dramatis personæ were usually Adam, Pater Cœlestis, Faith, Vice," &c. &c.-See Warton's History of English Poetry. [These

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