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EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT.
[See Mason's Memoirs, vol. iii. p. 99; and Musæ Etonenses, vol. ii. p. 152.]
Πόταγ ̓, ὦ 'γαθέ· τὰν γὰρ ἀοιδὰν
Οὔτι πα εἰς Αΐδαν γε τὸν ἐκλελάθοντα φυλαξεῖς.
Theocritus, Id. I. 63.
As sickly plants betray a niggard earth,
Whose barren bosom starves her generous birth,
Nor genial warmth, nor genial juice retains,
Their roots to feed, and fill their verdant veins :
And as in climes, where winter holds his reign, 5
The soil, though fertile, will not teem in vain,
Forbids her gems to swell, her shades to rise,
Nor trusts her blossoms to the churlish skies:
Var. V. 2. Barren] Flinty. MS.
In a note to his Roman history, Gibbon says: "Instead of compiling tables of chronology and natural history, why did not Mr. Gray apply the powers of his genius to finish the philosophic poem of which he has left such an exquisite specimen?" Vol. iii. p. 248. 4to. - Would it not have been more philosophical in Gibbon to have lamented the situation in which Gray was placed; which was not only not favourable to the cultivation of poetry, but which naturally directed his thoughts to those learned inquiries, that formed the amusement or business of all around him?
So draw mankind in vain the vital airs,
Unform'd, unfriended, by those kindly cares,
That health and vigour to the soul impart, [heart:
Spread the young thought, and warm the opening
So fond instruction on the growing powers
Of nature idly lavishes her stores,
If equal justice with unclouded face
Smile not indulgent on the rising race,
And scatter with a free, though frugal hand,
Light golden showers of plenty o'er the land:
But tyranny has fix'd her empire there,
To check their tender hopes with chilling fear, 20
And blast the blooming promise of the year.
This spacious animated scene survey,
From where the rolling orb, that gives the day,
His sable sons with nearer course surrounds
To either pole, and life's remotest bounds,
How rude so e'er th' exterior form we find,
Howe'er opinion tinge the varied mind,
Alike to all, the kind, impartial heav'n
The sparks of truth and happiness has giv'n:
Var. V. 19. But tyranny has] Gloomy sway have. MS.
V. 21. Blooming] Vernal. MS.
V. 9. "Vitales auras carpis," Virg. Æn. i. 387. Luke. V. 14. "And lavish nature laughs and throws her stores around," Dryden. Virgil, vii. 76. Luke.
V. 21. "Destroy the promise of the youthful year."
Pope. Vert. and Pomona, 108. Luke.
V. 36. "On mutual wants, build mutual happiness."
Pope. Ep. iii. 112.
V. 47. "Bellica nubes," Claudiani Laus Seren. 196. Luke.
V. 48. So Claudian calls it, Bell. Getico, 641. "Cimbrica
With sense to feel, with memory to retain,
They follow pleasure, and they fly from pain;
Their judgment mends the plan their fancy draws,
The event presages, and explores the cause;
The soft returns of gratitude they know,
By fraud elude, by force repel the foe;
While mutual wishes, mutual woes endear
The social smile, the sympathetic tear.
Say then, through ages by what fate confin'd
To different climes seem different souls assign'd?
Here measur'd laws and philosophic ease
Fix, and improve the polish'd arts of peace;
There industry and gain their vigils keep,
Command the winds, and tame th' unwilling deep:
Here force and hardy deeds of blood prevail;
There languid pleasure sighs in every gale.
Oft o'er the trembling nations from afar
Has Scythia breath'd the living cloud of war;
And, where the deluge burst, with sweepy sway
Their arms, their kings, their gods were roll'd
As oft have issued, host impelling host,
The blue-eyed myriads from the Baltic coast.
V. 50. So Thomson. Liberty, iv. 803:
"Hence many a people, fierce with freedom, rush'd
From the rude iron regions of the North
To Libyan deserts, swarm protruding swarm."
And Winter, 840:
"Drove martial horde on horde, with dreadful sweep
Resistless rushing o'er the enfeebled South."
V. 51. So Pope. Dunciad, iii. 89:
"The North by myriads pours her mighty sons."
tempestas." Pope. Hom. Od. 5, 303, "And next a wedge to drive with sweepy sway." See note on Bard, v. 75.
The prostrate south to the destroyer yields
Her boasted titles, and her golden fields:
With grim delight the brood of winter view
A brighter day, and heav'ns of azure hue;
Scent the new fragrance of the breathing rose,
And quaff the pendent vintage as it grows.
Proud of the yoke, and pliant to the rod,
Why yet does Asia dread a monarch's nod,
While European freedom still withstands
Th' encroaching tide that drowns her lessening
Var. V. 55. Heav'ns] Skies. MS.
V. 56. Scent] Catch. MS.
And sees far off, with an indignant groan,
Her native plains, and empires once her own?
Can opener skies and suns of fiercer flame
O'erpower the fire that animates our frame;
As lamps, that shed at eve a cheerful ray,
Fade and expire beneath the eye of day?
Need we the influence of the northern star
To string our nerves and steel our hearts to war?
And, where the face of nature laughs around, 70
Must sick'ning virtue fly the tainted ground?
V. 54. "Mirantur nemora et rorantes Sole racemos. tius. v. Plin. Nat. H. 1. xiii. c. ii. 1.
"The fair complexion of the blue-eyed warriors of Germany formed a singular contrast with the swarthy or olive hue, which is derived from the neighbourhood of the torrid zone." Gibbon. Rom. Hist. iii. 337. Ausonius gives them this distinguished feature: "Oculos cœrula, flava comas," De Bissula. 17. p. 341. ed. Tollii. "Carula quis stupuit Germani lumina," Juv. Sat. xiii. 164.
V. 56. Milton. Arcades. 32, "And ye, ye breathing roses of the wood."
Unmanly thought! what seasons can control, What fancied zone can circumscribe the soul, Who, conscious of the source from whence she springs,
By reason's light, on resolution's wings,
Spite of her frail companion, dauntless goes
O'er Libya's deserts and through Zembla's snows?
She bids each slumb'ring energy awake,
Another touch, another temper take,
Suspends th' inferior laws that rule our clay: 80
The stubborn elements confess her sway;
Their little wants, their low desires, refine,
And raise the mortal to a height divine.
Not but the human fabric from the birth
Imbibes a flavour of its parent earth:
As various tracts enforce a various toil,
The manners speak the idiom of their soil.
An iron-race the mountain-cliffs maintain,
Foes to the gentler genius of the plain:
For where unwearied sinews must be found
With side-long plough to quell the flinty ground,
To turn the torrent's swift-descending flood,
V. 66. And as these mighty tapers disappear,
V. 91. "And side-long lays the glebe."
V. 57. Claudian, in his poem De Bello Getico, ver. 504, makes the Gothic warriors mention the vines of Italy: "Quid palmitis uber Etrusci," &c. "Et dulces rapuit de collibus uvas," Statii Silv. ii.; and "Carpite de plenis pendentes vitibus uvas," Ovid. Am. i. x. 55. "Pendet vindemia," Virg. Georg. ii. 89.
When day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere."
Dryd. Rel. Laici. Rogers.