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*culated, as to have demanded intelligibly a reinforce
ment of liquor, the whole assembly had been by this • time extended under the table.
· The celebration of this night's solemnity was opened by the obftreperous joy of drummers, who, with their parchment thunder, gave a signal for the appearance of • the mob under their several classes and denominations.
They were quickly joined by the melodious clank of ' marrow-bone and cleaver, whilst a chorus of bells filled * up the confort. A pyramid of stack-faggots cheared the • hearts of the populace with the promise of a blaze: the guns had no sooner uttered the prologue, but the hea
vens were brightened with artificial meteors, and stars * of our own making; and all the high-street lighted up ' from one end to another, with a galaxy of candles. We . collected a largess for the multitude who tippled eleemo• synary till they grew exceeding vociferous. There was • a paste-board pontiff, with a little swarthy dæmon at his
elbow, who, by his diabolical whispers and insinuations, • tempted his holiness into the fire, and then left him to • shift for himself. The mobile were very sarcastic with • their clubs, and gave the old gentleman several thumps
upon his triple head-piece. Tom Tyler's phiz is fomething damaged by the fall of a rockct, which hath almost spoiled the gnomon of his countenance. The mirth of the commons grew so very outrageous, that it found
work for our friend of the Quorum, who, by the help • of his Amanuensis, took down all their names and their crimes, with a design to produce his manuscript at the next quarter-fessions, &c. &c. &c.'
I SHALL subjoin to the foregoing piece of a letter, the following copy of verses translated from an Italian poet, who was the Cleveland of his age, and had multitudes of admirers. The subject is an accident that happened under the reign of Pope Leo, when a fire-work that had been prepared upon the castle of St Angelo, began to play before its time, being kindled by a flash of lightning. The author hath written his poem in the same kind of stile, as that I have already exemplified in profe. Every line in it is a riddle, and the reader must be forced to consider it twice or thrice, before he will know that the Gynic's tenement is a tub, and Bacchus his caft-coat a hogshead, &c.
'Tavas night, and heav'n, a Cyclops, all the day, An Argus nou did countless eyes display ; In ev'ry window Rome her joy declares, All bright, and studded with terrestrial stars. A blazing chain of lights her roofs entwines, And round bor neck ihe mingled luftre shines ; The Cynic's rolling tenement conspires, With Bacchus his caft-coat, to feed the fires.
The pile, fill big with undiscover'd shows, The Tuscan pile did last its freight disclose, Where the proud tops of Rome's new Ætna rifi, Whence giants Jally, and invade the skies.
TVhilft now the multitude expect the time, And their tir'd
eyes the lofty mountain climb,
The clouds invelop'd heav'n from human fight,
Tall groves of trees the Hadrian tow'r surround, Fictitious trees with paper garlands crown'd. These know no spring, but when their bodies sprout In fire, and shoot their gilded blofonis out;
When blasing leaves appear above their head,
With joy, great Sir, we view'd this pompons show, While heav'n, that fat spectator ftill till now, Itself turn'd actor, proud to pleasure you. And fo’tis fit, when Leo's fires appear, That heav'n itself jhould turn an engineer ; That heav’n itself mould all its wonders foow, sind orbs above consent with orbs below.
Wednesday, November 10.
-Neque enim concludere versum
Kor. Sat. 4. 1. 1. V..40.
'Tis not enough the measur'd feet to close :
6 Mr SPECTATOR,
town a couple of remarkable letters, in very dif<ferent ftiles ; I take this opportunity to offer to you
fome remarks upon the epistolary way of writing in verse.
* This is a species of poetry by itself; and has not so • much as been hinted at in any of the arts of poetry, ' that have ever fallen into my hands; neither has it in
any age, or any nation, been so much cultivated, as the • other several kinds of poesy. A man of genius may, if *he pleases, write letters in verse upon all manner of subjects, that are capable of being embellished with wit and language, and
render them new and agreeable by giving the proper turn to them. But in speaking at present of epistolary poetry, I would be understood to mean • only such writings in this kind, as have been in use a
mong the ancients, and have been copied from them by ' some moderns. These may be reduced into two classes : " in the one I shall range love-letters, letters of friendship, . ' and letters upon mournful occasions : in the other I shall
place such epistles in verse, as may properly be called familiar, critical, and moral; to which may be added letters of mirth and humour. Ovid for the first, and Ho. race for the latter, are the best originals we have left. * He that is ambitious of succeeding in the Ovidian way, should first examine his heart well, and feel whether his passions (especially those of the gentler kind) play easy; since it is not his wit, but the delicacy and • tenderness of his sentiments, that will affect his readers. His versification likewise should be soft, and all his sumbers flowing and querulous.
'The qualifications requisite for writing epistles, after ' the model given us by Horace, are of a quite different nature. He that would excel in this kind must have a good fund of strong masculine sense: to this there must be joined a thorough knowledge of mankind, together with an insight into the bufiness, and the prevailing humours of the
age. Our author must have his mind well + seasoned with the finest precepts of morality, and be filled s with nice reflections upon the bright and the dark sides
of human life: he must be a master of refined raillery, 6 and understand the delicacies, as well as the absurdities
of conversation; he must have a lively turn of wit, with
an easy and concise manner of expression : every thing che says, must be in a free and disengaged manner. He s mast be guilty of nothing that betrays the air of a re* cluse, but appear a man of the world throughout. His VOL. VIII.
• illustrations, his comparisons, and the greatest part of ' his images must be drawn from common life. Strokes • of fatire and criticism, as well as panegyric, judiciously • thrown in, and as it were by the by, give a wonderful • life and ornament to compositions of this kind. But let
our poet, while he writes epistles, though never so fa• miliar, still remember, that he writes in verse, and must for that reason have a more than ordinary care not to fall into prose and a vulgar diction, excepting where the nature and humour of the thing'does necessarily require
it. In this point Horace hath been thought by some - critics to be sometimes careless, as well as too negli
gent of his versification ; of which he seems to have s been sensible himself.
• All I have to add is, that both these manners of writing may be made as entertaining, in their way, as any other species of poetry, if undertaken by persons duly qualified; and the latter fort may be managed so as to become in a peculiar manner instructive.
I am, &c.'
I SHALL add an observation or two to the remarks of my ingenious correspondent, and, in the first place, take notice, that subjects of the most sublime nature are often treated in the epistolary way with advantage, as in the famous epistle of Horace to Auguftus. The poet surprises us with his pomp, and seems rather betrayed into his subject, than to have aimed at it by design. He appears, like the visit of a king incognito, with a mixture of familiarity and grandeur. In works of this kind, when the dignity of the subject hurries the poet into descriptions and sentiments, seemingly unpremeditated, by a sort of infpiration, it is usual for him to recollect himself, and fall back gracefully into the natural stile of a letter.
I might here mention an epistolary poem, just published by Mr Eufden, on the king's accession to the throne; wherein, amongst many other noble and beautiful strokes of poetry, his reader may see this rule very happily observed.