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High-vaunting youth, on victory intent,
Prick'd on their steeds to tilt and tournament:
Here, raging bulls in dying anguish roar'd,
Or the pale limbs of lifeless champions gord;
While Roman beauty round th' arena stood,
Unaw'd by death, unshuddering at blood. "

But now no more such scenes their glory shed,
All, all have vanish'd with the mighty dead:
Distracted Rome those rifled beauties tore
With worse than Gothic rage or Vandal war,
On sculptur’d forms her civil fury pour’d,
Forms, that e'en Gods admir'd, and men ador'd:
And still, as vultures tear their putrid prey,
Had ruin'd ruins with barbaric sway:
But now Religion spreads her veil around,
And guards unseen the consecrated ground;
Her priestly trains in silence leads along,
With pomp of pageantry and holy song; .
And northern Wanderers lift their sorrowing eyes,
Where the proud wreck of prostrate grandeur lies,
With pensive worship o'er each fragment bend,
And mourn the age of greatness at an end.

Degenerate Rome—thy years of pow'r and pride
Long since have sped, thy wreath of empire died :
Thy graceful capitals, and fanes sublime,
Have felt the silent stroke of reckless Time.
These records of thy splendor must decay,
And e'en their wrecks in ruin fall away,
For all thine old renown has vanish'd far,
Th’ Augustan glory, and the Julian star;
The mighty masters of the world have fled,
And slaves defac'd the halls where Cæsar bled.


“Permutat dominos et cedit in altera jura.”—HORACE.

The transitory nature of human affairs, the uncertainty of prosperity, and the fickleness of Fortune, have, as might be expected, frequently attracted the notice of mankind. They have successively afforded matter of contemplation to the Philosopher and the Poet, the Orator and the Divine, until it is almost impossible to say any thing new upon the melancholy topic. How powerfully are these considerations forced upon us, when, after a lapse of years, we return to the scenes of our early days, and pass with a mixture of joy and pain over spots which have always haunted our recollection. With what a melancholy pleasure do we reflect upon the alterations which have taken place, the changes which

Time has produced, in our most favourite scenes! We look with delight for the trees, the cottages, the rivulet, which are, as it were, the monuments of our boyhood. Have the trees been lopped, the cottages pulled down, the rivulet turned into another and a more pleasing direction? We turn from such improvements with aversion! However the face of the country has been beautified, or its advantages increased, we look with no favourable eye upon the Great Man of the village, who, in every novelty that he has introduced, has obliterated some long-remembered attraction-has disturbed some fond and cherished idea.

What would be the ideas of an Etonian of 1699, were he allowed to revisit, for one day, the scene of his early enjoyments ? How great would be his disappointment, when, upon his inquiring after the pursuits, the studies, the amusements of his own times, he would hear that they had suffered the same change with the place in which they formerly flourished; that the scene and its occupations had suffered a total change; and that there was little in the Eton of modern years, which could remind him of the Eton of his own! We will suppose him going to visit the apartment which, in earlier and happier times, he inhabited. We will picture to ourselves the astonishment he would betray in every look, when he perceived the total subversion of all his arrangements, and the introduction of decorations so different from those which he formerly admired. With what wonder he would' view the present Lord of the Castle; and with what curiosity would he reflect upon the numerous successors who had by turns occupied it, and had each destroyed some favourite relic of antiquity, each replaced it by some less becoming ornament of modern date !

We have made these observations by way of preface to a letter from a Correspondent, which will in some measure illustrate the

ideas we have expressed. We will now detain our reader with no further meditation, but will introduce Somnolentus, and leave him to speak for himself.

SIR, I was sitting yesterday evening in my room,

“Sicut meus est mos, . Nescio quid meditans nugarum, et totus in illis," when my sleeping, or my waking thoughts, for in truth they were something between both, turned upon the vicissitudes to which my residence,-a small chamber seven feet by six,—had been subject before I entered into possession of it. I determined to ask a narrative of these changes from the most aged of my Penates. (My Penates, Sir, consist of three small representations of Messrs. Homer, Virgil, and Milton.) I was particularly curious to learn in what fray or accident Homer himself, who appeared, from his ancient look, to have weathered many a storm, had lost that nose, which, if I may form a conjecture from the stump of it which remains, formed in the olden time a distinguished feature of his countenance. While I was engaged in these speculations, and was hesitating whether to address the old Gentleman by Ode, Elegy, or Sonnet, I thought I perceived a slight motion of his head, which enabled him to fix his eyes upon a part of the wall immediately surmounting the chimney-piece. Not a little amazed at this extraordinary phenomenon, I shook off my disposition to drowsiness, and hastened to the scene of action: I observed a small protuberance in the part of the wall to which my tutelary Deity had directed my attention; this, partly from curiosity, partly from idleness, I immediately cut open, and discovered— judge of my surprise and pleasure, when I discovered—a Manuscript, a real and inestimable Manuscript. I forthwith sent my lower boy for a candle, and composed myself in my arm-chair to wait for its arrival. A thousand conjectures passed across my brain, as to the actual value of the treasure which the Bard of Antiquity had consigned to my hands. Was it another Iliad? Was it a map of the site of ancient Troy? Was it a solution of the disputes respecting the author of the Odyssey? The light came, and I broke open the dear packet. I discovered nothing but the inclosed narrative, which I send to you, Mr. Editor, without any conjectures as to its origin or author. Had Homer really wished to convey to me any account of the scenes he had witnessed, I cannot think he would have chosen English prose for the vehicle of his narrative; although he has, as you see, headed his paper with a motto from his own poem.

I am, Sir, your's,


""Oın hep Qullwv yaven, roindɛ kaà åvòpôv.” “ You have always been civil to the Poet who now addresses you from the chimney-piece; you have had my works bound in handsome Russia, and you have whitewashed one of my ears, which had suffered among your predecessors. I know your thoughts ; and have gratitude enough to endeavour to meet your wishes.

“ The tenant, then, who, about twenty years ago, introduced me to my present post of danger, was a regular steady young man, who rose at seven and slept at ten, went through all his studies properly, and walked very upright. In the last year of his residence here he found himself in want of chimney ornaments; and, after hesitating for two days between me and a painted image of Confucius, he installed me in the post which I have since, through various vicissitudes, preserved. By-the-bye, I was sixpence the cheaper of the two. :

“ His successor was a gentleman who possessed great poetical talent, and I had therefore reason to anticipate from him a favourable treatment. Here I was lamentably disappointed. The taste of my new master lay rather in the soft than the sublime. Perhaps it was in consequence of this, that upon his taking possession, he insulted me by putting Ovid and Pope upon the same shelf. With Ovid I had no acquaintance, Pope is a man whom I detest. He has, as you well know, altogether expatriated me; he has made me and my heroes think, speak, and act, like English beaux. Besides which, some of the noblest names in my catalogue have been murdered by him without provocation or apology. It was not long, however, before I was liberated from these odious compeers. What became of Pope I know not. Poor Ovid had his head broke by a Fourth Form boy, who found some difficulty in learning his verses. I was once in a similar predicament; but Ovid was a flimsy hollow fellow; I am made of more solid materials.

“ The poet was followed by an orator. He put up Demosthenes and Cicero on my right and left, and instituted a society here for the cultivation of eloquence. Many were the discussions which I witnessed in this reign. Upon one occasion, indeed, my very existence was threatened; for the subject in dispute was, • Shall Homer be burnt?' There was every probability that the question would be decided in the affirmative, when the President rescued me from my executioners, and locked me up in a closet with his rolls and butter. The next day a violent political debate took place, which, after raging with unremitting violence for two hours, was dissolved in the following manner. The whole body of members started from their seats, as if by instinct, overturned the

furniture, demolished the windows, hurled cinders, snuffers, jugs, tongs, pokers, &c. at the President's head, to the utter subversion of his authority, and the imminent danger of his person. . Cicero and Demosthenes perished in the fray. You will not be surprised to learn that after this the Parliament was dissolved.

" The next inhabitant of this abode was a hard drinker. I was terribly handled by this monster. He cut off my nose, because I deprived Polyphemus of an eye; and flung a pewter vessel at my cranium, beeause he thought fit to misconstrue the words

56 "Ov hot' {v^".

. Not any pot. I was very glad when this gentleman left me. He mutilated me as cruelly as a commentator, and I hated him almost as bitterly.

“ His successor behaved to me in a much more becoming manner. He belonged to the race of Dandies, who were springing up very rapidly at this period. To be sure, he offended my eyes too often by the sight of my works deprived of their binding, and disgraced by pencilled annotations; and, in an equal degree, he offended my olfactory nerves by a bottle of Eau de Cologne, which he set up by my side. But in the main he was civil and inoffensive. He made to me a most studied inclination of his body every morning, before he completed his toilet ; but whether his devotion was occasioned by my description of his prototype Paris, or by his Parisian attachment to the mirror which is suspended over my head, I cannot take upon me to determine. He used such a variety of unguents, that, before his departure, I smelt of the oil, from necessity, almost as much as my friend Virgil does from inclination.

“ I believe these are all the gentlemen who have inhabited this chamber since I was appointed the guardian of it. I presume it will be uninteresting to you to learn the changes which have taken place in the paper of the room, its chairs, or its carpeting. Various were the tastes of its possessors; and various, of course, were the improvements they introduced. You, Sir, are now the occupier of the apartment, and, without flattery, I have no reason, as yet, to be dissatisfied with you. You have brought me into very good company; yet I must say Virgil is apt to give himself airs, and, though nobody has less vanity than myself, I am sometimes vexed at hearing Milton ranked above me. By-the-bye, you clapped a sprig of laurel on Milton's head the other day. I say nothing !-but at your age, Sir! nethinks you might have known where such a decoration was due.”

Here ends the manuscript. We certainly have one reason which induces us most strongly to attribute it to the Spirit of Homer.

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