posed to have been of Chaucer's own con, trivance : as is also the elegant Vision of tbe flower and the leaf, which has received new graces from the spirited and harmonious Dryden. It is to his fables, though wrote in his old age *, that Dryden will owe his immortality, and among them, particularly, to Palamon and Arcitc, Sigirmunda and Guiscardo, Theodore and Honoria ; and above all, to his exquisite music ode. The warmth and melody of these pieces, has never been excelled in our language, I mean in rhyme. As general and unexemplified criticism is always useless and absurd, I muit beg leave to select a few passages from these three poems; and the reader must not think any observations on the character of Dryden, the constant pat

• The falling off of his hair, faid a man of wit, had no other consequence, than to make his laorels to be seen the more. A person who trandated some pieces after Dryden used to fag,

Experto credite, quantos
In clypeum allargat, quo turbine torqueat haftam,

Crebillon was ninety when he brought his Catiline on the stage


tern of Pope, unconnected with the main subject of this work. The pi&ture of Arcite in the absence of Emilia, is highly expressive of the deepest distress, and a compleat image of anguilh.

He rav'd with all the madness of despair,
He roar'd, he beat his breaft, he tore his hair.
Dry forrow ia bis Atupid eyes appears,
For wanting nourilhment, he wanted tears :
His eye-balls in their hollow fockets link,
Bereft of Deep he loaths his meat and drink;
He withers at his heart, and looks as wao,
As the pale spectre of a můrder'd man

The image of the Suicide is equally pi&turesque and pathetic.

The Slayer of himself yet saw I there
The gore congeal'd was clotted in his hair :
With eyes balf-clos'd and gaping mouth he lay,
And grim, as when he breath'd his sullen soul away.

This reminds me of that forcible descriptior in a writer whose fancy was eminently strong. “ Catilina vero, longe a suis, inter hoftium cadavera repertus est, paululum

• Palamon and Arcite, Book I.

etiam fpirans ; ferociamque animi, quam habuerat vivus, in vultu retinens.” Nor must I omit that affecting image in Spensers who cyer excels in the pathetics

And him besides there lay upon the grass
A dreary corse, whose life away did pass;
All wallow'd in his own, yet lukewarm, blood,
That from his wound yet welled fresh, alas;
In which a rusty knife faft fixed ftood;
And made an open palage for the gushing food

When Palamon perceived his rival bad cscaped,

He stares, he stamps the ground;
The hollow tow'r with clamour rings around :
With briny tears he bath'd his fetter'd feety
And dropp'd all o'er with agony of sweat.

Nor are the feelings of Palamon less strongly impressed on the reader, where he fays,

The rage of Jealousy then fir'd his fool,
And bis face kindled like a burning coal:

* Pairy Queen, Book I. Canto 9. Stanza 36.


Now cold despair succeeding in ber stead,
To livid palepels tura'd the glowing red *.

Ir we pass on from descriptions of persons to those of things, we shall find this poem cqually excellent. The

The temple of Mars, is situated with propriety, in a country defolate and joyless; all around it,

The landscape was a foreft wide and bare;
Where neitber beaft nor buman kind repair ;
The fowl, that scent afar, the borders Ay,
And thun the bitter blatt, and wheel about the sky.
A cake of scurf lies baking on the ground,
And prickly tubs instead of trees are found.

The temple itself is nobly and magnificently studied; and, at the same time, adapted to the furious nature of the God to whom it belonged ; and carries with it a barbarous and tremendous idea.

These passages are chiefly of the pathetic fort; for which Dryden in his tragedies is far from being remarkable. But it is not unusual for the same person to succeed in defcribing externally a diftressfal chara&er, who may misetably fail in putting proper words in the mouth of such a character. In a word, so much more difficult is DRAMATIC dan DISCRIPTIVE poctry!


The frame of burnilh'd feel that caft a glare
From far, and seem'd to thaw the freezing air.
A frait long entry to the temple led,
Blind with high walls and horror over-bead:
Thence issued such a blaft and hollow roar,
As threaten'd from the hinge to beave the doors
In through the door a northern light there lone;
'Twas all it bad, for windows there were aone.
The gate of adamant, eternal frame,
Which hew'd by Mars himself from Indian quarries

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This scene of terror is judiciously contrasted by the pleasing and joyous imagery of the temples of Venus and Diana. The figure of the last goddess, is a design fit for GUIDO to execute.

The graceful Goddess was array'd in green ;
About her feet were little beagles seen,
That watch'd with UPWARD cyes the motions of

their queen.

But above all, the whole description of the entering the lists *, and of the ensuing

• The reader is defired all along to remember, that the frf delineation of all these images is in Chaucer, or Boccace, and it might be worth examining how much Dryden has added pärely from his own stock.


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