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NOTES

ON THE

FOURTH EPISTLE TO A FRIEND IN TOWN.

P. 36, 1. 4.

Till in the sun her crisped smiles she wreathes.

That o'er the interminable ocean wreathe

Your crisped smiles.

POTTER'S Translation of the Prometheus Vinctus of Eschylus.

Non avea per Natura ivi dipinto,

Ma di soavità di mille odori

Vi facea incognito indistinto.-DANTE.

P. 40, 1. 5.

A Ballet at the Opera it seems.

There is nothing certainly in the artificial world more attractive than an Opera ballet, where for a time you seem to be transported among "amoretti alati," scenes worthy of Paradise, roseate clouds and "gay creatures of the element."

Quæ nec mortales dignantur visere cœtus,
Nec se contingi patiuntur lumine claro.

Thus Venus look'd, when from the waveless sea
She rose; (her rising Nature smiled to see,)
Loosely enrobed, and brighter than the morn
On car of young Hyperion upborne ;

Fresh as the rose, her limbs impearl'd with spray,
In floating shell the Queen of Rapture lay;
Admiring Mermaids throng'd to grace her train,
The Syrens sang, and Nereids skimm'd the main.

MS.

P. 42, 1. 7.

Though timid cocknies scorn, a nerveless race.

In spite of the ridicule of Fielding and other writers, I will venture to say, that they only depreciate the pleasures of the chase who know not how to enjoy them: the songs of Tyrtæus, who roused his countrymen to battle, and infused into them an unconquerable courage, are not more spirit-stirring than the verses on the Epwell hunt.- Vol. iii. page 457, Daniel's Rural Sports, 4to edition.

Even the greatest philosophers have enjoyed, and the greatest poets have extolled, the pleasures of the chase. Diogenes Laertius describes Xenophon as fond of the sports of the field. Virgil's fine lines in the third book of his Georgics are well known :—

Sæpe etiam cursu timidos agitabis onagros,

Et canibus leporem, canibus venabere damas.
Sæpe volutabris pulsos silvestribus apros
Latratu turbabis agens, montesque per altos
Ingentem clamore premes ad retia cervum.

And Dryden in his letter to his Cousin, with more poetical animation perhaps, than knowledge of sporting, says,

With crowds attended of your ancient race

You seek the champaign sports, or sylvan chase;

With well-breathed beagles you surround the wood,
Even then industrious of the common good;

And often have you brought the wily fox

To suffer for the firstlings of the flocks;

Chased even amid the folds, and made to bleed

Like felons, where they did the murderous deed.

Sir Francis Burdett, perhaps the most eloquent speaker in the House of Commons, is not the worse orator for being "a good Meltonian."How changed now! 1838.

P. 42, 1. 21.

Some book, it matters not in prose or rhyme.

In a "priced Roxburghe catalogue," are the following books or

tracts:

No. 3268. The Passetyme of Pleasure, by Stephen Hawys. 4to. very rare. London, Wynken de Worde, 1517. 817.

No. 3284. The Castell of Pleasure. 4to. very scarce. Wynken de Worde.

647.

What earthly pleasure these "Castells and Passetymes" give to the possessor, it is not perhaps very easy to determine; but as the noble author of "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers justly observes, "A book's a book although there's nothing in 't."

P. 47, 1. 7.

Political economy! how few.

وو

Political economy is a study as yet in its infancy; and so it will continue to be, as long as men are not agreed about the precise terms by which they would convey their ideas on this most interesting subject.

Is value absolute or relative? Are values of commodities to each other as values of their labours? Is labour or money the most accurate measure of value? Can there be such a thing as an invariable measure of value?

The disciples of Ricardo and Malthus differ upon points of essential importance. Are profits solely governed by the value of the last lands that are taken into cultivation? May not saving from revenue, to add to capital, be carried to too great an extent? Is it true that if one branch of trade be overstocked, some other must necessarily be understocked? Are a body of unproductive consumers necessary to stimulate demand and to increase production?

P. 47, 1. 17.

Would Mitchell's great Apollo dart his gibe, &c.

Aristophanes see his "Vespæ," in which the courts of justice at Athens are severely satirized. But, after all, who would form his opinion of those courts from the lively, caustic representations of a satirical comic poet ? As well might posterity form its opinion of a House of Commons in the reigns of Queen Anne or the first George, from Swift's famous description of the "Legion Club."

Great praise is due to Mr. Peel and Mr. Brougham (in the great work of reforming the law they may be classed together as fellow-labourers

in the same vineyard), for their exertions in endeavouring to remove the anomalies that are everywhere apparent in our civil as well as criminal code of jurisprudence.

"It is not possible, indeed, to estimate how valuable an offer he makes to society who gives it a single good law. There are but few words, perhaps, that compose it; but in those few words may be involved an amount of good, increasing progressively with each generation, which, if it could have been known in all its amplitude to the legislator at the time when he contrived his project, would have dazzled and overwhelmed his very power of thought. What is true of a new law, that relates to some positive institution, is, as may be supposed, equally true of those laws which merely repeal and remedy the past; since a single error in policy may, in long continuance, produce as much evil, as a single wise enactment may in its long continuance produce good."-BROWN's Philosophy of the Human Mind, vol. iv. p. 354.

P. 48, 1. 16.

Had been a Faustus centuries ago.

The disposition of the people in former days to attribute any new discovery to magic, is apparent in the following anecdote of Otto Gurike (who lived about the year 1640), a wealthy magistrate of Magdeburgh, the discoverer of the air-pump.

"Gurike took great pleasure in a huge water barometer erected in his house. It consisted of a tube above thirty feet high, rising along the wall and terminated by a tall and rather wide tube, hermetically sealed, containing a toy of the shape of a man. The whole being filled with water and set in a balance on the ground, the column of liquor settled to the proper altitude, and left the toy floating on its surface; but all the lower part of the tube being concealed under the wainscoting, the little image or weather mannikin, as he was called, made his appearance only when raised up to view in fine weather. This whimsical contrivance, which received the name of amenoscope, or semper vivum, excited among the populace vast admiration: and the worthy magistrate was in consequence shrewdly suspected of being too familiar with the powers of darkness."-Supplement to Encyclopædia Britannica, art. Barometer.

P. 49, 1. 11.

The sun of science, in its noonday blaze

Glorious, would strike our Bacon with amaze.

The progress which may be made in the sublime science of astronomy is thus splendidly described by La Place :

"We will ascertain whether the motions of rotation and revolution of the earth are sensibly changed by the changes which it experiences at its surface, and by the impact of meteoric stones, which according to all probability come from the depths of the heavenly regions. The new comets which will appear, those which moving in hyperbolic orbits wander from one system to another, the returns of those which move in elliptic orbits, and the changes in the form and intensity of light which they undergo at each appearance, will be observed; and also the perturbations which all those stars produce in the planetary motions, those which they experience themselves, and which at approach to a large planet may entirely derange their motions; finally, the changes which the motions and orbits of the planets and satellites experience from the action of the stars, and perhaps likewise from the resistance of the etherial media; such are the principal objects which the solar system offers to the investigation of future astronomers and mathematicians."-LA PLACE's System of the World, HArte's translation, vol. ii. p. 241.

P. 50, 1. 5.

Shakspeare, whate'er I may presume to call.

"He unites in his existence the utmost elevation and the utmost depth; and the most foreign and even apparently irreconcilable properties subsist in him peaceably together. The world of spirits and nature have laid all their treasures at his feet. In strength a demigod, in profundity of view a prophet, in all-seeing wisdom a protecting spirit of a higher order, he lowers himself to mortals, as if unconscious of his superiority, and is as open and unassuming as a child."-SCHLEGEL'S Lectures on Dramatic Literature, vol. ii.

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