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ballad, avers, that a young lady of beauty, if not of rank, loved his good looks as well as his sylvan licence so much, that she accompanied him in many of his expeditions.

which last respect few languages will be found superior to our own.

Let us pass from ourselves to the nations of the east. The eastern world, from the earliest days, has been at all times the seat of enormous monarchy: on its natives, fair liberty never shed its genial influence. If at any time civil discords arose among them (and arise there did innumerable), the contest was never about the form of their government (for this was an object of which the combatants had no conception); it was all from the poor notion of who should be their master; whether a Cyrus or an Artaxerxes, or a Mahomet or Mustapha.

The personal character of Robin Hood stands high in the pages of both history and poetry: Fordun, a priest, extols his piety; Major pronounces him the most humane of robbers; and Camden, a more judicious authority, calls him the gentlest of thieves, while in the pages of the early drama he is drawn at heroic length, and with many of the best attributes of human nature. His life and deeds have not only supplied materials for the drama and the ballad, but proverbs have sprung from them: he stands the demi-god of Such was their condition; and what English archery; men used to swear was the consequence? Their ideas beboth by his bow and his clemency; festi- came consonant to their servile state, and vals were once annually held, and games their words became consonant to their of a sylvan kind celebrated in his honour, servile ideas. The great distinction for in Scotland as well as in England. The ever in their sight, was that of tyrant and grave where he lies has still its pilgrims; slave; the most unnatural one conceivthe well out of which he drank still re-able, and the most susceptible of pomp tains his name; and his bow and one of his broad arrows were within this century to be seen in Fountains Abbey.

Hence they

and empty exaggeration.
talked of kings as gods; and of them-
selves as the meanest and most abject
reptiles. Nothing was either great or
little in moderation, but every sentiment
was heightened by incredible hyperbole.
Thus, though they sometimes ascended
into the great and magnificent, they as
frequently degenerated into the tumid
and bombast. The Greeks too of Asia
became infected by their neighbours, who
were often at times not only their neigh-

luxuriance of the Asiatic style unknown to the chaste eloquence and purity of Athens. But of the Greeks we forbear to speak now, as we shall speak of them more fully when we have first considered the nature or genius of the Romans.

[JAMES HARRIS. 1709-1780.] OF THE ORIENTAL, THE LATIN, AND THE GREEK LANGUAGES, AND THEIR INFLUENCE UPON ENGLISH. WE Britons in our time have been re-bours, but their masters; and hence that markable borrowers, as our multiform language may sufficiently show. Our terms in polite literature prove, that this came from Greece; our terms in music and painting, that these came from Italy; our phrases in cookery and war, that we learned these from the French; and our phrases in navigation, that we were taught by the Flemings and Low Dutch. These many and very different sources of our language may be the cause why it is so deficient in regularity and analogy. Yet we have this advantage to compensate the defect, that what we want in elegance, we gain in copiousness, in

And what sort of people may we pronounce the Romans? A nation engaged in wars and commotions, some foreign, some domestic, which for seven hundred years wholly engrossed their thoughts. Hence, therefore, their language became, like their ideas, copious in all terms expressive of things political, and well adapted to the purposes both of history

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and popular eloquence. But what was nice counterpoise of diction. their philosophy? As a nation it was mosthenes found materials for that nernone, if we may credit their ablest vous composition, that manly force of writers. And hence the unfitness of unaffected eloquence, which rushed like a their language to this subject; a defect torrent, too impetuous to be withstood. which even Cicero is compelled to con- Who were more different in exhibiting fess, and more fully makes appear, when their philosophy, than Xenophon, Plato, he writes philosophy himself, from the and his disciple Aristotle? Different, 1 number of terms which he is obliged to say, in their character of composition; invent. Virgil seems to have judged the for as to their philosophy itself, it was, most truly of his countrymen when, ad- in reality, the same. Aristotle, strict, mitting their inferiority in the more methodic, and orderly; subtle in thought; elegant arts, he concludes at last with his sparing in ornament; with little address usual majestyto the passions or imagination: but exhibiting the whole with such a pregnant brevity, that in every sentence we seem to read a page. How exquisitely is this all performed in Greek! Let those who imagine it may be done as well in another language, satisfy themselves, either by attempting to translate him, or by perusing his translations already made by men of learning. On the contrary, when we read either Xenophon or Plato, nothing of this method and strict order appears. The formal and didactic is wholly dropped. Whatever they may teach, it is without professing to be teachers; a train of dialogue and truly polite address, in which, as in a mirror, we behold human life adorned in all its colours of sentiment and manners.

"Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento: (Hæ tibi erunt artes) pacisque imponere morem, Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos."

From considering the Romans, let us pass to the Greeks. The Grecian commonwealths, while they maintained their liberty, were the most heroic confederacy that ever existed. They were the politest, the bravest, and the wisest of men. In the short space of little more than a century, they became such statesmen, warriors, orators, historians, physicians, poets, critics, painters, sculptors, architects, and, last of all, philosophers, that one can hardly help considering that golden period as a providential event in honour of human nature, to show to what perfection the species might ascend.

Now the language of these Greeks was truly like themselves; it was conformable to their transcendant and universal genius. Where matter so abounded, words followed of course, and those exquisite in every kind, as the ideas for which they stood. And hence it followed, there was not a subject to be found which could not with propriety be expressed in Greek.

Here were words and numbers for the humour of an Aristophanes; for the active elegance of a Philemon or Menander; for the amorous strains of a Mimnermus or Sappho; for the rural lays of a Theocritus.or Bion; and for the sublime conceptions of a Sophocles or Homer. The same in prose. Here Isocrates was enabled to display his art, in all the accuracy of periods, and the

And yet, though these differ in this manner from the Stagyrite, how different are they likewise in character from each other ;-Plato, copious, figurative, and majestic, intermixing at times the facetious and satiric, enriching his works with tales and fables, and the mystic theology of ancient times. Xenophon, the pattern of perfect simplicity, everywhere smooth, harmonious, and pure ; declining the figurative, the marvellous, and the mystic; ascending but rarely into the sublime; nor then so much trusting to the colours of style, as to the intrinsic dignity of the sentiment itself.

The language in the meantime in which he and Plato wrote, appears to suit so accurately with the style of both, that when we read either of the two, we cannot help thinking that it is he alone who has hit its character, and that it

could not have appeared so elegant in any other manner.

And thus is the Greek tongue, from its propriety and universality, made for all that is great and all that is beautiful, in every subject, and under every form of writing :

"Graiis ingenium, Graiis dedit ore rotundo Musa loqui."

It were to be wished, that those amongst us, who either write or read with a view to employ their liberal leisure (for as to such as do either from views more sordid, we leave them like slaves, to their destined drudgery), it were to be wished, I say, that the liberal (if they have a relish for letters) would inspect the finished models of Grecian literature; that they would not waste those hours, which they cannot recall, upon the meaner productions of the French and English press, upon that fungous growth of novels and of pamphlets, where it is to be feared they rarely find any rational pleasure, and more rarely still any solid improvement.

To be completely skilled in ancient learning is by no means a work of such insuperable pains. The very progress itself is attended with delight, and resembles a journey through some pleasant country, where every mile we advance new charms arise. It is certainly as easy to be a scholar as a gamester, or many other characters equally illiberal and low. The same application, the same quantity of habit, will fit us for one as completely as for the other. And as to those who tell us, with an air of seeming wisdom, that it is men, and not books, we must study to become knowing; this I have always remarked, from repeated experience, to be the common consolation

and language of dunces. They shelter their ignorance under a few bright examples, whose transcendant abilities, without the common helps, have been sufficient of themselves to great and important ends. But alas ! .

"Decipit exemplar vitiis imitable." In truth, each man's understanding, when ripened and mature, is a composite

of natural capacity, and of superinduced habit. Hence the greatest men will be necessarily those who possess the best capacities, cultivated with the best habits. Hence also moderate capacities, when adorned with valuable science, will far transcend others the most acute by nature, when either neglected or applied to low and base purposes. And thus, for the honour of culture and good learning, they are able to render a man, if he will take the pains, intrinsically more excellent than his natural superiors.-Hermes.

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A FRIEND called on Michael Angelo, who was finishing a statue; some time afterwards he called again; the sculptor was still at his work: his friend, looking at his figure, exclaimed, "You have been idle since I saw you last." "By no means," replied the sculptor, "I have retouched this part, and polished that; I have softened this feature, and brought out this muscle; I have given more expression to this lip, and more energy to this limb." "Well, well," said his friend, "but all these are trifles." "It may be so,” replied Angelo, "but recollect that trifles make perfection, and that perfection is no trifle."-Lacon.

[CHARLES FITZHUGH.]

SCOTTISH POPULAR AND
JACOBITE SONGS.

SCOTLAND is rich in the literature of song. The genius of the people is eminently lyrical. Although rigid in religion, and often gloomy in fanaticism, they have fonder of old romance and tradition, a finer and more copious music, are dance and song, and have altogether a more poetical aptitude and appreciation than their English brethren. For one poet sprung from the ranks of the English peasantry, Scotland can boast of ten, if not of a hundred. Ploughmen, shep

herds, gardeners, weavers, tinkers, tailors, and even strolling beggars, have enriched the anthology of Scotland with thousands of songs and ballads of no mean merit. The whole land is as musical with the voice of song as it is with torrents and waterfalls. Every mountain and glen, every strath and loch, every river and stream, every grove and grassy knoll, every castle and almost every cottage, has its own particular song, ballad, or legend, for which the country is not so much indebted to scholars and men of learned leisure and intellectual refinement as to the shrewd but hearty and passionate common people.

once the charm of a family circle, now broken up and dispersed-the love song, expressive of the expanding affections of our youth, and which recalls, whenever we hear it, the joys and hopes, or it may be the sorrows, of a time when young love was the all-pervading idea and passion of the heart-or the patriotic march or warlike chant, suggesting all the past and present glories, or even the misfortunes of our native land, are not to be estimated solely by their literary excellence. They strike their roots far deeper than the intellect. They stir up the holiest emotions of our being, and make appeals both to our admiration and our The last expiring wave of Jacobitism sympathy which the passionless critic has long since broken, and left not even may refuse to hear, but which are not to a ripple upon the shore; and a poet, or be resisted by the mass of mankind. It is a reader, may be a Jacobite in literature, remarkable, though quite natural, that without being in the smallest degree a the losing cause in politics should always Jacobite in politics. The effusions of be associated with lovelier music and that period, as well as the imitations poetry than have ever been inspired by which we owe to later bards, have a success. The defeat of Flodden was a vitality so much stronger than the cause nobler theme for the poets of the fifteenth they represent, that they are still the century than the victory of Waterloo was favourite songs of the people, and as for those of the nineteenth. Beranger dear to Scotchmen in all lands as the could not sing songs about Napoleon name and the memory of their country. robed in his purple and conquering the Both the old and the new Jacobite songs world; or, if he did, it was but to caricahave taken such a hold upon the popular ture him. But when the great emperor affection, as to promise to be as undying was stripped of his crown, his power, as the language. This extraordinary and his liberty, and sent to die brokenpopularity is not to be accounted for by hearted on the lonely rock of St. Helena, their literary merits, for the oldest and the heart of the poet was touched, and most cherished amongst them are but his harp-strings quivered to the tenderest wayside and street songs for the most and most ennobling music of the time. part, and the compositions of men who, So has it ever been. There is something perhaps, were not able to write them in sorrow more akin to the course of down. The critic sitting in the judg- human affairs than joy. The wail of ment-seat is apt to consider the songs of grief is more sympathetic than the shout a nation under the one respect of art; of triumph. Sorrow has ever produced but the people take a wider range, and more melody than mirth; and the expeappreciate the song and the ballad-not rience of suffering has been declared on merely for their poetry and their music, the highest authority to be necessary to but for circumstances in their own private every poet who would touch the hearts of history and feelings, which have endeared his fellow-creatures. The House of them to the memory, and twined them Hanover has never inspired a great poet around the heart. The song sung by to sing its glories. The House of Stuart a mother at the cradle of our infancy, was in the same predicament, until it fell and dimly remembered after the lapse of upon evil days; and then the sympathy years, the favourite lilt of the town or of the poets was awakened, and their village where we were born--the ballad | language gushed into song. Whatever

the politician, the philosopher, and the lover of liberty may say of this unhappy family, no lover of poetry and music can speak of them without affectionate regret, and some degree of the respect which is due to misfortune.

"For sorrow is a great and holy thing,

145

and affectations; but a simple country lass, fresh, buoyant, buxom, and healthy, full of true affections and kindly charities; a bare-footed maiden, that scorned all false pretence and spoke her honest mind to all comers. If sometimes "highkilted" in her language, her heart was pure. She never jested at virtue, though she had often a fling at hypocrisy. Her laughter was as refreshing as her tears, and her humour was as exquisite as her tenderness.--Introduction to the "Relics of Scottish Jacobite Poetry."

ENGLISH MUSIC.

THE English are a musical people, and always have been. But the world is continually assured of the contrary. Although the music-publishers, great and small, deluge the land every day with new songs by living English composers, the cry is dinned into our ears constantly that the English are musical nation." The cry is at least a hundred and fifty years old, and may be found recorded in the pages of the famous "Miscellany" of Pope and Swift, and elsewhere in the newspapers of the days of Queen Anne and George I. It has

"not a

We recognise its right as king to king." Death from the daggers of assassins, death upon the scaffold,-public shame and contumely, poverty, misery, banishment, all these were the appanage and inheritance of this illustrious race; a race whom Fortune seemed to delight in persecuting and humiliating-to whom she gave amiability only to bring them into sorrow, and make them acquainted with false friends, unwise advisers, and treacherous confidants-to whom she offered the cup of prosperity only to infuse gall and wormwood into it, or dash it untasted from their lips-to whom she gave wealth only to take it away-power only to make it a mockery and a disgrace-talents only to lead them astray from the right path; and to whom even the gift of personal beauty, as in the case of Mary Queen of Scots, was but the means and the consummation of all other trial, calamity, and shame. The abdication of James II., in the same manner as the execution of Charles I., and the banish-never ceased from that day to this; and ment of Charles II., in a previous age, excited passions and animosities, in which the poets and ballad-singers participated -and which found their national vent in song, in England as well as in Scotland; but in the latter country with a warmth of hate, and a tenderness of love, of which the muse of the less demonstrative South affords no examples. The old legendary ballads that were chanted or recited for the delight of the people by strolling minstrels gave way to the newer effusions inspired by the troubles of the times; and the Muse of Scotland came forth from the shadowy regions of the Past, to mingle in the strife of the Present. The Muse of Scotland then, as she is now, was not a classical beauty like the muses of Greece or Rome. She was not a crowned queen, nor a fine lady, like her English sister, giving herself airs

"The

by dint of constant iteration, acquired
such currency and authority, that, in 1820,
when the great Napoleon discoursed to
his faithful Las Cases in the mournful days
of his captivity and exile at St. Helena,
on all imaginable subjects-of war, policy,
philosophy, and literature- he declared
that English music was execrable.
English have no music," said he; "or, at
all events, no national music. They have,
in fact, but one good tune." And, to
show his qualifications for the office of
musical critic, he declared that tune
to be "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie
Doon," which, at that day, every one
considered to be Scotch, and which is
still believed to be Scotch, by all who
have not seen Mr. Wm. Chappell's
"Popular Music of the Olden Time"-
in which its French origin is clearly
traced. But Napoleon I. deserves no

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