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where he indulges himself in an Utopian sketch of a perfect government (with due homage previously paid to the character of James 1.), we find the origin of Mr. Shandy's notions on this subject. The passages are too long to be transcribed.

The quaintness of many of his divisions seems to have given Sterne the hint of his ludicrous titles to several chapters; and the risible effect of Burton's grave endeavours to prove indisputable facts by weighty quotations, he has happily caught, and sometimes well burlesqued. The archness which Burton displays occasionally, and his indulgence of playful digressions from the most serious discussions, often give his style an air of familiar conversation, notwithstanding the laborious collections which supply his text. He was capable of writing excellent poeiry, but he seems to have cultivated this talent too little. The English verses prefixed to his book, which possess beautiful imagery, and great sweetness of versification, have been frequently published. His Latin

elegiac verses addressed to his book shew a very agreeable turn for raillery.

When the force of the subject opens his own vein of prose, we discover valuable sense and brilliant expression. Such is his account of the first feelings of melancholy persons, written, probably, from his own experience. "Most pleasant it is, at first, to such as are melancholy given, to lie in bed whole days, and keep their chambers; to walk alone in some solitary grove, betwixt wood and water, by a brook side, to meditate upon some delightsome and pleasant subject, which shall affect them most; amabilis insania, and mentis gratissimus error: a most incomparable delight it is so to melancholize and build castles in the air, to go smiling to themselves, acting an infinite variety of parts, which they suppose, and strongly imagine they represent, or that they see acted or done.**** So delightsome these toys are at first, they could spend whole days and nights without sleep, even whole years alone in such contemplations and fan

tastical meditations, which are like unto dreams, and they will hardly be drawn from them, or willingly interrupted; so pleasant their vain conceits are, that they hinder their ordinary tasks and necessary business, they cannot address themselves to them, or almost to any study or employment. These fantastical and bewitching thoughts so covertly, so feelingly, so urgently, so continually set upon, creep in, insinuate, possess, overcome, distract, and detain them; they cannot, I say, go about their more necessary business, stave off or extricate themselves, but are ever musing, melancholizing, and carried along, as he (they say) that is led round about a heath with a Puck in the night, they run earnestly on in this labyrinth of anxious and solicitous melancholy meditations, and cannot well or willingly refrain, or easily leave off, winding and unwinding themselves, as so many clocks, and still pleasing their humours, until at last the scene is turned upon a sudden, by some bad object, and they being now habituated to such

vain meditations and solitary places, can en dure no company, can ruminate of nothing but harsh and distasteful subjects. Fear, sorrow, suspicion, subrusticus pudor, discontent, cares, and weariness of life surprise them in a moment, and they can think of nothing else, continually suspecting. No sooner are their eyes open, but this infernal plague or melancholy seizeth on them, and terrifies their souls, representing some dismal object to their minds, which now by no means, no labour, no persuasions they can avoid: hæret lateri lethalis arundo."* This passage should be carefully read by young persons of fine taste and delicate sentiments, for it contains a just account of the first inroads of melancholy on susceptible imaginations. Nothing is more seductive, or more hazardous to minds of this cast, than that kind of mental luxury, which is gene

Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 52, 53. My copy is the eighth edition, 1676. The first edition was published in 1617.

rally called castle-building. It appears a happy privilege to possess the direction of an ideal world, into which we can withdraw at pleasure, when disgusted with the gross material scene before us. But in this fairyland lurk terrible phantoms, ready to seize the incautious wanderer, in moments of dejection and weakness, and to deprive him for ever of ease and liberty.

Burton has introduced a great part of these ideas into his poetical abstract of melancholy.

When I go musing all alone,

Thinking of divers things fore-known,.
When I build castles in the air,
Void of sorrow, void of fear,
Pleasing myself with phantoms sweet,
Methinks the time runs very fleet.
All my joys to this are folly,
Nought so sweet as melancholy.

When I go walking all alone,
Recounting what I have ill done,
My thoughts on me then tyrranize,
Fear and sorrow me surprise;

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