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(and as it were by the by) give a wonderful life and ornanent to compositions of this kind. But let our poet, while he writes epistles, though never so familiar, still remember that be writes in verse, and must for that reason have a more than ordinary care not to fall into prose, and a vulgar diction, excepting where the nature and humour of the things does necessarily require it. In this point Horace hath been thought by some critics to be sometimes careless, as well as too negligent of his versification; of which he seems to have been sensible bimself.
Both these manners of writing may be made as entertaining, in their way, as any other species of poetry, if undertaken by persons duly qualified; and the latter sort may be managed so as to become in a peculiar manner instructive.
Subjects of the most sublime nature are often treat. ed in the epistolary way with advantage, as in the famous epistle of Horace to Augustus. The poet sur. prises us with his pomp, and seems rather betrayed into bis subject, than to have aimed at it by design. He appears, like the visit of a king incognito, with a mixture of familiarity and grandeur. In works of this kind, when the dignity of the subject hurries the poet into descriptions and sentiments, seemingly unpremeditated, by a sort of inspirati it is usual for him to recollect himself, and fall back gracefully into tha patural style of a letter.
VIEW OF THE SEA MAJESTIC.
which affects my imagination so much as the sea or ocean. I cannot see the heavings of this prodigious bulk of water, even in a calm, withont a very pleas. ing astonishment; but when it is worked up in a tempest, so that the horizon on every side is nothing but foaming billows and floating mountains, it is impos. sible to describe the agreeable horror that rises from such a prospect. A troubled ocean, to a man who sails upon it, is, I think, the biggest object that he can see in motion, and consequently gives his imagination one of the highest kinds of pleasure that can arise from greatness. I must confess it is impossible for me to survey this world of fluid matter, without thinking on the hand that first poured it out, and made a proper chanuel for its reception. Such an object naturally raises in my thoughts the idea of an Almighty Being, and convinces me of his existence as niuch as a metaphy. sical demonstration. The imagination prompts the nn. derstanding, and, by the greatness of the sensible object, produces in it the idea of a being who is neither circumscribed by time por space.
As I have made several voyages upon the sea, I have often been tossed in storms, and on that occasion have frequently reflected on the descriptions of them in ancient poets. I remember Longinus highly recommends one in Homer, because the poet has not amused himself with little fancies upon the occasion, as authors of an inferior genius, whom he mentions, had done, but because he bas gathered together those circndistances wbich are the most apt to terrify the imagination, and which really happen in the raging of a tempest. It is for the same reason, that I prefer the following description of a ship in a storm, which the psalmist has made, before any other I have ever met with. “ They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters: these see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waters thereof; they mount up to the hea. ven, they go down again to the depths, their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then they are glad, because they be quiet, so he bringeth them unto their desired haven."
By the way, how much more comfortable as well as rational, is this system of the Psalmist, than the pa. gan scheme in Virgil, and other poets, where one deity is represented as raising a storm, and another as laying it? Were we only to consider the sublime in this piece of poetry, what can be nobler than the idea it gives us of the Supreme Being thus raising a tumult among the elements, and recovering them out of their confusion, thus troubling and becalming nature?
Great painters do not only give us landscapes of gar. dens, groves, and meadows, but very often employ their pencils upon sea-pieces. The following divine Ode has been made by a gentleman upon the conclusion of his travels.
How are thy servants bless'd, O Lord!
How sure is their defence!
Their help, Omnipotence.
Supported by thy care,
And breath'd in tainted air.
Thy mercy sweetep'd ev'ry soil,
Made ev'ry region please:
And smooth'd the Tyrrbene seas.
How, with affrighted eyes,
In all its horrors rise !
And tear in ev'ry heart;
O'ercanie the pilot's art.
Thy mercy set me free,
My soul took hold on thee.
High on the broken wave,
Nor impotent to save.
Obedient to thy will;
At thy command was still.
Thy.goo Iness I'll adore,
And humbly hope for more.
Thy sacrifice shall be;
Shall join my soul to thee.
A MOONLIGHT CONTEMPLATION.
Frigora mitescunt zephyris, ver proterit æstas
fruges effuderit, et mox
But yields to autumn's fruitful rain,
SIR W. TEMPLE.
THERE is hardly any thing gives me a inore sen
sible delight, than the enjoyment of a cool still evening after the uneasiness of a hot sultry day. Such a one I passed not long ago, which made me rejoice when the bour was come for the sun to set, that I might enjoy the freshness of the evening in my garden, which then affords me the pleasantest hours I pass in the whole four-and-twenty. I immediately rose from my couch, and went down into it. You descend at first by twelve stone steps into a large square divided into four grass-plots, 'in each of which is a statue of wbite marble. This is separated from a large parterre by a low wall, and from thence, through a pair of iron gates, you are led into a long broad walk of the finest turf, set on each side with tall yews, and on either hand bordered by a canal, which on the right divides the walk from a wilderness parted into variety of allies and ar bours, and on the Heft from a kind of amphitheatre, which is the receptacle of a great number of oranges and myrtles. The moon shone bright, and seemed then most agreeably to supply the place of the sun, obliging me with as much light as was necessary to discover a thousand pleasing objects, and at the same time divested of all power of heat. The reflection of it in the water, the fanning of