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an artificial increase of dimension, by a minute and tedious enumeration.
In the three first lines of the ninth stanza is inculcated a serious truth, by way of check to the sneers of grandeur and ambition. But Beauty is forced awkwardly into the company of these scof. fers. As she was no accomplice in their mockery, she is unjustly, as well as unpolitely, involved in their mortification. Of the third line the expression is faulty, because it is obscure. The signification of the word 66 await," is not yet very pointedly ascertained. Whether does the hour of death await
and beauty? or do they await it ? Both modes of phraseology have examples in our language.
“ Even as the wretch, condemn’d to lose his life,
is said by Fairfax. But the other is the
The stanza concludes with a conceit. It is not true, that “ the path of glory leads bul to the grave.” Nor is it because it is the path of glory that it leads thither
at all. Parnell's thought, with less conceit, has in it more of interest, and much more of piety
“ Death's but a path that must be trod,
In a series of stanzas that follow, the author sets himself to expostulate with the proud ; and undertakes to prove the absurdity of the contempt which he supposes them ready to pour on the “unhonoured dead,” for their want of more superb monuments, from a regular succession of common places :
1. It was no “fault” of theirs that they had not such
monuments. 2. They would have stood them in little stead, had they
had them. 3. Worth and Genius may have existed without them. 4. It was the injustice of fortune that made them want
them. 5. The account was balanced for them another way.
Lall which topics are handled with tolerable plausibility, and at decent length.
It is in the tenth stanza, that this train of thought commences. But the introduction is not clear of incumbrance.
Impute not to these the fault,” is an affected and inadequate expression for “ don't treat them with scorn." The two last lines are the most majestic 'in the whole Elegy. But they contain an appeal to feelings, which none but those who are so happy as to have been bred up
in a veneration for the solemn forms and service of the National Church, can expect to possess. The palate of a sectary, accustomed to the reception of
slender foods, will nauseate the full meal set before him in these lines ;
Where, through the long-drawn aisle, and fretted vault, The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Of this last line, however, criticism must remark, that either the composition of the thought is faulty, or the arrangement of the expression is inverted. It is not the anthem that swells the note, but the agglomeration of notes that swells the anthem. I am content to suppose this to have been his meaning ; communicated in a mode of arrangement, unpleasing to an English reader in his own language, but of which he admits the
propriety in Latin compositions. I have seen this line most correctly transferred into that language in many different modes, all of them meritorious, in a selection from Exercises written by the Boys of the first form in Merchant Taylor's School, and sent to me, with a view, of