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Mr. Dyer on' English Versification.. melody at defiance.--I close with a few not only permitted, but required to run observations on the heroic blank verse. frequently into one another.

Milton, the great master of blank Tis patt! the sultry tyrant of the south verse, observes of ihyme, “ that it is the Has spent kis short-livid rage: more grateful invention of a barbarous age, to set off hours wretched matter; and Jame meter." Move filent on Milton alludes to the monkith doggrels, Mis. Baibauld's Summer Earring Meditation,

Some people seem to think, that all reDie ille,' dies ira,

quired of blank verfe is, that it should be Solvet raclum isi favilla,

measured into ten fyllables, or five feet, Teite Deo, et Sibylla.

and free from rhyme. This is a great It is, however, by 110 means true, that mittake.. yhyme was the inere invention of the dark - The following lines have their proper ages. Sir William Jones has theirn, that number of ly'lables, but are wretched it was generally used by the Arabian verse. poets, Vi nequeam mibi perfualire, quin Delectable both to behold and tatte, metri etiam Hebrza Arabilis fuerint perfi: For he wlio tempts, though in vain asperses. milia, nifi quod Arabum versiculi similiter

Paradise Loft, b.ix. definanı, veterum Hebræorum, non item These lines are deftitute of harmony, It was also praétised by other nations and have wrong quantities. the ancient Saturnine verses were rhymes, The following line is accented wrong,

Blank, verfe is admirably adapted to that fyllable being acuted, that mould express strong conceptions, energy of be graved. passion, and, even when properly con

His words here ended, but his meek aspect. Itruered, melodiousness of numbers: Mil:*

The fame. ron, in foine parts of his Paradise Lojt, is superior to any of our poets in melody.

Milton's verse is sometimes defective The principal excellence of blank verle, and prosaic. consists in its capability of varying the

The double ending blank verfe is rarepauses with greater case, than rhyme : it ly (though it is sometimes) admitted by

the best writers of blank verfe ; except, is, therefore, less monotonous: ex.

indeed, in 'theatrical performances; it is
No more of talk with Gol, or angel guest' wefl adapted to the familiarity' of the
With mani, as with his friend, familiar uf'd stage, and is pcrpetually ufed bin Shak-
To fit indulgent, and with him partake inte spear
Rural ropast, permitting him the while
Vcnial discourse unblam'd.

To be or not to be, that is the question,
Paradise Loft. Whether-'tis; nubler in the mind to differ

The ttings and arrows of outrageous fortune, The following lines, though deftiture Or to take arms against a fea of trouble. of rhyme, are too monotonous for blank verle.

Milton occasionally uses the double

ending line. But that fine poet, and ad. And see where surly winter pafics off

mirable verlifier, Akentide, never. Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts : His blafts cbey, and quit the howling hill,

Froin what has been faid, it will be The shatter'd-forest, and the råvag'! vile:

ealy is underland why the blank verse While fofter gales succeed, at whose kind of Shakspear, Addion, liis imitator, Phitouch,

lips, and Akerlide are better models for Disolving snows in livid torrents loft, blank verli, than Addison, Young, and The mountains lift their.green heads to the Thornton. The blank verfe of Mr. skics.

Ir.com;r's Seajuns. Southey's Joan of Arc, is very happy These lines read like Pope's: they have with some exceptions, is very farmonious.

with respect to varying the pauses, and ret' the stateliness of blank verfe,' though To the litt of publications on English the description is exquitite. With re verte already recommended, I think it un. spect to rhyme, it has been before ob- neceffary to fuhjoin more than one, par. served, that it has naturally the end of each line; the closing line of been recommended by your correspondent

pufe at ticularly as jome valuable books have the rhyme not only requires a pause, but 1. T. The book I allude to is, the first a stop. The contrary of this is true with and second books of * Paradise Lost, colrespect to blank verse: here the verses are lateil, the'«o Original System of Orthogra

phy restored :"

in The Punctuation cot. + Pocji Ajar. Corneriene. "Part. ii, cap. 2. rected and extended;" with the various

Readings

Incredibility of Plato's Atlantic History.

265 Readings and Notes, chiefly Rhythmical. poet); he tells it to his fon Critias, who By CAPEL Lofft. Thele publications again, at the age of ninety tells it to his illustrate by facts, not by arguments, the grandion Critias," who was then a boy of mechanical parts of Milton's blank verfe. ten years old. Add to this, the original I lament, that the whole of this work has furce of the whole hiftorý was an Ægypnot been published ; particularly as the tian frieft, who telated it'ta Solon. Sucha learned editor fays, in his preface, that is the foundation on which the authenticity the

copy from which thefe two books are of Plato's Atlantic history is built ; to printed, has been revised and corrected, prove the weakness of which, and how on the same plan, to the beginning of the little it can be relied on, little need be eleventh."

said, for the account {peaks for itself. Is It is not intended by these hints, to it probable that a boy, at the tender age enfeeble the conception, or to retard the of ten years old, should be able to tecoloperations of genius: and, I hope, what leat, with the precition with which it is. has been said, can offend none but such related, all the circumstances which Plata as hold the doctrine of plenary inspiration mentions? But even supposing this, and, in poetry: but, even fuch should recol. what is not very often the case, that the text, that those poers, who were inspired by story was neither increased or diminished Apollo, and the nine Mufes, were of all in its progress fron Solon to Critiàs, yet people in the world most limple, and most still the original relator of the whole was correct;. that the evoegmasinov tra los, was an Egyptian Prict. The extravagant and followed by the lima labor; the enthul wild notions which the Egyptians had alm of poetic 'feeling by the labour of the concerning the age of the world, and of file.

the valt antiquity of nations, are well

known; it is unnecessary, therefore, to - Alterius lic Altera poscit opem res et conjurat amicè. ,

say anything concerning them; but I

would refer any of your readers, who Thus each of each

wish to fee this subject discussed, to Mr. Afliftance asks, and mutually conspires To make the work complete.

MAURICE*S « History of Hindosian," and Horace's Art of Poetry.

his

6. Indien Antiquities,in which he Thele hints, being part of a poetical of boch the Egyptians and the Indians to

has ably confuted and explained the claims work on a larger scale, are submitted to such vatt and fabulous antiquity. the conlideration of your correspondent, Can we then pretend to compare the L. I fall be happy, if they are found Atlantic history of Plato with thole of the useful to him, and I shall be as happy to Greeks and Romans. Can it be confra be fet right, if to any of your intelligent dered equally deserving of credit with the correspondents, I feem to be inittaken.

narrations of Thucydides and HerodoI am, &c. G. DYER.

tus, of Tacitus and Livy? Surely Mr. T. on considering the matter, will not

pretend to defend what he has so rashly To the Editor of the Montbly Magazine. aflerted. Of the internal evidence in faSIR,

vour of the truth of the history in queftion, 1 Can by no means agree with Mr. I will only tay, that it scarcely equals that

TAYLOR in the assertion which he of the “ Arabian Night's Entórtainments." makes, in your last supplement, with re

I am, &c. A. Q. Q. L. gard to the Atlantic hiltory of Plato, that si it is at least as well attested as any

To the Editor of the Montbly Magazine, other narration, in any Greek or Roman SIR, hiftorian."

upon the na

favour of this extraordinary account of it off, have been fo frequent with writers an iliand, and of a people, which are faid of every description, from the minister to have existed nine thousand years before of Itate, to the inhabitant of a garret, Solon; but which, although it thus con- that readers of any political acumen, tradiets the best and most generally re- mult, by this time, be in tolerable poro ceived systems of chronology, is at least, tefsion of the subject. It is certain, that we are told by Mr. T, as much deserving many, who cannot pay their own debts, of belief, as any of the historians of the have a peculiar facility in paying those Greeks or Romans.

of others : and, while their private conSolon relates this wonderful story to his cerns are in a ruinous, and embarrassed frietid Dropis (who by the bye was a state, through inattention, or indolence,

Min ?

we

too.

266 Reply to Bishop Watson on the National Debt. we find them generally facrificing their that though the fee-Simple of the land time and labour, to remedy the embar- stands pledged for the payment of the pubrassments of the public. Permit me, lic debts, yet a considerable portion of our however, though neither spendthrift, nor ability to meet the difficulty is derived projector, to offer, through the channel from commerce ; and commerce, and great of your miscellany, a few obfervations economy, are incompatible ideas, So far upon this fubject. --Bisnop WATSON,in as relates to the governing part of the ftatc, his late “ Address to the People of Great- economy is certainly as neceffary, in the Britain," teems to be of opinion, thać various departments of it, to guard the the national debt may, by a great exer- whole body politic against embarrassment, tion, be paid off, and pretty expeditioutly as it is receffary in the master of a family,

As there are few writers who think to guard the individual members of it more juftly, or express themselves more from dittress. But if we consider the itate cléarly upon most subjects, than the Bi as one whole, of which the various comihop; fo there are few, to whom the pub- ponent parts should contribute severally lic are more indebted for many valuable to the general welfare, tiien such a defigpublications. It is, therefore, with some nation of the powers of each, as fhall diffidence, I venture to diffent from so contribute to form one beautiful, compact respectable an authority: but so far am system of industry, conteniment, and I from thinking with his lordship, that support, is necessary to the happiness of it would have been wise in the minister, the community. And this confifts in “ instead of calling for a tenth of a nian's such habits of life among the opulent, as income, to call for a tenth, or such other shall afford the largest portion of comportion of every man's whole property, as mendable employ to the indigent.' would have enabled him, not merely to Public debts, when they become enormake a temporary provision for the war,' mous, counteract this reasoning: They but to have paid off, in a few years, the may be compared to falling bodies: the whole, or the greatest part of the national greater their magnitude; the more rapid debt;" that, in truth, I much doubt their velocity dounwards. If the public whether the thing be even practicable. were fincerely disposed to liquidate the Could the scheine be put in execution, I national debt, we may amuse ourselves perfectly agree with Dr. WATSON, that (for it is, I fear, but amusement) in conit would be a great and noble plan, well sidering by what way they could most fucworthy the British character, on fo trying cetsfully set about it. It is plain, for an occafion as the present; but the liqui- reasons already alledged, that habits of dation of the national debt is an object of economy, and self-denial, so much infiftgreat magnitude; and, if it be at alled upon, would not effect the purpose, feasible, must be a work of gradual and And, if these would not, the natural queftedious operation; by no means fitted to tich then is, what would ?. If the nathe immediate exigency, which demands tional debt is to be discharged, through prompt and decisive measures. Patience, what circulating medium fhall we dirtranquillity, and extensive commerce, may charge it? Not by the paper, large as enable us to do much in this way, at some it is, now in circulation ; much less by future period ; but, under the prevailing the specie : nor, indeed, by both united. system of things, before we can bring men And nobody, I presume, under the preto make such a sacrifice to pciterity, as sent state of affairs, would wish to see this object would require; or to forego new paper coined for the purpofe. If, prefent advantage, fór future distant good, on the other hand, the stock -holders, as we muft, I fear, regenerate them, hy the mortgagees, should foreclose, without skill introdu&tion of new habits, and new pale to cultivate, markets to consume, or exfions. Debts upon a country have often perience to guide thenı in the management been compared to mortgages upon an of land, they wonld be in but an aukward estate : yet there is, I think, a confidera- predicament. In fuch a case, we may ble difference between them. When an presume, that the stock-holders would be estate is mortgaged, even admitting that called upon, as Bishop WATSON juftly the interest of the mortgage amounts to observes, to bear their proportion in the nearly the income of the eitate, the pro- exigencies of the state but after their prietor, by a rigid system of æconomy, quotas were struck off, there would still may, in time, hope to liquidate the debt. remain, the clergy, officers, naval and miBut this ceconomy, which is fo ferviceable litary, widows, annuitants, holders of to the individual, is often injurious to the life estates, proprietors of land, with a ftate; for we must bear in mind the idea, long etcætera of debtors. If chere is fo:

mucka

Opinion of the Ancients' respecting the Mooni 267 much difficulty in an assessment touching of her orbit, in which it was more rapid income only, that many candid, and or more flow. If any credibility may be judicious persons, doubt about the practi- reposed in the writings and quotations of cability of the measure; what must the case Aristotle and Pliny; the Chaldeans were be in an assessment touching the fee-timple not unacquainted with the motions of the of property, in the same proportion? moon's notes, and that of her apogée; Where all would be borrowers, and none and they had rationally inferred, from the lenders, great indeed would be the diffi- occultation of fixed: ttarsby the moon, culty of acquiring money! This subject that this luminary was the cause of the affords a wide held of discussion; and eclipses of the fun. From the Hebrews many reflections suggest themselves, which the moon received infinitely more adoraI rettrain, that I may not transgress the tion than the fun. -The festivals on the bounds usually assigned to each article in first day of the new moon, were folemnly your useful publication. The Monthly celebrated, as appears from an expression Magazine has an extensive circulation, and of David's to Jonathan in 1 Sam. c, xx. may justly be considered as a work happily. 7. 56 Apuleius celebrates the moon, as of combining the utele dulci ; scientific, with the vivific series, and consequently tupeamuling information. If my memory do rior to the fun, which was of the harmonot deceive me, I have formerly feen a nic. It is uncertain at what particular good paper or two, upon this subject, in time astronomical knowledge originated your Magazine; and, in the present state among the Greeks. Thales was the first of the publie mind, no investigation can who reafoned upon the principles of the be more interesting, than that, which is feience. Previous to the return of Thales connected with the national finances; from Egypt, the names of the constellations which, though impaired by milmanage were determined, and some faint glimment, are far, we trust, from being ex-, merings of astronomical knowledge perhaps hausted. I remain, Sir, your obedient (parkled for the instant in the times of Heand humble servant,

fiod and Homer, but certainly no congFeb. 3, 1798..

CARACTACUS. derable advancement had been made.

Thales first taught that " the light of

the moon was reflected from the sun." To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. This sentiment was adopted by AnaxagoSTRY

ras, Pythagoras, and Empedocles *, his HE perusał of “ The Parallel of the fucceffors, who, by means of this prin

ciple, Perrault, has induced me to collect the fplendour, and the imperceptibility of sentiments of ancient authors respect- its heat. ing the Moon. It is astonishing that, Many of the ancient Greek philosophers without the means of ascertaining conjec- and astronomers, not only imagined the tures which we at present have, they have stars to be luns, about which rolled pladiscovered, by the mental eye, whatever. nets of their own, such as compose has since been presented to corporeal fight, our folar system ; they maintained through the medium of telescopes. that these myriads of planets were in

The penetration and fagacity of the habited by beings, whose natures and ancients have been particularly distin- essences they could not describe. Preguished in their ideas upon the moon. clus, in his commentary on Timæus, The Chaldeans and Egyptians, who af- introduces three lines of a Fragment of fected the imaginary honour of the most Orpheus, which, in the most perfect and extravagant antiquity, cultivated the science of aftrononiy with peculiar dili Απολείπεται τoινoν τo το Εμπεδοκλες,

}, gence. The reliques of Chaldean astro

ανακλισει τινι το ηλιο προς την σεληνην nomy are extremely few; and the results: yevecéx. tovertavio Putrojicy at:' auras; cf their ftudy muίt neceffarily have been οθεν ετε θερμον, 8τε λαμπρον αφικνειται προς frequently erroneous and indefinite; yet till: ημας, ω:πες ην εικος, εξαψεως και μιξεως we find that the rays of real truth have PWTWv veyamnjeevns.

« Plutarch de Facie in Orbe Lune," t.ii. p.929. sometimes heamed through.the dark obfcurity which enveloped them. In the Again, Uranologion of Petavins, there is a quo- TNUTE Oehmun Yevdopañ, xao amo temiz tation from Gemina, which indicates that QwTi Sevlar. Diog. 'Laer. in Anexim.” 1.2.. they had discerned that the motion of the

And, moon was not uniform; and that they had

Vide " Plin." 1. 2. c.9.

" Cicero in Somattempted to assign those particular parts nio Scipionis," &c.

unequivocal

*

268

Prediction relative to Washington. unequivocal manner, express the idea that Plutarch, that he did not believe the the moon was inhabited.

moon had any humidity, vapour, or exΜέσα, το δ' αλλην γαιαν απειρατου, ην τε

halation *. This, among the moderns,

is the grand objection to the moon's being σεληνη»

inhabited. 'Αθανατοι ηλήζεσιν, επιχθονιοι δε τε Μηνην,

I leave it, Sir, to any

of

your learned Η πολλέρε' εχει, πολλ' αςέα, πολλα μίλαθρα,

correspondents, to determine, whether it

is probable that the moderns, unaided by Anaxagoras thought precisely in the telescopes, &c. would ever have advanced fame manner, and this fentiment received so far as the ancients. Undoubtedly, at additional confirmation from the opinion present, the nature of the stars, and the of Pythagoras, who improved not only whole planetary fyftem, is better underastronomy and mathematics, but every stood than it was in the times of Ptolemny other branch of philosophy. Plutarch and Hipparchus. I am, Sir, your humde placit. philol." 1. 2. c. 30, fays, ble fervant,

W.D. « Οι Πυθαγόρειοι γεώδη φαινεσθαι την Σεληνην, δια το περιοικείσθαι ταύτην, καθαπες την παρ ημιν γην, μέζοσι ζώοις, και To the Editor of the Montkly Magazine. φυτους καλλιοσιν ή.” It is ridiculous

SIR, to multiply quotations, more than are fufficient to prove, that this opinion

A a

many little articles of knowledge, was extremely common among the ancient which otherwise might have been ccnfigned Greek philosophers. After the death of to oblivion---I offer you for infertion the Alexander the Great, a celebrated school following circumstance relative to the was established at Alexandria, under the illustrious George Washington, late preauspices of Ptolemy Philadelphus; Tin fident of the United States. mocharis,and Aryftillus, were the first who A printed discourse was recently thewn cultivated astronomical research in this

me by an intelligent friend, entitled, fchool. 'Their care and diligence in ob. " Religion and Patriotism, or the conftituents fervation were infinitely greater than any of a good soldier ; preached to captain of their predecessors had ever studied and “ Overton's independant company of volunobserved with. Armillas, or spheres were tecrs, raisidin Hanover County, Virginio, erected, and the science advanced rapidly. August 17th, 1755, by Samuel Davies. Archimedes determined the dittance of the About the middle of this fermon, the moon from the earth, and the distance of preacher expatiates on the patriotism of the planets from the moon. Eudoxns, a the Americans displayed in the war, then cotemporary of Aristotle, believed the fubtitting betwixt them and the Indians. diameter or the moon to be nine times let's But though the Americans, it seems, had than that of the fun. Ptolemy informis fought valiantly, yet still greater exertions u$, that Hipparchus discovered the anti were deemed requilite for the final decision cipation of the moon's nodes, and the ec of the conteft. Accordingly the orator centricity of her orbit. Democritus, strives to infame the zeal of liis countrywho visited the priests of Egypt, and per nien, by specifying the names of those haps penetrated into India and Ethiopia, hirces whichad already diftinguished themindagined that the spots of the moon were flves by their activity. And here occurs shades, formed by the heights of its the name of the celebraiod Washington, mountains. .Stobaus Eclog. Phys." lib. accompanied with a Mort note refpecting 1.p.60, particularly and clearly mentions him, apparentiy dictated in the spirit of this sentiment, which Democritus lield. prophecy. The preacher's words are these: Δημοκριτος 'ακοσκιασμα τι των υψηλών

a remarkable inftance of this, #'avio jeçar, áremen yaş evin extw x26 (patriotisin) I may point out to the public νάτας.

that bertic jouih COLONEL WASHINEPlutarch conceives that vast seas, and has hitherto preserved in jo signal a manner

TON, whom I cannor but hope providence deep caverns, were embodied in the moon. for fonie important service to liis country."

« Diçit enim eam quæ vocatur facies, fimulachra clje, et imagines megri maris in

PERT της Σελήνης εικός έξι luna apparentes.De facie in Orb. Lun.

δώδεκα δερφιας υπομενειν έτος εκας κατα Niñve : and again a few lines after

i It appears too, froin another passage in

πνεί ματα γε μην και νέφη και όμορες, ; + Vide Ariftot de Cre!0," “ Athereum," a un garoy xin giano, Omias. * Plato.in Poed” for the same opinion, and

Piar. t. 2. F. 938. in many other writers.

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