« AnteriorContinuar »
was seized with a pleasing kind of stupor and deadness; Eve fancies herself falling away, and dissolving in the hurry of a rapture. However, the verses are very good, and I do not know but what she says may be natural: I will read them.
When your kind eyes look'd languishing on mine,
She went on, and said a thousand good things at random, but so strangely mixed, that you would be apt to say, all her wit is mere good luck, and not the effect of reason and judgment. When I made my escape hither, I found a gentleman play ing the critic on two other great poets; even Virgil and Homer. He was observing, that Virgil is more judicious than the other in the epithets he gives his hero. Homer's usual epithet, said he, is IIóðas wxus, or Пodápans, and his indiscretion has been often rallied by the critics, for mentioning the nimbleness of foot in Achilles, though he describes him standing, sitting, lying down, fighting, eating, drinking, or in any other circumstance, however foreign or repugnant to speed and activity. Virgil's common epithet to Æneas is Pius, or Pater. I have therefore considered, said he, what passage there is in any of his hero's actions, where either of these appellations would have been most improper, to see if I could catch him at the same fault with Homer; and this, I think, is his meeting with Dido in the cave, where Pius Æneas would have been absurd, and Pater Æneas a burlesque: the poet therefore wisely dropped them both for Dux
Trojanus; which he has repeated twice in Juno's speech, and his own narration: for he very well knew, a loose action might be consistent enough with the usual manners of a soldier, though it became neither the chastity of a pious man, nor the gravity of the father of a people.
Grecian Coffee-house, April 22.
While other parts of the town are amused with the present actions, we generally spend the evening at this table in inquiries into antiquity, and think any thing News which gives us new knowledge. Thus we are making a very pleasant entertainment to ourselves, in putting the actions of Homer's Iliad into an exact Journal.
This Poem is introduced by Chryses, king of Chryseïs and Priest of Apollo, who comes to redemand his daughter, who had been carried off at the taking of that city, and given to Agamemnon for his part of the booty. The refusal he received enrages Apollo, who for nine days showered down darts upon them, which occasioned the pestilence.
The tenth day Achilles assembled the council, and encourages Chalcas to speak for the surrender of Chryseïs, to appease Apollo. Agamemnon and Achilles storm at one another, notwithstanding which, Agamemnon will not release his prisoner, unless he has Briseis in her stead. After long contestations, wherein Agamemnon gives a glorious character of Achilles's valour, he determines to re store Chryseïs to her father, and sends two heralds to fetch away Briseïs from Achilles, who abandons himself to sorrow and despair. His mother Thetis comes to comfort him under his affliction, and promises to represent his sorrowful lamentation to Jupiter: but he could not attend to it; for, the evening before, he had appointed to divert himself for
two days beyond the seas with the harmless Ethiopians.
It was the twenty-first day after Chryseïs's arrival at the camp, that Thetis went very early to demand an audience of Jupiter. The means he used to satisfy her were, to persuade the Greeks to attack the Trojans; that so they might perceive the consequence of contemning Achilles, and the miseries they suffer, if he does not head them. The next night he orders Agamemnon, in a dream, to attack them; who was deceived with the hopes of obtaining a victory, and also taking the city, without sharing the honour with Achilles.
On the twenty-second in the morning he assembles the council, and having made a feint of raising the siege and retiring, he declares to them his dream; and, together with Nestor and Ulysses, resolves on an engagement.
This was the twenty-third day, which is full of incidents, and which continues from almost the beginning of the second canto to the eighth. The armies being then drawn up in view of one another, Hector brings it about that Menelaus and Paris, the two persons concerned in the quarrel, should decide it by a single combat, which tending to the advantage of Menelaus, was interrupted by a cow~ ardice infused by Minerva: then both armies engage, where the Trojans have the disadvantage; but being afterwards animated by Apollo, they repulse the enemy, yet they are once again forced to give ground; but their affairs were retrieved by Hector, who has a single combat with Ajax. The gods threw themselves into the battle: Juno and Minerva took the Grecians' part, and Apollo and Mars the Trojans': but Mars and Venus are both wounded by Diomedes.
The truce for burying the slain ended the twentythird day, after which the Greeks threw up a great intrenchment, to secure their navy from danger. Councils are held on both sides. On the morning of the twenty-fourth day the battle is renewed, but in a very disadvantageous manner to the Greeks, who are beaten back to their entrenchments. Agamemnon, being in despair at this ill success, proposes to the council to quit the enterprize, and retire from Troy. But, by the advice of Nestor, he is persuaded to regain Achilles, by returning Briseïs, and sending him considerable presents. Hereupon Ulysses and Ajax are sent to that hero, who continues inflexible in his anger. Ulysses, at his return, joins himself with Diomedes, and goes in the night to gain intelligence of the enemy: they enter into their very camp, where finding the centinels asleep, they made a great slaughter. Rhesus, who was just then arrived with recruits from Thrace for the Trojans, was killed in that action. Here ends the tenth canto. The sequel of this Journal will be inserted in the next article from this place.
St. James's Coffee-house, April 22,
We hear from Italy, that, notwithstanding the Fope has received a letter from the Duke of Anjou, demanding of him to explain himself upon the affair of acknowledging king Charles, his Holiness has not yet thought fit to send any answer to that prince. The court of Rome appears very much mortified, that they are not to see his Majesty of Denmark in that city, having perhaps given themselves vain hopes from a visit made by a Protestant prince to that see. The Pope has dispatched a gentleman to compliment his Majesty, and sent the King a present of all the curiosities and antiquities of Rome, represented in seventeen volumes very richly bound,
which were taken out of the Vatican library. Letters from Genoa, of the fourteenth instant, say, that a felucca was arrived there in five days from Marseilles, with an account, that the people of that city had made an insurrection, by reason of the scarcity of provisions; and that the intendant had ordered some companies of marines, and the men belonging to the galleys, to stand to their arms to protect him from violence; but that he began to be in as much apprehension of his guards, as of those from whom they were to defend him. When that vessel came away, the soldiers murmured publicly for want of pay; and it was generally believed they would pillage the magazines, as the garrisons of Grenoble and other towns of France had already done. A vessel which lately came into Leghorn brought advice, that the British squadron was arrived at Port-Mahon, where they were taking in more troops, in order to attempt the relief of Alicant, which still made a very vigorous defence. It is said Admiral Byng will be at the head of that expedition. The King of Denmark was gone from Leghorn towards Lucca.
They write from Vienna, that in case the allies should enter into a treaty of peace with France, Count Zinzendorf will be appointed first Plenipo tentiary, the Count de Goes the second, and Monsieur Van Konsbruch a third. Major General Palmes, envoy extraordinary from her Britannic Majesty, has been very urgent with that court to make their utmost efforts against France the ensuing campaign, in order to oblige it to such a peace as may establish the tranquillity of Europe for the future.
We are also informed, that the Pope uses all imaginable shifts to elude the treaty concluded with the Emperor, and that he demanded the immediate