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these two charges, a thing almost unparalleled, but proceeding, no doubt, from the weak state of the French horses and men, that we repeated the dose again in the centre of the market-place, while the French inhabitants were looking out of their windows, and screaming with horror and amazement at the skilful manner in which we administered it. The French displayed their usual gallantry; and though they were evidently unfit to stand up before us, on being driven out of the town they tried the experiment a fourth time with the same success: nothing but darkness prevented us from either killing or capturing every man of them.
A great number of prisoners fell into our hands; but our principal object, as is the usage and practice of dragoons, was to capture horses, and not men; seeing that the quadruped will fetch about two hundred crowns, whereas the biped is utterly worthless. We returned into the town with our prizes, where in consequence of the darkness of the night and some of our men having straggled, a little plundering took place. Indeed so great was the hurry and confusion of all these transactions, that after I had got into camp, I discovered a couple of fine roasted gallinas and a bottle of sparkling champaigne, which made an excellent supper; nor could I complain of the want of provisions for several days afterwards. I was roused the following morning by a messenger from my old friend and commander the Baron, who had received a severe wound in the head, and was just delivering up his sword to the common enemy. I found him certainly on the point of capitulation he was still sensible; and beckoning to me to approach the spot where he lay, which was a dry ditch, covered by a tarpaulin supported at the corners with four sticks, he appointed me his executor, desiring me to transmit the produce of his effects to his mother at Nuremberg. There was something very melancholy in my poor friend's departure, under privations and in circumstances like these, though at the same time the scene was not altogether free from the ludicrous. Begging every one else to withdraw, he recounted to me in a whisper the various places in which his multifarious treasures were deposited. He had very little vested in any government funds or in real securities, but in the folds of his doublet, and in various parts of his equipage, he told me, a very considerable sum in gold would be discovered. His principal regret at leaving this world seemed to be the loss of the fine prospect of plunder, which our present circumstances promised. He compared himself to Moses, who perished the moment he was entering upon the land of promise. Before we marched, I performed the duty of my new office, and consigned the remains of the gallant officer to a hole which I caused to be dug for the purpose. He was interred like a soldier, in the most unsophisticated style, without either windingsheet or coffin. Perchance, reader, if thou hast sojourned in the village of Carbon, thou hast stepped over the ashes of as true a soldier as ever smoked pipe and drank brandy beneath the canopy of Heaven!
The Baron, and one dragoon wounded, were the only losses which we sustained, while, on the contrary, the French had about two hundred men hors de combat. After three or four days hard marching, I was sent back, with my own troop and a company of Portuguese caçadores, to a small town called St. Martory, to guard the passage of a bridge against the brigands in the mountains and the French troops on the
VOL. V. NO. XIX.
other side of the river, and to prevent them from annoying the rear and cutting off the supplies of our army. The duty was by no means either a safe or a pleasant one. We were forced to be perpetually on the qui vive, not knowing the point from which the enemy would come upon us, though we were assured they were prepared to do so. Our horses were never unsaddled, nor did our men put off their clothes; and we stationed constant picquets on the opposite side of the river towards the Pyrenees. Some of the Portuguese who were employed on this service, caused us considerable alarm one night. Three French deserters, by a circuitous route, were intending to reach St. Martory, and the Portuguese in their alarm multiplied these three men in buckram into a large body of the enemy. The bugle roused me from my bed, to which, as a special favour to them, I had "for that night only" consigned my wearied limbs, and seizing my sword and belt, and placing my casque upon my head, I sallied forth, clothed in the inexpressibles usually worn by the Highland regiments. I believe many of the troop wore the same regimentals. The Portuguese were firing pretty sharply when I arrived amongst them, and I expected a serious affair of it. The serjeant of the Portuguese informed me that they had killed one of the enemy, (and sure enough one of the poor dragoons had fallen) and that the rest were lying behind an enbankment. I instantly ordered our men to charge; but, as we were proceeding on a trot, we were stopped by the two other deserters, who were lying flat on their faces directly in our road, and who, on being questioned, informed us of the true state of the affair. Thus we returned shivering to quarters, without loss of life, though not entirely without loss of blood.
From the Spanish of D. Josè Cadalso.
"Quien de aquesta Collina.”
WHO with yonder festive band
Are his rosy temples crown'd-
Every tongue his deeds repeating;
The jolly God-I know him well.
THE attention of general readers has been so long and so exclusively confined to the higher and more celebrated creations of genius, that to expect them to divert it willingly to humbler and more unpretending productions, appears in some degree an idle hope. Men are disposed to estimate things by their outward and visible forms, rather than their real and essential excellence. The eye which has been attracted and dazzled by the magnificence of some splendid palace, turns reluctantly to the lowly and unobtrusive beauty of a retired cottage. To some such mistaken and exclusive feeling may we chiefly ascribe the neglect into which what was once a distinct and pleasing branch of literature has fallen. The ordinary student considers an epigram as the vehicle of some low and ignoble witticism-some malicious personality, or the poor conveyance of a pun. If this sort of composition had never aimed at higher objects, it would have deserved the contempt it has received; but whoever is familiar with the literature of antiquity, will acknowledge, that amongst the Greek epigrams are to be found some of the sweetest flowers which genius has scattered in its flight to immortality.
In this book-making age, when few things are deemed too sacred or too worthless for publicity, and still fewer which deserve to be made public, are left in obscurity, it seems somewhat strange that the ambitious enterprise of our poetical aspirants should have suffered that capacious storehouse of poetry, the Greek Anthologies, to remain so long unexplored. Occasionally, at distant intervals, some tasteful scholar has felt and imitated their beauty, and too often without acknowledgment; but it is only lately that they have been pointed out to the English reader as worthy of his study and admiration. Cumberland, in his admirable essays on the Greek drama, (in the Observer) first recommended them to general attention, with some happy translations; and within a few years Mr. Bland has published a volume of selections from the Anthology, many of which are rendered with very great success. As the subject is still new to many of our readers, it may not be uninteresting briefly to trace the progress, and at the same time cite some of the more characteristic specimens of epigrammatic writing, from its origin to our times.
The word epigram, as is manifest, means nothing more than a simple inscription, originally affixed to religious offerings; afterwards it was written on the gate of the Temple, and by a gradual and easy transition, passed to other edifices of a public character-to statues of gods and heroes, and all who had distinguished themselves by their patriotism, courage, or virtue. The name was at first applied without distinction to inscriptions in verse or prose; and the old historians furnish many examples of the latter. Legislators and philosophers soon employed it to convey any political or moral precept which they wished to impress strongly; as from its brevity it might be more easily remembered. Finally, an epigram came to signify, amongst the Greeks, any short piece of poetry which conveyed a single idea, or expressed a single feeling; and what at first was nothing more than the naked communication of a fact, acquired in the end a recognized and respectable station in literature. Those who are unacquainted with this class of ancient
poetry, will form erroneous notions of its character, if they take the French and English epigrams, or even most of those of Martial and Ausonius, for their guide. A modern epigram is a short production, containing some conceit of thought, or play upon words, and generally of a satirical cast. Its inventors, however, never used it as a medium of satire or pun; and very rarely, and only in the decline of Grecian taste, of conceit. In their lighter convivial epigrams, the thought is generally of a melancholy cast-a reflection on the shortness of life, the transitoriness of our enjoyments, or some admonition against the frailties of our nature. The better order was commonly of a serious cast, like this of Pherecrates:"Age is the heaviest burthen man can bear, Compound of disappointment, pain, and care; For when the mind's experience comes at length, It comes to mourn the body's loss of strength; Resign'd to ignorance all our better days, Knowledge just ripens when the man decays; One ray of light the closing eye receives,
And wisdom only takes what folly leaves." CUMBERLAND.
As a class of composition the Greek epigram has no counterpart in the literature of any modern language; and that which corresponds to it the nearest, is the French madrigal, the Italian canzonet, and the more sober species of English song. In expressing a single thought, the Greeks were desirous of making it as simple as possible, and they sought after the simplest and most natural diction. They looked for a style which might become the sentiment, and forbore to imitate the splendid imagery, the varied and artful combinations, the minute descriptions, the developement of character, the fictions and ornaments, the "pomp and circumstance" of the loftier order of poetry. Their restricted space afforded no room for display, and they therefore never aimed at it. Nor do they present any instances of wit-as the word is commonly understood. If they have any wit, it is only in the sense of Pope, who reduces it to mere happiness of language-" what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed." Hence the characteristic epithet of a Greek epigram is apeλea, or neatness and grace. Whilst they resorted to obvious sentiments, and clothed them in simple and delicate language, they were sure to please; and from the earliest times scholars have found them a source of pleasure and solace in the original, and in imitations and translations they have been perused with delight by those who were unacquainted with the Greek. Johnson has paid an elegant and feeling compliment to an epigram of Ariphron; and we know that he often devoted his sleepless nights, and the intervals of pain in his last illness, to rendering them into Latin*. We can, thus supported, bear very patiently the sneers of Chesterfield, who was neither scholar nor poet. It is unknown, however, to mere English students, that the Anthology is a great magazine of poetical common-places. It would not be difficult to point out the source of many beautiful passages of modern poetry among the old Greek epigrams. Cumberland detected the original of Ben Jonson's popular
* Scaliger used to beguile the hours of sleeplessness in turning Martial into Greek.
verses, "Drink to me only with thine eyes," &c. in the erotic pieces of Philostratus; and though they are not the most favourable specimen of the simplicity we have talked of, yet they do not appear to merit the very severe censures of Cumberland. Many other productions which have been long admired, might be followed up to the same Poets rarely like to confess their obligations, and where they can poach with so much impunity, there is an additional temptation to be dishonest. Some of the Greek epigrams have a value quite distinct from elegance of expression, and delicacy and truth of sentiment. They illustrate events, manners and feelings, where history from its generality is deficient; and in more than one instance furnish the evidences of history. Herodotus has preserved two of Simonides-the first, on a personage of celebrity in his time; the other, commemorative of one of the most glorious deeds which history has recorded-the sacrifice at Thermopyla.
"Greatly to die-if this be glory's height,
For the fair meed we own our fortune kind.
Thucydides, among others, cites the following epitaph on the daughter of the tyrant Hippias, slain by Harmodius and Aristogiton. We give it, not merely as a specimen of concise and appropriate sepulchral inscription, but also as a testimony to the simplicity of the age.
Aristotle very frequently quotes them to illustrate his assertions; and we are still in possession of several of Plato, which furnish the earliest and almost the only examples of play upon words in the whole Anthology. They are on a favourite boy, whose name was Aster
"In life thou wert my morning star,
But now that death has stolen thy light,
Another to the same
"Why dost thou gaze upon the sky?
One more specimen of this philosopher's poetical effusions
"Whene'er thy nectar'd kiss I sip,
And drink thy breath in melting twine,
Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch have likewise preserved a considerable number of these light and fugitive productions. Notwithstanding the diligence of collectors, the Anthology is very far from being complete. The earliest collection of any note is that of Meleager, one of the gentlest and most affecting of poets. He has flung a melancholy grace