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This, on a statue of Niobe, is an imitation from the Greek:
Le fatal courroux des Dieux
Oui-je me montrai toute nue
This is likewise an imitation, on the statue of Venus by Praxiteles :
In merry old England it once was a rule,
But now we're so frugal, I'd have you to know it,
He has imitated Ausonius, who had imitated some Greek epigrammatist, in the following:-Lais offering her mirror to Venus.
Je le donne à Venus, puisqu'elle est toujours belle;
Je ne saurois me voir dans ce miroir fidelle
Ni telle que j'étais, ni telle que je suis.
But to the wit of Voltaire there is no end, and we must consult the patience of our readers, by putting an end to our quotations.
There is but little space left to speak of our own language. In the serious and tender style of epigram we have no one author who has written much, though we have many who have written well. From that cluster of poetical names which adorned the age of Elizabeth, many beautiful specimens of feeling and fancy might be selected. But conceit, quibble, and euphuism were the weeds which grew up in that fertile soil, and deformed the harvest. Waller, when he escapes from the faults of his predecessors, is elegant and happy; and sometimes, though very rarely, Cowley. Our epitaphs are confessedly of a very low character; occasionally we meet with one that is readable, when genius takes it in hand, as that of Ben Jonson on the Countess of Pembroke, and a few others. Pope's are notoriously bad, from their vagueness and inappropriateness. We have stately monuments, with cold and stiff inscriptions in foreign languages; yet how scanty a number of simple testimonies, of spontaneous outpourings of sadness and affection, can any one remember in the vast extent of our literature ! In the witty and satirical epigram, it may be doubted whether any language is more abundantly enriched. This, on Cibber's obtaining the Laureateship, is bitterly contemptuous:
Too dull for laughter, for reply too mad :
There is another of Pope on Dennis, which is dreadfully severe :
Should Dennis publish you had stabbed your brother,
Lampoon'd your monarch, or debauch'd your mother;
She forgets Anchises, and Paris, and a long list besides, or the scandalous chronicle has defamed her goddess-ship.
Prior has written a considerable number. The manner of his times, and the whole cast of our literature, had acquired a French tone of light, superficial and sportive smartness, into which the disposition of Prior easily fell, and in which he sustained his full share of distinction. The corrupted taste and profligate habits of Charles the Second's reign had been sufficiently amended by the Revolution to impart a little sobriety to the productions of genius, without abating the passion for point, and wit, and affectation. The humour of Prior is arch and racy; and in light epigrammatic effusions there is an ease, vivacity, and piquancy of expression, which pleases in the midst of occasional indelicacy.
The great facility which this mode of writing, from its brevity, afforded to satire, and the ease with which it might be written and remembered, have been the principal reasons why the modern epigram, strictly speaking, has been appropriated to witty severity. Every one at some period of his life feels the inclination and the ability to vent bis anger or his contempt against an antagonist, and gladly avails himself of the happy medium of an epigram. We are always diverted with the exposure and ridicule of another, not merely from the cleverness with which it may be done, but also from a confused feeling of selfcongratulation at having escaped the lash ourselves. Still, the epigram is commonly looked upon as the domain of small wits only. The masters of the song fly at higher game. They must achieve a tragedy or an epic; they are for "Ercles' vein," and cannot roar gently." Some of our living poets, however, have sported in this field with very great success; and we hope it is no unbecoming wish that we may see, through their instrumentality, the epigram restored to its ancient honours. N.
WHILE Captain Parry is having a tete-a-tete with the North Pole, I have taken advantage of his absence to say a few words concerning the polar regions:-not the regions of cold, congelation, and candle-light, but of those illustrious envelopes of the mental faculties, vulgarly called wigs. The silken frame-work on which the superstructure of a wig is raised, I can almost believe to be the netting of Lachesis herself, so intimately is it connected with the destinies of its wearer. But the days of its glory are gone by: in the pictures of Addison, Garth, and other great men of that æra, the rich profusion of clustering locks, that do not "stream like a meteor to the troubled air," but rather hang like a milkyway round their shoulders, proves that the Augustan age of genius was also the Augustan age of wigs. I do not mean to infer that the latter was the cause of the former; but of this I am certain, that wigs have more influence on the fate of men than is generally supposed. Mr. Whitfield thought that nothing contributed more to the conversion of sinners; and as Samson lost his strength with his hair, so I have no doubt it was by means of a wig that he regained it.
The once fashionable expression, too, of" dash my wig," is no small proof of its importance: which oath, if it may be so called, does not of course come within the prohibition, "thou shalt not swear by the head; for thou canst not make one hair white or black." To make it white I fancy has not been a very desirable object since powder has been
out of fashion-among young men, at least, for I can still say in the words of Ovid
"Pulvere canitiem genitor
But there is one Mr. Prince, who has very impiously discovered means to turn the hair not only black, but any colour into which a sun-beam can be dissected, combined, or recombined. The misfortune is, that it is uncertain what hue it will take until the experiment has been tried ; but they who "set their crown upon a cast," must "stand the hazard of the die." What an awful suspense while the metamorphosis is going on! But how much more awful must have been the discovery I hear a lady made the other day, who, after the application of this specific, found her locks converted to a bright lilac- A bright lilac!' exclaims my fair reader, why that is ten times worse than bright red :' much worse, I grant; and for my part, I cannot account for the universal antipathy that has been shewn towards red hair in every age of the world. Herodotus tells us, that the Africans put to death all red-haired people. Terence reckons it, together with cat's eyes and a parrotty nose, as an insurmountable objection to a proposed bride; and a friend of mine declares, that he was flogged at Rugby for no other crime than having red hair.
But to return to my subject: it is no small gratification to see the judicial wig still legitimately upheld in its "pride of place." How, indeed, could a judge summon gravity sufficient to check the insolence of a hardened culprit, or overcome the taciturnity of a contumacious witness, without those awful badges of authority-those hirsute cataracts "whose headlong streams hang list'ning in their fall," and in whose curling waves lurk preambles, precedents, and perorations; cases, commentaries, and convictions; and all the animalculæ distinctions and divisions that only a lawyer's microscopic eye can discover? The argumentative, or pleader's wig, with its dangling curls, like so many codicils to a will, is seldom made as persuasive as it might be, from the carelessness of the wearer, who often shews a fringe of his own hair beneath a neglect altogether unpardonable, when we consider that the wig on a lawyer's head is the refracting medium, in passing and repassing through which it was intended that all the sinuosities of the law should be made straight; and if it be put carelessly on, the natural and too frequent consequence is, that they come out ten times more twisted than before. For my part, whenever I am led into the neighbourhood of Lincoln's Inn, I always avoid jogging the arm of the servant whom I chance to meet carrying a square deal box by a brass handle, well knowing how much depends on the article it contains; and I can easily imagine the consternation of a late noble chief justice, who, on one of his circuits, when he arrived at the first place where his wig was in requisition, discovered that he had thrown it out of the carriage window on the road in a bandbox, mistaking it for a parcel of feminine paraphernalia.
In the library of St. John's college, Oxford, there is a picture of King Charles, the wig of which is formed entirely from the Psalms, written in a legible hand, which I suppose some loyal subject transcribed in his zeal for his master as Defender of the faith. I mention this for the sake of the hint that may be taken from it to promote the study of the law; and I would recommend that the picture of some renowned judge, with the Statutes at large written in his wig, should be hung up
in Westminster Hall for the benefit of those briefless Peripatetics, whose forensic talents are still wrapped up in a napkin. Leaving these sanctuaries of the law, what a variety presents itself to the eye of the philoplocamist!-First, the hypocritical, or imitative periwig, that "redolent of joy and youth," supplies the place of Nature's pepper-andsalt locks on the head of the quinquagenarian bachelor, who still delights" to court the fair and glitter with the gay," among whom it passes for a while as freehold property, till the unbroken repose of every curl, like the steady colour on a beauty's cheek, betrays at last that it is merely copyhold.-Then comes the "vix ea nostra voco," or whity-brown flaxen wig, that does not aspire to rivalry with Nature, nor yet altogether scorn the neatness of art, but hovering doubtfully between the two, presents much the same likeness to a head of hair, that the block on which it was made does to the head it was made for. Neatest of all is the philharmonic, or musician's jasy, that rises a scratch natural from the forehead, and terminates behind in a chorus of curls set in octaves, on and off of which the hat is most carefully moved for fear of creating discord, while a dislocated curl or a rebellious hair is adjusted with as much care as I suppose Cæsar displayed in the adjustment of his own locks in the Senate-House, which freed Cicero from half his fears for the ambitious spirit of the man, though to me it would have been a proof that some affair of importance was revolving in his head. Last, but not least, is the theological wig, whose unctuous conglomeration of hair, powder, and pomatum, round the occiput of the reverend wearer, seems calculated by the force of gravity to turn his views towards heaven, while of a summer's day the superfluity of fat, like the oil of Aaron's beard, "runs down even unto the skirts of his clothing."
As a man is always delighted when he meets with any thing that tends to support an hypothesis of his own, I was somewhat pleased with what occurred to me a short time back. Having stept into the shop of " an operator in the shaving line," after he had described the state of the weather for the last week, and settled that of the week to come; decided the war between the Turks and Greeks; stepped across the Hellespont and given Asia Minor to the Persians; walked with the Emperor Alexander to the East Indies; touched at Buenos Ayres on his return, and made a few changes in the Administration at home-when, I say, he had thus travelled round the world, while his razor was travelling over one half of my chin, during the time that he was engaged about the other half he entertained me with a dissertation on the criminal code; and upon closer inspection I found that he had covered a natural baldness with a counsel's old wig, from which, to make it more becoming, he had cut away the pendent curls with which they are usually decorated; and this was, no doubt, the cause of the disapprobation he expressed at so much hanging. At another time, when he had exchanged his legal for a clerical wig, he told me he was sorry to hear that by a late act a bishop could send a curate packing without warning or wages. I tried to convince him that curates had been gainers by that act; but to no purpose-he had a curate's wig and not a rector's.
In the course of these observations I have said nothing concerning the wigs of ladies, because as their only object can be the imitation of Nature, it would be a capital offence against the laws of politeness to
hint that their hair owes any thing to art, except the style of wearing it, which I certainly consider very tasty at present, and have often been caught by the two little curls that come twisting out from under the back of the bonnet, to hook the attention of gazers like myself, and give Parthian wounds as they fly. For my part, I am very well content to follow two curls and a pretty shape without splashing into the mud, perhaps, to be disappointed in the face, as I used to do when there were no curls behind: and now, a lady who does not choose to countenance an admirer, by dextrous movements may give him the slip, with the character of a "dem fin girl," only from the prepossessing effects of these two curls. There is, however, a kind of semiwig, commonly called a front, which is in great vogue under a bonnet or cap:-to any of my sex who may be smitten with a head of hair under such mysterious circumstances, I can only recommend the old adage-" Fronti nulla fides." M. R. Y.
LOVE AND FOLLY.
AMONG th' Olympian Chronicles I find-
This story, quite an antiquarian treasure,
But tagg'd with rhyme, and here I feel great pleasure
Love who had often thought it pretty sport
A place which Love, at that time, did not know;
And golden shafts, and peacock-feather'd wings,
Old parchments, rent-rolls, law-suits, jewels, chains, and rings.
Love laugh'd at all he saw; Folly look'd grave,
And preach'd about the wondrous riches there:
"Ha! ha!" says Love, "and are you Plutus' slave ?—
And, faith! I half believe it, for I'm very cold.
"I'm off!" But Folly seized him by the head,