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is a letter to me, occasioned by an ode written by my Lapland lover; this correspondent is so kind as to translate another of Scheffer's songs in a very agreeable manner. I publish them together, that the young and old may sind something in the same paper which may be suitable to their respective tastes in solitude; for I know no fault in the description of ardent desires, provided they are honourable.
* \ 7 OU have obliged me with a very kind letter; by 'j[ which I sind you shift the scene of your lite
* from the town to the country, aud enjoy that mixt 'state which wise men both delight in, and arequalisied
* for. Methinks most of the philosophers and moralists 'have run too much into extremes, in praising intirely 'either solitude or public life; in the former men ge
* nerally grow useless by too much rest, and in the latter 'are destroyed by too much precipitation: As waters, « lying still, putrify and are good for nothing ; and run'ning violently on, do but the more mischief in their
* passage to others, and are swallowed up and lost the « fooner themselves. Those who, like you, can make 'themselves useful to all states, mould be like gentle « streams, that not only glide through lonely vales and
* forests amidst the flocks and shepherds, but visit po« pulous towns in their course, and are at once of or
* nament and service to them. But there is another sort 'of people who seem designed for solitude, those 1 mean 'who have more to hide than to shew : As for my own 'part, I am one of those of whom Seneca says, 1am um« brattles funt, ut putent in lurbido effe quicquid in luce ist. 'Some men, like pictures, are sitter for a corner than. 'a full light; and I believe such as have a natural bent « to solitude, are like waters which may be forced into 'fountains, and exalted to a great height, may make a * much nobler sigure, and a much louder noise, but 'after all run more smoothly, equally and plentifully, in 'their own natural course upon the ground. The con'sideration of this would make me very well contented 'with the possession only of that quiet which Cnvley 'calls the companion of obscurity; but whoever has
'the • the muses too for his companions, can never be idle N? 407 Tuesday, June 17.
• enough to be uneasy. Thus, Sir, you fee I would flat
• ter myself into a good opinion of my own way of
• living : Plutarch just now told me, that 'tis in human 'life as in a ^ame at tables, one may wish he had the
• highest cast, but if his chance be otherwise, he is even « to play it as well as he can, and make the best of it.
I am, S I R,
Tour most obliged,
and most bumble servant*
* HpHE town being so well pleased with the sine
* JL picture of artless love, which Nature inspired
* the Laplander to paint in the ode you lately printed; 'we were in hopes that the ingenious translator would
* have obliged it with the other also which Scheffer has 'given us; but since he has not, a much inserior hand 'has ventur'd to fend you this,
'It is a custom with the northern lovers to divert
* themselves with a song, whilst they journey through "the fenny moors to pay a visit to their mistresses. This 'is addressed by the lover to his rain-deer, which is the 'creature that in thatcountry supplies the want of horses. 'Thecircumstances which successively present themselves 'to him in his way, are, I believe you will think, na'turally interwoven. The anxiety of absence, the 'gloominess of the roads, and his resolution of fre
* quenting only those, since those only can carry him to 'the object of his desires; the dissatisfaction he ex'presses even at the greatest swiftness with which he is 'carried, and his joyful surprise at an unexpected sight 'of his mistress as me is bathing, seem beautifully de
* scribed in the original.
'If all those pretty images of rural nature are loÆ 'in the imitation, yet possibly you may think sit to let this supply the place of a long letter, when want of leisure ar indisposition for writing will not permit our being entertained by your own nand. I propose such a time, because tho' it is natural to have a fondness for what one does one's self, yet I assure you I
- ' would
« would not have any thing of mine displace a single 'line of yours.
'HaJ!c, my rain-deer, and let us nimbly go
Our amorous journey through this dreary waste;
haste my rain-deer! still.still thou art too flow, JmpUuous love demands the lightnings haste.
Around us far the rujhy moors are spread:
Soon vjill thesun 'withdraw his chearful ray:
Darkling and tir'd we jhall the marjhes tread,
The tuat'ry -length of these unjoyous moors
Does all theflow'ry meadows pride excel; Through theje I fly to her my soul adores;
Te flow'ry meadows, empty pride, farewel.
Each moment from the charmer I'm confln'd,
F/y, my rain-deer, fly swifter than the wind,
Our pleafing toil will then be soon o'erpaid,
/jnd thou, in wonder lost, jhalt 'view my fair, Admire each foature of the lovely maid, . Her artless charms, her bloom, her sprightly air.
But h ! with graceful motion there jhe swims.
Gently removing each ambitious wave;
When, when, oh when jhatl I such freedoms have!
In vain ye envious streams, so fastye flow,
To hide her from a lover's ardent gaze: i'tom every tiuch you n.ore transparent grow,
/.ed all rt veaVd the -beauteous wanton plays. T
- abest sacundis gratia diSiis.
Ovid. Met. 1. 13. v. 127.'
Eloquent words a graceful manner want.
MOST foreign writers who have given any character of the Englijh nation, whatever vices they ascribe to it, allow in general, that the people are naturally modest. It proceeds perhnps from this our national virtue, that our orators are observed to make use of less gesture or action than those of other countries. Our preachers stand stock still in the pulpit, and will not so much as move a ringer to set off the best sermons in the world. We meet with the fame speaking statues at our bars, and in all public places of debate. Our words flow from us in a smooth continued stream, without those strainings of the voice, motions of the body, and majesty of the hand, which are so much celebrated in the orators of Greece and Rome. We can talk of life and death in cold blood, and keep our temper in a discourse which turns upon every thing that is dear to us. Though our zeal breaks out in the sinest tropes and sigures, it is not able to ftir a limb about us. 1 have heard it observed more than once by those who have seen Italy, that an untravelled Englijbman cannot relish all the beauties of Italian pictures, because the postures which are expressed, in them are often such as are peculiar to that country. One who has not seen an Italian in the pulpit, will not know what to make of that noble gesture in Raphael's picture of St. Paul preaching at Athens, where the apostle is represented as lifting up both his arms, and pouring out the thunder of his rhetoric amidst an audience of Pagan philosophers,
It is certain that proper gestures and vehement exertions of the voice cannot be too much studied by a public orator. They are a kind of comment to what
he utters, and ensorce every thing he fays, with weak hearers, better than the strongest argument he can make use of. They keep the audience awake, and six their attention to what is delivered to them, at the fame time that they shew the speaker is in earnest, and affected himself with what he so passionately recommends to others Violent gesture and vociferation naturally shake the hearts of the ignorant, and sill them with a kind of religious horror. Nothing is more frequent than to fee women weep and tremble at the sight of a moving preacner, tho' he is placed quite out of their hearing; as in England we very frequently fee people lulled asleep with solid and elaborate discourses of piety, who would be warmed and transported out of themselves by the bellowing and distortions of enthusiasm.
If nonsense, when accompanied with such au emotion of voice and body, has such an influence on mens minds, what might we not expect from many of those admirable discourses which are printed in our tongue, were they delivered with a becoming fervour, and with the most agreeable graces-of voice and gesture?
We are told that the great Latin orator very much impaired his health by tbis laterum contentio, this vehemence of action, with which he used to deliver himself. The Greek orator was likewise so very famous for this particular in rhetoric, that one of his antagonists, whom he had banished from Athens, reading over the oration which had procured his banishment, and seeing his friends admire it, could not forbear asking them, if they were so much affected by the bare reading of it, how much more they would have been alarmed, had they heard him actually throwing out such a storm of eloquence.
How cold and dead a figure, in comparison of these two great men, does an orator often make at the Britijh bar, holding up his head, with the most insipid serenity, and stroking the sides of a long' wig that reaches down to his middle ? The truth of it is, there is often nothing more ridiculous than the gestures of zxiEnglijb speaker; yon see some of them running their hands into their pockets as far as ever they can thrust them, and others looking with great attention on a piece of paper that has no
Vot. VI. C thing