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My intimacy with your publication, the “ MORAL AND LITERARY DISSERTATIONS," promising me much gratification, became established soon after I had the honour to address you last, and, contrary to the general consequence of raised expectations, it promised no more than it performed. Nothing can be more just than your general censure of the poetic violations of natural history. Yet, I confess, I think slight and skirmishing allusions to fabulous circumstances have often great beauty. Surely the philosopher should pardou them, when they happily serve the purposes of illustration and imagery. Lucretius has so elegantly, and with such an air of philosophic truth, accounted for what you tell us is an unexisting circumstance, the yellow vision of icteric patients, that a poet must be unwilling to renounce the fable as a source of allusion. Poetic taste surely welcomes it in Mr Hayley's animated couplet concerning the female poets of this country, in his Epistles on Epic POETRY,

« The bards of Britain, with unjaundic'd eyes,

Will glory to behold such rivals rise.”

Nor is the fable, if fable it be, less beautifully introduced in Thomson's Spring, where he describes the passion of jealousy,

“ The yellow-tinging plague Internal vision haunts.”

What poet scruples to describe an elegant diminutive female by the expression, fairy-form, or to impersonize unpropitious darkness by calling it --that witch, the night? We must not be too strict with the bards in our demands for the abolition of agreeable fables.. Sublime use has been frequently made, by them, of the unphilosophic and long-exploded idea, that the sun is a moving orb. “ He cometh forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run his course.” Spenser has clothed the same mistaken idea with yet more splendour...

“ And now the golden, oriental gate
Of highest heaven 'gan to open fair,
And Phæbus, fresh as bridegroom to his mate,
Came dancing forth, shaking his dewy hair,
And horld his glistering beams thro' gloomy air.”

And Milton,

“ Thou sun, of this great world both eye, and soul,
Acknowledge him thy greater.—Sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fallist.”

One of the most strikingly exceptionable violations of NATURAL HISTORY is committed by the generally so very accurate Thomson, whose allusions and descriptions are almost always as faithful to truth, as they are dear to beauty. This violation is found, in a very prominent point of view, even in the beauteous exordium to his SPRING. As Mr Aikin justly observes, that poem opens at the period in which the fairest of the seasons is, in tum, repressed by the roughness of winter, and triumphant over it; but that disceming critic, who makes such a point of fidelity to nature in descriptive writing, shews his partiality to Thomson, and desire of concealing every defect of his, by not pointing out the impropriety of the veil in this vernal personification. It ought to have been composed of the springflowers, primroses, violets, hyacincths, &c. instead of those shadowing roses which, in our climate, never appear before the end of June. SumMER might properly have been invoked to descend,“ veil'd in a shower of shadowing roses ;" but it is a gross anachronism to attire the SPRING in that ornament.

LETTER VI.

Rev. T. S. WHALLEY, ON THE CONTINENT.

Lichfield, March 1, 1785. It has lately, dear friend, been my lot again to suffer pained apprehension from seeing the dart of death shaken furiously over the weak frame of my aged father ; Sophia's, to mourn the extinction of her revived hopes ; and yours, to endure the anguish of losing your tenderly valued friend, in the flower of his youth. “Ah! is this all of thy Chatillion's story.” Mournful proof of life's instability!

In the severe disappointment which thus, to you and Mrs Whalley, casts the whole Continent into gloom; thus shrouds all the fair schemes you had planned of visiting, with this amiable and accomplished Savoyard, its varied scenes ; my best consolation is, that you are together, and have the power of devoting a portion of every day to the remembrance of him whom you have lost. Indifferent people must soon shew you their weari

. ness of a theme so melancholy; and even your friends, who did not know him, cannot take an interest so lively in those precious recollections, as will be mutually and equally shared by you. When Adam and Eve are exiled paradise, Mil

ton says,

“ They, hand in hand, with wandering steps, and slow,

Thro' Eden took their solitary way."

The little words, “ hand in hand,” steal, witlı balmy power, upon the pains of sensibility, while it contemplates that mournful banishment. Were I near you, I should strive to sooth, instead of using fruitless endeavours, by common-place arguments, to banish your grief. I should ask yon concerning Chatillion's person, his graces and his virtues. By making them habitually our theme, a lost friend seems not lost; he mingles in our conversation; we see him; we hear his voice; we make our friends see and listen to him ; and we imagine that his beatified spirit hovers over us; and that it is not among the least of its de lights to contemplate the affection, which thus consecrates his idea in the breast of those who were dearest to him upon earth, and to whom he will soon be reunited in that state, the happiness of which will find its perfection in the consciousness of its perpetuity.

The brilliant bard of Sussex lately sent me a beautifully Aattering impromptu from his new

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