« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
sess the means of affording them succour, when that suca cour is most wanted.
In the unfortunate affair of the 19th of last month, it must be remembered that this excellent officer was victorious, though he was afterwards obliged to relinquith the advantages he had gained. This affords no ground for censure; it was the fortune of war, against which no mortal can provide !
The losses of that day, however, were redeemed by the action of the ad of October, in which the subject of our Memoir bore a most distinguished part. The battle (horrible to think) lasted from fix o'clock in the morning till fix in the evening. During this interval he was unceasing in his activity, and contributed, in an eminent degree, to the succefs of this bloody contest. He is spoken of by the Duke of YORK, in the Gazette, in terms of the most unreserved approbation. The panegyric, indeed, is likewise extended to lieutenant-general Dundas, in conjunction with himself, and is too remarkable to be here omitted:
“ The points where this well fought battle was principally contested, were (says His Royal Highness) from the sea-shore, in front of Egmont, extending along the sandy desert or hills, to the heights above Bergen ; and it was sustained by the BRITISH COLUMNS, under the command of those highly distinguished officers Sir RALPH ABERCROMBIE, and Lieutenant-general Dundas, whose exertions, as well as the gallantry of the brave troops they led, cannot have been surpased by any former instance of BRITISH VALOUR.''
Before we close this Sketch, it may be proper to mention, that this great officer appears to have been in the very heat of the engagement for he had two horses Shot under him! How imminent, therefore, must have been his danger! How much would it have been regretted, had the future services of this brave general been lost to his country! His escape then is most un
doubtedly a matter of rejoicing, and we congratulate the public on the event. Long may he live, and extensive may be his usefulness in advancing the true welfare and real prosperity of Britain!
Such is our brief Memoir of Sir RALPH ABERCROMBIE, whose talents and virtues every inpartial reader must applaud. We most sincerely regret the slaughter by which the reduction of Holland is attended. But we are not so unjust as to deny the tribute of applause to the merits of an officer, who by his courage and skill on other great occasions, has ensured to himself our admiration.
some lergth, descanted. Their nature and ten. dency were explained, nor were their merits disregarded. The high and lofty tone which this kind of poetry assumes, was also mentioned; and specimens. brought forward for the instruction and entertainment of our readers.
We now, therefore, proceed to the Epodes, between which and the Odes little difference obtains. The former are rather upon a lower key, but yet full of beau,
ciful strokes and excellent imagery. They breathe the fame divine spirit by which the other works of Horace are impregnated, and for which they have always been so much and so justly admired.
It is amusing to examine the various conjectures which the learned have offered on the origin of the term Epode. That it is involved in a degree of obfcurity must be confessed; but we have diverted ourselves by recollecting the labyrinths of controyersy in which the cnquirer has been involved.
Some grammarians have contended, that these poems were called Epodes, because in the first ten of them a short verse succeeds a longer ; but this trait, in general, belongs to all kinds of poetry. Others say, that as the Grecian Epode closed the song, fo, in Latin poetry, the fense is here concluded by the short verse, which folJows the longer. But this is not true in fact. The Grecians, indeed, divided their ode into three parts, Strophe, Antistrophe, and Epode; but the Latins have no such parts in their poems. We may therefore fairly infer, that the Romans had no right to the title which is here adopted.
A commentator of HORACE, however, has displayed his critical sagacity in wisely supposing that the term Epode is given to this book, because some exceptionable pieces are contained in it. But surely this is a reason which can by no means be admitted; for the reprobated parts are not so numerous as to entitle this of the Poet's writings to ļo much infamy.
Mr. FRANCIS, the ingenious translator of Ho. RACE, suggests, with great probability, that these Odes' were collected after our Poet's death, and added to his other productions. Hence they were called Epodes,, or the Book after the Odes. This circumstance also, in his opinion, accounts for its inequality, a trait by which it undoubtedly stands characterized. There are, notwithstanding, many very pleasing parts, in which the playfulness and hilarity of the Poet are dis
to the eye.
cernible. Every classic reader of taste will admit the truth of our observation, which, indeed, cannot be seriously disputed.
A variety of passages from the Epodes might be se lected; but we will confine ourselves to ONE ENTIRE EPODE, from which it will appear that our commen, datory remarks are not without foundation.
The second E pode is entitled The Praise's of a Country Life; a favourite topic with the poets in all ages and all nations of the world. We will select it in difținet passages, that its beauties may be more apparent
The happiness of such a life is thus described at the commencement of the poem :
Like the first mortals, bleft is HE,
And the loud science of the bar abjures. The employments of the rural character are then thus pleasingly delineated :
Sometimes his marriageable vines
Sometimes beneath an ancient thade,
And with its murmurs courts him to repose. The Poet next proceeds to specify the Amusements of the Field, which have always been in great repute, with the more rural classes of society :
But when the rain and snows appear,
To catch the stranger crane, or tim'rous hare. Having thus sketched, with masterly hand, these enjoyments; he then, with exquisite delicacy, compliments Domestic Life in these animated strains :
But if a chaste and virtuous wife
No more should curious oysters please,