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. Of this piece the subject, when mentioned, will convince those that write for the information of mankind at large, what danger attends the enunciation of universal propositions ; and how much credit with the public those have risked, who have taken upon them to maintain with pertinacity, that, at no period of his poetical life, Gray ever wrote verses on love. It is a little piece, somewhat of the Namby Pamby kind; wrought up in the manner of a song, and composed (if one may judge, from internal marks, of writings whose dates are purposely concealed) at the particular time of his life at which his enthusiasm for Italian poetry, and Italian music, raged most. He calls it a POETICAL RONDEAU ; a title which probably he would have altered afterwards, had he thought the piece worth avowing. Of the nature of the project (for so he modestly enough calls it,) together with the view which gave
rise to it, he gives the following account; at once tending to shew it to be somewhat singular, and proving the folly of him who, in this aged state of literary communication, shall say to himself,“Go to; I shall sit down, and write me something new."
“ I have often wondered,” says he, “ that the analogies of these sister arts “ (he had been speaking of Poetry and 6 Music) have not been more keenly tra“ ced out, and marked, with a view to 6 mutual transference. Each has many “ things in her budget, which she might “ give out occasionally in loan to the 66 other, without inconvenience to her“ self. Music, for instance, who is the “ more sprightly of the two, and more“ over the younger and handsomer—but “ let that be under the rose,)—having had “ a great many different lovers, some of “ them far-travelled, and very ton-ish, “ of course, has picked up, during the
6 time they have danced after her, a 56 world of little curiosities and trinkets, “ as well as things of more serious use, “ in the way of dress, ornament, &c. 56 with all which she occasionally tricks “ herself off, and makes, in them, I as“sure you, a charming sweet figure ; “ she has also had, now and then, a 66 pensive lover: but from them she has “ borrowed little else than serious man“ ner ; which she very quickly puts off “ again, lest, as she says, it spoil her flow “ of spirits. So much for Miss Music. “ Now for her sister; with whom, you “ must know, I am a little acquainted. “ She again is of a more steady deport“ ment; keeps her looks very well; has “no aversion to a frolic, now and then; 6 but, take notice, it must be with those 66 she is well acquainted with ; for she “ is more reserved' than her sister, and 5 sets up more on sense than sprightli“ ness. She, too, has had some lovers ; “ though she does not give them much “ encouragement, considering them, in “ general, as danglers, yet, of the few “ whom she esteemed, and thought she “ could trust, she has not disdained, now “ and then, to accept something in the “ way of remembrance, and even to wear “ it, occasionally, for their sake. Now, “ what I would have these two ladies do s is this. I would have each of them “ empty her drawers, and band-boxes,' “ throw all the things together, and turn “ the two wardrobes into one. By this “ means, as I told them, the things of “ each would, in effect, be doubled ; for “ the world is not to know. To this “ scheme the younger, who thought it a “ fine frolic, very readily agreed. The “ elder has asked time to think of it; “ and, in the mean time, has got, at my “ instigation, a milliner engaged to look
“ over her sister's things, and see which “ will fit her best. By particular desire * also of your humble servant, (nay don't “ look wise, for pon ’onnor,' there is “ nothing between us) she is to make “ her first experiment to-morrow, and “ come down to tea in a trim airy dress “ of her sister's, which I always liked on “ Miss Music, and which, I pledged my “ taste, would become her too.
“ Quo te Mæri pedes? you say---Well, “as you have been civil, and have put “ up your Maevi in your pocket, which “I grant you might have flung at me, “ though, mark, the quantity would have “ been out of measure---I say, as you have “ dealt by me like a civil gentleman, I “ am going to come down from my “ flights, and tell you shortly what I “ mean. Summa sequar fastigia rerum. “ A long and unintermitted enthusiasm “ for music has, you know, led, volventi“ bus annis, to the discovery of many