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attended with a disagreeable sensation. In imbibing the first rudiments of education, we acquire, as it were, another ear for the numbers of Greek and Latin poetry, and this being reserved entirely for the sounds and significations of the words that constitute those dead languages, will not easily accommodate itself to the sounds of our vernacular tongue, though conveyed in the same time and measure. In a word, Latin and Greek have annexed to them the ideas of the ancient measure, from which they are not easily disjoined. But we will venture to say, this difficulty might be surmounted by an effort of attention and a little practice; and in that case we should in time be as well pleased with English as with Latin hexameters.
Sir Philip Sydney is said to have miscarried in his essays ;* but his miscarriage was no more than that of failing in an attempt to introduce a new fashion. The failure was not owing to any defect or imperfection in the scheme, but to the want of taste, to the irresolution and ignorance of the public. Without all doubt the ancient measure, so different from that of modern poetry, must have appeared remarkably uncouth to people in general who were ignorant of the classics; and nothing but the countenance and perseverance of the learned could reconcile them to the alteration. We have seen several late specimens of English hexameters and sapphics, so happily composed, that by attaching them to the idea of ancient measure, we found them in all respects as melodious and agreeable to the ear as the works of Virgil and Anacreon, or Horace.
* ["Spenser himself affects the Obsolete,
And Sidney's verso halts all on Roman feet."-POPE.
For a specimen, Dr. Warton quotes the following from the · Arcadia :'
“If the spheres senseless do yet hold a music,
If the swan's sweet voice be not heard, but at death,
Yieldeth a lute's tune."]
Though the number of syllables distinguishes the nature of the English verse from that of the Greek and Latin, it constitutes Deither harmony, grace, nor expression. These must depend upon the choice of words, the seat of the accent, the pause, and the cadence. The accent, or tone, is understood to be an elevation or sinking of the voice in reciting: the pause is a rest, that divides the verse into two parts, each of them called a hemistich. The pause and accent in English poetry vary occasionally, according to the meaning of the words; so that the hemistich does not always consist of an equal number of syllables, and this variety is agreeable, as it prevents a dull repetition of regular stops, like those in the French versification, every line of which is divided by a pause exactly in the middle. The cadence comprehends that poetical style which animates every line, that propriety which gives strength and expression, that numerosity which renders the verse smooth, flowing, and harmonious, that significancy which marks the passions, and in many cases makes the sound an echo to the sense. The Greek and Latin languages, in being copious and ductile, are susceptible of a vast variety of cadences, which the living languages will not admit; and of these the reader of any ear will judge for himself. We shall only mention a few that are remarkably striking* The following from Denham's Cooper's Hill,' has been admired and imitated, as full, flowing, and sonorous. Speaking of the river Thames :
“ O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example as it is my theme;
• The poet Vida describes the last groan of our Saviour in these words :
"Supremrmque aurum, ponens caput, expiravil.”
There cannot be a better specimen of the swift cadence, than this line of Milton:
Light as the lightning's glimpse, they ran, they flew"
DESCRIPTION OF A Wow-wow.t
I am one of those unhappy mortals who are retired from the fatigues of business in town, to be tired and fatigued for want of business in the country. While I was in trade, I always languished for retirement; now that is obtained, I long for business again. The air which I thought conveyed the blessings of health and vigor, the flowers that regaled every sense, and the babbling streams that I doted on with rapture, are all become insipid.
I spurn at these, and throw them aside as a boy does his toys; and like him, feel no satisfaction but in the hope of obtaining others that are new. May we not, then, say that all our happiness is centred in expectation, and, like a coy mistress, ever flies before us?
Tired of a village life and of myself, I flew for refuge to the country town, whence I date this letter, there hoping to share the mean between London and the country, and to variegate life, and partake of the pleasures both of business and retirement; but here I am again disappointed. The only diversion, and indeed almost the only business of this place, is going to the Wow-wow.
[This series of papers terminated here, before, as we may believe, the original design with which they commenced was finished.]
+ [This pleasant paper, with the two succeeding ones, originally appeared in the Public Ledger, a daily paper, established in January, 1760, by Newbery, of St. Paul's Church-yard, and have never before been collected.]
When first I arrived here, I called at a gentleman's house to whom I was recommended by a friend in London, when a servant who came to the door, told me it was impossible I could speak to his master then, for he was just gone to the Wow-wow. My wife being indisposed, I sent for an eminent apothecary, but be not coming immediately, I flew with impatience to his house, where finding his spouse, and telling her my wife's case, she cried, "Poor lady, I am sorry for her, and wish, sir, you had happened to come a little sooner, for Mr. * * * would certainly have waited on her, but he is just gone to the Wow-wow." A tradesman who has gained money enough in town to retire, and commence gentleman in the country, thinks himself entitled to as much respect, perhaps, as those who make larger claims, and I own I found myself piqued at this behavior.
Thus disconcerted, I made for my inn, but passing by a tradesman's shop whence I had ordered some goods, I called to pay him. Here I saw only two boys at shuttlecock, to whom I told my business. They were too earnestly engaged to give me any other answer, but that if I wanted to pay any money there I must go to the Wow-wow.
Arriving at the inn, I found my wife a little recovered, and therefore rang for dinner : “ Lord, my dear,” says she, “it is to no purpose to ring, for you can get no dinner here; the master of the house is cook himself, and not expecting company so late, the drawer says he is just gone to the Wow-wow, which I suppose is the next market town." At this instant entered my landlord with an affected air of complaisance; but notwithstanding he had set his features to the semblance of a smile, I could perceive he was out of humor at being sent for.
After dinner, curiosity led me to see this wonderful place of entertainment, this Wow-wow, and I made my inquiry accordingly; but I should have missed the place of rendezvous, if I had not been directed to it by a number of women who were catechi. sing a man, who it seems had made a little mistake; and instead of going to the midwife as he had been directed, had strolled into the Wow-wow, which I found, to my surprise, was a confused heap of people of all denominations assembled at a public house to read newspapers, and to hear the tittle-tattle of the day.
When I entered, the first object that engaged my attention was a middle-aged man seated above the rest, who, with a pipe in one hand and a piece of chalk in the other, was rectifying the mistakes made by several generals engaged in the present war.
“ Finck,"* says he, was a fool to do as he has done; do you think I would have suffered Daun to have cooped me up in this manner? Here lay his army; Daun's was there, and there, and there (still chalking the table). Now here lies a morass as big as ours in the dike-mead; he should have drawn his men off here, and guarded this pass, and all had been right; but he was either a fool or fee'd to do as he has done. There is bribery in other countries I find as well as in ours."
He had scarcely finished, when another, taking up a newspaper, read a paragraph, importing that a squadron of Dutch menof-war were seen with their flag flying in Pondicherry harbor. This brought on the question whether Pondicherry was in Europe or America, which was debated with such warmth by some of the company, that we should certainly have had a war at the Wowwow, had not an Oxford scholar, led there by curiosity, pulled a new magazine out of his pocket, in which he said there were some pieces extremely curious and that deserved their attention. He then read the adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves,f to the entire
*[The Prussian general who, in November 1759, surrendered with his whole army to the Austrians under General Daun at Maxer.]
+[The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves first appeared in various numbers of the British Magazine, a work established by Smollett, in 1760. “Smol