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Roses of varied hues,--all climbing shrubs,
Green leaved and fragrant, had she planted

And trees of slender body, fruit and flower;
At early morn had watered, and at eve,
From a bright fountain nigh, that ceaselessly
Gushed with a gentle coil from out the earth,
Its liquid diamonds flinging to the sun
With a soft whisper. To a graceful arch,
The pliant branches, intertwined, were bent;
Flowers some,---and some rich fruits of gor-
geous hues,

Down hanging lavishly, the taste to please,
Or, with rich scent, the smell,---or that fine

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Breathing profusely all,-and, having reached
The spot beloved, with sport, or dance awhile
On the small lawn, to sound of dulcimer,
The pleasant time would pass; or to the lute
Give ear delighted, and the plaintive voice
That sang of hapless love: or, arm in arm,
Amid the twilight saunter, listing oft
The fountain's murmur, or the evening's sigh,
Or whisperings in the leaves,-or, in his pride
Of minstrelsy, the sleepless nightingale
Flooding the air with beauty of sweet sounds:
And, ever as the silence came again,
The distant and unceasing hum could hear
Of that magnificent city, on all sides
Surrounding them. But oft with one alone,
One faithful, favoured maiden, would she come;
At early morn sometimes, while every flower,
In diamonds glittering, with its proud weight

When through the glistering trees the golden


Aslant their bright flood poured, and every bird
In his green palace sitting sang aloud,
And all the air with youthful fragrance teemed,
Fresh as at Nature's birth :-her pastime then,
The flowers to tend,--to look the sky,--
And on the earth,-and drink the perfumed

And in the gladness of all things be glad.
But in the placid twilight hour of eve
Not seldom came they: Dara then the harp,
Or dulcimer would touch; or, happier still,
His words of love into her listening ear
Distil with sweeter music than from string,
Or breathing pipe, though sweet.'

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After quoting the above, our readers will be enabled to judge of the author's power of language and versification. Mr. Atherstone is evidently a writer of the first ability, and the design of his present Poem appears to be a great and happy one. We warn him against aiming too much at smoothness in over-ornaAn epic poem menting his verse. must entirely depend for success on a sort of regal grandeur in its language, and the most noble simplicity of exalted sentiment. The taste of the age is, perhaps, unfitted to give extensive popularity to a composition, depending for its praise on such characteristics; but no epic can be tolerated without them; and it would be a hopeless task in an author to eudeavour a successful union between the style which would please popular readers and that fitted for an epic. Mr. Atherstone, we doubt not, will be found, when his poem is complete,

to have avoided the errors of such an attempt; and we look forward with pleasure to the appearance of the remainder of his Nineveh.


He only in whose ample breast
Nature hath true inherent genius pour'd,

The praise of wisdom may contest;

Not they who, with loquacious learning stor'd,

Like crows and chattering jays, with clamorous cries,

Pursue the bird of Jove, that sails along the skies.-WEST'S Pindar.

THE great difference which prevails among mankind in intellectual abilities and attainments, is attributed by philosophers to various causes. Of the diversity of mental capacity, one reason indeed, is obvious: that Providence, in its wisdom, has allotted to different creatures, different powers, not only in their specific, but in their individual natures. The individual distinction, however, does not obtain to the extent which is generally believed; and many, who are sensible of their deficiency in this respect, have frequently more cause to ascribe it to themselves than to their Maker; because, though undoubtedly some have greater advantages than others for the improvement of the intellectual faculties, few endeavour so far as they are able, and with the opportunities which they possess, to strengthen or refine the understand ing.

Many who, for the support of life, always adhere to the same track, compelled by necessity, or led by accident, are often obliged to want the invaluable benefits of a liberal education and polished society, and many, who, by their external circumstances, or the smiles of fortune, might be enabled to enjoy those blessings, are equally precluded from them by casualties of a peculiar na ture; by the objections of a particular sect in religion to which they may be united, by avaricious motives, or the ignorant apprehension that those who should gain the knowledge of life, may recede from the paths of virtue; that those who partake of the elegances and gaieties of refinement are rendered unfit for the accumulation of wealth, for the cares of domestic life, or the sober sphere of active usefulness.

But those who are debarred, except to a very limited degree, from the advantages of good society, are generally for the same reasons deprived of the endowments of literature. Real genius, however, accompanied by good sense, will break through the trammels of circumstance, undismayed by privations, unchecked by obstacles; and will proceed so far without foreign assistance, to clear away the mists of ignorance and prejudice with which it is encompassed, as to open to itself a prospect in which the intellectual vision can repose with security, satisfaction, and delight; in which it can discern the travellers up the ascent of knowledge, though favoured by more propitious fortune, and consequently passing above it, some incited by hope, and others supported by application, yet few more ardent in the pursuit, and none making more rapid advances. In this laudable progress, when mindful of its particular condition, it never rejects with contempt the counsels of a friend, or vainly assumes to itself that which it has no right to adopt, and no ability to support. Its deportment is characterized by affability without loquacity, modesty without servility, a disposition to listen to the decision of more experienced judges; a willingness to arrive at truth, but without the compromise of principle, or the degradation of subserviency. Its knowledge of things appears to be gained by intuition, its ideas of right and wrong almost without reflection; and those whom chance has brought within its influence, derive from it such assistance and gratification, as induce attention and homage, and excite that applause and veneration which the more sensible part of the community are always found ready

to confer on merit, however dignified, or however depressed.

The man of sense and genius, by his superior powers in the comprehension of what to others may appear difficult or abstruse, is less liable to the admiration of what is great and splendid; to that inquisitiveness in the investigation of truth, or to that loquacity in the display of his know ledge, for which persons of more ordinary capacities, though great pretenders to science, are remarkable, He is, indeed, frequently distinguished by a natural taciturnity; since what to him can be the use of an exuberance of words about things, whose nature is to his understanding so easy of perception? He measures the perspicuity of others by his own; and therefore hesitates, through motives of delicacy, to relieve their hebetude, or through ignorance of their insufficiency, fancies they are equally sagacious with himself.

As genius is sometimes united with pride, so is it often conjoined with vanity, the characters of both of which are extremely distinct; for according to an observation of Swift, a man may be too proud to be vain. The proud man of genius acts with regard to others in nearly the same manner as the character just described, but with this difference; that what the latter does from motives of ignorance or delicacy, the former does chiefly by design. The vain man of genius may sometimes gain applause from the ignorant and illiterate, but frequently meets with ridicule and contempt from the wise; for the generality of mankind are more willing to listen to the dictates of good sense unaccompanied by genius, than to the precepts of genius without good sense. He will, therefore, after several ineffectual attempts to extort regard from the most reputable quarter, rather than forego the darling object of his pursuit, shrink back into more congenial society, where he can be made president of their assemblies, looked up to as a prodigy of excellence, chosen umpire of disputes, or guide in their 54 ATHENEUM, VOL. 9, 2d series.

counsels; where he can pass his jokes and his witticisms without fear of restraint or interruption except from the bursts of applause which they elicit. He, like Cæsar, would rather be first in the second, than second in the first, class of the community. His incessant study is rather the exaltation of himself than the benefit of others. He regards with invidious jealousy the pretensions of any one of his associates, who prompted by his success in the acquisition of honour and homage, or by the hope of transcendency, may set himself up as a competitor.

To be considered a man of genius is of such great importance and gratification to some, that the reality has naturally given rise to imitators, and has called forth pretenders in the art of pleasing, but little qualified, from want of the requisite talents in method or in substance: such persons try every plan that can be imagined to attract the attention of their company, excite merriment, or provoke laughter; but their ignorance of things, and their awkward address, generally conspire to obscure that sunshine of approbation which they had contemplated would burst forth after the sudden and copious emission of all the pretty things which they had treasured up to amuse. This disposition, however, is not always the most conspicuous trait in their character. To be held an adept in literature, in poetry, history, classical learning, in short, in the whole compass of science, is a consideration with them tantamount to that of the possession of genius. To effect their purpose, where deficiency is felt, recourse is had to stratagem.

THRASO possesses some parts, but very little learning. When young he was sent to a public school in the north, where he was instructed in little else than the common rudiments of a plain English education. By the general consent of his teachers, however, he was regarded as a prodigy of skill, because he could parse with ease and correctness a supposed difficult sentence in an English au

thor, and could solve a question in Double Position by the rule of Algebra. Flattered and caressed by his schoolfellows, young Thraso soon began to assume the airs of conceit, and the arrogance of imagined superiority; believing no head so wise, and no talents so powerful as his With such endowments and such vanities, he continued to attract regard until the time arrived that he was to leave school; when it was not to be wondered if his masters, equally foolish, should have recommended him to a situation in which he might indulge, as they termed it, the bent of his genius and his taste for litera



When eighteen years old, he was admitted into an office where he was surprised to find others of superior capacity and attainments. Some were ready at quotations, though they seldom indulged in them, from Greek, Roman, and other classical writers. Others were adepts in music and painting, and could almost rival a Braham in the "mellow energies of song." Thraso, as he was equally a stranger to all these acquirements, as well as ignorant of their different degrees of excellence, conceived that he wanted no requisite for equal clearness, and equal fame, but a little initiatory instruction, and courage for the exhibition of his powers, whenever an opportunity should offer itself. He there fore commenced to learn with assiduity so much of the Greek and Latin authors as would qualify him, by the quantity and variety of his quotations, for the display of his proficiency in classical learning. Of music and singing, and other light accomplishments, he expected to be quite master in a short time, by devoting for a month one hour in the day to the former, and half that time to the latter. His music-master had often told him that he had no ear for music, and no voice for singing; nevertheless, he was determined to surmount, if possible, every impediment, when he reflected on the pleasure he should experience from the applause

of his auditors, as soon as he commenced operations before them.

No sooner had he conceived himself sufficiently accomplished, than he set out on his expedition of vanity, with all the flush of expectation, dignity of self-importance, and pretended sagacity of an amateur. In order that in whatever company he happened to fall, his quotations might be apt, and his allusions witty, he resolved whenever the conversation did not suit his designs, to turn it, if possible, to a point that would suit his purpose. When there happened to be a warm discussion, and the opinions of the disputants to be very discordant, Thraso would relieve the obstinacy of opposition, by observ ing, with a very consequential air, "but you know, gentlemen, quot homines, tot sententia," looking meanwhile at every countenance for that flattering approbation to which such a display of learning undoubtedly entitled him.

If the subject of physiognomy be introduced, and whether the visage be a true index of the mind, Thraso, in endeavouring to hit the right nail upon the head, remarks that it is not as one of the Latin poets, he thinks Sallust, decides the question by saying, Fronti nulla fides. The smiles of ridicule consequent to such blunders, his vanity will sometimes lead him to mistake for praise, of which every repetition tends to embolden future attempts to shine; so that we have him continually interrupting ar gumentative discussion, or convivial jollity, by ostentatious interlocutions, or an express desire to sing a song. He has been known to repeat the same anecdote fifteen different times in nearly the same words. If oue well qualified for narrative, begins a tale for general entertainment, with which Thraso should happen to have been already acquainted, he will wrest it from the mouth of the speaker, and give it himself; which he generally does with such hurry and force of gesture, and confusion of statements, by anticipating the event, that at the close the effect is deaden

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ly promoted by giving to the rising
generation, a better grounded, and
more solid, but less extended educa-
tion; an education that would, at
least, deter the inexperienced from
falling into the follies so much to be
deprecated, of vanity, pride, and
conceit; and occasion the justness
of the lines in Pope to be less fre-
quently verified:

"A little learning is a dangerous thing,
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
Their shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
But drinking largely sobers us again," &c.

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THE far-stretching Nilus one chrysolite seems,
And bright is the heav'n from his bosom that beams;
But ne'er hath his billow reflected before

A form so divine, as approaches his shore.

Like the star that first gems the still brow of the night,
She comes-and her maidens are lost in her light;
Like that star gliding down to the slumbering wave
She hastens her pearly-pure bosom to lave.

But, daughter of Pharaoh! the boast of the land!
What spell now arrests that fleet foot in the sand?

Why bends that keen eye o'er the flags spreading yonder?
Why cluster, ye damsels, in silence around her?

Chills the crocodile-god that pure bosom with fear?
Or is crocodile-man with his wiles lurking near?
No-staid is that footstep, and staid is that eye,
But of danger she dreains not-no danger is nigh.
"Tis yon garlanded skiff, by the brink of the stream,
Like the cloud-built pagoda of day's dying beam-
Like the fairy-fraught car o'er the moon-beam that strays,
Has flutter'd her bosom, and fetter'd her gaze.

And her maidens have sped with the fleetness of thought,
And the trophy, triumphant, before her have brought;

'Tis of bulrushes built, and betokens an art

That is Nature's alone-that but springs of the heart.

So goodly the casket, oh! who may divine

The price of the jewel that's treasured within!

"Tis display'd-a sweet babe, while she looks, looks again,
And the innocent wept, and he wept not in vain.

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