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them, and ambled in a country dance as notably as the best of them.
May all his majesty's liege subjects love him as well as his good people of this his ancient borough! Adieu !
No 617. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1714.
Torva Mimalloneis implêrunt cornua bombis, Et raptuna vitulo caput ablatura superbo Bassaris, et lyncem Mænas flexura corymbis, Evion ingeminat; reparabilis adsonat Echo -PER. Sat. i. 99. Their crooked horns the Mimallonian crew With blasts inspir’d; and Bassaris, who slew The scornful calf, with sword advanced on high, Made from his neck his haughty head to fly. And Mænas, when, with ivy-bridles bound, She led the spotted lynx, then Evion rung around, Evion from woods and floods repeating Echo's sound.-DRYDEN. There are two extremities in the style of humour, one of which consists in the use of that little pert phraseology which I took notice of in my last paper; the other in the affectation of strained and pompous expressions, fetched from the learned languages. The first savours too much of the town; the other of the college.
As nothing illustrates better than example, I shall here present my reader with a letter of pedantic humour, which was written by a young gentleman of the university to his friend, on the same occasion, and from the same place, as the lively epistle published in my last Spectator :
· DEAR CHUM*, • It is now the third watch of the night, the great* A cant word for a chamber-companion and bedfellow at college.
est part of which I have spent round a capacious bowl of china, filled with the choicest products of both the Indies. I was placed at a quadrangular table, diametrically opposite to the mace-bearer. The visage of that venerable herald was, according to custom, most gloriously illuminated on this joyful occasion. The mayor and aldermen, those pillars of our constitution, began to totter; and if any one at the board could have so far articulated, as to have demanded intelligibly a reinforcement of liquor, the whole assembly had been by this time extended under the table.
• The celebration of this night's solemnity. was opened by the obstreperous joy of drummers, who, with their parchment thunder, gave a signal for the appearance of the mob under their several classes and denominations. They were quickly joined by the melodious clank of marrowbones and cleavers, whilst a chorus of bells filled up the concert. A pyramid of stack-fagots cheered the hearts of the populace with the promise of a blaze; the guns had no sooner uttered the prologue, but the heavens were brightened with artificial meteors and stars of our own making; and all the High-street lighted up from one end to another with a galaxy of candles. We collected a largess for the multitude, who tippled eleemosynary until they grew exceeding vocife
There was a pasteboard pontiff, with a little swarthy demon at his elbow, who, by his diabolical whispers and insinuations, tempted his holiness into the fire, and then left him to shift for himself. The mobile were very sarcastic with their clubs, and gave the old gentleman several thumps upon his triple head-piece*. Tom Tyler's phiz is something damaged by the fall of a rocket, which hath almost spoiled the
gnomon of his countenance. The mirth * "Che pope's tiara, or triple mitre.
of the commons grew so very outrageous, that it found work for our friend of the quorum, who, by the help of his amanuensis, took down all their names and their crimes, with a design to produce his manuscript at the next quarter sessions, &c. &c. &c.'
I shall subjoin to the foregoing piece of a letter the following copy of verses translated from an Italian poet, who was the Cleveland of his age, and had multitudes of admirers. The subject is an accident that happened under the reign of Pope Leo, when a fire-work, that had been prepared upon the castle of St. Angelo, began to play before its time, being kindled by a flash of lightning. The author hath written his poem in the same kind of style as that I have already exemplified in prose. Every line in it is a riddle, and the reader must be forced to consider it twice or thrice, before he will know that the Cynic's tenement is a tub, and Bacchus's cast-coat a hogshead, &c.
* 'Twas night, and heaven, a Cyclops all the day,
The pile, still big with undiscover'd shows,
Whence giants sally, and invade the skies. * The following copy of verses is a translation from the Latin in Strada's Prolusiones Academicæ, &c. and an imitation originally of the style and manner of Camillo Querno, surnamed the Arch-poet. His character and his writings were equally singular; he was poet and buffoon to Leo X., and the common butt of that facetious pontiff and bis courtiers. See:Stradæ Prolusiones, Oxon. 1745, p. 244; and Bayle's Dictionary, art. Leo X.
Whilst now the multitude expect the time,
The clouds envelop'd heav'n from human sight,
Tall groves of trees the Hadrian tower surround,
glitter in the sky. A seven-fold shield of spheres doth heav'n defend, And back again the blunted weapons send; Unwillingly they fall, and dropping down, Pour out their souls, their sulph'rous souls, and groan.
With joy, great Sir, we view'd this pompous show, While Heav'n that sat spectator still till now, Itself turn'd actor, proud to pleasure you:
And so 'tis fit, when Leo's fires appear,
N° 618. WEDNESDAY, NOV. 10, 1714.
Neque enim concludere versum
HOR. 1 Sat.iv. 40.
MR. SPECTATOR, • You having, in your two last Spectators, given the town a couple of remarkable letters in
different styles, I take this opportunity to offer to you some remarks upon the epistolary way of writing in verse. This is a species of poetry by itself: and has not so much as been hinted at in any of the Arts of Poetry that have ever fallen into my hands; neither has it in any age, or any nation, been so much cultivated as the other several kinds of poesy. A man of genius may, if he pleases, write letters in verse upon all manner of subjects that are capable of being embellished with wit and language, and may render them new and agreeable by giving the to them. But, in speaking at present of epistolary poetry, I would be understood to mean only such writings in this kind as have been in use amongst the ancients, and have been copied from them by some moderns. These may be reduced into two classes: in the one I shall range love-letters, letters of friendship, and letters upon mournful occasions;