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page. page. | Memoirs of Count de Parades Students Diary 163 (Continued)
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I HAVE been listening this half sure from music. I have listened hour, to reciting the odes of to a sweet enchantress, and though Anacreon. He is wonderfully de- I felt no inclination to weep, to cast lighted with this old songster, and up my eyes, to throw abroad my backs his praise with a thousand tes- hands, or utter incoherent exclatimonies of sage critics, and enligh- mations, yet my eye was chained tened contemporaries of the poet. to the singer, and I had almost forNothing, in the whole universe of got to breathe. As to verse, it has poetry, he says, is so sweet, so deli- really some charms for me, and cate, so delicious. He utters such numbers though silently read, has dulcet and harmonious breath that frequently bewitched me nearly as the rudest savage would be soothed much, as a concert of flutes. Indeed, by it into civility, and the gloomiest being tired of listening to a voice anchorite start madly into extacy not the sweetest and most tunable at the sound.
that ever warbled, I snatched the There must surely be some magic book from his hand, and by reading in the Greek language, incompre- the lines according to my own syshensible by common understand- tem of rhythm and pronunciation, it ings: some music in its accents un was easy to perceive that Greek intelligible to vulgar ears : for I verse is, indeed, articulated harhave listened to Tom's recitals, with mony: as anxious a desire to be pleased as It is not, however merely the I could possibly conjure up and yet sound, the Euphony, that captimy rapture was extremely mode- vates Tom. It is, it seems, the rate. I heard no sounds that breathed style, the imagery, the sentiment. of heaven. Nothing that snatched Love, according to him, never had my soul out of my body and lapped so just, so exquisite, so impassionit in Elysium. I will not confess, ed a eulogist. Mirth had never so either, a total insensibility to plea- divinely eloquent, so irrisistibly se
ductive an advocate since love and are excited by mere sex, and which mirth came into fashion, and Tom, nothing, but wanton arts, unceassays, if all this be not worthy of ing variety, and glossy youth can credit on his word, he can produce keep alive. I see nothing but a a whole army of critics, of all ages gross appetite, distinguished by no and nations, to second him; whereas, humanity, no delicacy, from that there is not to be fowid on record a which stimulates the goat and the single declaration, doubting or de- bull. I see propensities kept alive nying the merit of this poet. by nothing but the force of habit, and
This was extremely formidable by inflammatory liquors; I see hoary to one like me who, if I may praise age, glorying in sensations, for myself when nobody is bye, am not which the hey-day of youth scarcely noted for conceit or arrogance, Sn, affords an apology. anxious for something like proof of Nay, the passion which inspires these assertions, I again seized the the greatest part of all this love, book and turned to that side of the and all this poetry appears not to page which contained a literal have even woman for its object. translation into English. I can read, Fough! The very thought excites but cannot understand Greek, and nausea. “Between disgust and aba literal translation, I imagined, horrence, my stomach sickens. Inwould exhibit at least the naked dignation indeed, ought to get the thought, the image though una- better of every other emotion. Inclorned.
dignation, at those who dare to Farbe it from me, said I, my good name sacred love, in such company. friend, as I turned over the leaves, Amid such unhallowed fires, stimuto bring into question the divinity lated by ebriety, by novelty, by of cither Love or Mirth. To re- variety, by youth ; terminating in ject or dispise the first is to rebel the physical and momentary gratifiagainst Heaven, who supports by cation, and so purely sensual that this chain, the felicity and even tho sex itself is confounded ; shall we existence of all animated nature : leok for that passion which is built arxl as to mirth, it is the seasoning upon esteem, matared by possesof life ; the compan:en of love and sion, strengthened by time; the friendsiip; benevolence is his father very essence of which is individualiand his mother is wit. Were I ty, fidelity to one and constairey in born to the honours of poetry, I one sentiment. wou! build my claim on nothing It is not here that we must look lart the tervency of my devotions to for that love, the soul of which is kve, and the zeal of my panegy- chastity : tirat is to say, an absorics upon mırth. If these be the lute indifference to all but one: and powers Invoked by Anacreon, I tenderness, that is to say, a somewill not be the last to honour his thing compounded of desire and memory.
esteem: a something which flows But what is here? I see not a partly from personal charms, and silable about love. I see a great chiefly from experience of good dal about fiatres, and ferrours, and offices, kindness, and equanimity : kisses, and I kuow not what, but I a passien that owes its higliest desee nothing that rciates to love. On lights to the endearments of offsthe contrary, all that I find here is pring, a circumstance that so far ini ad escluiz hostility to that passion. from being ever alluded to lay Ana
I (lo not understal yoll, said my creon is utterly incompatible with fiendl, if these he not the tokens the subject of his ealogies. 21sensations of love, I should be The mirth of this poet is on a glad to kn:-1vhat arc.
level with his love. I see nothing I see nothing here, replied !, but but the apparatus of a drinking tic'e fires that are paired and match-ars, alias Bacelius, alias
a brothel, which wine, is the eternal theme of his