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BENVENUTO CELLINI tells us that when, in his boy. hood, he saw a salamander come out of the fire, his grandfather forthwith gave him a sound beating, that he

night the better remember so unique a prodigy. Though perhaps in this case the rod had another application than the autobiographer chooses to disclose, and was intended to fix in the pupil's mind a lesson of veracity rather than of science, the testimony to its mnemonic virtue remains. Nay, so universally was it once believed that the senses, and through them the faculties of obser. vation and retention, were quickened by an irritation of the cuticle, that in France it was customary to whip the children annually at the boundaries of the parish, lest the true place of them might ever be lost through neglect of so inexpensive a mordant for the memory. From this practice the older school of critics would seem to

The Dramatick Works of John DRYDEN, ESQ. In six volumos. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, in the Strand. MDCCXXXV. 18mo.

The Critical and Miscellaneous Prose-Works of Johx DRYDEN, NOW first collected. With Notes and Illustrations. An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, grounded on Original and Authentick Documents; and a Collection of his Letters, the greatest Part of which has never before been published. By EDMUND MALONE, Esq. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies, in the Strand. 4 vols. 8vo.

The Poetical Works of John DRYDEN. (Edited by MITFORD.) London: W. Pickering. 1832 6 vola 18mo.

have taken a hint for keeping fixed the limits of good taste, and what was somewhat vaguely called classical English. To mark these limits in poetry, they set up as Hermæ the images they had made to them of Dryden, of Pope, and later of Goldsmith. Here they solemnly castigated every new aspirant in verse, who in turn performed the same function for the next generation, thus helping to keep always sacred and immovable the ne plus ultra alike of inspiration and of the vocabulary. Though no two natures were ever much more unlike than those of Dryden and Pope, and again of Pope and Goldsmith, and no two styles, except in such externals as could be easily caught and copied, yet it was the fashion, down even to the last generation, to advise young writers to form themselves, as it was called, on these excellent models. Wordsworth himself began in this school ; and though there were glimpses, here and there, of a direct study of nature, yet most of the epithets in his earlier pieces were of the traditional kind so fatal to poetry during great part of the last century; and he indulged in that alphabetic personification which enlivens all such words as Hunger, Solitude, Freedom, by the easy magio of an initial capital.

“Where the green apple shrivels on the spray,
And pines the unripened pear in sommer's kindliest ray,
Even here Content has fixed her smiling reigy
With Independence, child of high Disdain.
Exulting 'mid the winter of the skies,
Shy as the jealous chamois, Freedom flies,

And often grasps her sword, and often eyes." Here we have every characteristic of the artificial method, even to the triplet, which Swift hated so heartily as "& vicious way of rhyming wherewith Mr. Dryden abounded, imitated by all the bad versifiers of Charles the Second's reign.” Wordsworth became, indeed, very early the leader of reform, but, like Wesley, he endeavored a re

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