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fpondent on the fame important fubject, in your last number, afforded me great pleasure; and I trust the friends of humanity will pay all proper attention to the encouraging arguments he fuggefts. Tis even to be lamented, that fince the above letters appeared in your excellent Mifcellany, this country, and mankind in general, have loft the moft diftinguithed champion of civil and religious Liberty, and by confequence of humanity, winch latter ages has produced. But, furely, his mantle is left behind, and has infpired his friends with fome portion of his humane benevolent fpirit. Thofe who with to abolith the flave-trade, will, even for confiftency's fake, with to prevent all wanton acts of cruelty towards the brute creation. Their work will be only half done and imperfect, if this is omitted.

The prefent time is peculiarly favourable for fuch humane efforts. A new parliament will foon meet, in the election of which (according to your statement, p. 387,) the friends of liberty, aud of courfe of humanity, have moft laudably and fuccessfully exerted themfelves. Surely then a new parliament, and in their firft feffions too, will not refufe to pafs a law fo congenial to the very firit requirements of our holy religion, and the want of which is affuredly a national difgrace!

I ain, Sir, your's, &c. Nov. 7, 1806.


propriety, however beautiful. To this objection Fenelon has very properly anfwered, that Homer did not create the gods whom he has introduced in his poem, but has defcribed them as he found then. His mythology was, no doubt, the mythology of Greece, and he only followed the traditions of his country. The era of the Trojan war approached the age of the gods and demigods. Several of the heroes concerned in that war were reputed to be the children of thefe gods. Of course, the tra ditionary tales relating to them were blended with the fables of the deities. Thefe popular legends Homer adopted; and in his hands they produce a fine effect. His fyftem of machinery, often lofty and magnificent, is always sprightly and amufing. It adds confiderably to the number of his perfonages; and the very circunftance with which he is reproached of having given to his divine characters a mixture of human frailties, by rendering them as interefting to the reader as the human actors, increases the intereft of the poem. His battles, his councils, and his defcriptions, are diversified by the frequent intervention of the gods; and the alternate tranfitions from earth to heaven, and from heaven to earth, give relief to the mind in fuch a continued fcene of blood and flaughter.

If the mythology of Homer was not invented by him, the ufe he has made of it is entirely his own. But though he has employed his celestial machinery, in

LYCEUM OF ANCIENT LITERA- general, with admirable art and judg



UNDER the fame head of charge ters, we are now to notice the gods of Homer, or his machinery. This, as we have already obferved, is confidered the most difficult part of the epic. In the Iliad it forms a very confiderable part of the poem, and for this reafon Homer is become the ftandard of poetic theology. It is evident, that this machinery was not invented by him. It is, therefore, with great injuftice, that he has been accused of having debased the religion of his country, by reprefenting its deities under the moft difgraceful colours, and fubject to all the infirmities and paffious of the human race. This has been urged against him by La Motte, a cold declamatory writer, who, without one poetical fpark in his own compofition, was unwilling to praife it in others, and eager to condemn every deviation from


ment, yet in foine inftances it cannot be denied that he has tranfgreffed the well

known rule of Horace:

Nec Deus interfit, nifi dignus vindice nodus


The gods are introduced upon the flage more frequently than is neceffary, and are often employed in offices too frivolous and below the dignity of their na ture. To exemplify this obfervation by one infiance: it appears to be no very honourable function for Minerva, to become the charioteer of Diomed; but when the is defcribed as affuming the reins, and plying the lath, her divinity is abfolutely degraded. There are occa fionally trifling, and even ridiculous, altercations among the gods, particularly the quarrel between Jupiter and June, It must alfo be admitted, that notwithftanding the credulity of the Greeks, and the extentive licence of fiction which


their mythology allowed, and of which Homer has fo largely availed himfelf, there are fome incidents in the Iliad rather too marvellous even for the poet's own age, and which have too ludicrous an effect for the gravity of the epopea. It may be fufficient to mention the miraculous gift of fpeech conferred on the horfes of Achilles. Perhaps the undiftinguishing admirers of Homer will fatasty theinfelves by refolving the whole into a fupernatural incident, and juftify it by a miracle of a fimilar nature recorded in the facred writings. But the caufes of fuch a phenomenon were by no means fimilar, nor can we admit it in the former cafe as a fullicient reafon for breaking through the order of nature, and encroaching upon the prerogative of the human fpecies. The paffage in the 21ft book, where the river Scamander attacks Achilles, and threatens to overwhelm him with us waves, till Vulcan, at the infligation of Juno, comes down from heaven to chafife the infolence of Scamander, whofe waters he fcorches and dries up with fire, is another incident equally ludicrons, as exceeding the utmoft boundary of fiction. But thefe extravagancies must be attributed to that wildnefs and irregularity of imagination which have diftinguished every great genius from Homer to Shakespeare, and deferve the fame epithet of fplendida peccata which the ancient Fathers of the Chriftian church bestowed on the virtues of the heathen. Indeed, most of the faults of Homer must be afcribed to this exuberance of fancy, and may be compared to the apoftate angels in Milton, who, though with "faded fplendour wan," fill exhibited "excefs of glory obfcured."

Under the third and laft head in which we are to confider the Iliad, we muft notice the narration, the imagery, and the fentiments. In his narrative of events, we have already remarked that Homer is concife, fpirited, and rapid. In his fpeeches he must be admitted to be tedious. But they fhould be confidered as flowing from the characters, as perfett or defective in proportion as they. agree or difigree with the inanners of

thefe who utter them. There is much more dialogue in Homer than in Virgil. What Virgil informs us of by two words of narration, Homer brings about by a fpeech. Such a ftyle as this is the moft ample and artless form of writing, and muft therefore undoubtedly have been the most ancient. It is copying directly MONTHLY MAG. No. 155.

from nature, giving a plain rehearsal of what paffed, or was fuppofed to pafs, in converfation between the perions of whom the author treats. In progress of time, when the art of writing was more ftudied, it was thought more elegant to comprefs the fubftance of converfation into thort diftinct narrative, made by the poet or hiftorian in his own perfon, and to referve direct fpceches for folemn oc cafions only. The fpeeches of Homer are however, upon the whole, characteriftic and lively; and to them we owe, in a great measure, that admirable difplay which he has given of human nature. But it is in the defcriptive parts of his narrative that he more particularly excels. They are fometimes reprefentations of fuch fcenes as we ourfelves may have beheld. At others, they are merely fictitious, but always pleafing. The defcription of the light arifing from the fires of the Grecian camp, in the eighth book, beginning with this line,

''yougave açga qaɛını aμpı sshBIYAY, exhibits as beautiful and exquifite a night fcene as is to be met with in ancient or modern poetry. The celebrated tranfla tion, or rather imitation, of Pope is too well known to be tranfcribed, but it vies with the original in fplendour of diction and poetical ornament. Of fictitious fcenery there is a ftriking fpecimen in the faine book, in the fublinie and picturefque defcription of the almighty thunderer fcaling the heavens, darting through the fkies with the rapidity of lightning, and feating himself at lalt on his throne in awful majetty, while the heavens and the earth tremble under his feet. There is alfo a remarkable example of vivacity and ftrength of defcription in the lamentations of Achilles, when brooding over the injury done him by Agamemnon in depriving him of his fair captive. Indignation, grief, and difdain rend his heart, which feems ready to burft with the conflict of impetuous paffions,

-άνταρ Α'χιλλεὺς Δάκρυσας ἑταρων αφαρ εζετο νόσφι λιας εις Θῖν ἐφ' ἄλος πολιᾶς, ὁρῶν ἐπι δνοπα πόντον, πολλά δε μητρι φίλη υξήσατο χειρας ορέγους.

Lib. i. 1. 347.

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The imagery of Homer is, in general,
grand, awful, and beautiful. It may
perhaps be urged, that the fimilies occur
too often, and fometimes interrupt the
courfe of his narration. He was fo na
turally poetical, that he faw all the fen-
timents and actions of men through the
mirror of fome correfponding image.
His mind, teeming with poetical allu-
fious, poffeffed a greater elevation than
delicacy, and was more capable of abun-
dance than choice. He is fo prolific in
images, that he inay be faid to have fup-
plied every poet who has fucceeded him.
He has more daring figures, and more
ftriking metaphors, than any other. But
it is wonderful with what propriety his
expreffions are always fuited to his ideas.
They are never too big for the fenfe,
but are great in proportion to the gran-
deur of the fentiment. It is the fenti-
ment that fwells the diction, which rifes
with it in exact proportion. Such are
the arrow impatient to be on the wing, a
weapon thirfting to drink the blood of
the enemy. Thefe are what Ariftotle
juftly calls living words. The most beau
tifal figures are what we have already
mentioned; the fires in the camp com-
pared to the moon and ftars by night;
Paris going to battle, to the war-horfe
prancing to the river; the comparison
of Achilles, in the 22d book, to the dog-
ftar; and above all, the following beau-
tiful fimile on the death of Euphorbus,
Οιον δε τρέφει ερνος ανηρ εγίθηλες ελαίης
Χωρῳ ἐν οι πολῷ, ὅθ ̓ άλλες αναβέβρυχεν ύδως;
Καλόν τυλεύαον, το δε τε πνοικὶ δονευσι
Παντοίων ανέμων, και τε βρυές ανθές λευκο"
Ελθων δ' εξαπίνης ανέμος, στη λαιλαπί πολλῃ,
Βιθρα τ' εξέτρεψε, και εξεταννυσ' επί γαίη,
Lib. 17, l. 53.
As the young olive, in fome fylvan scene,
Crown'd by freth fountains with eternal green,
Lifts the gay head in fnowy flowrets fair,
And plays and dances to the gentle air:
When lo! a whirlwind from high heaven in-

The tender plant, and withers all its fhades:
It lies uprooted from its genial bed,
A lovely ruin, now defaced and dead.

the image exquifitely tender, and gives it a peculiar propriety.

It is impoffible to felect a finer image from nature to reprefent the untimely death of a young warrior, celebrated for his beauty. Though Pope has in a great meafure preferved the delicacy and beauty of the original in his tranflation of the above pallage, he has omitted the fine circuittance of a man rearing the wide-fpreading olive with care in a foliAary field, a circumftance which renders

It is alfo in fentiment that Homer has principally excelled. This remark, originally made by Longinus, is verified by a variety of pallages in the Iliad. An example of fublimity of fentiment occurs in the 17th book, in the abrupt and ftriking prayer of Ajax, when the Grecian army is enveloped in fudden and impenetrable darkness :

Ποίησον δ' αίθρων, δος δ' οφθαλμοίσιν ιδεςθαί
Ζευ πατερ, αλλά συ ξυσαι ὑπ ̓ητρος ὗιας Αχαιών,
Εν δε φαίει και ολέσσον, έπει να τοι ευαδὲν οὕτως.

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les yeux,

Et combats contre nous à la clarté des cieux,

We have another inftance of fublimity of fentiment in the beginning of the 8th book, in the speech of Jupiter to the interior deities. The paffage is too long for tranfcription; but the reader is aftonifhed at the awful denunciations against the offenders, and the bold defiance which he gives to the power of all the gods combined against him. The idea contained in the two following lines, is one of the grandeft that can be prefented to the human imagination:

Αλλ' ότε δη και εγω πρώτρων εθέλοιμι ἐξυτσάς,
Auty aāν γαιῃ εξυσαιμ', αυτῇ τε θαλασσα.

-If I but ftretch this hand,
I heave the gods, the ocean, and the land.
It bears a ftrong refemblance to the re-
prefentation which is given us in the
Sacred Writings of the power of Jehovah,
when he is faid “to weigh the hills in
fcales, and the mountains in a balance,
and to take up the ifles as a very little
thing." There is a remarkable parity
between paffages in Homer, and thote
in the Scriptures; and Duport, in hi
Gnomologia Homerica, has collected in-
numerable inftances of this fort. Ac-
cording to Gale, Homer took many of
his fictions from fome real Scripture tr
ditions, which he gathered up whilft he


was in Egypt, and which we may collect from his style and the affinity of many of his expreffions with the Scripture language. Sir Walter Raleigh goes ftill far ther, and afferts" that it cannot be doubted but that Homer had read over all the books of Mofes, as appears evi deatly from many places ftolen from thence word for word."


For the Monthly Magazine. LONDINIANA,




N this yeare Edmund Shaw, goldfmith, and mayor of London, newlie builded Creplegate from the foundation, which gate in old time had bene a prifon, whereunto fuch citizens and other as were arrefted for debt (or like trefpaffes) were committed, as they be now to the counters, as maie appeare by a writ of King Edward II. in thefe words: "Rex vic. London falutem. Ex gravi querela capti et detenti in prifona Roftra de Creplegate, pro xli quas corain Radulpho Sandwico, tum cuftode civitatis noftræ London, et I. de Blackewell cuftode recognit, debitorum, &c.

Holinfhed, p. 705.


Sir Robert Cotton told Weever of a cheft of lead, found in Radcliffe-field, in Stepney parith; the upper part garnished with fcallop thells and a crotifter border. At the head and foot of the coffin ftood two jars, three feet long; and on the tides a number of bottles of glistering red earth, fome painted, and many great phials of glafs, fomne fix fome eight fquare, having a whitifh liquor in them. Within the cheft was the body of a woman, as the furgeons judged by the fcull. On either fide of her were two fceptres of Ivory, eighteen inches long, and on her brealt a little figure of Cupid neatly cut in white tone. And among the bones were two pieces of jet, with round heads in form of nails, three inches long.

Gough, Sep. Mon. vol. i. p. 64, Weever Fun. Mun. p. 30.

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latitude, and profundity, and as an ex cellent over-plus famous for height. It was a maine poynt of wifedome to ground her upon Faith, for thee is the more likely to ftand fure: the great croffe in the middle certainly hath bin, and is yet, ominous to this churches reparation. S. Paul called the church the pillar of truth, and furely had they not beene found, they had fallen before this time. The head of this church hath been twice troubled with a burning fever, and fo the city, to keep it from a third danger, let it ftand without a head. I can but admire the charity of former times, to build fuch famous temples, when as thefe ages cannot find repaire to them; but then the world was all church, and now the church is all world: then cha

rity went before, and exceeded preaching; now there is much preaching, nay forefathers advanced the church, and more than ever, yet leffe charity; our kept their land thefe times loofe their lands, and yet decay the churches. I caufe it fo much loved the church. honour antiquity fo much the more, beThere is more reafon to fufpect the precife puritaine devoyd of charity, than the fimple ignorant fraught with good workes. I thinke truly in this one port, the ends of their actions were for good, and their owne happines. They builded and what they aimed at was God's glory temples, but our degenerating age can fay, come let us take them into our hands and poffefs them: amongst many others, this cannot be fayd to be the rareft, though the greatelt. Puritaines are blown out of the church with the loud voice of the organs; their zealous fpirits cannot indure the muficke, nor the multitude of the furplices, becaufe they are relickes (they fay) of Rome's fuperftition. Here is that famous place for fermons, not by this fect frequented, becaufe of the title the Croje. The middle ile is much frequented at noone with a company of Hungarians, not walking fo much for recreation as neede; (and if any of these mete with a yonker, that hath his pockets well lined with filver, they will relate to him the meaning of Tycho Brahe, or the North Star; and never leave flattering him in his own words, and flicke as clofe to him as a bur uppona travailer's cloake; and never leave til he and they have faluted the Greene Dragon, or the Swanne behind the fhambles,-where I leave them.) Well, there is fome hope of reftoring this church to its former glory; Gg2


Finsbury, or Moor fields, were at this period but a vaft morals.


the great fummes of money bequeathed, it may acquit itfelf boldly and valiantly are foue probabilities; and the charity in real engagements, it will run thefe of fome good men already, in cloathing hazards in tham ones." and repayring the infide, is a great encouragement; and there is a fpeech that the houfes that are about it must be pulled down, for Paules church is old enough to ftand alone. Here are prayers often, but finifter fufpition doubts more formal than zealous; they should not be worldly, because al church-men; there are none dumbe, for they can fpeake loud enough. I leave it and them, withing all might be amended."


Fitzftephen, who wrote his Defcription of London before 1182, is very accurate in defcribing the winter amufements of the Londoners in Finsbury fields; and particularly mentions a fpecies of fkaiting. The following is a tranflation of the paffage :

"When that vait lake, which waters the walls of the city toward the north, is hard frozen, the youth in great numbers go to divert theinfelves on the ice. Some taking a small run for an increment of velocity, place their feet at the proper distance, and are carried fliding fideways a great way; others will make a large cake of ice, and feating one of their companions upon it, they take hold of one another's hands, and draw him along; when it fometimes happens, that moving fwiftly on fo flippery a plain, they all fall down headlong. Others there are who are fill more expert in these amusements on the ice; they place certain bones, the leg-bones of fome animal, under the foles of their feet, by tying them round their ankles, and then taking a pole thod with iron into their hands, they push themfelves forward by ftriking it against the ice, and are carried along with a velocity equal to the flight of a bird, or a bolt difcharged from a cross-bow. Sometimes, two of them thus furnished agree to start oppofite one to another, at a great diftance; they meet, clevate their poles, attack and ftrike each other, when one or both of them fall, and not without fome bodily hurt; and even after their fall, they thall be carried a good diftance from each other by the rapidity of the motion; and whatever part of your head comes upon the ice, it is fure to be laid bare to the fkull Very often the leg or the arm of the party that falls, if he chances to light upon them, is broken: but youth is an age ambitions of glory, fund and covetous of victory; and that in future times

Here, according to Stowe, died, February 3d, anno 1399, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancasier.

It feems from the following paffage in Stowe's Annals, that the gardens here were famous for producing fine ftrawberries. He fays, speaking of Richard III. "And after a little talking to them, he faid to the Bishop of Ely, My Lord, you have very good ftrawberries at your Garden in Holborn, I require you to let me have a meffe of them? Gladly, my Lord, quoth he, would to God I had foine better thing as ready to your pleasure as that; and therewith he fent in all hafte his fervant for a meffe of ftrawberries." This circunftance has been minutely copied by Shakespeare in his play of Richard III. where he puts the following words in that prince's mouth.

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My Lord of Ely, when I was last in

I faw good ftrawberries in your Grace's
garden there,

I do befeech you fend for fome of them."

During the civil war, this houfe was converted into an hofpital, as appears by an entry in Rufhworth, vol. ii. part iv. "The Lords concurred page 1097. with the Commons, in a meffage fent up to their Lordships for Ely House, in Holbourne, to be for the ufe of the fick and maimed foldiers."-Groft's Antiquities of England and Wales.


London is mentioned in Bede as the

metropolis of the Eaft Saxons in the year 604, lying on the banks of the Thames, the emporium of many people coming by fea and land."


In a grant, dated 889, a Court in London is conveyed "at the ancient fiony edifice, called by the citizens hwat mandes tone, from the public street to the wall of the fame city." From this we learn that fo early as 889, the walls of

London exified.

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