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fame, of which my friend has been speaking-so brilliant from afar, but so disheartening in its approaches. In truth, every avenue to the building seemed clogged with such numberless and threatening obstructions, as to be rendered nearly impracticable; and yet multitudes were pressing forward with the most eager anxiety, in every direction, and struggling to ascend. Numbers that had gained a foothold were prevented from further progress by those behind, who made no scruple to seize upon the garments of the more successful, in the hope of being themselves drawn upwards. Soldiers were seen rushing forward, sword in hand, hacking their blades against insensible and unyielding rocks, and breaking their necks over precipices; and out-of-breath geniuses, of all sorts, might be remarked halting to recruit the strength that their own unavailing impetuosity had exhausted. Some that seemed to have surmounted every obstacle, suddenly toppled and fell, owing to a natural giddiness in the head that will not bear height of position. About half way up I noticed something in the form of a redoubt, which, from its angular and pointed aspect, I made no doubt was the fortress of satire, of which I remembered to have heard. Its garrison were evidently sharp-shooters, for they let fly, ever and anon, barbed shafts, greatly to the annoyance and discomfiture of divers adventurers, who incautiously came within their range. Many ill-looking fellows were to be seen lurking here and there, arrayed in the livery of satire, but their lowering looks and envious glances betrayed them as belonging to the muster-roll of spleen. They were busily employed in sinking pit-falls to catch the unwary, and seemed to enjoy a malignant delight at the despair of those who fell into them; while the light troops that ridicule sent forth, flourished their banners about in easy unconcern, and appeared well content if they could decoy a stately aspirant into a slippery footing, trip up the heels of his pomposity, and enjoy a hearty laugh at his expense.
But of the multitudes who essayed the ascent to the temple of fame, I was astonished to see how small a proportion suc. ceeded in reaching it. The few that arrived in safety, were
soon elbowed out of notice by fresh comers, that the presiding deity might justly be charged with ingratitude, in holding so lightly the trials and perils that had been encountered in her service. But no discouragement of this nature seemed to operate on the crowds who sought her shrine. Not only was the manful exercise of every power unabatingly put forth to gain her sacred portals, but every device and expedient that human ingenuity could suggest was called into re
quisition, in aid of the great purpose. Sundry luckless wights, that had grown gray in passing from one by-path to another, at the very foot of the gloomy approach, without having gained the smallest lodgment, were still undisheartened, and still cherished hope. Others, whose expectations of success were rested on the use of stratagem, busied themselves in assiduously bringing to bear upon the grand object such means as their tastes and pursuits gave to their hands. Here might be traced the care-worn lineaments of a student, grouping carefully round, and arranging, with mathematical precision, numbers of musty folios into the form of a solid pyramid, in the hope of at last reaching the temple from its top. There you might remark the more summary movement of an impatient spirit bent upon reaching it by means of a kite, constructed for the purpose, of his own manuscripts, and decorated with bobs stolen from his neighbours. Among other strange instances, I espied my tottering old virtuoso, striving to beat down the fortress of satire by a galvanic battery, and trying to bribe the skirmishers of ridicule with ancient coins. I would fain have watched the event of the old enthusiast's demonstrations, but my attention was called off in another direction by a bustling noise that arose from the throng, resembling the ribald stir attendant on a procession of mountebanks through a fair. In the centre of the busy groupe, was to be seen something not unlike gaudy hangings, or fanciful tapestry, carelessly flung together. As I fastened my attention more closely upon the strange mass, it began to develope itself, displaying to more advantage a succession of brilliant colours, and gradually assuming a globular form. While ruminating on the probable nature of this singular apparition, I was not a little startled by a low whisper, breathed into my very ear, and putting to me the question, whether by any process of chemistry the mere exhalations of vanity could be converted into an inflating gas, and used to better advantage in gaining the temple of fame, than such a structure of solid material as that against which my back reclined ?" The sudden turn of my head, produced by so abrupt an appeal, brought my face full in contact with a sharp weasel visage, peering from between a pair of shoulders, that I was instantly sensible could belong to no other man living than Will Wrenchcharter. Seated, after the fashion of a Turk, not, however, upon a downy cushion, but upon a pedestal of money bags, Will's person was brought into a parallel line with my head-a position which seemed every way adapted to the convenience of leisurely dialogue. But Will admonished me, with the solemnity of Hamlet's ghost, to be brief in
my reply, for that his journey lay upwards, (unlike the ghost in this respect, however,) and that having now completed his foundation, he should proceed more rapidly, and be soon out of ear-shot. And his actions verified his words—for be straightway began feeding his pile most unsparingly with bundles of paper, bearing the stamp of bank tokens-these, as he trampled them under his feet, lifted him higher and higher, at the same time giving to his whole figure and action very much the appearance of a farmer stacking cornstalks. So that deeming, indeed, that he must soon escape beyond the reach of interrogatory, I demanded an explanation of the singular appeal he had made to my chemical skill. But the answer that came down was rendered inarticulate by distance--the sentences seemed broken in the fall; and in gathering up the fragments, I could make little other than incoherences of them, in which the words “votaries of fashion," " vanity lighter than air," “turning commodity to account,” were scattered here and there. Seeing me at fault, Will was still intent upon illustrating his meaning by gestures, and by dint of signals, he fairly enforced ıny attention back to the point from which he had at first been the means of diverting it. I now perceived how idle had been my former conclusions; that which I had mistaken for loose hangings and tapestry, was no other than the materials of an immense balloon, which now swelled aloft in proud rotundity of distention. But what was my surprise, when I beheld my old friend of the cowl and cloister borne conspicuously forward over the heads of a gay multitude, and seated gracefully in the car. The cords were cast loose-it began to ascend--bravo! bravo !--but no, it cannot penetrate the purer regions of the upper atmosphere ? it sticks fast, a fáir mark for the shafts of satire and the missiles of ridicule. What will become of my old companion--would that he were again the spider that I first knew him-he might then follow the course of some sun-beam, and find safety in insignificance. But here the current of my concern was drawn into a new channel. A rude shove from behind, and the gruff tones of a voice, which I instinctively recognised as that of a bailiff, warned me to give space. I turned, and lo! the unrelenting majesty of the law had already laid its clutches upon the very key-stone of Will Wrenchcharter's hopes ; in another instant the whole frail edifice was afloat in dire disorder! Had the combined vaults of a Kentucky relief-system burst forth in one eruption, such clouds of spurious currency could hardly have darkened the atmosphere. A mock snow-storm at the theatre was a fool to it. The tinkling of coin was, scarce audible for
the rustling of paper; and while I stood bemoaning the fate of poor Will, to my utter astonishment, down he came, tumbling amidst the litter of his own ruin, unhurt and undismayed.
“ It was the last ounce that broke the camel's back;" and a last sentence may exhaust the reader's patience. Whether it were that the courteous minister who presides over slumber, becoming wearied and worn by the numerous wild and unseemly phantoms that had encroached upon the quiet of his watch, did not, in a pet, beat up the quarters of Reason for a relief of guard; or whether Queen Mab, alarmed for the consequences of her mischievous pranks, might not (after the fashion of a robber, who sets fire to a house to escape detection) have given me a rousing tweak, as she took her flight, I will not pretend to determine. All I can say is, that I opened my eyes, and in a slight trepidation thrust my hands into my pockets-not a scrip of Will Wrenchcharter's spurious currency is there to be found so that I have nothing left but to withdraw my hands again from my pockets, and gather to myself what comfort I may from the conviction that nothing has chanced to disturb their wonted emptiness.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ATHENEUM MAGAZINE.
GENTLEMEN—I enclose you an attempt at translation, which you may use at your pleasure. It is a version of part of the fragment of Angelo Poliziano, composed for the tournament of Julian de Medici, celebrated as one of the most classical poems of the fifteenth century. As such, it has received the approbation of all intelligent critics, from Paulus Jovius, the contemporary of the author, to the elegant English biographer of Lorenzo de Medici. The merit of the writer consists by no means in his originality; his production is a mere canto of the beauties of the ancient poets, and in particular of Ovid and Virgil. But the felicity with which he has transplanted them is singular, and the propriety of their combination is wonderful. He may be compared, as a great modern Greek scholar has been, to a statuary, who selects from the works of the old masters different minute subjects of imitation, and produces from them all a perfect whole.
From reading Politian's rhymes, I was led to translate them; and found it, I can assure you, no easy experiment. The structure of his verse, and terseness of his style, require a translation in almost every instance of line for line, preserving
the metre of the ottava rima. If you are disposed to criticise my verses, I advise
you to try your own hands at a translation of the original, before you express any unqualified sentence of condemnation. If the author was only in his fifteenth year when he composed the fragment from which they are rendered, (and such is the evidence afforded by his cotemporaries,) he ranks high among the prodigies of premature intellect, which have occasionally appeared in the world; far beyond Pope, even in the power of imitation ; and happier than most of those who are recorded for the precocity of their talents, in securing to himself the efficient patronage of an illustrious family of princes, under whose auspices he flourished, and after whose declension he is said, by some writers, to have died, from melancholy and regret for their loss.
THE GARDEN OF VENUS.
From the First Book of the Stanzas of Angelo Poliziano, commenced on occasion of the Tournament of Julian de Medici. Now aid me of this realm of bliss to tell,
Fair Erato! whose name and Love's are one ;
Within the realm of Venus and her son ;
Love often chants with thee in unison ;
A pleasant mount o'erlooks the Cyprian isle,
Which, when th' horizon glows with earliest day,
Along its steeps no mortal foot may stray;
A fair green hill o'ertops a meadow gay,
Walls of bright gold its farthest borders gird,
With a thick hedge of choice and graceful trees ;
Chants all day long his tender melodies;
Welling from fountains twain, whose properties