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THERE is something inexpressi- times, have done little more than bly striking, it may almost be said imitate his machinery, copy his chaawful, in the fame of HOMER. Three racters, adopt his similes, and, in a thousand years have elapsed since few instances, improve upon his dethe bard of Chios began to, pour scriptions Painting and statuary, forth his strains ; and their réputa: for two thousand years, have been tion, so far from declining, is on the employed in striving to portray, by increase. Successive nations are em- the pencil or the chisel, his yet ployed in celebrating his works ; gene- breathing conceptions. Language and ration after generation of men are thought itself have been moulded by fascinated by his imagination. Dis the influence of his poetry. Images crepancies of race, of character, of of wrath are still taken from Achilles, institutions, of religion, of age, of the of pride from Agamemnon, of astuteworld, are forgotten in the common ness from Ulysses, of patriotism from worship of his genius. In this uni. Hector, of tenderness from Androversal tribute of gratitude, modern mache, of age from Nestor. The galEurope vies with remote antiquity, leys of Rome were, the line-of-battle the light Frenchman with the vo- ships of France and England still are, latile Greek, the impassioned Ita- called after his heroes. The Agalian with the enthusiastic German, memnon long bore the flag of Nelson; the sturdy Englishman with the un- the Ajax perished by the flames within conquerable Roman, the aspiring sight of the tomb of the Telamonian Russian with the proud American. hero, on the shores of the Hellespont; Seven cities, in ancient times, com- the Achilles was blown up at the peted for the honour of having given battle of Trafalgar. Alexander the him birth, but seventy nations have Great ran round the tomb of Achilles since been moulded by his produc- before undertaking the conquest of tions. He gave a mythology to the Asia. It was the boast of Napoleon ancients; he has given the fine arts that his mother reclined on tapestry to the modern world. Jupiter, Sa- representing the heroes of the Iliad, turn, Mars, Juno, are still household when he was brought into the world. words in every tongue; Vulcan is yet The greatest poets of ancient and the god of fire, Neptune of the ocean, modern times have spent their lives Venus of love. When Michael An- in the study of his genius or the imi. gelo and Canova strove to embody tation of his works. Withdraw from their conceptions of heroism or beauty, subsequent poetry the images, mythey portrayed the heroes of the thology, and characters of the Iliad, Iliad. Flaxman's genius was elevated and what would remain ? Petrarch to the highest point in embodying its spent his best years in restoring events. Epic poets, in subsequent his verses. Tasso portrayed the siege
VOL. LVII. NO. CCCLI.