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red in Scotland. No man has done like manner, bestowed more time on more by the tone of his writings to the study of the classics than is condiscourage classical learning, and eru- fessed by himself, or suspected by the dition as it is called, than David greater part of his admirers. A comHume; and yet we think it would be plete disguise is a matter of very great ditficult to point out any English au- difficulty. We discover the classical thor, whose works, above all in respect touch of Mr Jeffrey amidst the rude to language, bear stronger marks of a daubings of his disciples, as we should mind imbued and penetrated with the a gentleman clothed in a waggoner's very spirit of antiquity:* The authors frock, among a whole barn of genuine of the next age have had no occasion rustics. A single look, or gesture, or for so much duplicity. Their contempt tone, is sufficient in the one case, and of Greek and Latin rests not upon po- a single parenthesis, nay, a single licy, but on the more stable foundation word, may furnish evidence equally of ignorance.--It is fair, however, to convincing in the other. say one word in regard to the Edin- The violent national partiality of the burgh Review. The greater part of Scots, unlike most of their alleged pethese ingenious Journalists, in addi- culiarities, is confessed by themselves, tion to being the perpetual enemies of almost as much as it is derided by their the government and religion of their neighbours. The Scots authors have, country, have waged a warfare, equal in general, been under no inconsiderly inveterate and equally insidious, a- able obligations to this propensity of gainst the old supremacy and worship their countrymen. Their fame has of the classics. A few excellent papers generally begun, as it ought to have on classical criticism have been fur- done, at home; and their works have nished to them by some of the best gone forth among strangers, backed by English scholars; but these are tech- the zealous commendations of a multinical, so to speak, in appearance, and tude of admirers at home. If, in matheir influence, whatever it might ny instances, the voice of domestic otherwise have been, has been neutral praise has died into a faint expiring ized or annihilated by the gross and echo abroad, the misfortune of the aublundering ignorance of other articles, thor has been caused by himself, not but most of all, by the general tone by his countrymen ; nor are these eaand character of the work in which sily to be shaken from the favourable they were inserted. But we introduc- opinion they have once formed, even ed the subject in order to pay a com- although they see that the critics of pliment;-we shall do so, without; most other countries are obstinate in we hope, incurring any suspicion either refusing to second their applauses. of partiality or of Hattery. Mr Jeffrey, We know of one great Scots author we venture to assert, belongs, in this only, whose writings are neglected by matter, to the class of his predecessors his countrymen, while they are studi. rather than to that of his contempora- ed and admired by the literati of every ries. His papers have, even when he other district of Europe. There needs affects to deride scholarship, a scholar- no other proof to a foreign scholar of like air about them, which it is im- the shameful extent to which our averpossible to mistake. He is in many sion for classical learning is carried, respects a wiser man than he wishes than the simple fact, that we, a people to seem.

After all his abuse of the devoted to literature, and filled with Lake Poets, it turns out that his fa- prejudices eminently and vehemently. vourite pocket-companion is the “Ly- national, neglect one of the greatest, rical Ballads ;" and we are satisfied, and withal, one of the most national from internal evidence, that he has, in authors our country has ever produced,

for no other reason than because his

works are written in Latin. * We have heard, we cannot recollect If any time shall ever again appear, where, or upon what sort of authority, that when poets and historians shall be in among Hume's books there was found, after danger of falling into a fashion of pletely covered with the marks of patient composing in a dead or foreign lanstudy. How much greater must have been guage, the most effectual of all warnthe labour he bestowed on those great mas

ings will be that which is addressed to ters of ancient wisdom, whose works he their vanity. By those who have any commonly affected to talk of as if they were of the noblest ambition with which scarcely worthy of being read.

great authors are animated--the ambi


tion of building for themselves a last- that in so doing, they run no risk of ing place in the bosoms and affections lessening his reputation. For if it be of their countrymen,—that voice shall very true in the general, that “ intinot be listened to in vain, which shall macy diminisheth reverence," that hubid them remember the fate of GEORGE miliating maxim has no application, BUCHANAN. In genius, as in lan- either to the person, or the writings, guage, he is beyond all comparison the of such men as Buchanan. first of the modern writers of Latin. For ourselves, we are well aware, Scotland has never produced any man that to many of our well-educated who is worthy of being classed with readers beyond the Tweed, there may him ; so exquisite are his talents, appear to be something almost lua singly, so matchless in their union. dicrous in writing, at this time of Yet what influence does he exert over day, either a critique, or an the minds of his countrymen ? A few logium upon such a writer as this. of his translations of the Psalms are We would it were so.

But if our read by our school-boys, before they friends recollect the one solitary fact, are capable of comprehending their that no tolerable edition of Buchanan's beauties; in the belief of our vulgar, Works has ever been published in this he, the grave and dignified patriot, the island, except a huge unmanageable counsellor, and instructor, and terror one in folio,* more than a century ago, of kings, is degraded to a mimic and a our opinion, as to the neglect in which court-buffoon, his works are read and these writings are held, can scarcely, praised by a few secluded scholars, we imagine, appear to be destitute of chiefly, we verily believe, because they foundation; and if it be correct, we are read and praised by no one else. are sure none of them will disapprove But in regard to all active influence of the motives which have induced us over the souls and tastes of his coun- to call the attention of our readers to trymen, George Buchanan has, in Buchanan, even although they should truth, scarcely

any existence at all, or wish, as they may well do, that the is at least, beyond all calculation, the business had fallen into better hands. inferior even of an Allan Ramsay or a Buchanan's first and greatest chaBurns. His name, indeed, is a great racter is that of a Poet. His prose name among us. Such genius has not works were the occupation of his debreathed in our land, without leaving clining years, and are the monubehind a faint majestic shadow to ments of his practical wisdom. But haunt the spot where it hath been. the fire of his youthful genius exWe know that we have reason to be panded itself entirely in verse ; it was proud that Buchanan was our coun: the fault of the age, and it has been tryman.

We talk of him, we extol the misfortune of our country, that him; we are delighted to hear an Ita- his verse was Latin. There is no oclian or a German scholar confess his casion for repeating the common-place superiority to Vida, Sannazar, Casi« and unanswerable arguments against mir, or Baldé. His glory resembles writing poetry in any other language that of some gigantic hero of the elder than that which has been taught in time, some Bruce, or Keith, or Doug- childhood. Every one must admit, las, at whose name our hearts leap up that had the language of Scotland been within us, although we have scarcely in a state fit for the higher sorts of any record or precise knowledge of poetry, Buchanan would have done very those deeds which have linked this ill to make use of any other than mysterious grandeur to an empty his mother-tongue. We must take sound. There is something very noble things as they are ;-we must examine in this privilege of genius, in whose his productions, and judge of them virtue even the ignorant are made to by the eternal rules of beauty ;-we pay homage to its possessors.

But must compare him with those who those who are really acquainted with the works of Buchanan, will not easily

• This is the edition of Ruddiman, Edinrest satisfied with such homage as this. They will wish others to partake in burgh, 1715. It forms the ground-work of the same enjoyments which have been in quarto. These are the only two editions imparted to themselves ; they will of the Opera of Buchanan. The one is strive to make their favourite better clumsy and inconvenient; the other seldom known; and they will be confident, to be met with, and very dear.

have used similar instruments in si- only one among their number who has milar situations ;-we must reflect overcome the necessary difficulties of what were his difficulties, in order his situation. But he has excelled all that we may estimate the merits of his his brethren in the splendour as well success.

as in the variety of his triumphs. The world has seen several examples Not satisfied with mastering the diffiof foreign languages being acquired, culties of any one mode of composieven in such perfection as is requisite tion, he has grappled with those of all, for the purposes of poetical composi- and in all has he been successful. In tion,-mastered and swayed to all ap- ode, epigram, elegy, satire, and didacpearance as thoroughly as if the tic, he has rivalled the first favourites thoughts and the words had grown up of the Roman Muse.* He assumes, together in the familiarity of the same with equal ease, the careless grace of bosom. With a dead language the diffi- Catullus,—the lyric ardours of Hoculty is infinitely greater, and the acqui- race,-the soothing tenderness of Tisition infinitely more rare. It is indeed bullus,-the sublime indignation of the high prerogative of the language Juvenal,—and the philosophic majesof cultivated men, to survive even the ty of Lucretius. To those who are ruin of those that fashioned it, and strangers to Buchanan, these praises bear down to posterity the image and of a modern Latinist cannot fail to glory of refinement and wisdom that appear hyperbolical and absurd. How have passed away: It is thus that the thing was done, it is indeed scarcemind asserts its immortality; it re- ly possible to imagine ; it is sufficient fuses to be embodied in materials that for us to know and feel that it is so. are less than imperishable. But how Buchanan is distinguished from alshall the vigour which moves in the most all his rivals by the boldness with nerves and veins of the living speech, which he infused into the shape of be found to animate even the most Roman verse, the richest of those eleskilful of after imitations ? The coun- ments which are furnished to a moterfeit may be exquisite, the features dern poet by religious feelings and namay be beautiful, but does not even tional recollections. His best poems their beauty betray the coldness and are those which he has written either in stiffness of death ? Every living lan- the spirit of a Scotsman or of a Chrisguage is in so far free-it may receive tian. He stands at an immeasurable new combinations-it may even sanc- distance above those scores of German tion the privilege of creation. With- and Italian poets, who scorned all moout this, how shall genius have that dern affairs, and even the sanctities of liberty which is its birthright? Shall the true religion, as unworthy of being that which is by nature free as air, adorned by their elegant muse, and be straitened and cooped up within sickened the world with their endless the walls even of a magnificent prison ? repetitions of the metamorphoses and How shall the rod of the magician personifications of the classical mythowork its wonders in a fettered hand? logy. He knew wherein true poetry Can any man breathe the spirit of life and true feeling consist, and he drew and energy into a cold and artificial largely upon the treasures which he mass? Of all the modern poets who had discovered. But for the existence have written in Latin, is there one who of the Paraphrase of the Psalms, and has stamped upon his verses the im- the lines on the death of Calvin, we press of genius rioting in its strength, doubt whether any one would have be-the symbol of uncontrolled might, lieved it possible to clothe, in a form -the full majesty of freedom? If of the most perfect classical purity

, such an one there be, who shall de- ideas so utterly unknown to the formserve, so well, the name of a Prome- ers, and masters of the ancient lan, theus,--the rival of creators,—the guage, as those which Buchanan had conqueror of bondage ?--To those who gathered from the study and the feeldoubt the power of genius to overcome ing of Christianity. even these difficulties, and atchieve even these triumphs, we must address only one word-READ BUCHANAN.

* Eorum nemo est cui idem quod BuchHe is by no means the only man of

anano contigerit ut in quovis carminum ge

nere summum obtineret : Cujus quidem high and powerful genius among the rei laude omnem etiam antiquitatem promodern Latin poets; neither is he the vocat,” &c.-SCIOPPIUS.




We shall quote the beginning of the on its circumstances of “ vernal joy." Calvini Epicedium.

In this ode, however, the circum“ Si quis erit nullos superesse a funere manes

stances which the poet has selected are Qui putet, aut si forte putet, sic vivit ut Or- of a kind which, to me, appear inex

pressibly sublime, and distinguish the Speret, & æternas Stygio sub gurgite pænas, poem itself by a degree and character Is merito sua fata fleat, sua funera ploret of grandeur which I have seldom found Vivus, & ad caros luctum transmittat amicos. equalled in any other composition.”At nos, invitis quanquam sis raptus amicis

We doubt, indeed, whether WordsAnte diem, magnis quamvis inviderit ausis

worth himself has ever touched with Mors, te flere nefas, Calvine, & funera vanæ Ludibrio pompæ, & miseris onerare querelis. a more masterly hand, that secret chord Liber enim curis, terrenæ & pondere molis, of sympathy which connects the mediAstra tenes, propiusque Deo, quem mente tative soul of man with the external colebas,

manifestations of nature, -or called up Nuncfrueris, puroque vides in lumine purum to dignify and consecrate the enjoyLumen, & infusi satiatus Numinis haustu,

ment of the senses, thoughts more Exigis æternam sine sollicitudine vitam : Quam neque dejiciunt luctus, nec tollit inani lime. It is a glorious triumph of “ the

profound, and aspirations more subEbria lætitia spes, exanimantve timores,

Vision and the Faculty Divine.” It Quæque animo offundit morbi contagia cor

mingles all the graces of youth and pus. Hanc ego quæ curis te lux exemit acerbis love, with the gravity of philosophy, Natalem jure appellem, qua raptus in astra and the energy of faith.—The exquiIn patriam remeas, & post fastidia duri site version which we place by its side Exilii, mortis jam mens secura secunde, is from the classical pen of Mr WrangFortunæ iinperio major, primordia longæ ham. Ingreditur vitæ. Nam ceu per corporis artus Quum subiit animus, pigræ vegetatque movetque

Maio Calendae. Molis onus, funditque agilem per membra vigorem ;

“ Salvete sacris deliciis sacræ Quum fugit, exanimum jacet immotumque

Maiæ Calendæ, lætitiæ et mero cadaver,

Ludisque dicatæ jocisque, Nec quicquam est luteæ nisi putris fabrica

Et teneris Charitum choreis.

Salve voluptas et nitidum decus Sic animi Deus est animus, quo si caret, atris

Anni recurrens perpetuâ vice, Obruitur tenebris, specieque illusus inani

Et flos renascentis juventæ, Fallaces rectique bonique amplectitur um

In senium properantis ævi. bras. Ast ubi divini concepit Numinis haustum, Cùm blanda veris temperies novo Diffugiunt tenebræ, simulacraque vana fa- Illuxit orbi, primaque sæcula cessunt,

Fulsére flaventi metallo, Nudaque se veri facies in luce videndam

Sponte suâ sine lege justa ; Exhibet æterna, quam nullo vespere claudit

Talis per omnes continuus tenor Septa caput furvis nox importuna tenebris."

Annos tepenti rura Favonio We shall think ill of those whom

Mulcebat, et nullis feraces these lines do not inspire with rever

Seminibus recreabat agros. ence both for the poet and the divine.

Talis beatis incubat insulis Of all the poetical pieces of Buchan

Felicis auræ perpetuus tepor, an, perhaps none has been so often

Et nesciis campis senectæ quoted and commended as the “Maiæ

Difficilis querulique morbi. Calendæ.” One of the most fervent of its admirers is Alison.

16 I know

Talis silentûm per tacitum nemus

Levi susurrat murmure spiritus, not,” says this accomplished critic,

Lethenque juxta obliviosam any instance where the effect of as

Funereas agitat cupressus. sociation is so remarkable in bestowing sublimity on subjects to which it Forsan supernis cùm Deus ignibus does not naturally belong, as in the Piabit orbem, lætaque sæcula

Mundo reducet, talis aura inimitable poem of Buchanan on the

Æthereos animos fovebit. month of May. This season is in general fitted to excite emotions very

Salve, fugacis gloria sæculi, different from sublimity, and the nu- Salve secundâ digna dies notâ, merous poems which have been written Salve vetustæ vitæ imago, in celebration of it, dwell uniformly

Et specimen venientis ævi.

massæ :

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The First of May.

O Christiani infamia nominis !

O foda labes & nota temporum !
Hail ! sacred thou to sacred joy,
To mirth and wine, sweet First of May !

O turpium turpisque caussa, &
To sports, which no grave cares alloy,

Exitus, & pretium laborum ! The sprightly dance, the festive play! Ignota rostris verrimus æquora,

Gentes quietas sollicitavimus Hail! thou, of ever-circling time

Terrore belli, orbisque pacem
That gracest still the ceaseless Aow !

Miscuimus misero tumultu.
Bright blossom of the season's prime,
Aye-hastening on to winter's snow !

Per ferrum & ignes & mare naufraguin

Secreta rerum claustra refregimus, When first young Spring his angel face Ne deesset impuris cinædis

On earth unveil'd, and years of gold Prostibulum Veneris nefandæ. Gilt with pure ray man's guileless race,

Gens illa nullos mitis in hospites, By law's stern terrors uncontrollid:

Et ora victu assueta nefario, Such was the soft and genial breeze, Portenta conspexit Cyclopum

Mild Zephyr breath'd on all around ; Sanguinea dape fædiora. With grateful glee, to airs like these

Nunc Scylla sævos exsere nunc canes,
Yielded its wealth th' unlabour'd ground. Nunc nunc Charybdis vortice spumeo
So fresh, so fragrant is the gale,

Convolve fluctus, & carinas
Which o'er the islands of the Blest Flagitiis gravidas resorbe.
Sweeps; where nor aches the limbs assail, Aut hisce tellus in patulos specus,
Nor age's peevish pains infest.

Ætherve flammis perde sequacibus
Where thy hush'd groves, Elysium, sleep,

Turpes colonos, Christianæ
Such winds with whisper’dmurmurs blow; Dedecus opprobriumque terræ.”
So, where dull Lethe's waters creep,

A beautiful contrast to this is supThey heave, scarce heave the cypress. plied by one of his epigrams, addressed bough.

to a real or imaginary mistress, to his And such, when heaven with penal flame devotion for whom Milton was sup

Shall purge the globe, that golden day posed, by Warton, to have alluded in Restoring, o'er man's brighten'd frame those lines : Haply such gale again shall play.

“ Were it not better done, as others use, Hail, thou, the fleet year's pride and prime! To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Hail ! day, which Fame should bid to Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair." bloom !

In Neæram.

and Hail ! image of primeval time ! Hail ! sample of a world to come! “ Illa mihi semper præsenti dura Neara,

Me, quoties absum, semper abesse dolet. The subject of the tremendous exe

Non desiderio nostri, non mæret amore, cration “in Colonos Brasilienses" pre- Sed se non nostro posse dolore frui. vents us from making any observations

Dr Irving informs us,* that Menage on it, or offering any version. But we

peculiarly delighted with the inust quote it, because it is, we believe felicity of these lines,” and that he it to be, the most energetic of all his imitated them as follows, in one of his id lyrics.

Italian madrigals : “ Descende cælo turbine flammeo

“ Chi creduto l'avrebbe ? Armatus iras, Angele, vindices,

L'enipia, la cruda Iole Libidinum jam notus ultor

Del mio partir si duole. Exitio Sodomæ impudicæ.

A quel finto dolore En rursus armis quod pereat tuis

Non ti fidar, mio core. Lustrum Gomorrhæ suscitat æmulum

Non è vera pietade Syrum propago, & exsecrandæ

Quella che monstra, nò; ma crudeltade.
Spurcitiæ renovat palæstram.

Dell'aspro mio martire
La cruda vuol gioire ;

la Pars ista mundi, quam sibi propriam Udir la cruda i miei sospiri ardenti, Sedem dicavit mollis amænitas

E mirar vuole i duri miei tormenti."
Luxusque, sub fædis colonis
Servitium tolerat pudendum.

Of all Buchanan's original produc

tions, the least read is, we imagine, at Abominandis arsit amoribus

the didactic poem, De Sphaera. We Strigosus æstu, pauperie & fame,

are far from being admirers of the spel Glandis vorator, virulentum E raphanis redolens odorem.

cies to which this belongs; and we

lament that the majestic genius of Lu. Quem, rere, ponet nequitiæ modum Frenis libido libera ? & insolens

cretius was not devoted to better purHumanioris ferre victus

• Memoirs of Buchanan, by David Living, Ilecebras meliore cælo ?

LL.D. p. 131.


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