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clap their hands. I intend, therefore, that my Olympus shall be still tipsy.
The accuracy of your last remark, in which you convicted me of a bull delights me. A fig for all critics but you! The blockheads could not find it. It shall stand thus,
First spake Polydamas
Homer was more upon his guard, than to commit such a blunder, for he says,
And now, my dear little censor, once more accept my thanks. I only regret that your strictures are so few, being just and sensible as they are.
Tell your Papa that he shall hear from me soon; accept mine, and my dear invalide's affectionate remembrances. Ever yours,
W. C.* To WILLIAM COWPER, Esqr.
* NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
This Letter may be regarded as a remarkable proof of the great poet's indulgent sweetness of temper, infavouring the literary talents of a child. A good-natured reader will hardly
Eartham, March 4, 1793.
HONORED KING OF BARDS,
Since you deign to demand the observations of an humble and unexpe rienced servant of yours, on a work of one who is so much his superior (as he is ever really to serve you with all his might) behold what you demand! but let me desire you not to censure me for my unskilful and perhaps (as they will undoubtedly appear to you) ridiculous observations ; but be so kind as to receive them as a mark of respectful affection from
Your obedient servant,
blame the parental partiality to a dear departed scholar, which induces me to insert in this note, the Letter Cowper answered so kindly---a Letter, that readers accustomed to contemplate the compositions of childhood, may consider, perhaps, as a curiosity, when they are assured, as they are with perfect truth, that every syllable of the Letter, and of the criticisms annexed to it, wero the voluntary and uncorrected production of a boy whose age was little more than twelve years.
508..“ Dishonour'd foul,” is, in my opinion, an
651..“ Reeld," I think makes it appear as if
Olympus was drunk.
1.-_-749..“ Kindler of the fires in Heaven," I think
makes Jupiter appear too much like e lamp-lighter,
II.- 317..These lines are, in my opinion, below the ele.
to 319 vated gepius of Mr. Cowper.
XVIII.- 300.. This appears to me to be rather Irish, since in to 304 line 300 you say, “ No one sat,” and
in 304, “Polydamas rose."
· LETTER XXVI.
To WILLIAM HAYLEY, Esqr.
Weston, March 19, 1793.
MY DEAR HAYLEY,
I am so busy every morning before breakfast (my only opportunity) strutting and stalking in Homeric stilts, that you ought to account it an instance of marvellous grace and favour, that I condescend to write even to you. Sometimes I am seriously almost crazed with the multiplicity of the matters before me, and the little or no time that I "have for them; and sometimes I repose myself after the fatigue of that distraction, on the pillow of despair; a pillow, which has often served me in the time of need, and is become, by frequent use, if not very comfortable, at least convenient! So reposed, · I laugh at the world, and say, “Yes, you may gape and expect both Homer and Milton from me, but I'll be hanged if ever you get them.
In Homer you must know I am advanced as far as the fifteenth book of the Iliad, leaving nothing behind me that can reasonably offend the most fastidious; and I design him for public appearance in his
new dress as soon as possible, for a reason which any poet may guess, if he will but thrust his hand into his pocket.
You forbid me to tantalize you with an invitation to Westcn; and yet invite me to Eartham ! No! no ! there is no such happiness in store for me at present. Had I rambled at all, I was under promise to all my dear Mother's kindred to go to Norfolk, and they are dying to see me: but I have told them that die they must, for I cannot go; and ergo as you will perceive can go no where else.
Thanks for Mazarine's epitaph! it is full of witty paradox, and is written with a force and severity which sufficiently bespeak the author. I account it an inestimable curiosity, and shall be happy when time shall serve, with your aid, to make a good translation of it. But that will be a stubborn business. Adieu ! The clock strikes eight; and now for Homer.