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are now understood by, and offensive to, three fourths, or perhaps one half of the reading public in England. And being, therefore, understood, they are worse than useless. There is no prejudice which traders in wares of every sort, cling to more fondly, than the notion, that all the world but themselves may be gulled; yet, it is a prejudice that must be discarded by all but purblind understandings and sordid tempers. For our own parts, we confess that we indulge the hope that, if knowledge holds on its course among us, charlatanism, in all trades, will find that it has done its work, and that it must die.

We have ventured this hint to the publishers of this series of religious classics. Perhaps they may find that, having gained circulation for the work, no other means are requisite to secure the public favour, than the continued exercise of a sound discretion in the selection of their authors, and of the pains and cost which have made the undertaking hitherto creditable and advantageous to themselves.

Art. VII. 1. The Enchanted Flute, with other Poems; and Fables

from La Fontaine. By E. P. Wolferstan. 8vo. pp. 440. Price 12s.

London, 1823. 2. Eugenia : a Poem. In four Cantos. By E. P. Wolferstan. 8vo.

pp. 62. Price 3s. 6d. London, 1824. LA FONTAINE, had he written, nothing but his fables,

would be a poet which we might almost envy the French. He is our Gay with more vivacity and point, Swift, with more playfulness, amiableness, and grace, but he has a character distinct from either, inasmuch as he is perfectly French. Perhaps, our Peter Pindar comes the nearest to his style of humour, as well as his freedom of versification; and if the topics he had chosen had been less identified with the political scandal of the day, his works, cleaned and weeded, would have deserved a higher place than they can now maintain in that class of English poetry.

Mrs. Wolferstan (we believe we are correct in so designating her) has adventured on a difficult task. We have always considered La Fontaine as untranslatable--unless by Dr. Wolcot; but we frankly admit, that she has executed many of these fables with equal fidelity and spirit. If she will pardon our not giving the preference to her original poetry, we are willing to assign her no ordinary merit as a translator, and we think that these Fables will very generally and deservedly please. Every one recollects La Fontaine's fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant, the first in his book, beginning


Le cigale, ayant chanté

Tout l'été,
Se trouva fort depourvue,

Quand la bise fut venue,' &c. Save and except the silver song' assigned to the insect, and the cheering influence ascribed to it, we think the fable very happily rendered as follows:

• A Grasshopper, whose silver song
Had cheer'd the fields the Summer long,
A sad reverse of fortune knew
When the chill winds of Winter blew;
For not an atom could she find
Of Fly or Worm of any kind.
At length she went, compellid by want,
To the snug dwelling of the Ani,
Entreating her as neighbour, friend,
A small supply of grain to lend ;
Just to support her fainting frame,
Till future, happier seasons came.
" Trust me," she cried, “ I'll pay you all,
« Both interest and principal,
« If there is faith in Animal.”
The Ant, who never was a Lender,
For which some worthy souls commend her,
Just ask'd the Borrower her employment
In Suminer. “O! 'tis all enjoyment !
“ One changeless course of pure delight!
“ I sing by day, I sing by night!”
“ Indeed! how very gay and pleasant !
“ Well then, suppose you dance at present." '

pp. 150–15). The following spirited version ofLe Rat de ville et le Rat des champs,' is more free, and yet true to the spirit of the original.

"A London Mouse of noble race

Sent to invite his Country Cousin
To dine with him in Grosvenor Place,

On crumbs of Cake-their Rump and Dozen.
• Spread on a Turkey-carpet lay

The rich, Epicurean treasure ;
I leave to Fancy to portray

The happy meeting at her leisure.
• O fly not yet! 'tis just the hour

For little Mice who love the Moon !
But Pleasure, like a midnight flower,

Just peeps and smiles, then closes soon.

«u Hark! heard you not that op'ning door?"

The Mouse of London cried, and started
They staid not for one warning more,

But with the lightning's speed departed.
'« All, said the host, “ again at rest,

We'll finish our repast, however.”
Alas !” replied the rustic guest,

“ My appetite seems gone for ever.
« « But ere to-morrow's moon shall cease,

“ Come and partake my frugal diet ;
I boast not luxuries like these,

“ Ambitious most of ease and quiet.
"“ My scrap of cheese, my barley-meal,

I eat in peace, enjoy at leisure,
" And taste delight we cannot feel
« When terror mingles with the pleasure !"

pp. 165-166. • The Rats in Council' is a very free translation ; but our readers will not be the less pleased with it.

• A certain Cat, one Kouli Khan by name,

Dealt to the Rats so many a mortal blow,
It seem'd his namesake, once of murd'rous fame,

Did on his teeth and claws some charm bestow ;,

He sent such thousands to the shades below.
The poor surviving remnant dared not stray,
Dared not forsake their holes by night or day.
Such skeletons they were, that could you see 'em,
You'd think them subjects meet for a museum.
Now Superstition is the child of Fear,

In Rats perhaps as man;

For this redoubted Kouli Khan
They thought a demon from the nether sphere.

At length it did arrive

That he was gone to wive,
Or to a rabbit-warren rambled forth,
As gentlemen go shooting to the North.

these were halcyon days !
But that Destruction's sword,

Suspended by a cobweb cord,
Darted on ev'ry fur-clad head its glancing rays.
A Parliament was called the case to treat on,
And all the worthy members not yet eaten,
Soon fill'd their station,

Happy again to meet,

To take their oaths and seat,
And quarrel o'er the miseries of the Nation.
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A Rat of eloquencerone who could measure ye

Six hours upon his legs,
*77* Descanting on the Weasel sucking, eggs,

Arose, and begg'd the Barn would give attention
To something he had come prepared to mention.
He was, as any member there,
Free to declare,
That, spite of all that Ministers could plan,
The Nation suffered from thiş Kouli Khan.
But he had now a measure to disclose
That Opposition's self dared not oppose.
(“ Hear! hear !" not quite unmix'd with laughter,
Came from the opposition rafter,)
And then he pledg’d himself in words pathetic,
And tone and manner truly energetic,
Did they but act as he should

To free his Country, his dear Country, from the scourge.
He did propose to hang a Bell
Around the neck of this strange Imp of Hell ;
And by that simple toy's assistance,
They should descry him at a distance:
Then who so.cowardly to fear him,
When ev'ry Rat alive might hear him?
The counsel met with loud applause;

And such the universal joy,
The rafters rattled with their claws.

How will not Hope the spirits buoy!
They seem'd a tribe of children loos'd from school,
Or auncient England's Nobles at misrule.
Silence at length restored-they ask
What friend will undertake the task,
Who his dear Country loved so well,
Just simply to tie on the Bell !
Alas! tho each a patriot bearty,
They found no Curtius of the party.
One wanted strength, another skill;
This Rat was nervous, that was ill.
And thus this admirable scheme,

So well imagin’d, so profound,
Prov'd nothing better than a dream,

And fell (hard fortune!) to the ground.
The Bill, to use the words they said.
Was this day six months to be read.
But let us nurse and keep it wärm,
'Tis so like Radical Reform :
Something, that who attempts shall rue it-
Fine-but impossible to do it.
Now, laying Politics aside,
A simpler Moral we'll provide.

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Experience has confirm'd the fact :

'Tis easier to adyise than act.' pp. 197—202. We must make room for one more, and the folloying presents itself.

• Iron Kettle said one day,

“ Earthen Jug, we'll take a ramble.”
“ No,” said he, “ 'excuse me, pray;
" I was never formed to amble:
“ On my shelf, beside the fire,
" I have all my heart's desire,
“ If my friend abroad should take me,
« Know, the slightest blow would break me.
“ For yourself, indeed, proceed
“ Where gay Fancy chance to lead.
“ Go'to France and see the Louvre,

“ Cross the 'Alps, ascend Mont Blanc;
“ You will never want Vancouver,

“ Be the Journey short or long.
“Go where Gaiety invites you,
“ And the merry dance delights, you :
“ Strength you have, if you have skill,
“ Both for Waltzing and Quadrille.
“ Chimney Corner, still and snug,
“ Better suits an Earthen Jug."

No, my friend, I cannot settle,”
Said the kind, warm-hearted Kettle,
« Thus to roam and take my pleasure,
“ While you' mope at home at leisure ;
“ Come with me, and I'll protect you,

To the smoothest path direct you,
“ And ere mischief can ensue,
« Take the blow design'd for you."

• Earthen Jug no more, I wist,
Could the flatt'ring call resist.
Side by side they jog together,

Nothing heeding hours or weather;
Thro' square, and street, and lane, and row,
Clitter Clatter on they go.
Sometimes this thing, sometimes t'other,
Strikes the friends against each other.
Ev'ry loosen'd stone's attack
Causes Earthen Jug a crack ;
Till ere long, his doom unravels,
Smash he goes, and ends his travelsa
Learn the Moral from the Sequel:
Still associate with an Equal :

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