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From Pollonius Rhodius-of Jason's expedition in the good ship Argo, from Greece to Colchis, in quest of the golden fleece, with his heroes and demi-gods; and Orpheus, inspiring with song "to thirst of glory and heroic deeds.""
From "Tasso's Jerusalem"-the Crusades of the Christian powers for several ages, all combined in arms against the Heathens sacrilegiously inhabiting the Holy Land-spilling and swigging blood, through love of God, (the God of Peace) and throwing into the band of Providence and lap of Charity, widows, orphans, and mendicants, to the elegiac chaunt of Ten Thousand times Ten Thousand.
From Camoens-the divine Camoens' Lusiad-the voyage of Gama, the Portuguese admiral, to, and his discovery of, the Indies, the golden Indies-rich in gems, diamonds, and Oriental pearl-of value and honour immense to his nation; yet less so than the Poem that celebrated their acquisition.
And from Claudian's Theomachy, the battle of the tremendous giants and dreadful gods, armed with lightning and mountains, devastating the order and harmony of beauty, and imputed as the cause of the fallen and depraved state of the universe.
From these Poets the excerptions to be copious, embracing a number of entire episodes, as well as detachable, distinct, and sublime parts from their main plots, well calculated and arranged for those in school or out, who are fond of acquiring elegant, but unhackneyed pieces by heart. But from those more familiar to the generality of readers, as Homer, Virgil, Milton, Pope, and Dryden, no more to be copied than barely to explain.
If any one or two should subscribe what would be the additional expense, the main scenes, as the commencement of the combat, the rising and uprisen, actuating, exterminating, and ineffable rage of the battle; the gradually diminishing, disappearing, and final disappearance; and the apparent nonentity of the physical and cogitative sections of the combatants, to be elucidated
with adumbrations, done by hands the most pre-eminently happy in the graphic art.
But this matter (although the notes in some points fall short of what was proposed) has been determined affirmatively in favour of the pictures, and of every thing else-in the DISINTERESTED advancement, by a single individual, of not only the expense of the plates, but of the WHOLE work. Such as it is, "would it were better," we are now introducing to the tremendous ordeal of the public.
And now as the Tiger-in-little, ycliped Cat, is the subject of the great O'Kain's declamation, and the basis on which our whole fabric rests; as also, the better to avoid or parry the fastidious accusations of singularity--the three following pieces are given, precursory to the main affair. We plead precedency.
Ode on the Death of a favourite Cat, drowned in a tub of Gold Fishes.-GRAY.
'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Demurest of the tabby kind,
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd;
The velvet of her
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and em'raid
She saw, and purr'd applause.
Still had she gaz'd; bud 'midst the tide.
The Genii of the stream;
Nor did some rash adventure do him up,
As did bold Cat-o and rash Cat-aline.
Nor was the fatal dart abruptly thrown,
Yet oft at midnight Cat-erwauls I hear,
While to the moon their flames thy mates disclose; Lur'd by my Cat-call to thy hallowed bier, Shall mew their Juliets and their Romeos.
And stalking round thy grave in funeral pall,
While their black torches shed their glimmering flames;
Due classic rites shall sooth thy purring ghost,
Whatever form thy manes shall assume,
Whate'er thy lot, now eterniz'd thy name,
Shall live embalm'd in monody like mine;
"Twixt life and death, what close con-Cat-enation.
The payment coupled with the obligation.
The forfeit up-no bail-alas !-alas!
The Young Cat.
Wanton drole, whose harmless play
And maid whose cheek outblooms the rose,
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Backward coil'd, and crouching low,
Its jetty tip is seen to glide;
Till from thy centre starting far,
Thou sidelong rear'st with rump in air,
Like Madam in her tantrums high:
Doth power in measured verses dwell, All thy vagaries wild to tell?
Ah no! the start, the jet, the bound,
These mock the deftest rhymester's skill,
The featest tumbler, stage-bedight,
For then, beneath some urchin's hand,
But, not alone by cottage fire
Do rustics rude thy feats admire ;