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the fresh and original observation of living and inanimate nature, and of the busy scenes of human life. Both Homer and Shakspeare drew immediately from nature: the latter did not derive his knowledge of men and things through the strainers of civilization; and this want of what has been called the advantage of learning effected for him what the state of manners, in a rude age, had effected for Homer. In both we see the same forcible and unaffected display of circumstances, whether great or little; the same versatility of fancy and intuitiveness of feeling; and the same strong, specific likeness of character.

Nature seems to me the grand distinguishing characteristic of Homer. His critics have preferred defining his character by sublimity; and this sublimity perhaps has not been very happily illustrated. Pope represents Homer as "firing the heavens," like his own Jupiter; and seems to suppose that he is most himself in scenes of vehemence and terror. But in putting Omnipotence in action, Homer is perhaps excelled by Hesiod. It is in the serene majesty of Deity in repose that

the powers of his genius appear most astonishing, and in that mental sublime which is conversant with human passion. When we have once imagined a giant, it requires no great effort to make him stride, in three steps, from one promontory to another; but it is not every poet who can represent Achilles receiving in his tent the embassy from Agamemnon with the calm severity of dignified resentment, or smiting his thigh with a start of generous emotion at the sight of the Grecian ships in flames.

It has been assumed, that the pathetic in poetry has grown on the refinement of manners; and that the ancient Greeks are exceeded by the Latins in the power of moving the affections. Let Homer be read again, and then let the decision be made. There is confessedly more of art and finish in the Latins; and for this very reason there is more of true pathos in the Greeks, who find the approaches to the heart by trusting to the simplicity of nature. Virgil has been placed in a light of contrast to Homer; as if the latter excelled in dark and turbulent scenes, and the former in scenes of tender

ness. Yet there is nothing in Virgil which so drags the heart to and fro as the interview of Laertes with his son: nothing which so melts the nature of man, and clings round his best feelings, as the parting of Andromache from Hector, and the return of Ulysses to Penelope.


From the Iliad.


NEAR his swift-sailing ships indignant sate
The noble son of Peleus, fleet of foot,
Achilles; nor frequented he, as wont,
The hero-honour'd council, nor the field;
But, with his heart thus preying on itself,
Remain'd aloof; yet panting secretly

For shouts of battle and the shock of war.

Now, when the twelfth day broke, at length return'd
The ever-living Gods, together all
Ascending up Olympus; at their head

Went Jupiter. Nor Thetis then forgot
Her son's injunctions; but at once emerg'd
From the sea-wave, and, with the break of dawn,
Rose upward into heaven, and touch'd the mount.
There found she Jove of far-discerning eyes

Lone sitting, from all other Gods apart,

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