« PreviousContinue »
JOHANNES SANTOLIUS, The Latin name under which the French poet, better known as Santeul, wrote, was born at Paris in 1630. He devoted himself wholly to poetry, and wrote almost exclusively in Latin. His reputation was chiefly gained by the hymns which, at the request of Bossuet and others, he composed for the Paris Breviary. But lie was celebrated not only for his poetry, but also for his wit and eccentricity, and it was said of him, that he spoke like a fool and thought like a sage. He died in 1697.
ON THE DEATH OF LULLI. Translated in “ Selections from the French Anas,” 1797. Perfidious art thou, Death, and thy commands Harsh and tyrannic; and too bold thy hands : Such are thy dreadful attributes ; in vain, Though pressed beneath thy yoke, would man complain. But when your dart, great Lulli to destroy, You shook, and damp'd a king's and nation's joy, And robb’d too soon each fond enraptur'd ear Of strains the earth again shall never hear; Complain we must, although to ills resign'd, And mourn that Fate is deaf, as well as blind.
John Baptist Lulli was a Florentine. His musical talents were early noticed, and after being an under-scullion in the kitchen of Madame de Montpensier, he became superintendent of music to Louis XIV.
It is related that while Santeul was composing his lines on Lulli's death, a favourite and tame finch, perching on his head, sung in so charming a manner that the bird seemed actuated by the soul of the departed artist, and appeared desirous by his melody to inspire the poet with thoughts worthy of his subject. Singularly enough it was the finch’s last song; he was found dead the next morning.
Santeul may have been acquainted with a Greek “Epitaph on a Flute-player," by Diotimus, to which part of his own bears a resemblance. The translation is by Dr. Charles Merivale (Jacobs I. 185, viii.):
Man's hopes are spirits with fast-fleeting wings.
See where in death our hopeful Lesbus lies !
Hail, light-wing'd Hopes, ye swiftest deities !
A YOUNG DOCTOR'S APOLOGY FOR THE SMOOTHNESS OF
Of the fair image of an honest heart. These lines were supplied by Santeul to a young licentiate about to take his doctor's degree; and it is said that when they were recited, the learned assembly with one voice declared them to be Santeul's, so well was the poet's Latin style known to the audience.
NINIANUS PATERSONUS, Was a native of Glasgow, and Minister of Liberton. He published
"Epigrammatum Libri Octo" in 1678.
TO TROY (Book IV. 59).
In Maro's verse the flames immortal glow. Alpheus of Mitylene, in a Greek epigram on Homer, shows how poetry has preserved in action all the catastrophes of the Trojan war (Jacobs II. 116, v.). The translation is taken from the 551st No. of the “Spectator":
Still in our ears Andromache complains,
Still Ajax fights, still Hector's dragg'd along:
For all the world is proud that he was born.
Boast then, O Troy! and triumph in thy flames,
ON A SAILOR RIDING (Book V. 38).
While he, no rider, a wild horse bestrides. Butler, in “Hudibras” (Part III. canto iii. 59), describes a sailor's manner of riding:
As seamen ride with all their force,
Translated in the “ Quarterly Review,” No. 233.
Traces of the mediæval epigrams are sometimes found in works where they are least expected. In “The Spirit of the Public Journals " for 1806, X. 239, the following app rs. It is only styled “Epigram," with no hint of being a translation, or of its origin, but undoubtedly it is a version of Macentinus' epigram :
Black locks hath Gabriel, beard that's white;
The reason, sir, is plain ;
More with his jaw than brain. An epigram, "To Marcus," though very inferior, may be compared with the above. It is a distich by Owen (Book I. 95) translated by Hayman, with an addition of two lines by the translator (Hayman's “Quodlibets, &c." 1628):
Thy beard grows fair and large; thy head grows thin;
From thy dull heavy mouth so slow proceed.
Though many search, yet few the cause can find,
But we think most of these have missed the mark.
For this think we, that think we think aright,
A.D. 1480—A.D. 18
PIERRE GRINGORE. A French poet, born between 1475 and 1480 ; whether in Lorraine or Normandy is doubtful. He died about 1544.
THE DRESS MAKES NOT THE MAN.
The lepers by the warning clack are known,
Nor trappings proud the soldier brave and stout.
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
BEHAVIOUR IN CHURCH.
Unwise the man who heareth Mass, I wist,
But to disturb his neighbours at their prayer. The custom complained of at this early period extended into modern times. Within the memory of the present generation, it was very common for country farmers to take their dogs to church-an irreverent