of fertile theory, embracing everything from anthropology to criminology, with which his work is crammed; we should have to analyze the possible effect of his other books, such as his once popular Treatise on the Hypochondriack and Hysterick Diseases and his Enquiry into the Causes of the Frequent Executions at T'yburn, which, according to J. M. Robertson, anticipated Howard's prison reforms; 13 we should need to consider the effect he exerted on outstanding figures like Hazlitt and Rousseau, and to add to our estimate a fact with which this paper has not been concernedthat the Fable of the Bees is the work of a literary genius. Only then should we have a full portrayal of the significance of a man who was perhaps among the half dozen English writers of the eighteenth century who most profoundly influenced the course of civilization.

Northwestern University.

73 Essays towards a Critical Method (1889), p. 219.

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How well you tell of your high feastings, of your Saturnalian merriment !-How well you tell of the joys of winter in the country, and of the strong must quaffed by the jolly fireside! But why do you complain that poetry is a runaway from wining and dining? Song loves Bacchus, and Bacchus loves song. Apollo was not ashamed to wear the green clusters, nay even to put the ivy of the wine-god above his own laurel. Many a time the nine Muses have mixed with the Bacchic chorus crying Euoe on the Heliconian hills. Those verses which Ovid sent from the fields of Thrace were bad, because there were no feasts there and no vineyards. What but roses and the grape-laden vine did Anacreon sing in those tiny staves of his ? Teumesian Bacchus inspired Pindar’s strain; each page of his breathes ardor from the drained cup, as he sings of the crash of the heavy chariot overturned, and the rider flying by, dark with the dust of the Elean race-course. The Roman lyrist drank first of the four-year-old vintage, ere he sang so sweetly of Glycera and blond-haired Chloe. The sinews of your genius, too, draw strength from the nobly laden table. Your Massic cups foam with a r'sh vein of song; you pour bottled verses straight from the jar.

What roistering bard is this? The Latin elegiacs of which I have read a translation breathe a spirit of Horace and Ovid; they might be proudly claimed by either of those vinous souls and polished poets. As both of them are mentioned, the author of these lines lived after their time. Here is how his Latin sounds, I cite the closing verses of the passage, beginning with what he says of Horace:

Quadrimoque madens lyricen Romanus Iaccho

Dulce canit Glyceran flavicomamque Chloen.

* This paper was read in part at a meeting of the Philological Society of the University of North Carolina on February 7, 1922.

Iam quoque lauta tibi generoso mensa paratu

Mentis alit vires, ingeniumque fovet.
Massica foecundam despumant pocula venam,

Fundis et ex ipso condita metra cado. Such verse, you will admit, has the right flavor; it smacks of a mellow and an ancient vintage. Who could have written it, if we must exclude Horace and Ovid? It is very like the latter author; he would willingly have slipped the poem into one of his little books,-- possibly emending the remark about his own bad verses. What of Martial? He could turn out a poem in any style, depending on the taste of his patron. But I have somewhat falsified the text. Consult the original and you will see that our poet is describing not the Saturnalia but Christmas. His feasters sip French wine, by an English fireside. We are many centuries remote from Horace and Ovid and Martial. The Middle Ages have passed. So has the Renaissance; or rather it has reached the consummation of its revived and Classical art in the writer of these verses, John Milton.

Those of you who had not thought of the Puritan Milton as one of the best poetical consolers for thirsty wanderers in the great American Sahara, I hope are properly surprised. The reason may be that you have paid less attention to his Latin poems than to those in our own tongue. Milton was only twenty-one when he penned the verses I have quoted. He sent them to his best of friends, Charles Diodati, a young Englishman of Italian parentage. Though the imagery of the poem is antique, it talks about concerns of the moment,—the poet's friend and his pleasures, and the verses which they have interchanged. Diodati had vowed that he could not write poetry because he was having such a good time in the Christmas holidays. Milton, in a pretty vein of banter, replies with a sentiment frequently expressed by the ancient poets, "My dear fellow, you forget. The old bards were always mellow from deep potation before they ventured to put pen to paper. You ought under present circumstances to be polishing off something exceptionally fine.” He then goes on to tell of his own plans and of the far different inspiration on which a writer of high poetry, as distinguished from the sort that he was writing then, needed to draw. This is a prelude to the announcement of a poem in English on which he was then at work and which was to contain little of Ovid. We will return to it later.

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