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Their heavenly bodies : with his leaves did dewy lotus store The Elysian mountain; saffron flowers and hyacinths

help'd make The sacred bed; and there they slept; when suddenly

there brake A golden vapor out of air, whence shining dews did fall.

She said. With awe divine the queen of love
Obey'd the sister and the wife of Jove;
And from her fragrant breast the zone unbraced,
With various skill and high embroidery graced.
In this was every art, and every charm,
To win the wisest and the coldest warm:
Fond love, the gentle vow, the gay desire,
The kind deceit, the still reviving fire,
Persuasive speech, and more persuasive sighs,
Silence that spoke, and eloquence of eyes.

Gazing he spoke, and kindling at the view,
His eager arms around the goddess threw.
Glad Earth perceives, and from her bosom pours
Unbidden herbs and voluntary flowers ;
Thick newborn violets a soft carpet spread,
And clustering lotos swell the rising bed,
And sudden hyacinths the turf bestrow,
And flamy crocus made the mountain glow,
There golden clouds conceal'd the heavenly pair,
Steep'd in soft joys, and circumfused with air;
Celestial dews, descending o'er the ground,
Perfume the mount, and breathe ambrosia round.
This is one of the most favorable specimens of Pope;
a beautiful imitation of a beautiful original. The addi-
tions are so gracefully expressed that it is impossible to
find fault with them.

So saying, the cincture from her breast she loosed
Embroider'd, various, her all-charming zone.
It was an ambush of sweet snares, replete
With love, desire, soft intercourse of hearts,
And music of resistless whisper'd sounds
That from the wisest steal their best resolves.

So spake the son of Saturn, and his spouse
Fast lock'd within his arms. Beneath them earth
With sudden herbage teem'd; at once upsprang
The crocus soft, the lotus bathed in dew,
And the crisp hyacinth with clustering bells;
Thick was their growth, and high above the ground
Upbore them. On the flowery couch they lay,
Invested with a golden cloud that shed
Bright dew-drops all around.
This passage really seems to bring out our translators
in their full strength. These three versions, each in its
way, are most excellent. But alas! for

Then from her breast unclasp'd the embroider'd zone,
Where each embellishment divinely shone;
There dwell the allurements all that love inspire,
There soft seduction, there intense desire,
There witchery of words whose flatteries weave
Wiles that the wisdom of the wise deceive.

This is not so bad, but wait a moment. He spake, and clasp'd his bride, the joyous earth Burst into bloom of odoriferous birth; There the blue hyacinth, gold crocus rose, And the moist lotus oped its cup of snows; There underneath them their soft broidery spread, Swell’d gently up and formed their fragrant bed; And as the gods lay there dissolved in love, Resplendent dew-drops gemm’d their gold alcove (!!) This is rather too much. Zeus and Here in an alcore! He should have put them into an entresol in the Rue Richelieu at once.

MUNFORD. She said; and from her breast a zone unclasp'd, Embroider'd rich with variegated dyes. That girdle all her sweet enticing arts Contain'd. There fondness dwelt, there tender looks, Attractive, soothing speech, and flattery's charms, Which steals the wits of wisest men away.

The son of Saturn spake, and in his arms

His consort clasp'd. For them the sacred earth,
Spontaneous, herbage from her bosom pour'd,
With new-born flow'rets; lotus, dewy moist,
And ruddy saffron, purple hyacinth,
Thickly bestrewd and soft, à fragrant bed,
Which, swelling, raised them high above the ground.
There they delighted lay, conceal'd within
A beauteous golden cloud, which glittering dews
Around them shed.
Whe had some more passages marked to extract, but by
this time the reader must be ready to unite with us in
the question, Why did Munford translate the Iliad, and why
did his friends publish his translation ?

There are three men living who could translate Homer well, Elton, Tennyson and Aytoun; but the first is too old, the second too lazy, and the third too busy.


Literary World, January 1848.

Comstock's Phonetic Reuder. Philadelphia: E. H. Butler

& Co. 1847. Comstock's Phonelic Speaker.


Do. Comstock's Phonetic Magazine. Philadelphia: A. Comstock.

1847. DR. COMSTOCK, or, as he spells himself phonetically, and doubtless prefers to be spelled, Dr. Komstok, proposes simply to alter and remodel the entire orthography of our language; and as a necessary means of carrying out this somewhat comprehensive and radical reform, he announces a perfect alphabet.

A perfect alphabet! When it is considered that perfection is predicable of few sublunary works, and that all existing alphabets are allowed to have some imperfections in the way of deficiency, redundancy, or incongruity of some sort, the announcement is not a little startling, and savors of something very like arrogance. But “to us much meditating” (as Brougham saith after

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Cicero), another interpretation has occurred which renders the assertion less wonderful and more admissible. There is a popular use of the adjective perfect as an intensive epithet without involving the exact idea of freedom from imperfection. Thus, when particularly injured or annoyed by the stupidity of some not over-sagacious individual, we irately speak of him as "a perfect fool." Thus, Mr. Headley denominates a number of unfortunate deceased, “a perfect carpet of corpses.” And thus, when we have occasion to show up some would-be scholar, poet, or philosopher, his friends are sure to cry out by way of irresistible vindication of him and confutation of ourselves, that he is “a perfect gentleman." We may then call Dr. Komstok's a perfect alphabet, meaning thereby, as we should say in common parlance, that it is "quite an alphabet,” or “considerable of an alphabet,” or as Punch's "fast man” would express it, “no end of an alphabet.” And indeed this last phrase is not inappropriate to the “Phonetic Alphabet,” considering its length. It comprises forly-four letters, thirty-eight “simple” and six "compounds.” Of the simple letters, fifteen are vowels, including all the vowel and nearly all the diphthongal sounds of the language, viz. the four sounds of a, the ordinary long and short sounds of e, i, and u, the oo or continental u long (which Dr. K. classes with the sounds of o), the short sound of the same as in full (which he classes with the sounds of u) and the diphthong ow or ou. The consonants, divided into fourteen “subvowels” and nine "aspirates,” are the established English consonants, minus c and x, with additional characters or new appropriations of old characters to represent sh, ch, wh, ng, the French j, and the sounds of th. Each letter has its distinct character, and five of the compound letters, oi, j, ch, gs, x, have characters compounded of the simple ones, expressing their component sounds. The sixth, ai in fair, has a character of its own. "All the consonants in the Anglo-American ("alias the Phonetic') alphabet are sanctioned by English, French, Greek, or Gothic usage.” For instance, c represents the sound of sh, because (we are not answerable for the logic here) ch in French has the same sound.

There are some obvious objections to the theoretical construction of this alphabet. Thus we may ask, why

is oi to be considered a compound letter and ou a simple one? The former, is as Dr. K. properly enough states, composed of the sounds aw, ee; is not the latter as clearly composed of the sounds ah, oo? Does not the power of the diphthong au in Spanish, Italian, and German, confirm this? Nay more, are not the sounds of i and u long diphthongal sounds quite as much as oi, and do they not exist as diphthongs in the continental languages? And how is ai in fair to be made out a diphthong? Dr. K. says, it is compounded of a long and u short and he makes lair and layer equivalent sounds. Now, with all submission, it strikes us that layer is decidedly a dissyllable with the sound of the consonant y distinctly appreciable in it. As to the supposed distinction between ai in fair and a in fate, whe have said enough on that point lately. Our more immediate concern, however, is with the practical applicability of the alphabet. . Of course, the first obstacle which meets us in limine is, that it is no joke to ask a whole people to unlearn their letters and learn them over again. To this Dr. K. replies, that the perfection of his alphabet enables any one to learn it in an hour; and there is a case adduced of a wonderful “phonic girl in Michigan,” who did so. Now, we do not profess to be “phonic” ourselves (not clearly understanding what it means, but like the little boy in the story who was called a philosopher, we “hope it's nothing bad”), and that may make some difference, but we have studied the type of the Phonetic Magazine much more than an hour (more we confess to decipher some specimens of Cherokee and other curious tongues which we found in it, than with any intention of adopting the Komstokography) and are yet far from being able to read it with fluency. One constant source of confusion is, that familiar characters have new sounds affixed to them. Thus e represents long a; c, sh; z, the French j, and so on. With the written alphabet it is still worse; different forms of the same letter according to the present system) are made to stand for different sounds, and sounds as different in some cases as e and r; some of the characters very nearly resemble each other; and, indeed, the Phonetic written alphabet seems to us nearly as inconvenient as the German and what that is, any one who has learned, or tried to learn to write

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