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and lower parts had been penetrated by the caicareous matter; in some parts we see snails arrested in their sluggish walk, and locked up in the stony concrete. At the bottom of the declivity, where the rock has been abrupt, there are caves formed, four or five feet wide at bottom, and gradually lefsening to the top, the water having continued to run in the slope of the hill; and there it afsumes a stalactitical form, resembling branches of trees, icicles, and other curious fhapes.
Some parts of this stratum are very compact, and capable of receiving a fine polish, and are composed of different layers of a variety of colours, from a light afh colour to a dark brown, and are exactly similar to a stalactite brought from Gibraltar, wrought up into toys of different kinds. Other parts of it, when first examined, are quite soft, and may be cut with a knife, but all of it, upon exposure to the air, becomes very hard, and when struck sounds like metal.
Sir Robert Sibbald, in his history of Fife, takes notice of this natural curiosity; but since his time it appears to have escaped the observation of natu ralists. The study of natural history has been long a favourite pursuit among people of the first fortune, rank, and ability on the continent; and within these few years, a taste for it seems to be gaining ground here. The museum of the college, under the care of the present learned profefsor, is emerging from obscurity; and it is to be hoped, will, in time, contain a complete collection of specimens of all the objects of natural history in this country. A private collection has been formed on a very extensive scale, by a dis
213 tingu fhed character, daring his late travels on the continent, which does infinite honour to his fine taste; and if his example were followed by other gentlemen, possessed of his fortune and knowledge, they would find it a never failing source of honou rable amusement for their private hours, and of very considerable benefit to their country, by bringing forward in one view its mineral riches, and thereby inducing the proprietors of estates, in which metallicbodies are found, to furnish us with raw materials for our manufactures, for which immense sums are anually remitted from Scotland.
In many cases the pursuit of the naturalist tends chiefly to satisfy his curiosity, but in all it elevates his conceptions and incites his piety. The books of nature and revelation mutually illustrate each other, and are both written by the finger of ONE ETERNAL
AND BENEFICENT DEITY.
ON POPE'S WORKS.
To the Editor of the Bee.
I LATELY turned over the works of Ir Pope. I have no desire to disturb the public veneration of his general merit. But it may not be presumptuous or improper to quote a few passages, not entirely consistent with the zeal of vulgar idolatry.
Of his epistle to Dr Arbuthnot, Mr Pope is the hero, from the first line to the last. His habits of intimacy with the learned and the great, his can
dour, benevolence, integrity, his filial piety, and public spirit, are all displayed in the most ostentatious terms. His contempt of those who abused him in their lampoons, is repeated so often, that we cannot pofsibly believe it.
After having loudly boasted of his connections with Somers, Sheffield, and St John, he is weak enough to say,
"Above a patron, though I condescend
Speaking of Gay, and the neglect of his merit by the English court, he adds:
"Of all thy blameless life the sole return,
"My verse! and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urr.”
Gay received three thousand pounds for his Beggar's opera, and had himself therefore only to blame if he ever he wanted money, which was not the case. In his imitations of Horace there are many passages full of ridiculous self conceit. Speaking of the importance of his writings, he says,
"Yes! I am proud, and justly proud, to see
And again, when describing the progrefs of national corruption, he adds:
"Yet fhall this veree, if such a verse remain,
A considerable part of his poetry runs in this stile. The four following lines cannot advance our opinion of his good sense:
"E'en in a b'hop I can spy desert;
"Candour, with manners, are to Benson given,
Why may we not discover merit in a bifhop, "as easily as in any other man? His encomium on three of their lordships is trifling and equivocal, and by a necefsary consequence impertinent. I have marked in italics, two phrases which are too vulgar for the flattest prose.
In an epigram printed in the notes, he mentions a lord who had offered to compound a law suit, and strangely adds:
"What on compulsion and against my will?
The tautology of the first line is forgot in the ab surdity of the second. If it was so disgraceful to be in friendship with a lord, why does he so frequently remind us of his friends among the nobility?
The grofsnefs of some lines in the Dunciad, is generally known. His imitation of Chaucer, is in the rankest language of obscenity. In his translation, from Statius, he tells us that "dreadful accents" broke from the breast of OEdipus. But it is a defect of a more serious nature, to put the most indecent sentiments into the epistle of Eloisa. A fhort specimen will justify my censure. Having mentioned her lo ver's misfortune she adds:
"Still on that breast enamour'd let me lie,
I cannot read the Rape of the Lock without wearinefs and disgust; and every private critic of my
acquaintance is of the same taste. Pope speaks with infinite contempt of Laurence Eusden. This writer translated the Greek story of Hero and Leander, into English verse not lefs elegant than that of January and May, by Pope. In perusing the pastorals of Philips, the reader will not find that marked inferiority, which he may have expected.
AN OLD CORRESPONDENT.
REMARKS ON THE ABOVE.
THE above sketch is drawn with a bold outline, and lively colouring; many of our readers will, probably with reason, suspect that it is not in all respects accurately just. That Pope's body was weak, and his temper splenetic is well known; and that his verses might have, at times, through carelessnefs and inattention, been tinctured by these weaknesses, is nothing surprising. No human composition is perfect; and it is only by counterbalancing the evil with the good, that a just judgement can be formed. Among the many verses he wrote, there may be faulty lines, there may be pafsages which his friends would wish had never seen the light; but at the same time it ought never to be forgotten, that he has written a greater number of good lines, when taken singly, than, Shakespeare excepted, almost any other poet in the English language.