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gratify their appetites, was called " indulging the genius;' not to gratify them, was “ defrauding” him. They seem to have forgotten that he had any thing to do with restraint. Ovid, the most poetical of their poets, in all his uses of the words genius or genii, never hints at the possibility of their having any meaning beyond something local and comfortable. There is the genius of the city, and the genius of one's father. The Sabine women were “a genial prey.” Crowns of flowers are genial; a certain kind of musical instrument is particularly genial, and agrees with dulcibus jocis, that is to say, with double meanings; Bacchus is the planter of the genial vine (genial indeed was a name of Bacchus); a popular holiday, pleasantly described in the Fasti, where every one is eating and drinking by the side of his lass, is a genial feast.*

Hence the acceptation of the word among ourselves, though we are fain to give it more grace and sentiment. The “genial bed” of Milton is not exactly Ovidian; though, by the way, the good-natured libertine was the favorite Latin poet of our great puritan.

We hear little of the bad genius among the Romans. They seem to have agreed to treat him as bad geniuses ought to be, and drop his acquaintance. But he was black, like his brother in Greece. Voltaire has a pleasant story of the black and white genius. Valerius Maximus, a servile writer, who had the luck to survive his betters and become a classic, tells a story (probably to please the men in power whom he deified) which appears to have been confounded with that of Brutus. “We are told by Valerius Maximus,” says Mr. Tooke, “that when Cassius fled to Athens, after Anthony was beaten at Actium, there appeared to him a man of long stature, of a black swarthy complexion, with large hair, and a nasty beard. Cassius asked him who he was ; and the apparition answered, “I

*“ Fastorum,” lib. iii. v. 523. holiday.

It is the description of a modern Florentine

evil genius. Spenser has placed an evil genius at the gate of his false bower of bliss, and old genius, or the fatherly principle of life and care, at the door of the great nursery-gardens of the universe.

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Old genius the porter of them was;
Old genius, the which a double nature has.

He letteth in, he letteth out to wend,
All that to come into this world desire ;
A thousand thousand naked babes attend
About him day and night, which do require
That he with fleshly weeds would them attire.

What follows and precedes this passage is a true piece of Platonical coloring, founded upon the old Greek allegories. These nursery grounds, sprouting with infants and with the germs of all things, would make a very happy place if it were not for Time, who with his “flaggy wings,' goes playing the devil among the beds, to the great regret of Venus. It is an old story, and a true ; and the worst of it is, that Venus herself (though the poet does not here say so) joins with her enemies to assist him.

Were it not that Time their troubler is,
All that in this delightful gardin grcwes
Should happy been, and have immortal bliss:
For here all plenty and all pleasure flowes ;
And swete Love gentle fitts among them throwes,
Without fell rancour or fond gealosy :

* Tooke's “ Pantheon,” part 4, chap. iii. sect. 4. The genius speaks Greek, which was better bred of him than having a beard.

Franckly each paramour his leman knowes;

Each bird his mate; ne any does envy
Their goodly meriment and gay felicity.

There is continual spring, and harvest there

Continuall, both meeting at one tyme :
For both the boughes doe laughing blossoms beare,
And with fresh colours decke the wanton pryme,
And eke attonce the heavy trees they clyme,
Which seeme to labour under their fruites lode:
The whyles the joyous birdes make their pastyme

Emongst the shady leaves, their sweet abode,
And their trew loves without suspicion tell abrode.

We are then presented with one of his arbors, of which he was the cunningest builder in all fairy-land. The present one belongs to Venus and Adonis.

Right in the middest of that Paradise

There stood a stately mount, on whose round top
A gloomy grove of mirtle trees did rise,
Whose shady boughes sharp steele did never lop,
Nor wicked beastes their tender buds did crop,
But like a girlond compassed the hight,
And from their fruitfull sydes sweet gum did drop,

That all the ground, with pretious deaw bedight,
Threw forth most dainty odours and most sweet delight.

And in the thickest covert of that shade

There was a pleasant arber, not by art
But of the trees own inclination made,
Which knitting their rancke braunches part to part,
With wanton yvie-twine entrayled athwart,
And eglantine and caprifole emong,
Fashion'd above within their inmost part,

That neither Phæbus beams could through them throng,
Nor Æolus sharp blast could worke them any wrong.

FAIRY QUEENE, Book III. Canto vi.

Here Venus was wont to enjoy the company of Adonis ;

nis,” says Upton, “ being matter, and Venus, form.” Ovid would have said, "he did not know how that might be, but that the allegory 'was genial.””

The poets are a kind of eclectic philosophers, who pick out of theories whatever is suitable to the truth of natural feeling and the candor of experience; and thus, with due allowances for what is taught them, may be looked upon as among the truest as well as most universal of philosophers. The most opinionate of them, Milton for one, are continually surrendering the notions induced upon them by their age or country, to the cause of their greater mothercountry, the universe ; like beings deeply sympathizing with man, but impatient of wearing the clothes and customs of a particular generation. It is doubtful, considering the whole context of Milton's life, and taking away the excitements of personal feelings, whether he was a jot more in earnest when playing the polemic, than in giving himself up to the dreams of Plato ; whether he felt more, or so much, in common with Raphael and Michael, as with the genius of the groves of Harefield, listening at night-time to the music of the spheres. In one of his prose works (we quote from memory) he complains of being forced into public brawls and “hoarse seas of dispute ; ” and asks, what but a sense of duty could have enabled him thus to have been “put off from beholding the bright countenance of Truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies.” This truth was truth universal ; this air, the same that haunted the room of Plato, and came breathing from Elysium. No man had a greater taste than he for the “religio loci,” — the genius of a particular spot. The genius of a wood in particular, was a special friend of his, as indeed he has been of all poets. The following passage has been often quoted; but we must not on that account pass it by. New beauties may be found in it every

time. A passage in a wood has been often trod, but we tread it again. The pleasure is ever young, though the path is old. So

When the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, Goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe with heaved stroke,
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,
While the bee with honied thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in aery stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid.
And as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen genius of the wood.


In the Arcades, a Marque performed at Harefield before the Countess of Derby, one of these genii makes his appearance. Two noble shepherds coming forward are met by the “genius of the wood.” We will close our article with him as a proper harmonious personage, who unites the spirit of the Greek and Roman demonology. He need not have troubled himself, perhaps, with curling” the groves; and his “tassel'dhorn is a little fine and particular, not remote enough or audible. But the

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