The Algerine captive; or, The life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: six years a prisoner among the Algerines. [Three lines from Shakespeare] : Vol. I[-II]. : Published according to act of Congress.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826., Humphreys, David, 1752-1818, dedicatee.
Page  97

CHAP. XI.

None are so surely caught, when they are catch'd,
As Wit turn'd Fool: Folly, in Wisdom hatch'd,
Hath Wisdom's warrant, and the help of school;
And Wit's own grace, to grace a learned Fool.

SHAKESPEARE.
ARGUMENT.

The Author spouteth Greek, in a Sea Port: Its Reception among the Polite: He at|tempteth an Ode, in the Stile of the An|cients.

I PASSED my time very a|greeably, with my preceptor; though I could not help being astonished, that a man of his acknowledged learning, should not, sometimes, quote Greek. Of my acquirements, in that language, I was still proud. I attributed the indifference, with which it was received in the town, where I had kept school, to the rusticity Page  98 and ignorance of the people. As I now moved in the circles of polished life, I ventured, sometimes, when the young ladies had such monstrous colds, as that they could not, by the earnest per|suasions of the company, be prevailed on to sing; when it had been frequently ob|served, that it was quaker meeting, to spout a few lines from the Iliad. It is true, they did not interrupt me with,

"Fire upon the mountains, run boys, run;"

But the most sonorous lines of the di|vine blind bard were received with cold approbation of politeness. One young lady, alone, seemed pleased. She would frequently ask me, to repeat those lines of Wabash poetry. Though once, in the sublime passage of the hero Ulysses, hanging fifty young maidens, with his own hands, in the Odyssey, I heard the term, pedant, pronounced with peculiar emphasis, by a beau, at my back. If I had taken the hint, and passed my Greek Page  99 upon my companions, for Indian, they would have heard me with rapture. I have since known that worthy, indefatiga|ble missionary to the Indians, the Rever|end Mr. K—, and the modern Elliot, entertain the same companies, for whole evenings, with speeches in the aboriginal of America, as unintelligible to them, as my insulted Greek.

I was so pleased with the young lady, who approved the Greek heroics, that I determined to make my first essay, in me|tre, in an ode, addressed to her, by name. I accordingly mustered all the high sound|ing epithets of the immortal Grecian bard, and scattered them with profusion, through my ode. I praised her golden locks, and assimilated her to the ox eyed Juno; sent her a correct copy, and dispersed a num|ber of others, among her friends. I af|terwards found, that what I intended as the sublimest panegyric, was received as cutting insult. The golden tresses, and Page  100 the ox eyed epithet, the most favourite passages, in my poem, were very unfortu|nate; as the young lady was remarkable, for very prominent eyes, which resem|bled what, in horses, are called wall eyes. Her hair was, what is vulgarly called, car|roty. Its unfashionable colour she en|deavoured, in vain, to conceal, by the dai|ly use of a leaden comb.