Imágenes de páginas

*Wrinkled Ostler! grim and thin!

But prythee, friend,
Here is custom come your way.

Where is Mark Antony ?"
Take my beast and lead him in,
Stuff his ribs with mouldy hay!

· By him great Pompey dwarfs and suffers pain,

A mortal man, before immortal Mars.
“ Bitter Barmaid, waning fast!

The glories of Great Julius lapse and wane,
See that sheets are on my bed.

And shrink from suns to stars.
What! the flower of life is passed;
It is long before you wed.

" That man, of all the men I ever knew,

Most touched my fancy. Oh! what days and nights “Slipshod Waiter, lank and sour

We had in Egypt, ever reaping new
At the Dragon on the Heath!

Harvest of ripe delights," &c.
Let me have a quiet hour,
Let me hob-and-nob with Death !" &c.

In reading this, we are strongly reminded of

Horace's Had Mr. Tennyson followed the antiphlogistic

“Pindarum quisquis studet æmulari,” &c. diet he prescribes for his horse, his brain could never have become so inflamed as to imagine him- Mr. Tennyson has endeavored to imitate Shaksself a poet.

peare's delineation of Cleopatra ; her exaggerated Even in his smaller pieces, we are often at a praises of Antony, her fiery voluptuousness, and loss to discover his object. He never seems to the indescribable charm which that master hand know when to stop, and yet he always seems to has communicated to a character not naturally stop sooner than he had intended, and before he pleasing to us, and see what he has produced with had come to the middle of his poem. Our limits his “ope Dædaleà !” forbid us to extract any long piece to exemplify And again, how beautifully and philosophically this properly, but we give a short one which will he describes the changes of his visions. We could serve as a specimen of the usual meaning, or rather almost believe that he had Coleridge at his elbow no meaning, of his verses. As in nearly all of his while composing it. pseudo-ballads, it is stolen from the nursery.

“ All those sharp fancies, by down-lapsing thought, THE BEGGAR-MAID.

Streamed onward, lost their edges and did creep

Rolled on each other, rounded, smoothed and brought "Her arms across her breast she laid,

Into the gulss of sleep."
She was more fair than words can say.
Barefooted came the Beggar-Maid,

We here see how sharp fancies can be streamed
Before the king, Cophetua,

onward by down-lapsing thought until they lose In robe and crown, the king stepped down, their edges, then creep while rolled on each other, To meet and greet her on her way.

rounded and polished, and finally brought into the It is no wonder,' said the lords, She is more beautiful than day.'

gulfs of sleep. One would think that he was, in

reality, filling up the cavities of his imagination "As shines the moon in clouded skies,

with rubble-stones. Compare, for one moment, She in ber poor attire was seen.

this labored effort with Byron's majestic simplicity. One praised her ancles, one her eyes, One her dark bair, and lovesome mien.

"A change came o'er the spirit of my dream," --So sweet a face, such angel grace In all that land had never been,

and we shall see the spanless "gulf” that exists Cophetua sware a royal oath,

between a real poet and a versifier like this. • This beggar-maid shall be my queen !'"

Then again, how exquisite is Iphigenia's descripNow, how much paper and ink would not Mr. tion of her own death! He apparently forgets, Tennyson have saved, had he merely remarked,

what every school-boy knows, that she was carried "A Beggar-Maid came before Cophetua ; she was

by Diana to Tauris. beautiful and he promised to marry her.” We • The tall masts quivered as they lay afloat, should have had quite as much poetry in fewer The temples, and the people, and the shore. words. And yet this is better than many of his

One drew a sharp knise through my tender throat,

Slowly,-and nothing more !" In one place we have between seventy and eighty And what more would she have ? But we may stanzas entitled “A Dream of Fair Women. safely defy any one to make sense of the stanza. The idea is a good one, and, in the hands of a Did the tall masts, as they lay afloat, quiver “ the poet, might have produced a pleasing performance, temples, and the people, and the shore ?" And yet, in his, it is but a silly abortion. Among other what was it that did the bloody deed, one temple, * fair women" he sees Cleopatra, and surely Shaks- or one tall mast, or one people, or one shore? The peare's exquisite impersonation of her might well form of the sentence, certainly would indicate the have warned him off the premises, and spared us last, yet we shrewdly suspect it must have been such verses as the following. Cleopatra loquitur. 'the first. But let him give up the pen and read

other pieces.


Euripides and Lempriere and he will have a better Now this is ridiculous.
idea of it than all his own writings can give him. “The wind is blowing in turret and tree,

These, however, are but as the playful lashings - the earl was fair to see !" of the tail of the Great Leviathan of the Deep. is brought into each verse of the poem in the same Mark him when he comes, in the full conscious- head and shoulders-manner. This fault may be ness of irresistible might, to exterminate a puny found in very many of his pieces, such as “Oriana," and unfortunate foe.

whose name alternates with every line; “ Lady TO CHRISTOPHER NORTH.

Clara Vere de Vere,” whose title thus commences “ You did late review my lays,

each stanza ; " The Lady of Shalott" in which the Rusty Christopher,

refrain is ingeniously varied from “The Lady of You did mingle blame and praise,

Shalott” to “Down to Camelot," and occasionally to Crusty Christopher.

“Brave Sir Lancelot ;” “ The Dirge," where the When I learned from whom it came I forgave you all the blame,

burthen is “ let them rave," forced, against its own Musty Christopher.

will, to enter continually, after this fashionI could not forgive the praise,

“Crocodiles wept tears for thee! Fusty Christopher !*"

The woodbine and the eglantere With this piece of unrelenting severity, and the

Drip sweeter dews than traitor's tear.

Let them rave." English Bards and Scotch Reviewers” before their eyes, it will be long before the Northern

Another peculiarity of Mr. Tennyson's manner critics will again venture to dissect an unfortunate of writing is, that he has managed to join, with Southron.

felicity essentially his own, unbearable prolixity to It will readily be seen from the extracts which a style completely impoverished by the shortest we have given, that Mr. Tennyson finds what possible sentences. Thus, in the verse just quoted Byron calls

from “ The Sisters," it will be seen that every line

constitutes a separate and entire sentence; and the “Those buoyant supporters, the bladders of rhyme,”

same will be found, on examination, to be the case to be any thing but a support or assistance. In- in nearly all the extracts given above. It occurs, deed, they seem to press on him like the fetters of a indeed, throughout his writings. galley slave, and he can no more sustain them with Mr. Tennyson's versification partakes of the ease or credit, than that respectable personage can same irregularities which distinguish his style; but perform on the corde-volante. Yet, in spite of all with this distinction, that it is sometimes good. this, he is continually burdening himself with the We occasionally meet with passages of considerafrequent and useless recurrence of a rhyme and ble melody, such as the lines on “Eleanore" esthe necessity of bringing the same line at the end tracted above, but he is, in general, exceedingly of every stanza. Instances of the former may be careless, and we not unfrequently come across pasfound in the “Skipping-Rope” and “Beggar-Maid,” sages in which he seems to have collected all the quoted above; of the latter, we will only mention " dissonant consonants,"'* and impracticable vowels one of his least silly poems, “ The May Queen,” in in the language, and which set our teeth jarring to which every quatrain stanza ends with this snake- repeat them; as the following couplet from “ Sir like line.

Galahad :" “For I'm to be queen o' the May; mother, I'm to be queen

“My good blade carves the casques of men, o'the May !"

My tough spear thrusteth sure." This, of course, subjects him to the necessity of

Besides all these, Mr. Tennyson has faults of finding a rhyme for it in every verse, and the shifts language in abundance. He manufactures words, to which he is put to sustain this are truly ludicrous. alters them, and frequently uses them in the most

And again, he delights to bring in the same line singular manner. Thus he says, "my sense unor couplet into each verse, whether it bear

dazzled” for “my sight became undazzled," " great

any relation to the context or not. For instance, take Pompey dwarfs,” “a gemmy belt," “ vary-colored the first stanza of a piece called

shells," “ dazed vision," "twisted silvers," "a mady tears,” “lovesome,” “, anight,

." "atween. “THE SISTERS."

“anadems,” &c., &c. He furnishes Cupid with "We were two daughters of one race,

"sheeny vans," and dignifies the sun with the apShe was the fairest in the face: The wind is blowing in turret and tree,

pellation of " captain of my dreams.” It is the They were together, and she fell;

same with respect to rhymes. Every page teems Therefore revenge became me well.

with half-rhymes, barely admissible, and many O the earl was fair to see !"

that are no rhymes at all. Thus “palaces" is In justice to Mr. Tennyson, we must observe that he *“Some Russian, whose dissonant consonant name appears to have been made sensible of the exquisite folly Almost rattles to fragments the trumpet of Fame." of this and has omitted it in his late editions.

Moore.— The 7'wopenny Post-Bag.

." "anear,"

forced to jingle with“ sanctuaries," "sloe-tree" with himself as a task. Thus it is, that wc so con-
"coterie," "air" with “ sepulche," " lattices" with stantly find words without thoughts. He takes up
" breeze," " tendons" with “ attendance," a "tear” the pen in order to bring ideas, instead of allowing
with “eglantere," "more" with "evermore," "heavi- the ideas to call on the pen.
ness" with “ weariness," "stateliness" with“grace- Still, notwithstanding all these multitudinous
fulness,” “ Shalott" with “ Lancelot” and “Came- faults, when Mr. Tennyson throws off the fetters
lot,”—but our list is growing too long, “I'll see of rhyme, which he has not sufficient command of
no more!" We are not of those who would always language to master, and releases himself from the
bind the poet down to a perfect rhyme, but these restraints imposed by the complex form and fre-
are carried beyond all license. And another thing quently recurring rhyme of his stanzas, he can
which the reader must have remarked, even in the sometimes write well. There are good and even
few extracts given here, is the profusion of double beautiful passages in "Enone," "Godiva," “Dora,"
epithets, a fault very striking in our language, and and one or two others, but to exhibit them in their
one in which a careless writer is very apt to fall. prolixity, would require more space than we can

Again, from his affection of old words and obso- afford.
lete phrases, he evidently wishes to imitate the Mr. Tennyson might, also, very likely please if
older writers, and, no doubt, flatters himself that he he would only condescend to be more natural, but
is doing so: but he should remember that they he rarely calls on us for sympathy with humanity.
atoned for ruggedness by strength, and for occa- Almost the only instances in which he has done so
sional vulgarity by force and fidelity to nature, are ” Dora,” “ The May-Queen,” its continuation,
while his verse is completely effete and unnatural. " The New Year's Eve,” and “ The Miller's
Thus we see a niixture of turgidity and poverty Daughter,” and these are, by far, the most pleas-
which is often striking. In short, he is one of ing pieces in his volumes. The following lines
those who cannot originate, and who, in imitating, from the latter are good, but their beauty is clouded
manage to catch all the defects of their models, by the neglect of harmony and of elegance of lan-
and to let slip all their beauties. There is hardly a guage, which is one of his characteristics.
poetical fault, collected from the most opposite

“Look through mine eyes with thine, true wise, sources, which cannot be pointed out in some part Round my true heart thine arms entwine. of these rolames.

My other, dearer, life in life, We had marked for extraction a great part of

Look through my very soul with thine. some truly exquisite lines addressed to the Old

Untouched by any shade of years, Year, but we are already exceeding our limits and

May those kind eyes forever dwell.

They have not shed a many tears must be content with the following elegant adju

Dear eyes ! since first I knew them well.” ration :

If he were to confine himself to such simple ex"Shake hands before you die.

pressions of natural feeling, his poetry would be Old year, we'll dearly rue for you,

pleasing, but all his Claribels," What is there we can do for you?

Adelines,” Speak out before you die !"

Fatimas,” “ Marianas,"“ Eleanores," et hoc genus

omne, are creatures which have never existed any How encouraging! It sounds like the first attempt where out of his distempered brain, and which, in of a melancholy school-boy on his tenth New-their mysterious attributes, such as It would seem, however, that Mr. Tennyson has

“Mystery of mysteries, anticipated criticism, for he thus enters his caveat

Faintly smiling Adeline

Scarce of earth, nor all divine," &c. against it: "Vex thou not the poet's mind

are so entirely removed from us in every thing, that With thy shallow wit.

all his raptures concerning them can excite but a Vex thou not the poet's mind,

smile. And this is the general peculiarity of his For thou canst not fathom it.

poetry. It has, usually, the same dreamy misty Clear and bright it should be ever,

character, as if it had been fashioned during a sumFlowing like a crystal river,

mer afternoon nap, under a tree, after too much Bright as light and pure as wind,”

dinner, while his brain was humining with the rustWhat can he know of the poet's mind ? Indeed, ling of leaves and the buzzing of bees. It is, we suspect, from the general character of his accordingly, particularly destitute of force and poetry, that with him it is not“ out of the fulness vigor, and, therefore, when he would be satirical of the heart the mouth speaketh.” He would or witty, his failure is ludicrously wretched. As Beem to sit down to compose, not that he feels instances of this, we may mention “Amphion," the estro, the inspiration, but that he thinks it ne-“ Lady Clara Vere de Vere," and the lines quoted cessary to write, because he has the reputation of above on Christopher North. poet. Indeed, we should not be surprised if he In conclusion, we may be permitted to observe, imposed a certain number of lines per diem on'that Mr. Tennyson might confer a benefit, not only



Year's Day.

on the world but on himself, if he would only con-
vert his pen into a pruning-hook, and his inkstand NOTES ON OUR ARMY.
into a watering-pot; for, though his vanity would
no longer be gratified by seeing his own name in

No. II. print, except as the cultivator of enormous pump

“An Army is a collection of armed men, obliged to obey kins and gigantic strawberries, yet he might gratify one man."— Locke. a spirit of enlarged benevolence by raising two blades of grass where one grew before, and his To the Hon. Thomas H. Benton. rest would be no longer broken by remorse at send

For fear of an incorrect and unjust inference ing “such reams of blank among the sons of men.” which may be drawn from my preceding numbers, Indeed, we have no doubt but that in a short time as they expose abuses without suggesting remedies, after the enjoyment of these placid pleasures and and to check, if possible, what I conceive to be an the delights of a quiet conscience, he will look back erroneous move in Congress in regard to the inteto his past life with regret and repentance.

rests of the Army, I must so far modify my plan We feel that we owe some apology to the reader as to explain before hand what I had intended to who has accompanied us thus far, for having de- prove, so clearly as to require no further elucidatained him so long over so poor and fruitless a sub- tion. Before commencing to build on an old site, ject; but the fact is, that in the present dearth of I had intended to remove the ungainly and almost poetical talent, many false prophets arise who are irreparable edifice, with its attending rubbish, and not without that honor which should be reserved then, upon a foundation unincumbered, rear a strucfor worthier objects. Mr. Tennyson's poems have ture of the same material which would do honor to been successful in England. They have been re- the country, and relieve it from a burden now impublished here, and we are informed that they have posed for attendants and furniture which the immet with a ready and extensive sale. They have provements introduced would render unnecessary. been considered worthy of all the elegancies of This can be done with a saving of at least half a typography, in a manner rarely accorded to authors million to the treasury and at the same time inin this country; and they have been read, and no crease the efficiency and usefulness of the Army. doubt admired, by many who should have had more I regretted to perceive one of the inquiries of the critical judgment, for poetry like his is apt to beget Hon. Chairman of the Committee of Ways and an agreeable confusion of ideas, which careless Means, and through you I will suggest to him a readers mistake for an evidence of the power and delay of action on that one point until I take it up, depth of their author, when, in reality, it but shows when, I doubt not, he will see the advantages of his looseness of thought. These facts we consider the plan I will propose to him. I refer to his into be a sufficient excuse for the space we have quiring as to the propriety of disbanding a number bestowed on him, and, if we are mistaken, “ huma- of the youngest of our officers, the most compenum est errare."

tent, physically and mentally, to enter upon the duties of a soldier's life. They are just arriving at the vigor of manhood, and, in the event of there being a necessity for an Army at all, they are the

men we shall want. The amount which will be SONNET.-ENDURANCE. saved by disbanding these young men will be very

inconsiderable in itself, but if it be a consideration, BY ANNA M. HIRST.

and it is believed the country will be benefitted by

a reduction in the number of officers in the line of Some writhe-some sink-some die in this rude the Army, let it be done upon a plan which will world

not only save the same amount of money, but seBeneath the rough blows of their brother man; cure efficiency to our service. A plan has been But there are those that scorn his envious ban,

several times pressed on Congress by the ComWho, with high hearts and lips serenely curled

manding General, Secretary of War and PresiIn honest scorn, laugh at the slanders hurled

dent, fur establishing a retired list for old and invalid Against the armor of their honesties

officers. It was proposed to allow those unfitted Who, Ainging out their banners on the breeze,

for duty by age, or other infirmities, to retire from Walk on; their noble eyes with tears impearled

active service and to fill their places by the young That flesh should be so base—who, as they go,

men below them in such a way as not to increase Scatter the seeds of honor o'er the land,

the Army, unless additional officers were appointed Knowing that after-times will see them stand

at the bottom of the list. A bill was submitted by Tall trees, whence shades shall fall and music glow General Macomb, in 1840, for this purpose, accomTo glad some way-worn brother's heart—some soul panied by a tabular report from the Pay Master Who seeks, with trust in truth, Fame's golden goal. General showing that a saving would be effected Philadelphia, 1844.

by it though the vacancies created should be filled


by new appointments of Second Lieutenants. If I find from official documents, that the line is these appointments are not made, but those now in reduced from twelve thousand four hundred and service be retained to fill vacancies thus created, ninety-five, to seven thousand five hundred and you must readily see the advantage which must ninety-nearly forty per cent. result to the Army, and that a greater saving will The Staff is at the same time reduced about be made than by dropping the same number of seven per cent., and that, too, by cutting off the junior officers from the foot of the list. And if most useful and necessary part—the Medical, Pay, any further action be necessary, suspend the ope- and Inspector's Departments. The increase in 1838 ration which supplies these young officers, but I required an addition to our Staff, at least we were cannot believe that Congress will think of dis- told so, and I can discover no reason why their charging from the service men whom they have own arguments for an increase will not bear against educated at a considerable expense, and who are them when a reduction is effected, unless our late rendered doubly valuable by experience princi- Secretary has discovered one in “the extent of pally acquired in the field, and continue the edu- country over which they are spread.” We find cation of more to supply vacancies which the dis- too, in less than five years after this small reducbanding of those now in service must soon create. I tion has been made by Congress, it is more than had intended making this the subject of a separate counterbalanced by the addition of Brevet Second letter and must now refer you to General Ma- Lieutenants to the different Staff corps, whose comb's and Mr. Poinsett's reports of 1840 for the services are about as valuable and necessary as the particolars of the plan submitted ; which, with a thread lace is to a lady's cambric handkerchief. few modifications, will effect more than Mr. Mc- Including these supernumerary and unnecessary Koy seems to aim at; and, in the end, leave us in a officers, our Staff is as large and expensive now, healthy and vigorous condition instead of palsied with an Army of seven thousand five hundred and and enerrated by years and disease. What would ninety, as it was when the Army was twelve thoube thought of the man who should go into his orchard sand four hundred and ninety-five. This may and trim out all the young, healthy and thriving necessary from “ the extent of country over which shoots from his fruit trees, leaving behind him de- the Army is spread,” but I doubt whether Concayed, windshaken and diseased trunks, which can gress will be willing to keep up a large and unnescarcely bear their own weight and are unable to cessary Staff, composed of indolent and useless afford sustenance to the fruit with which nature officers, in order to supply every large city in our cloths them? But apply the case : it is precisely wide spread country with one of these drones who similar. I would not be understood as expressing lives upon the reputation of the working bee, and a desire to cast aside the veterans who have spent who is of about as much use to the Army as the their lives in support of their country—they de- fop of Broadway, or Chesnut street is to the soserve and have a right to demand more. The plan ciety of New York or Philadelphia. to which I refer you fully provides for them. If Before proceeding to my task of examining these the Hon. Chairman will give me his attention, I Staff Departments, corps by corps, I must in canpromise to convince him he is but "penny wise.” dor say to their members, individually and collec

On one of his inquiries, Congress should act at tively, once. Cut off all double rations—and reduce the

“A chiel's amang ye takin' notes, appropriations thirty thousand dollars. Such is

And faith, he'll prent it.” their cost. I will give you reasons and good ones hereafter.

The table in No. 2* shows that in 1821 we had I find, from official documents, that in 1838 the a Quarter Master's Department which was conkone of our Army was increased in numbers about sidered sufficient for the wants of the service at fifty per cent.

that time. It consisted of a Quarter Master GeThe Staff at the same time was increased in neral, two Quarter Masters and four military store numbers about two hundred and seventy-five per keepers. Since that time three regiments have cent.

been added to the eleven we then had in service The expenses of the line at this time were only and with them we find two Colonels, two Lieuteinereased about twenty-five per cent., owing to the nant Colonels, two Majors and twenty-eight Capadditions being made entirely to “ the rank and tains added to this department, an increase of file"—the number of officers was actually reduced.

seven hundred

per cent. Why were these offices The expenses of the Staff were increased from

created ? This question would be easily and plausione thousand to fifteen hundred per cent., owing bly answered by the department if referred to it; to the additions made to the number of officers,

but ask any officer of rank and standing in the nearly all with increased rank and every one with Army, disconnected with the loaves and fishes, greatly increased pay.

which the department distribute, and the answer What is the result in 1812, when the Army is

will universally tell against them. The increase again reduced ?

* See S. L. Mess. for March, 1844, p. 156.

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