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envy from others towards them, because they are in possession of honour. Certainly kings that have able men of their nobility, shall find ease in employing them; and a better slide into their business; for people naturally bend to them, as born in some sort to command."*

Jan. 18, 1809.


No. LXII. On the Impolicy of Complaint.

though fall’n on evil days,
On evil days though fall’n, and evil tongues ;
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round.”


Johnson, in his Life of Cowley, says, that after the Restoration that poet having missed the Mastership of the Savoy, “ published his pretensions and his discontent, in an Ode called The ComPLAINT; in which he styles himself the melancholy Cowley. This met with the usual fortune of complaints, and seems to have excited more contempt than pity.”

I am afraid that the remark, if applied to the generality of mankind, is too true; but it ought not to have been spoken so irreverently of such a man as Cowley; nor without a strong reprobation of its illiberality and injustice. There is on the contrary a sarcastic tone in the critic's expressions, as if he thought the world on such occasions were in the right.

* Bacon's Essays—No. XV. on Nobility.

We are, no doubt, too disgracefully inclined to estimate people according to their prosperity. Success is deemed the sure test of ability or virtue. He therefore, who would stand well in the opinion of the coarse, which is the major part of society, should never complain. He should, on the other hand, pass unnoticed every affront, conceal every miscarriage, boast of his friends, and exult in his good luck. Sighs and melancholy will only be deemed the proofs of ill fortune; and ill fortune will be the signal for new attempts at injury and defeat. The world is like a herd of deer, that always set themselves upon the wounded stag.

It is among the most prominent frailties of“ base mankind” to give a helping hand to those who do not want it, and withhold it from those who do. One success leads to another; and one injustice to another. “Woes cluster;" and he, who has received a wrong from one neighbour or alliance, is much more exposed to a second from some quarter, which was before well intentioned towards him, than if the first had never happened. Nothing but sad and repeated experience will induce the honourable and pure-hearted to believe this frightful truth. One would have thought that injuries heaped on an undeserving head would operate as motives for the counterbalancing kindness of benefits even before unthought of. Alas! No! The example is more effective than the warning. The bad passions of our nature are drawn into play. What one has done without meeting the opprobrium of the world, another may safely indulge in.

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I should have extended this paper ; but, alas! the melancholy events announced from Spain stop my pen; and the press admits of no delay till I can compose my agitated spirits.

All I can say now is, that the terms of contempt in which Johnson concurs, regarding Cowley's Complaint, * disgrace himself. It is one of the finest of his Poems; beautiful and affecting in its sentiments, and admirably happy, for the most part, in its vigorous and eloquent language. And as to the disclosure of ill usage, which reflects real shame only on its propagators, if it draw forth the scorn of the vulgar-hearted on the innocent sufferer, such frank and ingenuous pictures of the feelings of a pathetic or indignant bosom will always secure the sympathy, the love, the esteem, and gratitude of the wise and the good. Jan. 25, 1809.

*« The plan of this poem,” says Dr. Hurd, “is highly poetical: and though the numbers be not the most pleasing,” (a position in which I cannot agree with him) “ the expression is almost every where natural and beautiful. But its principal charm is that air of melancholy, thrown over the whole, so expressive of the poet's character. The address of the writer is seen in conveying his just reproaches on the court, under a pretended vindication of it against the Muse.Hurd's Cowley,


No. LXIII. Lines by Bloomfield on his Mother's


“ How sometimes Nature will betray its folly;

Its tenderness; and make itself a pastime
To harder bosoms !”


“ All love the womb that their first being bred.”


Every one is acquainted with the pastoral poetry of Bloomfield. It is not so generally known, with what wonderful power and pathos he can write in blank verse.

Robert Bloomfield to his Mother's Spindle.


“ Relic! I will not bow to thee nor worship!
Yet treasure as thou art, remembrancer

* « The portrait of my mother," says Bloomfield, “ was taken op her last visit to London, in the summer of 1804. During the period of evident decline in her strength and faculties, she conceived, in place of that patient resignation, which she had before felt, an ungovernable dread of ultimate want, and observed to a relative with peculiar emphasis, that to meet Winter, Old Age, and Poverty, was like meeting three great giants. To the last hour of her life she was an excellent spinner; and latterly, the peculiar kind of wool which she spun was bought exclusively for her, as being the only one in the village, who exercised their industry on so fine a sort. During the tearful paroxysms of her last depression she spun with the utmost violence, and with vehemence exclaimed “I must spin. A paralytic affection struck her whole side while at work, and obliged her to quit her spindle when only half filled, and she died within a fortnight afterwards! I hate that spindle now. She was buried on the last day of the year 1804. She returned from her visit to London on Friday the 29th of June, just to a day twenty-three years after she brought me to London, which was also on a Friday, in the year 1781. Bloomfield.

Of sunny days, that ever haunt my dreams,
When thy brown fellows as a task I twirl'd,
And sung my

ditties ere the farm receiv'd
My vagrant foot, and with its liberty
And all its cheerful buds and opening flowers
Had taught my heart to wander.

Relic of affection, come;
Thou shalt a moral teach to me and mine.
The hand that wound thee smooth is cold, and spins
No more. Debility press'd hard around
The seat of life, and terrors fill'd her brain;
Nor causeless terrors: giants grim and bold,
Three mighty ones she feared to meet; they came
Winter, OLD AGE, and POVERTY,

all came: The last had dropp'd his club, yet fancy made Him formidable ; and when Death. beheld Her tribulation, he fulfill'd his task, And to her trembling hand and heart at once, Cried, “spin no more ;' thou then wert left half fill'd With this soft downy fleece, such as she wound Through all her days! She who could spin so well! Half fill'd wert thou, half finish'd when she died. Half finish'd ! 'tis the motto of the world! We spin vain threads, and dream, and strive, and die, With sillier things than Spindles in our hands.

Then feeling, as I do, resistlessly The bias set upon my soul for verse, Oh! should old age still find my brain at work, And Death, o'er some poor fragment striding, cry,

Hold! spin no more! Grant Heav'n that purity

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