Imágenes de páginas

Spread coextensive with the' o'erspreading main.
Part, openest champaign, where above, perchance,
Rolls the Pacific or the Atlantic; part,

By many a strange and fearful precipice
O'erbeetled, narrowest, deepest, darkest glens,
As where those clustering Cyclades inlay
The' Ægean, or Azonian Pico towers,
Or Otaheite midst her islet groupe

Sits, like a Nereid with her nymphs begirt,
Smiling. Nor deem these sea-lands, unadorn'd;
But thick with forests here, and groves, and bowers,
Of coral, some smooth rinded and of clear
Unvarnish'd red, some pale and grey, and rough
With fretwork delicately fair beyond

What the light Gothic chisel best hath wrought:
While meads of sca-weed, numberless, in kinds
And colours, there, delicious pasturage
Spread for the grazing dwellers of the deep.
Add banks of spunge, soft as the tenderest moss:
Myriads of shells, for flowers, with rainbow tints.
Or fleck'd or stain'd, and o'er the wrinkly sands
Now scatter'd, now in many a curious grat
Embedded thick-Castles, beside, and towers,
And streets, and squares, with sparkling diamonds rich
And pearly dimness, rich with silver ore

And golden; beggaring all the pomp and wealth
Of Rome, or Cairo, or old Babylon:

Arches, that might bestride Missouri's wrath,

Where, conqueror-like, his broad brown waters roll

On Mississippi, forcing the pure flood,

(Tho' king of earthly rivers,) many a league
To wear his sullying hue: then pyramids,
Dwindling to insignificance of bulk

And age the piles of Memphis: collonnades,
Vaults, obelisks, and cathedral cupolas,
Mocking whate'er Religion, in her frauds,
Gay with the spoils of superstitious Fear,

Hath built, or Eastern pride; worthiest of gaze

And wonder and loud fame; capacious too

Of millions; in unconscious loneliness

Lost, and death-silence, and perpetual night.' p. 74-77.

A beautiful fancy piece!


We would gladly have quoted the piece called seasons painting the year;' and indeed, several others; but our limits forbid.

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We could almost have wished that Fancy and Reason' had been omitted: such long Allegories have something childish about them, and the subject of this is not particularly original.

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At the end of the volume is a blank-verse translation of the sixth book of the Eneid, offered as a specimen of 'a translation which nothing but an assurance of public approval could encourage the Author to complete and publish.' Most sincerely do we wish that the Author may receive other tokens of public approval' than our wy: that he certainly has. Every reader of Dryden and Pitt must be aware, we suppose, how very inadequate English rhyme is to the expression of the delicate beauties of Virgil. No one, we venture to say, has felt these beauties more than Mr. G. few are so well qualified to convey them to an English reader. We have room but for a short citation.

'Full in the vestibule and jaws of hell

Sorrow has pitch'd her tent, and vengeful Care,
And pale Disease, and melancholy Age,

And Fear, and Famine prompting deeds accurst,
And loathsome Want; shapes terrible to sight;
Labour, with these, and Death, and Sleep, of Death
Half-brother, and the stealthy joys of Guilt,
And War life lavish, and the Furies rack'd
On iron beds, and Discord, wild of soul,
Her snaky tresses wreath'd with blood-red band.
In midst of these, her arms an elm dispreads,
Dark, antique, vast; resort of aëry dreams,
(So rumour'd) clustering every leaf beneath,
And many a savage form: for Centaurs here,
Kennell'd beside the portal, scowl; and there
Scyllas of shape ambiguous; hundredfold
Ægeon; Lerna's monster, hissing dire;
Chimæra, mail'd in flame; the Gorgon brood,
The Harpies, and the triply member'd Shade.
Æneas, here, with panic horror thrill'd,
His falchion clench'd; against the' advancing throng
Waved it unscabbarded; and,--but that she,
His sage conductress, taught him how the ghosts,
(Thin hollow semblances of living form,)

Flit bodiless, with frustrate onset he


Had hewn in sunder those impassive shapes.' pp. 207, 208.

Art. VIII. A Sermon, preached at Leeds, April, 16, 1815, on Occasion of the Execution of Mr. Joseph Blackburn, Attorney at Law, for Forgery: with Details of Conversations with him during his Imprisonment. By Richard Winter Hamilton, Minister of Albion Chapel, Leeds. pp. 62. price 1s. 4th Edition. Longman and Co. London. 1815.

IF this Sermon can be the means of doing any good, it will be, we suspect, in a manner very different from that which

the Author intended. As a beacon to guard young preachers against a rock upon which Mr. Hamilton seems unfortunately to have split, it may, perhaps, prove a very useful discourse, and its Author may ultimately have rendered essential service to the religious public for having preached and published it; but in no other conceivable way can either reviewers or readers contract a debt of gratitude to the preacher. In this respect, indeed, the Sermon before us has no contemptible chance for immortality; for the English language certainly cannot afford so admirable a specimen of almost all the qualities which a sermon ought not to possess, in combination with so lamentable a dearth of all that it should. It is not characterized either by depth of reasoning, or by originality or beauty of illustration. It is not distinguished by the evangelical tone of its sentiment, nor by the fervour, or simplicity, or correctness, of its composition. It is essentially deficient in a display of that melting compassion for the souls of men, in those close and pungent addresses to their consciences, without which it may rationally be expected that all sermons will be preached in vain. It exhibits no sparklings of genius, in the best sense of the term; no taste but of the lowest and most vitiated kind; and no talent but an astonishing adroitness in crowding together a multitude of hard words, which many of his audience had never previously heard, and which the far greater proportion could not understand.

The grand fault in the composition of this singular production is obscurity; arising, we conceive, from two causes; viz. the miserable and despicable pedantry to which we have just alluded, and the writer's own indistinctness of conception. He is too aspiring to tread in the common and every day track of thought, and too feeble to clear out a new path for himself, so that he loses himself, and his readers also. There are innumerable passages in the Sermon, which, even if rendered into plain English, would convey no distinct ideas to the reader's mind, and for the very best reason in the world, because the writer had no distinct ideas to convey. He has aimed at being original, and by pouring out obscurity and absurdity, has, unfortunately for himself in every sense of the word, adopted the worst method he could have devised for becoming so; for we beg leave to hint to Mr. H. that these qualities are by far too common in the present day to confer upon him any prescriptive claim to originality. But the characteristic defect of this discourse, are the barbarous and pedantic expressions with which it abounds. The Author has used such an unparalleled license in this respect, that we could almost imagine his sole aim in writing some of the inimitable paragraphs with which he has favoured us, was

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to see how many uncouth terms and phrases, he could crowd together in a given space, for the amusement of his readers. The text of this Sermon is James i. 15. "When lust "hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, &c." and to substantiate ; our preceding charge, we shall lay before our readers the following single extract, only premising, that if it be not thought sufficient, they may turn to almost any part of the Sermon itself, and read till they are convinced, which will certainly I be the case before they shall have proceeded through many pages. To illustrate the progressive nature of sin, Mr. H. says,

If the character throws itself in any particular attitude, it is difficult to recover the natural posture; and though the singularity might arise merely from an accidental cause, yet it may require some lengthened process to rectify. Through the influence of habit, * feeling may strain it from its native scope, and the powers of the constitution be wrenched from their original sockets. The machinery of the mind, as it is first thrown into action, works through a roughness of wheel and stubbornness of spring, with jarring and confounding attrition; but when the action is continued, the philosophic chimera of perpetual motion is realized and confirmed. And when habits are formed upon evil passions and principles, it is impossible to calculate on their mischievous extent. We have then to grapple, not merely with the strength of our depravity, but with the disadvantages of a prepared barrier and circumvallation. We have then to resist, not an enemy conscious of its injustice, but a commonwealth that relies upon precedent and is regulated by law. Ah! the will is always volatile to sin, why should we then fan its heats and accelerate its impulse? The mind always gravitates to evil, why then should we multiply its tendency by additional weight and bias? Who would add momentum to an avalanche from the Andes, or wing with more cruel speed the bolt that hisses from the secret place of thunder?

We will not disguise that we have read the whole of this Sermon with extreme dissatisfaction, and some passages in it with strong feelings of indignation; nor that the preceding remarks were written in all the bitterness of disappointed hope. Perhaps some of our readers may think we should have treated Mr. H. with more gentleness on account of his youth and inex'perience. To this we reply, that there are peculiarities con"nected with this case, which justify, and even require, the utmost severity of criticism. It is not the exuberance of genius of which we complain, nor the flights of a warm and vivid imagination, which a youth of one and twenty could scarcely be expected to restrain: these faults would have much more easily admitted of palliation and excuse. But it is a wretched and pedantic attempt to appear a man of talent, by the com

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plete sacrifice of every pretension to taste, and of every prospect of doing good to the souls of men. Had the Sermon been preached on an ordinary occasion,, might have been disposed to treat it rather more leniently; but it was delivered, as we have understood, in the presence of 10,000 persons. Surrounded by a multitude much larger in all probability than the preacher will ever be called to address again, a multitude who, in the affecting tragedy they had just witnessed, had seen the evil of sin exhibited in the most vivid colours ;-possessed of the finest opportunity that could offer for arousing their slumbering consciènces, and directing them to the Saviour, with impression and effect;it was in these circumstances that Mr. H. chose to pronounce a discourse, unintelligible to most of his hearers, and to which the remaining few must have listened, if they could listen to it at all, with anguished feelings for the folly and deep culpability of the speaker.

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This, however, is not the whole amount of Mr. H.'s indiscretion. It might be supposed that ignorance and inconsideration had led to the preaching of this discourse; that being himself a young man of reading and information, he might not have been aware that the terms of art and science would place him above the comprehension of his hearers. But we are grieved that he cannot have the benefit of this excuse. In that respectable seminary from which he so lately emerged, he must have been followed with remonstrance upon remonstrance; and he has no doubt received from estimable and venerable friends, to whose judgement he was bound to pay deference, many faithful and solemn assurances of the absolute necessity of a total change in his style of preaching. But it augurs very unfavourably of Mr. H.'s modesty and spirit, that not content with preaching, he has proceeded to publish and to issue, notwithstanding the remonstrances he must have .received, edition after edition of the Sermon upon which we have thus animadverted.

.. We have dwelt upon this unworthy production longer than we should have done, for the benefit of young preachers. How unaccountable soever the fact may be, we hear that Mr. H. is very popular in the neighbourhood of Leeds; and as popularity is a dangerous snare even to a well regulated mind, we have felt some little apprehension lest even his manner of preaching should produce imitators.

We have no apology to offer Mr. H. for what he may deem the severity of our remarks. A sense of duty has impelled the whole of them. We wish he may profit by the general castigation he has received, and have only to add, in parting, "Go and sin no more, lest a worse thing come to thee."

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