Imágenes de páginas

of himself, and he has ceased to cultivate virtue, and polish his nobler part, his soul.” Or, if poetical authority alone will satisfy a poet, let him learn from one of the finest of our modern poems: “But of our souls the high-born loftier part, Th’ethereal energies that touch the heart, Conceptions ardent, laboring thought intense, Creative fancy's wild magnificence, And all the dread sublimities of song: These, Virtue, these to thee alone belong: Chill'd, by the breath of vice, their radiance dies, And brightest burns when lighted at the skies; Like vestal flames to purest bosoms given, And kindled only by a ray from heaven"." That the object of poetry, however, is not simply to instruct, but to “instruct by pleasing,” is too obvious to need a proof. However the original object of measure and rhythm may have been to graft truth on the memory, and associate it with music; they are perpetuated by the universal conviction that they delight the ear. Like the armour which adorns the modern hall, they were contrived for use, but are continued for ornament. Assuming this, then, to be a just definition of poetry, we repeat our assertion, that, in the work before us, the temperament of mind in the poet creates the grand defect of the poetry. If poetry should instruct, then he is a defective poet whose lessons rather revolt than improve the mind. If poetry should please, then he is a bad poet who offends the eye by calling up the most hideous images---who shews the world through a discoloured medium--who warms the heart by no generous feelings---who uniformly turns to us the worst side of men and things---who goes on his way grumbling, and labours hard to make his Teaders as peevish and wretched as himself. The tendency of the strain of Homer is to transform us for the moment into heroes; of Cowper, into *ints;, of Milton, into angels; but Lord Byron would almost degrade

*Grant's Restohetion of Learning in the East.

us into a Thersites or a Caliban ; or lodge us, as fellow-grumblers, in the stye of Diogenes, or any of his two or four-footed snarling or moodyposterity. Now his Lordship, we trust, is accessible upon much higher grounds; but he will perceive that mere regard for his poetical reputation ought to induce him to change his manmer. If, as Longinus instructs us, a man must feel subtimely to write sublimely, a poet must find pleasure in the objects of nature before him, if he hope to give pleasure to others. Let him remember, that not merely his conceptions, but his mind and character, are to be imparted to us in his verse. He will, in a measure, “stamp an image of himself " The fire with which we are to glow must issue from him. Till this change take place in him, then, he can be no great poet. It is Heraclitus who mourns in his pages, or Zeno who scolds, or Zoilus who lashes; but we look in vain for the poet, for the living fountain of our innocent pleasures, for the artificer of our literary delight, for the hand which, as by enchantment, snatches us from the little cares of life, whirls us into the boundless regions of imagination, “exhausting” one “world,” and imagining others, to supply pictures which may refresh and charm the mind”. Lord Byron shews us man and nature, like the phantasmagoria, in shade; whereas, in poetry at least, we desire to see them illuminated by all the friendly rays which a benevolent imagination can impart. We have hitherto confined ourselves to an examination of the influence of the principles and temper of this work upon its literary pretensions; but his Lordship will forgive us if we now put off the mere critic for a moment, and address him in that graver character which we assume to ourselves in the title of our work. In truth, we are deeply * We cannot resist the temptation of saying, that iu this highest department of the poet's art, we know no living poet who will bear a comparison with Mr. Southey.

[blocks in formation]

we are compelled to recognise the author in the hero whom he has painted. In fact, the disclaimer, already noticed in the Preface, seems merely like one of those veilsworn to draw attention to the face rather than to basile it: and in the work before us we are forced to recognise a charac. ter, which, since Rousseau gave his Confessions to the public, has scarcely ever, we think, darkened the horizon of letters. The reader of the “Confessions” is dismayed to find a man frankly avowing the most disgraceful vices; abandoming them, not upon principle, but merely because they have ceased to gratify; prepared to return to them if they promise to reward him better; without natural affection, neither loving nor beloved by any; without peace, without hope, “without God in the world.” When we search into the mysterious cause of this autobiographical phenomenon, we at once discover that Rousseau's immeasurable vanity betrayed him into a belief, that even his vices would vanish in the blaze of his excellencies; and that the world would worship him, as idolaters do their mishapen gods, in spite of their ugliness. The confessions of Lord Byron, we regret to say, bear something of an analogy to those of the philosopher of Geneva. Are they, then, to be traced to the same source P He plainly is far from indifferent to the opinion of by-standers: can he, then, conceive that this peep into the window of his breast must not revolt every virtuous eye? Can he boldly proclaim his violations of decency and of sobriety; his common contempt for all modifications of religion; his monstrous belief in the universal rest or annihilation of man in a future state ; and forget that he is one of those who

“Play such tricks before high heaven, As make the angels weep;"

as offend against all moral taste; as attempt to shake the very pillars of

domestic happiness and of public

security ? It is, however, a matter of congratulation, that his Lordship, in common with the republican Confessor, has not revealed his creed without very honestly displaying the influence of this creed upon his own mind. We should not, indeed, have credited a man of his, sentiments, had he assured us he was happy: happiness takes no root in such soils. But it is still better to have his own testimony to the unmixed misery of licentiousness and unbelief. It is almost comforting to be told, if we dared to draw comfort out of the well of another man's miseries, that “Though gay companions o'er the bowl Dispel awhile the sense of ill; Though pleasure fires the maddening soul, The heart—the heart is lonely still.”

It is consolatory also to contrast the peace and triumph of the dying Christian, with the awful uncertainty, or rather the sullen despair, which breathe in these verses.

“Aye—but to die and go"—alas,
Where all have gone, and all must go;
To be the nothing that I was,
Ere born to life and living woe.
“Count o'er the joys thine hours lave seen,
Count o'er thy days from anguish free;
And know, whatever thou hast been,
'Tis something better not to be.”

Nor can religion be more powerfully recommended than by the following avowal of an apostle of the opposite system.

“No, for myself, so dark my fate
Through every turn of life hath been,

Man and the world I so much hate,
I care not when I quit the scene."

But whilst, for the benefit of others, we thus avail ourselves of the antidote supplied by his Lordship to his own poison, we could wish also that he might feel the efficacy of it himself. Could we hope that so humble a work as this would reach the lofty sphere in which he moves, we would solemnly say to him : “You are wretched, but will nothing make you happy You hate all men; will nothing warm you with new feelings You are (as you say) hated by all; will nothing make you an object of assection Suppose yourself the victim of some disease, which resisted many ordinary applications; but that all who used one medicine uniformly pronounced themselves cured:—would it be worthy of a philosopher uot merely to neglect the remedy, but to traduce it? Such, however, my Lord, is the fatuity of your own conduct as to the religiou of Christ. Thousands, as wretched as yourself, have found ‘a Comforter' in Him; thousands, having stepped into these waters, have been healed of their disease; thousands, touching the hem of His garment, have found • virtue go out of it.” Beggared then of every other resource, try this. “Acquaint yourself with God, and be at peace.’” His Lordship may designate this language by that expressive monosyllable, cant; and may possibly, before long, hunt us down, as a sort of mad March hare, with the blood-hounds of his angry muse. But we hope better things of him. We assure him, that, whatever may be true of others, we do not “hate him.” As Christians, even he who professes to be unchristian, is dear to us. We regard the waste of his fine talents, and the laboured suppression and apparent extinction of his better feelings, with the deepest commiseration and sorrow. We long to see him escape from the thick cloud which, by what may fairly be called his “black art,” he has conjured up around himself. We hope to know him as a future buttress of his shaken

** *

country, and as a friend of his yet “ unknown God.” Should this change, by the mercy of God, take place, what pangs would many passages of his present work cost him Happy should we be, could we persuade him, in the bare anticipation of such a change, even now to contrive for his future happiness, by expunging sentiments that would then so much embitter it. Should he never change; yet, such an act would prove, that, at least, he meditated no cruel invasion upon the joys of others. Even Rousseau taught his child religion, as a delusion essential to happiness. The philosophic Tully also, if a belief in futurity were an error, deemed it one with which it was impossible to part. Let the author then, at all events, leave us in unmolested possession of our supposed privileges. He plainly knows no noble or “ royal way” to happiness. We find in religion a bark that rides the waves in every storm; a sun that never goes down; a living fountain of waters. Religion is suffered to change its aspect and influence according to the eye and faith of the examiner. Like one side of the pillar of the wilderness, it may merely darken and perplex his Lordship's path : to millions it is like the opposite side of that pillar to the Israelites, the symbol of

, Deity; the pillar of hallowed flame,

which lights, and guides, and cheers them as they toil onward through the pilgrimage of life. Could we hear any voice proclaim of him, as of one reclaimed from as inveterate, though more honest, prejudices, “ behold, he prayeth;” we should hope that here also the scales would drop from the eyes, and his Lordship become the eloquent defender and promulgator of the religion which he now scorns.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

GREAT BRITAIN. In the press: A small volume of Tales for the Fire-Side, by Dr. Lettice;—Hints to the Protestants of Ireland, by the Rev. T. Lyon;–The Sixth Report of the Board of Directors of the African Institution. Preparing for publication: A History of Bengal, from the earliest Period of authentic Antiquity to 1757, by Professor Stewart of Hertford College;—A statistical and political Account of Ireland, by Mr. E. Wakefield, in 2 vols. 4to.;-Origines Mythologica, by the Rev. G. Faber.

At Oxford, the Chancellor's prizes have been adjudged to the following gentlemen: Latin Essay—" Xenophontis res bellicas, quibus ipse intersuit, narrantis cum Caesare coinparatio,”—to Mr. John Keble, B. A. late scholar of Corpus Christi college, and now fellow of Oriel college. English Essay—” On Translation from Dead Languages,"—to the same gentleman. Latin Verse—“ Coloni ab Anglia ad Americam missi,”—to Mr. Henry Latham, undergraduate of Brasenose college. Sir Roger Newdigate's Prize: English Verse—“Apollo Belvidere,”—to Mr. Henry Milman, undergraduate of Brasenose college.

W. Frere, Esq. Serjeant at Law, has been elected Master of Downing college, in the room of the late F. Annesley, Esq.

At the sale of Sir James Pulteney's fibrary, the Variorum Classics sold for un

precedented sums, and the rare volume of

the Delphin Classics at the following pi de —Cicero's Philosophical Works, 59 l. us. Prudentius, 16l. 5s. 6d. ; and Statius, 54l. 12s-At another sale, a small tract entitled “Expositio Saniti Jeronimi in Symbolum Apostulorum ad Papan Laurenicum,” purporting to be printed at Oxford in 1438, was sold for 91 l. At the sale of the Duke of Roxburgh's library, the Biblomania raged still more viokently. A set of Sessions Papers from 1690 to 1803, sold for 378l.; a collection of halfpenny Ballads and Garlands, pasted in 3 vols., for 478l. 15s.; a collection of twopenny Portraits, chiefly of persous tried at the Old Bailey, for 941. 10s.; the Boke of St. Alban's (1486), for 1471.; the Mirrour of the World (1480), for 3511. 153,5 the Kalindayr

of the Shippers (1503), for 180l.; the Recuyeil of the History of Troye, by Raoule le Fevre (1473), to the Duke of Devonshire, for 1060l. 10s.; Il Decameroni di Boccaccio, fol. M. C. edit. Venet (1471), to the Marquis of Blandford, for 2260l. &c. &c. A late Medical Journal contains a detailed case of the beneficial effects produced by smoaking stramouium in violent asthma. Professor Leslie has succeeded in freezing quicksilver by his srigorific process. A wide theriuometer tube, with a large bulb, was filled with mercury, and attached to a rod passing through a collar of leather, from the top of a cylindrical receiver. This receiver, which was seven inches wide, covered a deep flat basin of nearly the same width, and containing sulphuric acid, in the midst of which was placed au egg-cup half full of water. The enclosed air being reduced by the working of the pump to the 50th part, the bulb was repeatedly dipt in the water, and again exposed to evaporation, till it became encrusted with a coat of ice about the 20th of an inch thick. The cup, with its water still unfrozen,was then removed, and the apparatus replaced, the coated bulb being pushed down to less than an inch from the surface of the sulphuric acid. On exhausting the receiver again, and continuing the operation, the icy crust at length started into divided fissures, owing probably to its being more contracted by the intense cold than the glass which it invested; and the mercury, having gradually descended in the thermometer tube till it reached the point of congelation, suddenly sunk almost into the bulb, the gage standing at the 20th of an inch, and the included air being thus rarefied about 600 times. After a few ininutes, the apparatus being removed, and the bulb broken, the quicksilver appeared a solid mass which bore the "stroke of a hammer. A plant which grows in great abundance in every field, the Dog's Tongue, the Cynoglossum Officinale of Linnaeus, is said to possess a very valuable quality. If gathered at the time when the sap is in its full vigour, bruised with a hammer, and laid in a house, barn, or granary, or any other place frequented by rats and mice, those destructive animals in mediately shift their quarters. The success of this method is said to be equally speedy and infallible. A grand national library, the collection of which was begun by Catherine II. has been completed and opened at Petersburgh. It comprizes 250,000 printed volumes; 80,000 of which relate to theology; and 40,000 are duplicates. There are also 12,000 mamuscripts. Counsellor Graser has, by order of his Bavarian Majesty, made an experiment with the greatest success, on some young recruits, of his method of teaching children, or adults, to read and write in the course of

a month. Before the end of the month these young scholars, who before did not know a letter, learned to write correctly, and read every thing presented to them. Count Rumford, in recent experiments on the nature of light, the existence of which in combustible bodies he disbelieves, has discovered, that a polyflame lamp, consisting of a number of burners, with wicks flat like a ribbon, and so placed, one by the side of another, that the air can pass between them, while they are duly supplied with oil, and covered with a large rising glass, yielded as much light as 20 candles.



[ocr errors]

T]evotional Service for public Worship in Use among Dissenters. 12mo, 4s. Sermous; by the Rev. Mr. Still. 8vo. 7s. The History of the Patriarchal Age, and of the Jewish Nation. 8vo. 9s. Lectures on Scripture Miracles; by William Bengo Collyer, D.D. 8vo. 12s. Practical Sermons; by J. Atkinson. With a Life of the Author. 2 vols. 8vo. 11. 1s. Serious Enquiries relative to this World, and that which is to come; by J. Buck. 12mo. 3s. Forms of Prayer, and other Services, for Families, &c.; by J. Budd. 8vo. 5s. . The Superior Glory of the Sacred Temple, and the Genius of Protestantism contrusted with Popery; by J. Evans, A.M. 1s. 6d. The Christian Minister's Tetrospect, a Sermon; by J. Evans, A.M. 1s. A Collation of an Indian Copy of the Hebrew Pentateuch, collected by the Rev. C. Buchanan, D.D.; by Mr. Yeates. 4to. 9s. 6d. Sermons on important Subjects; by Owen Manning, B.D. 2 vols. 8vo, 16s. Pure and undefiled Religion, a Sermon; by R. Young, D.D. M.R.I. Royal 8vo. The Welsh Looking-Glass, or Thoughts on the State of Religion in North Wales. 18. The Psalms Evangelized, in a continued Explanation, wherein are seen the Unity of Divine Truth, the Harmony of the Old and New Testament, and the peculiar Doctrines of Christianity, in agreement with the Experience of Believers in all Ages. By Richard Baker, D.D. Rector of Cawston, in Norfolk. 12s. Church Catechism elucidated, with expla

natory Questions and Answers. By I. Saunders. 6d. Miscrell. An eous.

[ocr errors]

the Rev. J. Newton. By the Rev. R. Cecil. Edited by J. Pratt. 8vo. 15s. The Life, Character, and Remains, of the Rev. R. Cecil, M.A. By J. Pratt, 8vo. 13s. A Briefe Memoriall of the Lyfe and Death of Dr. J. Spottiswoode. 4to. 10s. 6d. Sir J. Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain, &c. &c. Translated from the French by J. Bourchier, Lord Berners, with Memoirs of the Translator. 2 vols. 4to. 71.7s. Anecdotes of British and Spanish Heroism, displayed at Tarifa, during the late menuorable Siege of that place, and glorious Victory over the French. 3s.6d. A History of the Long Parliament, with plates. By J. May, Esq. 4to. 1.11s 6d. Historic Anecdotes, and secret Memoirs of the Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland. By Sir J. Barrington. Part IV. 4to, 21s.—or royal, 21. 2s. A Practical Abridgment of the Laws of the Customs. By Charles Pope, Controlling Surveyor of the Warehouses in Bristol. 8vo. 11.1s. Essay on the Preservation of Shipwrecked Persons, with a descriptive Account of the Apparatus. By Capt. Manby. Bwo. 10s. 6d. TheWorks complete of Adam Smith,LL.D. F.R.S. of London and Edinburgh. Containing his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations; Theory of Moral Sentinents, Essays, and Miscellaneous Pieces; with an Account of his Life and Writings, by Professor Dugald Stewart. 5 vols. 8vo. 31. Of the Management of Light in Illumination; together with an Account of a new portable Lamp. By Benjamin, Count of Rumford, F.R.S. 8vo. 1s. . The Sufferings of the Primitive Martyrs; a Prize-poem. By Francis Wrangham, M.A. unember of Trinity College, Cambridge. 2s. Account of the Life and Writings of J. B. Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux; by S. Butlet. Crown 8vo. 7s.

« AnteriorContinuar »