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liar to every English reader for going to say of soul, but soul has it
speare died, a century and a half since In his case we have no doubt of some Milton died ; and Pope has been fa thing like a transmigration, (we were miliar nearly a century. Gray supplied a none,) of the vaporous inflation which model of finished poetry :50 years as produced the poems inflicted upon the go. Goldsmith and Cowper improvedl public by Mr John Hamilton. "Never our poetry and our taste. But, of
was the honest severity of criticism late, enormous additions have been
more loudly called for.
“ Immortal made, not to our standing army, but verse” is the very highest gratification to the establishments of excise and of the human mind. Let it not be customs, and the annoying class of neutralised by versified senilities. But taxgatherers and collectors of revenue. we must support our decision by imIn our poetical senáte, we can well partial references. We quote the folsuppose the member for Aberdeen
lowing lines of the dedication, as suf, making a speech to this effect: “I ficiently characteristic of this John grudge not their salaries to the Noble Hamilton, and as excessively cona Lord, or the Right Honourable Ba ceited and silly, ronet, but I complain that their in
This book is thine-this record of past Auence corrupts the administration of
hours; poetical justice, and that their patron This chronicle of feelings gone for aye : : age erowds the poetical offices with
Thon'lt find a line or two about the flow, persons who do no service to the pub
ers, lic. Really, Sir, if reduction and And words of welcome to the Lady May ; economy are to be seriously practised, Think not with these I now abuse my we ought not to vote a single page for
powers, those sinecure scribblers who make no I've learn'd at length to reverence Ladyreturn whatever for such an expence,
day. It would be invidious to take this oc
These are old follies as the time increases, casion for alluding to individuals. 1 I give up drawling verse for drawing leases. really hope that their own sense of shame will suggest to them the pro
Verses of this sort might serve the priety of resigning before the esti-purpose of inspiring slumbers fully as
well as the wind whistling through mates of the next year are made up. We are now in the third century of
a key-hole. Yet the author dreams peace, and yet what enormous bur
of alarming the world by threatening dens do we not bear? Here is now,
to divorce himself from his lily; in the documents laid on the table, I have but to request the world will view one John Hamilton, with 175 pages The lily and myself henceforth as two! of poetry, besides 16 pages of dedica
We could believe that the followa tion, advertisement, and contents. (Hear, hear.) Now, I should like
ing verse was written by a coxcomb, to know what services he performs for
who amused himself by making love an allowance so enormous.
to an old maid, and who was in realone, is but a trifling item, but it is in his own infallible inspiration.
turn flattered into a thorough belief the principle of it that calls for the iuterterence of Parliament.” (Hear, But thy advice is law-so farewell, fairies ! hear, hear.)
My soul against your glowing haunts I We fear much that Mr John Ha
must ice ; milton is incurably in love with silly
Fate at a word my course of study varies, conceit and unpoetical rhyme. We
And brings me books in which a deal of form this opinion from the perverse
dust is. imbecility of the volume before us, None can feel surprise to find this notwithstanding that Mr Hamilton superseder of Horace and the art of promises to "give up drawling verse poetry, enacting, in the plenitude of for drawing leases. It may arise his wisdom, that “ Modern poetry is from the strong antipathy of our fan- not bettered by being boarded accordcies to his eyes and muscles, but we ing to the direction of Horace; for to confess that we are not free from ap be seen in its freshest colours, it should prehensions of being visited by Mr be worn in its newest gloss.” If, by Hamilton's ghost, after his present modern poetry, we understand, as in body shall be mouldering in oblivion. submission bound, the poetry of which
we have given extracts, we admit the annuated, we must not charge John
sunt, it be kept for nine years, it would re
Nulla dies unquam memori vos eximet quire a better stomach than ours to approach it.
We think, notwith- Dum domus Æneæ Capitoli immobile saxstanding, that port-wine and brandy are much improved by being kept for Accolet, imperiumque pater Romanus hasome time. But to our dreary toil.
bebit. The first of the poems is “ The Garden of Florence from Boccacio.” The But the lover of the lily sings, tale is short and improbable. A weal. Oh, sweet, unfortunate lovers! Ye were thy youth falls in love with a poor yoang girl, and is accepted with sordid gra And scarcely pledged of heart ! did ye betitude. While they are discoursing
long of love in the agonies of lassitude and To a sad or happy state ? drowsiness, he tastes a sage-leaf and
question to be asked !" But suredies. She is accused of his murder, ly our realers, if any reader has accomand when explaining the manner of panied us thus far, are now satisfied. his death, she too chews the sage-leaf Will they suffer us to tell them that and dies.
there is next a Spenserian poem, which Though she was beautiful, and few of “the author thinks can appear to reyears,
semble Beattie's Minstrel, but on a No unblushed hopes stirr'd strange and first and hasty glance,” and of which fulsing fears
he threatens a second part ? Nor thoughts of deepening joys ran riot into tears!
There was a youngster boy of golden mind.
This youngster had But the “ young merchant"
-no brother Came unto light Simonida--and piled To link him with mankind.Her home with fleecy treasures for the wheel.
Nor had he a By and by this piler of wool
Toscatter silver sounds his listening thoughts Made theft of what she spun—the simplest among
piece, And went away, alone, and kissed the The poetical author of the “ Essay on flecce.
Truth" would have scarcely ventured
to sing of Edwin, Anon,
T'hat he did love to lic and be alone,
and sweet words have said that “ Very like a whale.” But let the
-the unwearied brook reader prepare to be affected : Told wooing stories as it coil'd along. She lean'd within his arm, on that day,
We sometimes hesitated whether to And looked content to lcan her life away.
believe John Hamilton to be an archThe phrases and images of this wag, who burlesques the puling childmodern Horace are as novel as his ishness of “ modern poetry," and in poetry. We find Pasquino “ loosing this salutary spirit makes his young
enthusiast sing his playful wit;" and * each tongue noises for vengeance ;"-we hear a O melon-scented lily! voice " that seemed like sound in. O water queen of Aowers ! urn’d;" and we are told that “ his and then exclaims, in his own sarcasvery look could sway the people kind.” tic person, Simonida, a mute young thing,"
It was a pity, so it was, that one goes gasping all convulsedly for So framed to dwell in golden Arcady, breath." As Horace has been super- Should be left naked in a world so lone ;
thus happily parodying the “white tion, however faithful, they are uninsimplicity of the popinjay teresting, often insufferable. These And that it was great pity, so it was,
partake much of the nature of other That villanous saltpetre should be digg'd.
and grosser animal gratifications, and
must be actually enjoyed in order to But John Hamilton's treatment of be interesting and delightful. the fairies soon dispelled the respectful illusion, and compelled us to re
Some men employ their health, an ugly
trick, cognize Bottom the weaver with the head of an ass.
In making known how oft they have been After celebrating
sick, “ the white cat,"_" the royal ram,
And give us, in recitals of disease, -and “a honey swell of music,
A doctor's trouble, but without the fees. he says, with unrivalled integrity,
This is ugly trick” has its origin in Much doth it wonder me that I can keep the same principles which induce weak I who do weave this mystic history
aclmirers of natural scenes to write My constancy and ardency from sleep.
descriptions of what seems to them so But our constancy can keep no longer full of interest. The fallacy has been toiling at this teazing soporific, nor greatly encouraged by rich and highcan we minutely advert to the home- ly interesting descriptions in the best span phrases of good Mr Bottom, as, poets; but, with them, description is
sunn'd romance," “ books of eld- incidental, and for ornament-it is the e time,”—“ skyey turrets,”—“ air scenery, not the play. Injuclicious with arrows laced," -“ cloying the writers mistake the cause of our deeagle's plumage,' '_“ patient passion light, and present us with mere scenof a snowy pair of doves," a fit of ery, without either tragedy or comedy. sound,"—“ buddingly,
" heaved It Homer gives a descriptive epithet out his soul of song, lily com- to the sea, it is when the indignant pany,"_" dew-wine brewed,” our priest of Apollo walks sullenly along the queen in her bodilice, "-" dull with shore. If Virgil gives a description of a beauty,” and the like..." Golden” river, of woods, and of hills, it is when and silvery" are repeated often Eneas first sails up the Tiber, peneenough to satiate the bitterest enemy trates forests that had never witnessed of paper currency, We might, in- the glitter of arms, and obtains the deed, contrive to discover some lines first view of the seven hills of the of tolerable poetry; but they are so “ Eternal City;” The song of birds, few, and so insignificant, as to merit awakens Evander and his guest. The no such distinction. This volume is darkness of night in his description altogether a positive deterioration. is accompanied with the early rising The author, whoever he may be, and of the chaste and careful wife to prewhatever may be his prosaic name, scribe their tasks to her maids. The can scarcely be more improperly em- grateful light of morning is presented ployed than in weaving such “ mys- to our imagination, when Æneas via tic histories.” Digging pits in the sits the snow-white corpse of Pallas. earth, and filling them up again, The truth of this remark is still more would be as patriotic, and almost as fully illustrated by Shakespeare and poetical.
Milton, but they are happily too well We cannot refrain from taking this known to make particular reference occasion to give a few plain hints to necessary. Shakespeare gives more the enamoured admirers of natural vivid delight by his description of scenery and tales of fairies. It may Jacques “ under an oak," and of the be assumed as an axiom, that scenes “poor sequestered stag," that “stood may interest and delight the spectator on the extremest verge of the sweet in the highest degree, which can af. brook," thun the minutest details of ford little interest or delight in de the colour of the leaves, the noise of scription. The rising and the setting the stream, the tints of the sky, and of the sun,—the deep gloom of fo- the changes of the wind, could inspire. rests,-the majestic flow of rivers, There is not one picture in Paradise the song of birds, and the magnifie Lost that owes not its power to our cence of seas and rocks,-excite the sympathy with Adam and Eve, or keenest sensations of delight, in the with the Devil. Let one instance first instance ; but, in mere descrip- suffice.
To the nuptial bower. with all the passions, and more than I led her blushing like the morn: all hear the poetry of mortal majesty. Mil
ton has availed himself only of their And happy constellations on that hour
influence on the traveller's mind, Shed their selectest influence; the earth Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill ;
like that pigmean race Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle Beyond the Indian mount, or fairy elves, airs
Whose midnight revels by a forest side Whispered it to the woods, and from their Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, wings
Or dreams he sees, while over-head the Flung rose, Aung odours from the spicy shrub,
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
Wheels her pale course, they on their mirth Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear: On his hill top, to light the bridal lamp.
At once with joy and fear his heart re
bounds. Mere descriptions of nature would never be endured, but for the exqui But we must pause here. We may site felicity of language and composi- perhaps take some future occasion of tion with which they are sometimes resuming the subject. In the meanrecommended, as in some of the Odes time we entreat of Mr John Hamilof Horace, the Castle of Indolence, ton not to attempt a second part of parts of the Minstrel, and considera- the “ Romance of Youth!" “ The ble parts of the Task. But Cowper Ladye of Provence" is too repulsive generally identifies us with himself; for criticism. with him we contemplate not in imagination, but we see, hear, and feel.
ITALY, BY LADY MORGAN. I again perceive The soothing influence of the wafted strains, “I TRUST,” says Lady Morgan, And settle in soft musings as I tread that, in a woman's work, sex may The walk, still verdanč under oaks and plead its privilege, and that, if the elms,
heart will occasionally make itselt a Whose outspread branches overarch the
party in the concern, its intrusions glade.
may be pardoned, as long as the facts We cannot help hazarding a suspi- detailed are backed, beyond the possicion, that Windsor Forest and the bility of dispute, by the authority of Seasons, at least the descriptive parts, contemporary testimonies." We have are more frequently praised than read. always been accustomed to consider The traveller, intent on other objects, the words " privilege of Parliament" enjoys nature more than the idle wan as the most vague and uncertain that derer without an aim. So are the the English language, or the Englisli descriptions of nature striking and in- constitution, can boast of. In this teresting, when they supply only the opinion we have erred. Lady More scenery which adorns the stage for gan has practically demonstrated, that, human actions and feelings.
of all the salvos ever entered, to imOf Fairies we have little to say. If pose on the credulity, or propitiate they would really interest us, they the favour, of mankind, that of " pria must possess the feelings and passions vilege of sex" is the most convenientof men. They cannot be exempted ly and mischievously general and comfrom this just law any more than an- prehensive. Is a jolterhead of a coungels or devils. If their influence upon try member laughed at by an opposithe mind of the risionary be the sub- tion print, wherein his folly, his ig.. ject of description, that may be high- norance, his ductility, or his corruply interesting, without any account of tion, are animadverted on as they dethe airy beings themselves. “ Sir serve ?-He rises in his placedeEustace Grey" is poetical in the high- nounces the daring offender-pleads est degree, without a fiction or super- “privilege of Parliament”—and ends, natural machinery. But if the fairies with a motion, which is generally carbe expected to excite our sympathy, ried, for providing the would-be pae we must find them affected by our hopes and fears. Shakespeare felt this, In 2 vols. 4to. London, Colburn and and endowed his Oberon and Titania Co. 1821.
triot with cool apartments in New- age ; and þistory, sufficiently vague, gate. Here, however, the matter but better accredited, has peopled its rests
. The session of Parliament and Eden plains with confederated tribes ; the durance of the patriot terminate and has covered regions with numetogether; and the sinner issues forth rous flocks and plenteous harvests, from his “ opprobrious den” to com where desolation now reigns over pesmit new trespasses, without, perhaps, tilential marshes." Here we have encountering fresh castigation. But “fables"." assigning a golden age to does an “ambulating" seribbler of a peninsula ;" and "history," at once bad novels indite two goodly quartos,
vague” and “ aceredited,” “
peoevery page of which, almost, is sprin- pling Eden plains with confederated kled over with more or less of Non- tribes !”--that is, “ confederated” besense, Ignorance, Indecency, Irreli- fore they “peopled the Eden plains ;" gion, Jacobinism, and “ Premeditat- though where this “confederacy” was ed Perversion of Facts?”-It is im- first entered into, this petticoated ulmediately hoped and “ trusted that tra-radical has not deigned to inform SEI may plead its PRIVILEGE, and us. In the sentences that follow in that, if the heart make itself a party continuation, we meet with “Europe in the concern, its intrusions may be subjugated (enslaved) to slavery," pardoned !” In the former instance, a race of a mould and fibre swarmthe offence, real or imaginary, meets ing and violating,”-and an unwith a punishment in some degree known product from the foundery of a suitable and proper ; whereas, in the new creation thinning the ranks of a latter, after every better principle of refined degeneracy !"-In page 3, our nature has been outraged-after “conquest" is said to be consolidatthe laws and institutions of our coun ed by usurpation.” This is one of try, and our religion, have been tra a thousand instances of inversion of duced and vilified after the invete- understanding that might be selected rate, the mortal foes of truth, religion, from the volumes before us. We beg and social order, have been held up as to inform Miladi, that " conquest' paragons of philosophy, patriotism, “ consolidates usurpation,” not usurand virtueafter we have toiled pation conquest. Bonaparte was a through blasphemy and Jacobinism, successful usurper, only because he calumny and falsehood, we are im was a great conqueror. Where did mediately called upon to respect “the Lady Morgar, discover that “ the paprivilege of sex !” and, on pain of be- radise" (Italy we presume)
« lured" ing branded with inexpiable coward (what?)" from the plains of Egypt." ice, to refrain from making a single We dare say there are Gypsies in Itatilt against such an enormous delin- ly as elsewhere; but we really never quent, merely because, forsooth, the heard that Ptolemy had ever reigned
work" is a woman's !" The age in that country, although we would of chivalry, alas! is gone by; and be understood to speak with great dee' "a woman's work” against which ference to her Ladyship, who is obsuch grave charges are laid must, no viously very learned in ancient hisless than a man's,-had any man ever tory, having discovered many fact written such a mass of revolting jar- which had totally escaped the more gon and abomination,-submit to the obtuse perceptions of her predecesdissecting knife of criticism. To give sors. In page 7 we are informed that Lady Morgan the full benefit of our " hecatombs of Roman lives were of strictures, however, we shall take care fered on the ratification of this alto be most rigidly methodical. We liance," (that between Eugenius III. begin with the most barmless attri- and the Emperor Frederick Barbarosbute of the goodly work before us, sa,)“ on the feast of St Peter and St
Paul." What! was this alliance ra1. NONSENSE.—To convince our tified by human sacrifices ? We conreaders that we do not dive very deep fess we cannot discover a glimpse of for examples under this category, we meaning in this odd piece of exaggeshall transcribe the very first sentence ration and nonsense. There is not a of this monstrous literary abortion. whisper in history to justify such an
The fables of antiquity have assigne assertion. We have heard of St Bared to the Peninsula of Italy.a golden tholomew, and the Sicilian Vespers,