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Epicurean tinge is diffused over the In adopting the sentiments of anwhole. The beautiful garlands which cient poets concerning women, he has these chaste fingers handle have been widely erred. It is, however, a sad gathered in the garden of the Sybarites. aggravation of his offence, that, among They should not twist them into their a set of authors, who are all impure, innocent locks there is phrenzy in he has selected, for the models of his their odours.
special imitation, those in whose proOne of the chief distinctions between ductions the common stain is foulest. the poets of ancient and those of mo- It is needless to say any thing of Anadern times, consists in the wide dif- creon, or of the perverse ingenuity ference which may be observed in their which Mr Moore exhibited in exagge modes of representing the character rating the corruption of that which and influence of the female sex ; and was already abundantly impure-in in no one point perhaps is the supe- taking away from the lewd verses of riority so visibly on the side of the the Teian that simplicity of language moderns. Of those modern poets, and figure which formed the only offnevertheless, who have been content- set to the pollution of their ideas. If ed with the praises of gayety, spright one may judge either from the text, liness, invention, and spontaneously or from the notes even of Mr Moore's disavowed every claim to the highest latest publications, the chief of his honours of their art, not a few have, antique favourites are such men as from vice or affectation, dared, in scorn Aristophanes, Catullus, Ovid, Martial, of their destiny, to revive in their Petronius, and Lucian. In truth, he strains the discarded impurity of their is totally unacquainted with the true predecessors. It will be understood, spirit of ancient poetry, and admires that I refer not to casual or superfi- and borrows exactly the worst things cial impurities merely, but to those about that which he would profess to which imply a complete and radical study with an intelligent delight. pollution of all ideas concerning the The flattering ideas which Mr Moore rature of the softer sex-a degradation has embraced concerning the measure of the abstract conception of their cha- of his own powers, are betrayed by the racter, and of the purposes for which attempt which he has openly made to they have been created. This corrup compete with the genius of Lord tion has entered into the composition Byron in the choice of some of his of no poetry more deeply and essen- scenes and subjects. But, notwithtially than into that of Moore. He standing the absurd eulogies of some never for a moment contemplates them of your reviewers, Mr Moore's Eastern but with the eye of a sensualist. He Poetry has not, I perceive, taken any has no capacity to understand such a hold of the English mind; and this character as Imogen or Una. The should be sufficient to convince that smiles of which he loves to warble, are gentleman of his mistake. The radical not those of the “ Unblenched Ma- inferiority of Mr Moore is abundantly jesty"which Milton worshipped. Their visible even in that respect where, with nature is sufficiently betrayed by the sorrow do I speak it, it might least have company in which he places them. been expected to appear. Lord Byron Listen to the words which he has pla- has done wrong in choosing to repreced in the mouth of a dying poet sent woman at all times as she exists for even death, that awful moment in in those countries where her character whose contemplation nature and reli- is degraded by the prevalence of polygion teach the purest to tremble, is gamy. But he has in some measure represented by this songster as the atoned for this error. He has at least vene of calm and contented reminis- made her as noble as she could be in cencies of sensual delights-exactly as such a situation. He has poured if the mighty change were nothing around her every dignity which she more than a revolution of corporeal could there be imagined to possess, atoms, as if there were no soul to wing and ascribed to her every power and an eternal flight from the lips of the influence which she could there enjoy: departed.
nay, by the preference with which he «When in death I shall calm recline,
has uniformly represented her as re* Oh carry my heart to my mistress dear:
ceiving those who mingle with their Tell her i lived upon smiles and wine love the chivalry of Christendom, he
All the time that it lingered here." has at least insinuated what her rights are, and vindicated the conscious nobi- the gay spirits of a single city are not lity of her nature. Mr Moore has permanently to dictate the decision of brought into the haram no such a generous nation; that the purereliques of the truth. In his lays the minded matrons and high-spirited Sultana of the East betrays no lurking men of Ireland will pause ere they aspirations after a purer destiny; authorise the world to seek the reflecCælum non animum mutat qui trans maretion of their character in the gaudy currit;
impurities and tinsel Jacobinism of in Dublin, London, Bermuda, Kho- this deluded poet. The truth is, that rassan, Mr Moore sees nothing in a I am by no means apprehensive of woman but an amiable plaything or a seeing the “Green Isle" debase hercapricious slave.
self by making common cause with I have enlarged upon this poet's Mr Moore. Before any man can bemanner of representing women, not come the poet of a nation, he must do because in that point alone he falls something very different from what below the standard by which the great has either been accomplished or propoets of your country must be con- mised in any of his productions. He tented to be tried, but because it is must identify his own spirit with that one on which every reflecting man of his people, by embodying in his must at once agree with me, while, in verse those habitual and peculiar regard to many other points, I could thoughts which constitute the essence not calculate upon quite so speedy an of their nationality. I myself have acquiescence. But as it is said in the never been in Ireland; but I strongly Scripture, that “ he who breaks one suspect that Moore has been silent of the commandments has offended with respect to every part of her naagainst them all," so it may very safely tionality-except the name. Let us be admitted, that the poet who betrays compare him for a moment with one impurity and degradation of concep- whose position in many circumstances tion in respect to one point of moral resembled his, and whose works have feeling, can never be truly pure and certainly obtained that power to which lofty in regard to any other. In every his aspire. Let us compare the poet man's system there is some consist- whose songs have been so effectually ency; and Mr Moore is a man of so embalmed in the heart of Scotland, much acuteness, that he could not fail with him who hopes to possess, in that soon to perceive and amend one soli- of Ireland, a mausoleum no less august. tary fault. When he discovers not There are few things more worthy the inky spot, there is proof abundant of being studied, either in their characthat darkness is around him.
ter or in their effects, than the poems Whatever the measure of his power of Robert Burns. This man, born and may be, that man is unworthy to be a bred a peasant, was taught, like all, national poet, whose standard of moral other Scotsmen, to read his Bible, and purity and mental elevation falls below learned by heart, in his infancy, the that of the people to which he would heroic ballads of his nation. Amidst have his inspirations minister. It is the solitary occupations of his rural the chief part of Mr Moore's ambition labours, the soul of the ploughman fed to be received as the national bard of itself with high thoughts of patriotism his own island ; and I observe, that and religion, and with that happy inon a late occasion, a very numerous stinct which is the best prerogative of and respectable body of his country- genius, he divined every thing that was men assembled to express, in his pre- necessary for being the poet of his sence, their admission of his claims. country. The men of his nation, high No one can be less inclined than I am and low, are educated men ; meditato speak harshly of an elegant, accom- tive in their spirit, proud in their replished, and, in his own person, vir- collections, steady in their patriotism, tuous man; but I must say, that I and devout in their faith. At the time, should be very sorry to think so however, when he appeared, the commeanly of Ireland, as to imagine her pletion of their political union with a deserving of no better poetry than Mr greater and wealthier kingdom, and Moore can furnish. The land which the splendid success which had crowncan look upon the principles of his ed their efforts in adding to the genepoetry as worthy of her, cannot herself ral literature of Britain—but above be worthy of its genius. I trust that all, the chilling nature of the merely
speculative philosophy, which they had barbarous times in which they were begun to cultivate, seemed to threaten ruled by native reguli is long since a speedy diminution of their fervent faded into dimness and insignificance. attachment to that which was peculi- The men themselves, moreover, are arly their own. This mischievous deficient, it may be, in some of those tendency was stopped by a peasant, and graver points of character, which afford the noblest of his land are the debtors the best grappling places for the power of his genius. He revived the spark of poetry. All this may perhaps be that was about to be extinguished--and admitted ; but surely it will not be taught men to reverence with increase contended, but that much, both of pure ing homage, that enthusiasm of which pose and instrument, was still left they were beginning to be ashamed. within the reach of him that would The levity of many of his descrip- aspire to be the national poet of the tions, the coarseness of many of his Irish. Their religious feelings are not images, cannot conceal from our eyes indeed of so calm and dignified a nathe sincerity with which, at the bottom ture as those of some nations, but they of his heart, this man was the wor- are strong, ardent, passionate, and, in shipper of the pure genius of his coun- the hands of one worthy to deal with try. The improprieties are superficial, them, might furnish abundantly the the excellence is ever deep.--The man elements both of the beautiful and the might be guilty in his own person of sublime. Their character is not so pernicious trespasses, but his soul came consistent as it might be, but it yields hack, like a dove, to repose amidst to none in the fine attributes of warmth, images of purity. The chaste and low- of generosity, and the whole chivalry ly affection of the village maiden was of the heart. Were these things likethe only love that appeared worthy in ly to have been left out of the calcu. his eyes, as he wandered beneath the lation of a genuine poet of Ireland ?virgin radiance of the harvest moon. Mr Moore addresses nothing to his In the hauts of the dissolute, the at- countrymen that should make them mosphere of corruption might seize listen to him long. He seems to have apon him, and taint his breath with no part nor lot with them in the things the coldness of its derision ; but he re- which most honourably and most effecturned to right thoughts in the con- tually distinguish them from others, templation of the good, and felt in all He writes for the dissipated fashionits fulness, when he bent his knee by ables of Dublin, and is himself the idol the side of the Father and the Priest," in the saloons of absentees; but he has the gentle majesty of that religion never composed a single verse which I which consoles the afflicted and ele- could imagine to be impressed upon vates the poor.-He is at present, the the memory, nor brought together a favourite poet of a virtuous, a pious, single groupe of images calculated to a patriotic people; and the first symp- ennoble the spirit of an Irish peasant. tom of their decay in virtue, piety, Were the Irish to acknowledge in and patriotism, will be seen on the in- this man, their Burns or Camoens, stant when Scotsmen shall cease to they would convince Europe, that they treasure in their hearts the “ Highland are entirely deficient in every thing Mary," the “Cottar's Saturday Night," that renders men worthy of the name and the “ Song of Bannockburn." of a nation. The “ Exile of Erin,"
Mr Moore has attempted to do for and the “ O'Connors Child” of CampIreland the same service which Burns bell, are worth more to Ireland thau rendered to Scotland; but although all the poetry of Moore. his genius is undoubted, he has failed to do so. It will be said, that the national character of his countrymen did not furnish such materials as fell to the share of his rival, and there is no THE MINSTREL OF BRUGES. doubt that so far this is true. The Irish have not the same near recollec
Part Fourth. tions of heroic actions, or the same
(Continued from vol. III. page 671.) proud and uncontaminated feeling of independence as the Scots. Their Is it not true, my young lady readers country has been conquered, perhaps of eighteen, and even you of forty oppressed, and the memory of those years, that you are anxious about the
fate of Amurat? You are in the right fore seen any infidel so eager for death -charming as Medoro, he was more in the prisons of the holy Inquisition, tender; and Ernestine, with whom ruminated, while counting his rosary, you are scarcely acquainted, was of ten on the answer of Amurat, and as at times the value of that coquet Angeli- bottom he was a good-natured man, ca. She had followed her mother to he suspected some mystery, and to the garden of the convent in tears—we clear it up, he returned to the hand. are sorrow to see her weep-he must some Moor to inquire into the details be an absolute barbarian that could be of his arrest and imprisonment. The untouched with her sorrows. But let simple boy told him every thing with us resume our story.-The holy bro- the utmost sincerity; how the bright therhood and the Inquisition are ter- eyes, the enchanting smile, and the rible things. The handsome Amurat, harmonious voice of the modest Eralthough led away through Murcia nestine, had seduced him in Murcia ; with his hands fettered, had in this how, after some time, he gained courstate interested the whole of that age to tell her of all the pains he was kingdom. There was not a girl, on suffering for her ; how his virtuous seeing him pass, who did not cry out, but kind-hearted girl blushed at his “ Heavens, what a pity! is it possible declaration without saying a word; for any one to be a Mahommedan, and how, one day surprising her sighing, so handsome ?"
he asked her the cause ; but she only The poor boy was going to be broil- looked at him, and sighed again ; and ed without hope of pardon. He was this made him comprehend that she confined in a dungeon, with only bread returned his flame: how he cast himand water for his food ; and for his self at the feet of the Minstrel's wife, sole comfort, a Dominican visited him and interested her in his passion ; how twice a day, but without speaking a the Minstrel, on hearing it, became word. It was for the handsome Amu furious, to find that a Moor had the rat himself to confess his crime, but audacity to make love to his daughter ; the poor innocent felt himself no way how they had all run away from the culpable.
house of the Minstrel ; and how the One day the Dominican said to him, officer of the holy brotherhood, after “ You will not then confess any thing having robbed the wife of the Minsto me?" “ Pardon me," replied Amu- trel, who had previously been his misrat, “ I will confess to you that I shall tress, of all that she had, had sent her die, if separated from Ernestine.” home again with Ernestine, and had « Wretched infidel," exclaimed the loaded him with chains. Monk,“ how dare you name a Chris This last circumstance opened the tian?" " Why not," said the sorrowful eyes of the Dominican; he thanked Amurat ? " She was the life of my Heaven for having prevented him from existence, the sun of my days, the ob- committing an unjust act, and sumject of every thought, and the only moned the officer before him, who ching my heart pants after." “ Con avowed the whole. The handsome sider your end," replied the Domini- Amurat appeared very excusable, and can, « within two days the pile will was set at liberty, upon condition of be lighted for you-you must not look being instructed in the Christian relifor pardon, as you are under the most gion; but he would make no promise, obstinate impenitence.” “For what except of doing whatever should please cause ?” asked Amurat. “ In having Ernestine. run away with Ernestine from her fa- He fled back to Murcia, where he ther and mother." " Oh, father !” learnt that the Minstrel had quitted said Amurat, “ I ask your pardon, the town with all his family. They you seem to labour under an error, for could not inform him exactly what it was Ernestine's mother who gave road he had taken, but they thought her to me; however, if you are deter- it was that toward Madrid. Poor Amined to burn me, do so, but it will murat hastened to Madrid, describing never be in such a bright flame as now all the way the persons he was in consumes me for Ernestine. Alas, search of; but he gained only vague alas ! I shall then never see her more and unsatisfactory answers. On his -burn me, burn me, for I cannot live arrival at Castille, he heard that his without her!”
countrymen had lost a great battle. The Dominican, who had never be- Too full of his own misfortunes to think of his country, he pursued his these two mares, we may traversé all road. On his way be overtook a sort Spain in security; the holy brotherof Moorish Esquire, near a ravine, cry- hood will not touch you, and I may ing most bitterly, while two fine Andaperhaps overtake Ernestine.” “I am lasian mares were feeding quietly be- gree to your proposal," answered Saside him. It was Sabaoth himself, baoth, “ for, after all, it is better to be who had witnessed the death of the a wanderer and vagabond than burnt." Zegris, commander of the Moors, and We are concerned to leave our two his good master,
Moors in the plains of Castille, but the Amurat approached him, and ask- monastery of Vaucelles recalls us. We ed him the same questions he had had left Ernestine with her mother, done to all he met : « Sir," said he, and said, that this unfortunate girl < have you seen an old thin man play- could not eradicate from her heart the ing on the bagpipe, accompanied by an shaft which love had fixed there. She old woman, two young boys, and a was ignorant of that formidable power girl more beautiful than all the infan- that triumphs over reason in spite of Las of the world ?” “ Aye, that I have," ourselves, which we wish, and wish replied Sabaoth sobbing, “ at a dis- not to conquer, which effaces all otance, the eve of the battle we have ther sentiments of the soul, which exjest lost. I am well acquainted with ists and renews itself by its own force, that old bagpiper you speak of, and he and will not allow us to have another ought to remember me, for I have of thought, and which subjects us to a ten given him many a hearty thrash- torment at once pleasing and painful, ing in the stables of my last worthy whereof cold hearts can have no idea. defunct master at Grenada. I have Such was the volcano that inflamed also some claim on his gratitude, for I the soul of Ernestine; such the deity, made him a physician, and so able à who, in the midst of pains, procured one, that he attended my master. It her delights ; such the demon that was Tas, however, fortunate for him, that tearing her heart to pieces. during his attendance I was occupied What could the wife of the Minsin the stables, and was ignorant of his trel do in such a case ? She had had aodacity in pretending to be doctor to intrigues, and a variety of adventures, a Zegris. I would have taught him but they are only the simulation of what a stable boy was to a groom. love. Her daughter seemed to her But, be assured, that I have seen him mad, which is the usual name indifferpass by, and he had in fact with him ence gives to that passion, and she two women and two children, but in considered as a weakness, what is the to miserable a condition, that both strongest power in nature. She reaMoors and Christians allowed him to soned and argued, during which, Ercontinue his road unmolested, on ac- nestine sighed and wept. There was count of his misery. I am not so for- no other remedy for her disorder than tunate, which is the cause of my weep. the disorder itself. Besides, to bring ing, for my road is intercepted, and I back an impassioned heart from its cannot return again to Grenada with- wanderings, the person who attempts out risk of being taken ; you also will it should be pure, without which, no run the same chance." Amurat re- one has a right to talk of virtue, and plied, “ Sir Squire, you are right in the mother of Ernestine had lost that fearing being made a prisoner in this right over her daughter. Too happy country, for they treat us Moors very Minstrel ! during this time thou wast scurrily; I that am speaking to you forgetful in the hall of guests, of all have narrowly escaped broiling by the past troubles, and one pleasant half holy Inquisition. Therefore, instead hour effaced the remembrance of sixty of returning to Grenada, let us dis years of misery. Why should we seek guise ourselves, which we can easily happiness in the upper ranks of life, do, for I have in the havresack that in opulent fortunes, or in a multipliyou see on my shoulders, a dress that city of pleasures? It is not even to be I intended for a present to the Mins found in mutual love, and consists trel, to render him propitious to my solely in indifference. love, and another that I had bought The Minstrel was very communicafor his adorable daughter. You shall tive of every adventure he had had. put on the first, and I will dress my. He related one which certainly proves self in the second, when, mounting that the good and evil things of this