網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[blocks in formation]

LITERARY CRITICISM.

work, of which he has begun to consider the one in hand only a subordinate part. Thus, he proposed in his “ Bio

graphia Literaria” to give the history of his literary life On the Constitution of Church and State, according to the, and labours ; but coming to speak of his share in the idea of each ; with Aids towards a Right Judgment of Lyrical Ballads, he enters upon an elucidation of the printhe Catholic Bill. By S. T. Coleridge, Esq., R. A., ciples of Wordsworth's poetry; and, apropos of this subR.S.L. One volume, post 8vo. Second Edition. ject, he conceives the idea of laying down canons for the London. Hurst, Chance, and Co. 1830. Pp. 241. criticism of poetry in general,—in order to do which sysThe Revenues of the Church of England not a Burden tematically, he finds it necessary to set out with an enTez upon the Public. London. John Murray. 1830. quiry into the distinction between Fancy and ImaginaPp. 101.

tion ;-by way of preface to this investigation, he enters

into a discussion of the first principles of metaphysics, We doubt whether any man living has exercised so and by the time he has got well through this preliminary pervading an influence on the English literature of his matter, his mind misgives him, he postpones the demonday, as Coleridge. Byron, Wordsworth, and Southey,– stration of the difference between Fancy and Imagination Jeffrey, De Quincy, and Hazlitt, - poets, critics, mo till after the publication of his great work on the Logos, ralists, and politicians,—scarcely one individual can be and here he abruptly terminates the whole chain of en. "named, who has not, directly or indirectly, had his views quiry. and opinions formed or modified by the precepts and ex It is not by what he has done, but by what he has sugample of Coleridge. Yet, when we come to consult his gested, orally and in books, in prose and in verse, that Cole

published works, it is difficult to recognise in them the ridge has given direction to the literary energy of the day. master mind which thus sways all the rest. We find, | Although he has completed nothing, yet every sentence

it is true, magnificent diction and imagery, comprehen- teems with the germs of thought, which have ripened in 1 sive and profound views of nature,—but no clearness, other minds, though not in his own. It is impossible to

no completeness. We are dazzled and astounded by read a page in his works, without being set a-thinking ; mr his gorgeous and overwhelming thoughts, we are struck and every now and then we stumble upon some fragment

by the momentous truths which he is momentarily an of clear and weighty ratiocination. The work now beal nouncing; but we feel only half instructed. It is like fore us, the perusal of which has set us upon recalling the

listening to the voice of an oracle, which leaves us in peculiarities of one to whom we owe so much, is like all greater doubt and confusion than we were before. We its predecessors. It is a bundle of fragments. It is the are convinced that something is to be learned of which continuation of an attempt to state a fundamental prinwe had previously no conception ; but the mighty truth ciple in political science, which the author strove, but in is only indicated at intervals, like the bold promontories vain, to express clearly, first, in the Morning Post, and of some mountain range, which start forth, here and afterwards in the Friend. He has succeeded this time there, through the shifting masses of voluminous clouds, in bringing it a little more into tangible form ; but he is glowing with reflected lights of gold and purple.

still any thing rather than clear The key to this enigma is to be sought in the character The work consists of two parts. The first, which ocof Coleridge's mind, the most prominent features of which cupies the greater part of the volume, is devoted to the c. are capacious intellect, high imaginative power, ambition, elucidation of a theory of the British constitution in -- and indolence. His understanding seems to pervade all Church and State ; the second, which is brief enough,

nature, and to take interest in all investigations, from dry contains an attempt to demonstrate that the late Catholic enquiries into the affinities of words, numbers, and ab bill does not infringe upon any fundamental principle of

stract form, to those more vital questions of metaphysics, that constitution. methics, and theosophy, which haunt the mind like a pas Passing over some preliminary generalities, explanasion. In all this he is aided, to a great extent, by his tory of the difference between the words idea and conimagination. It is his imagination which enables bimception, and also of the doctrine of a social contract, Mr to piece all his fragments of experience into one harmo. Coleridge comes to speak of the English Constitution. nious whole, and to impart to the language in which he " It is,” he remarks, " the chief of many blessings deenunciates his thoughts that spirit of poetry which ele- rived from the insular character and circumstances of Fates and sustains them. A naturally indolent frame of our country, that our social institutions have formed thembody, however, confirmed by indulgence, has had its usual selves out of our proper needs and interests ; that, long effect of relaxing the actirity of his mind, and has induced and fierce as the birth-struggle and the growing pains him to rest contented with being a recipient of know- have been, the antagonist powers have been of our own eilge, without adding to his acquisitions the art of com system, and have been allowed to work out their final municating the fruit of his researches to others. When balance with less disturbance from external forces than le does man bimself to the task of writing, he lays his was possible in the continental states.” He also lays oundation on such a gigantic scale, that his perseverance down the maxim, that—" In order to correct views reails long before he can complete his fabric. He gene- specting the Constitution, in the more enlarged sense of ally leaves off in the middle, with a promise to conclude the term, viz. the Constitution of the nation, we must, in he subject in some yet more extensive and systematic | addition to a grounded knowledge of the state, have a

right idea of the national church. These are two poles remain at the fountain-heads of the humanities, cultivating of the same magnet; the magnet itself, which is consti- and enlarging the knowledge already possessed, and watch tuted by them, is the Constitution of the nation.” With ing over the interests of physical and moral science ; being

likewise the instructors of such as constituted, or were to regard to the constitution of the state, in its narrower ac- constitute, the remaining more numerous classes of the orceptation, as opposed to the church, he proceeds upon the der. This latter, and far more numerous body, were to be principle, that, “ in every country of civilized men, ac- distributed throughout the country, so as not to leave eren :) knowledging the rules of property, and by means of de- the smallest integral part or division without a residente termined boundaries and common laws united into one guide, guardian, and instructor; the objects and final in one people and nation, the two antagonist powers, or opposite tention of the whole order being these to preserve the interests, of the state, under which all other state inte stores, to guard the treasures of past civilisation, and thus rests are comprised, are those of PERMANENCE and pro

to bind the present with the past ; to perfect and add to the

same, and thus to connect the present with the future; but GRESSION.” He points out briefly the causes which connect, especially to diffuse through the whole community, and to on the one hand, the permanence of a state with land or every native entitled to its laws and rights, that quantity and landed property; and on the other, its progression with the quality of knowledge which was indispensable both for the mercantile, manufacturing, distributive, and professional understanding of those rights, and the performance of the duclasses. He thus divides the citizens of the state into two ties correspondent. Finally, to secure for the nation, if not a orders ;—to the one, he gives the appellation of the Agri- superiority over the neighbouring states, yet an equality at cultural Interest ; to the other—" as the exponent of all least, in that character of general civilisation which equally

with, or rather more than, fleets, armies, and revenue, movable and personal possessions, including skill and ac

forms the ground of its defensive and offensive power. The is quired knowledge”-he gives the name of the Personal object of the two former estates of the realm, which conInterest. These two classes represent, and, in the national jointly form the state, was to reconcile the interest of percouncil, manage, all the interests of the state. On these manence with that of progression-law with liberty. The facts, which must at all times have existed, though in object of the National Church, the third remaining estate very different degrees of prominence or maturity, the prin- of the realm, was to secure and improve that civilisation, ciple of our Constitution was established. The total in- without which the nation could be neither permanent nor

progressive." terests of the country, the interests of the state, were intrusted to a great Council, or Parliament, composed of of a national church. The conclusion drawn from these pre

This is Mr Coleridge's view of the character and rights two houses—the first consisting exclusively of the major mises by Mr Coleridge is, that there are only two things barons, who at once stood as the guardians and sentinels which disqualify a man for discharging this great naof their several estates and privileges, and the representa- tional trust; – The first is allegiance to a foreign power: tives of the common weal;—the minor barons, or Frank. the second, the abjuration—under the command and lins, too numerous, and yet individually too weak, to sit authority of this power, and as by the rule of their order and maintain their rights in person, were to choose, among its professed lieges (alligati)—of that bond, which, more the worthiest of their own body, representatives, and these than all other ties, connects the citizen, which, beyond in such number as to form an important, though minor, all other securities, affords the surest pledge to the state proportion of a second house—the majority of which was for the fealty of its citizens, and that which enables the formed by the representatives chosen by the cities, ports, state to calculate on their constant adhesion to its inteand boroughs.” By this means, the balance was main-rests, and to rely on their faith and singleness of heart in tained between the conflicting claims of the permanent the due execution of whatever public or national trust and the progressive classes. Turning next to consider the Church as an integral tue of these disqualifying circumstances, he not only de

might be assigned to them- the marriage tie." In vir. portion of the national Constitution, the author remarks :

nounces individuals of the Romish as incapable of hold. “ It was common to all the primitive races, that, in ta- ing office in our national church, but denounces that king possession of a new country, and in the division of church collectively as incapable of supplying the place of... the land into heritable estates among the individual

a national church. warriors or heads of families, a reserve should be made for the nation itself. The sum total of these heritable ted to fixing the extent of power possessed by our legisla. 1

The remainder of the first part of the work is dedicaolo portions, appropriated each to an individual lineage, I beg tive bodies to innovate upon the laws of the land, in which *** leave to name the Propriety; and to call the reserve he successfully shows the illegality of their attempting ti above-mentioned the Nationality; and likewise to em- alter the great landmarks of the constitution.— The se ploy the term wealth, in that primary and wide sense cond part of the work, entitled “ Aids towards a righe. which it retains in the term Commonwealth. establishment, then, of the landed proprietaries

, a nation-judgment on the late Catholic bill," is occupied with al-, ality was at the same time constituted, -as a wealth, not thor's approbation of that measure with the doctrine

attempt we think a successful one-to reconcile the au consisting of lands, but yet derivative from the land, and maintained in the first part. Into this question, how rightfully inseparable from the same.” The body in whom the right to this reserve was vested--the Church whole, we take leave of Mr Coleridge, after a carefu

ever, we have not left ourselves room to enter. On the Mr Coleridge calls, in the constitutional language of the perusal of this volume, with renewed impressions of hi country," the third great venerable estate of the realm :" | genius, although we are fully prepared to find, that, if no

“ As in the first state,” says Mr Coleridge," the perma- ticed at all, the work will be noticed sneeringly or malig nency of the nation was provided for, and in the second estate, its progressiveness and personal freedom; while in the

nantly. king the cohesion by interdependence and the unity of the

The pamphlet, whose title we have also copied at tt country were established; there remains for the third estate, head of this article, is temperately and elegantly writtet only that interest which is the ground, the necessary ante- and will be found an interesting appendix to Mr Colt cedent condition, of both the former. Now, these depend ridge's work. on a continuing and progressive civilisation. But civilisation is itself but a mixed good, if not far more a corrupting influence, the hectic of disease, not the bloom of health, Three Courses and a Dessert. The Decorations and a nation so distinguished ought more fitly to be called a varnished than a polished people; where this civilisation is George Cruikshank. London. Vizetelly, Branste not grounded in cultivation, in the harmonious develope and Co. 1830. 8vo. Pp. 432. ment of those qualities and faculties which characterise our humanity. We must be men in order to be citizens.

Will such of our readers as have not seen this bar “ The nationality, therefore, was reserved for the sup- have the kindness to mention what they suppose its ea port and maintenance of a permanent class or order, with tents to be, judging by its title? “ Three Courses and the following duties. A certain smaller number were to | Dessert, the Decorations by George Cruikshank," my

naturally be supposed to be a cookery-book, with wood- | passengers ; I am certain that our pursuers are not far cuts representing flesh, fish, and fowl; but this natural behind us. The idea of having the cup of bliss dashed from and almost inevitable supposition is a thousand miles my very lips--of such beauty and affluence being snatched wide of the mark. We have often been enraged at the from me for want of a second pair of paltry posters, drives unintelligibility of a man's signature, but mere unintel " " A Gretna Green affair, I presume, sir?' observed the ligibility is a venial fault compared with the palpable inquisitive landlord. mystification of this most affected title. The work en “ The gentleman made no scruple of admitting that he titled " Three Courses and a Dessert,” good reader, is had run away with the fair young creature who accompaneither more nor less than a series of tales, grave and gay, nied him, and that she was entitled to a fortune of twenty English and Irish, clever and stupid. The “ Decora- I thousand pounds : -one-half of which, continued the gentions” are a number of very lively caricatures, by Cruik. tleman, I would freely give, if I had it, to be at this in

stant behind four horses, scampering away, due north, at shank, from designs by the author himself, and give the full speed.' book a value independent of the diversified nature of the “I can assure you, sir,' said the landlord, that a fresh letter-press. Humour is the staple commodity of the pair of such animals as I offer you, will carry you over the work, and, on the whole, the article it brings to market ground as quick as if you had ten dozen of the regular is so good that there ought to be a demand for it. As a road-hacks. No man keeps better cattle than I do, and this specimen, we select the following amusing story, not, pair beats all the others in my stables by two miles an hour. however, because it is the best we can find, but because But in ten minutes, perhaps, and certainly within half an its length is suited to our limits :

“ • Half an hour ! half a minute's delay might ruin me,'

replied the gentleman; • I hope I shall find the character THE DEAF POSTILION.

you have given your cattle a correct one:_dash on, posti" In the month of January 1804, Joey Duddle, a well-lion ! known postilion on the north road, caught a cold through “ Before this short conversation between the innkeeper sleeping without his nightcap; deafness was, eventually, the was concluded, Joey Duddle had put to his horses, which consequence; and, as it will presently appear, a young for were, of course, kept harnessed, and taken his seat, pretune-hunter lost twenty thousand pounds and a handsome pared to start at a moment's notice. He kept his eye upon wife, through Joey Duddle's indiscretion, in omitting, on ihe innkeeper, who gave the usual signal of a rapid wave of one fatal occasion, to wear his sixpenny woollen nightcap. the hand, as soon as the gentleman ceased speaking; and

.“ Joey did not discontinue driving after his misfortune; Joey Duddle's cattle, in obedience to the whip and spur, his eyes and his spurs were, generally speaking, of more uti- hobbled off at that awkward and evidently painful pace, lity in his monotonous avocation than his ears. His stage which is, perforce, adopted by the most praiseworthy postwas, invariably, nine miles up the road, or a long fifteen' horses for the first ten minutes or so of their journey. But down towards Gretna; and he had repeated his two rides the pair over which Joey presided were, as the innkeeper so often, that he could have gone over the ground blindfold. hal asserted, very speedy; and the gentleman soon felt satisPeople in chaises are rarely given to talking with their pos- tied, that it would take an extraordinary quadruple team to tilions. Joey knew, by experience, what were the two or overtake them. His hopes rose at the sight of each sucthree important questions in posting, and the usual times ceeding milestone; he censed to put his head out of the winand places when and where they were asked ; and he was dow every five minutes, and gaze anxiously up the road; always prepared with the proper answers. At those parts he already anticipated a triumph-when a crack, a crush, a of the road where objects of interest to strangers occurred, shriek from the lady, a jolt, an instant change of position, Joey faced about on his saddle, and if he perceived the eyes and a positive pause occurred, in the order in which they of his passengers fixed upon him, their lips in motion, and are stated, with such suddenness and relative rapidity, that their fingers pointing towards a gentleman's seat, a fertile the gentleman was, for a moment or two, utterly deprived valley, a beautiful stream, or a fine wood, he naturally of his presence of mind by alarm and astonishment. The enough presumed that they were in the act of enquiring bolt which connects the fore wheels, splinter-bar, springs, what the seat, the valley, the stream, or the wond, was fore-bed, axletree, et cetera, with the perch that passes under called; and he replied according to the fact. The noise of the body of the chaise to the hind-wheel-springs and carthe wheels was a very good excuse for such trifling blunders riage, had snapped asunder the whole of the fore parts, were as Joey occasionally made; and whenever he found himself instantly dragged on wards by the horses; the traces by which progressing towards a dilemma, he very dexterously con the body was attached to the fore springs gave way; the trived, by means of a sly poke with his spur, to make his chaise fell forward, and, of course, remained stationary, with hand-borse evidently require the whole of his attention. its contents, in the middle of the road; while the deaf At the journey's end, when the gentleman he had driven postilion rode on, with his eyes intently fixed on vacuity produced a purse, Joey, without looking at his lips, knew before him, as though nothing whatever had happened. that he was asking a question, to which it was bis duty to “ Alarmed and indignant in the highest degree, at the reply, 'Nineteen and sixpence,' or ' Two-and-twenty shil-postilion's conduct, the gentleman shouted with all his lings,' according as the job had been the short up or the might such exclamations as any man would naturally use on long down.' If any more questions were asked, Joey sud- such an occasion; but Joey, although still but a little disdenly recollected something that demanded his immediate tance, took no notice of what had occurred behind his back, attention, begged pardon, promised to be back in a moment, and very complacently trotted his horses on at the rate of and disappeared, never to return. The natural expression eleven or twelve miles an hour. He thought the cattle of his features indicated a remarkably taciturn disposition : better than ever; his mind was occupied with the almost every one with whom he came in contact, was de- prospect of a speedy termination to his journey; he felt terred, by his physiognomy, from asking him any but ne elated at the idea of outstripping the pursuers,—for Joey cessary questions, and as he was experienced enough to an had discrimination enough to perceive, at a glance, that his swer, or cunning enough to evade these, when he thought passengers were runaway lovers,—and he went on very fit, but few travellers ever discovered that Joey Duddle was much to his own satisfaction. As he approached the inn deaf. So blind is man in some cases, even to his bodily de- which terminated the long down,' Joey, as usual, put his fects, that Joey, judging from his general success in giving horses upon their mettle, and they, having nothing but a correct replies to the queries propounded to him, almost fore carriage and a young lady's trunk behind them, rattled doubted his own infirmity, and never would admit that he up to the door at a rate unexampled in the annals of postwas above one point beyond a little hard of hearing.' ing, with all the little boys and girls in the neighbourhood

"On the first of June, in the year 1806, about 9 o'clock hallooing in their rear. in the morning, a chaise and four was perceived approach “ It was not until he drew up to the inn door and alighted ing towards the inn kept by Joey's master, at a first-rate from his saddle, that Joey discovered his disaster; and nothing Gretna Green gallop. As it dashed up to the door, the could equal the utter astonishment which his features then postboys vociferated the usual call for two pair of horses indisplayed. He gazed at the place where the body of his a hurry; but, unfortunately, the innkeeper had only Joey chaise, his passengers, and hind wheels ought to have been, and his tits at home; and as the four horses which brought for above a minute, and then suddenly started down the the chaise from the last posting-house had already done a road on foot under an idea that he must very recently have double job that day, the lads would not ride them on through dropped them. On nearing a little elevation, which com, o heavy a stage as the long down.'

manded above two miles of the ground over which he had ** How excessively provoking ! exclaimed one of the come, he found, to his utter dismay, that no traces of the

THE DOS-A-DOS TETE-A-TETE.

main body of his chaise were perceptible; nor could he dis- in America ; I advanced too far, was separated from my cover his passengers, who had, as it appeared in the sequel, friends, and saw three Indians in pursuit of me: the borbeen overtaken by the young lady's friends. Poor Joey rors of the tomahawk in the hands of angry savages, took immediately ran into a neighbouring hay-loft, where he hid possession of my mind; I considered for a moment what himself, in despair, for three days; and when discovered, he was to be done; most of us love life, and mine was both was with great difficulty persuaded by his master, who precious and useful to my family; I was swift of foot, and highly esteemed him, to resume his whip, and return to his fear added to my speed. After looking back-for the counsaddle."

try was an open one-I at length perceived that one of my Several pieces of rhyme are scattered through the vo

enemies had outrun the others, and the well-known saying lume. The following jeu-d'esprit is not unworthy the speed, and allowed him to come up; we engaged with mu

of Divide, and conquer,' occurring to me, I slackened my facetious Thomas Hood himself :

tual fury; I hope none here (bowing to his auditors) will doubt the result; in a few minutes he lay a corpse at my

feet; in this short space of time, the two Indians had ad“My wife loathes pickled pork, and I hate ham;

vanced upon me, so I took again to my heels,-not from I doat on pancakes—she likes fritters :

cowardice, I can in truth declare,—but with the hope of And thus, alas ! just like my morning dram,

reaching a neighbouring wood, where I knew dwelt a trile The evening of my life is dash'd with bitters!

friendly to the English ; this hope, however, I was forced « Old as we are, the ninnyhammer wants

to give up; for on looking back, I save one of my pursuers To teach me French-and I won't learn it;

far before the other. I waited for him, recovering my alMy nightly path, where'er I roam, she haunts,

most exhausted breath, and soon this Indian shared the fate And grudges me my glass, though well I earn it.

of the first. I had now only one enemy to deal with ; but

I felt fatigued, and being near the wood, I was more de“ The other day, while sitting back to back,

sirous to save my own life than to destroy another of my She roused me from my short sweet slumbers,

fellow-creatures; I plainly perceived smoke curling up By taxing me at such a rate, good lack !

amongst the trees, I redoubled my speed, I prayed to And summing up her griefs in these sad numbers:

Heaven, I felt assured my prayer would be granted—but

at this moment the yell of the Indian's voice sounded in my “ Though you lay your head thus against mine,

ears-I even thought I felt his warm breath-- there was no You hate me, you brute, and you know it:

choice - I turned round'— Here the gentleman, who had But why not in secret repine,

related the wonderful stories at first, grew impatient past Instead of delighting to show it?

his endurance; he called out,· Well, sir, and you killed You question my knowledge of French,

him also ?'—No, sir-he killed me.' "- Vol. i. p. 18-20. And won't believe 'rummage' is cheese ;

Our other extract showeth how a lady may communiWhy can't you look cool on the wench ?' To me you're all shiver-de-freeze !

cate the tidings of a great victory without being believed:

THE FIRST NEWS OF LORD RODNEY'S VICTORY. “ When around you quite fondly I've clung,

“ About this time we received the news of the great vicYou have oftentimes said in a rage,

tory of Lord Rodney in the West Indies. His messenger Such folly may do for the young,

was landed near B-; he sent to desire my father would But I take it to be bad-in-age!

meet him, without the gate of the city, in half an hour ; A reticule bag if I buy,

that he was the bearer of dispatches from Lord Rodney, (A trifle becoming each belle,)

and must set out for London as soon as four horses could " At Jericho, madam,' you cry,

be ready for him. My father, whose heart was in his pro• I wish you, and your bag-at-elle !

fession, did not delay a moment; the news was wbispered “ When I had in some cordials, so rich !

to him, requiring secrecy for two hours, that the news he With letters all labellid quite handy;

brought might not precede him to the Admiralty; my fa

ther returned home, where he found me setting out on a Says you, I'll enquire, you old witch, If O Ú V doesn't mean brandy!'

visit to my sister. As the two hours of restriction were Whenever I wish to repose,

past, he imparted the good news to me, allowing me to make You rouse me, you wretch! with a sneeze;

it public at the first town where I should change horses. And lastly, if I doze-a-doze,

At this day I remember my sensations on the journey;

every horseman that passed me riding fast, I thought had To wex me, you just wheeze-a-wheeze."

heard the news, and was hastening to proclaim it; it was, We hope that this book, notwithstanding its ridiculous indeed, glorious news. His lordship had obtained a comtitle, will be treated, not with three curses, but accord- plete victory over the French fleet commanded by De G

had taken and destroyed many of their best ships, amongst ing to its desert.

them the Ville de Paris, of 120 guns. The first town I came to was a large one, it had its mayor and alderman, the assizes

were held there, and, moreover, just then some troops were Memoirs of a Gentlewoman of the Old School. By a Lady. quartered in it, and I was acquainted with the commandTwo vols. London. Hurst, Chance, and Co. 1830. ing officer. I quitted the chaise while the horses were

changing, and dispatched two messengers, one to the mayor The lady who writes this book is in her 77th year, and the other to the major ; both came in a few minutes. and all we can say of it is, that it is a creditable enough I had composed a proper speech, but my trepidation deproduction for so venerable a person. It is gossipy, and stroyed the graces of oratory; however, in a few words, I probably not unamusing ; though the facts to us, grave informed them of the good news I brought, naming my and reverend seignors that we are, appear too small and posed me : one said, he hoped the news was true; the other,

authorities. How their composed countenances discomunimportant to merit much consideration. The author

* We shall know more soon !'- You cannot know more ess seems to have lived, unmarried, principally in Eng-than I tell you,' said I, rather sauçily; they took their deland, but for a time also on the Continent, and has occu- parture, and I pursued my journey. pied her age with recounting the gaieties of her youth, “ Never had a prettier castle been destroyed; my fancy and the adventures of her maturer years. We select had pictured to me a whole town rejoicing, bells ringing, two extracts of rather an entertaining kind. The first is hearts of candle-merchants rejoiced by orders for candles is entitled

illuminate, and neighbours running to neighbours to spread

the news. Nothing like it : it was supposed a young lady's A MARVELLOUS STORY.

report, which, of course, must savour of exaggeration; and “I was bred up in a dislike of the marvellous, or the stu to wait for confirmation was determined upon; so the bellpid wonderful, as my uncle called it. I must relate an anec ropes were unpulled, and no more candles lighted that night dote in point. Some gentlemen were dining together, and than for the usual purposes; it was so provoking, too, that relating their travelling adventures; one of them dealt so a piece of news almost unprecedented for its exactness, much in the marvellous, that it induced another to give him should not have produced a better and more instantaneous a lesson.

effect ; but disappointment was then more of a novelty to " I was once,' said he, 'engaged in a skirmishing party me than it has been since."-Vol. i. pp. 150-2.

THE MEMORY OF THE DEAD.

If our readers feel inclined, from the above specimens, ing breast," and so forth ;—on the contrary, we mean to peruse more of this book, it may be obtained by appli- not to deny that it would give us the most exquisite decation to their bookseller.

light to find ourselves in such a situation, either with Imilda de' Lambertazzi or Miss Sophia Mary Bigsby;

but this is not the question. The point in dispute is, Imilda de Lambertazzi ; and other Poems. By Sophia whether it be altogether decorous for the said Sophia to Mary Bigsby. London. Hurst, Chance, and Co. betray the confidence of her heroine, and to mention pub1830. 12mo. Pp. 200.

licly what Imilda de' Lambertazzi never expected would Miss Bigsby is a young lady of the L. E. L. school, portico.” It has become fashionable now-a-days to de

have been known beyond the precincts of the “leaf-woven but she has not so much genius as Miss Landon. The first and longest poem in the book is in the same verse as

scribe love merely through the medium of its outward the Improvisatrice, and is divided into three Parts. The symbols, such as burning blushes,” “

passionate sighs," story is abundantly simple, and founded upon an incident tions, the fact being altogether overlooked that “ these in

," " beating hearts,” and other corporeal affeccommon enough in Italian history—that of two young deed seem,” but that there is that within which passeth people of hostile families falling in love with each other, show"-something below this mere surface-work, much and having their affection brought to a tragic end. There

more worth describing, and much more deserving the is not stamina enough in such an incident for a poem of

attention of the true poet. much vigour, unless, as in the case of Shakspeare's Miss Bigsby for falling into the popular error; she has

We do not particularly blame “ Romeo and Juliet,” it be built up and surrounded with only followed the example that has been set her by some many circumstances of the author's own creation. Miss

of her seniors. Should she ever come before the public Bigsby trusts to nothing but the sympathy of her readers, and a belief that they will never tire of verse, in which, again, however, she would do well to avoid it.

Some of the minor pieces in this volume are pretty, as the Ettrick Shepherd says, " love is a' the theme." Sooth to say, the young ladies of the present generation able specimen, we extract the following:

and indicate a good deal of poetical feeling. As a favourhesitate not to talk of love in a style which would have made their grandmothers blush. They, of course, mean nothing but the most perfect platonism ; yet we cannot help thinking that such platonism is apt to be dangerous. Let us, for example, look at the manner in which Miss

Forget them not! though now their name

Be but a mournful sound, Bigsby's Imilda de' Lambertazzi, who was a pattern of

Though by the hearth its utterance claim propriety, spends her time when she meets with her

A stillness round.-MRS HEMANS. lover :

“ The Memory of the Deal! “ Alone!-ah, it was no longer so !

It shall not pass away, She hath reach'd the leaf-woven portico,

As pass all thoughts which time and change
She hath cross'd its threshold,-and gracefully there

Hold 'neath their earthly sway.
Leant the form of her dark-eyed cavalier,
Her own loved Fazio :- What now unto her

“ The Memory of the Dead ! Were the tasteless pleasures this world might confer?

Still round the heart 'twill clingDwelt not her world in the eagle eye

A flower-whose fadeless bloom
Now fix'd upon hers so tenderly ?-

Shall know no withering.
Dwelt not her world in the circling fold
Of her arm, as in fondness, uncontrollid,

“ The one undying flower His worshipp'd form to her heart she prest,

'Mid all earth's sweets, which still And sank, all trembling, on his breast,

May cheer the faint and fetter'd soul,
Hiding her cheek's vermilion dye,

When crush'd with human ill.
Where her image was shrined so faithfully ?”
We submit to Miss Bigsby, and also to Miss Bigsby's “ The Memory of the Dead
grandmamma, likewise to her maiden aunt, and, more-

Shall it not oft arise,
over, to her uncle by the father's side, that Imilda should When Slumber's wand unveils
not have put her arm round Fazio in the “ leaf-woven

Her hidden mysteries ? portico," and that, as for" pressing his form to her breast,”

“ Oft sball sweet visions bless it was really very shocking conduct, or, at least, one of

Our dreams of night; those things which, if a young lady thinks fit to do, should

Then shall loved forms again not be spoken of by her friends. Imilda de' Lamber

Gladden our sight! tazzi, however, had a trick of catching hold of her Fazio's " worshipped form” in a very tender manner, as witness “ Then may we watch again the following lines :

Ev'ry louk, ev'ry tone,

All that we once bad deem'd-
“Some in ward feeling seem'd to thrill
Through her very soul as, all silent still,

Vainly-our own!
On his shoulder sunk her drooping head-
Was it to hide the blush which spread

“ The Memory of the Dead ! O'er her young cheek?_was it in fear

Oh! strongly it dwells That her answer should speak too plainly there?

In our lone wanderings
He knew not;-he only felt her hold

O'er earth's green dells:
Grow yet more firm, and in that fold,
Oh! who may tell the vast excess

“ When we gaze on each fair scene Of his spirit's o'er flowing happiness !

Loved by the quiet dead, Long, long in that fond embrace they stood,

And trace the very spots
Both yielding to the boundless flood

Hallow'd by their light tread!
Of feelings, whose vivid warmth confest
Love's empire o'er each glowing breast.

"Oh! thus shall ever live

Their memory in the heart, Far be it from us to say that a dark-eyed cavalier" is

A treasure held within the depths ziot a most delightful object, or that a lady's “verinilion

Of its least worldly part!" cheek” should never be hid on his brcast, or that there Es not something very fine in standing in a " long em If Miss Bigsby be very young, her writings will doubtBrace," and in a “boundless flood of feelings,” and a “glow- less acquire additional strength and value by and by.

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »