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disorder" of his soul. The stream of his ge- full of the stateliest pictures. But his Kehama nius falls, from a vast height, amidst bleakest is his greatest work—the most marvellous sucrocks, into depths, which mortal eye cannot cession of fantasies, “sky tinctured,” ever fathom, and into which it is dangerous to gaze; called into being, without the aid of real and but it sends up a radiant mist in its fall, which hearty faith! Mr. Southey's prose style is the sun tints with heavenly colouring, and it singularly lucid and simple. His life of Nelleaves its echoes on the golden and quiet son is a truly British work, giving the real clouds! The too frequent perversion of his heartiness of naval strength of our country, withgenius does not prevent it from showing, in out ostentation or cant; his memoir of Kirke its degree, the immortality of the most sublime White is very unaffected and pathetic; and his of the human faculties.
Essays on the State of the Poor, really touching Sir Walter Scott, if his poetry is not all in their benevolence, and their well-regulated which his countrymen proclaim it, is a bard, sympathies. Of the violences of his more deciin whose success every good man must rejoice. dedly political effusions, we shall not here venHis feeling of nature is true, if it is not pro- tore to give an opinion ; except to express our found; his humanity is pure, if it is not deep; firm belief, that they have never beer influenced his knowledge of facts is choice and various, by motives unworthy of a man of genius. if his insight into their philosophy is not very Mr. Campbell has not done much which is clear or extensive. Dr. Percy's Reliques pre-excellent in poetry, but that which he has writpared his way, and the unpublished Christabel ten well is admirable in its kind. His battleaided his inspirations; but he is entitled to odes are simple, affecting, and sublime.-Few the credit of having first brought romantic passages can exceed the dying speech of Ger. poetry into fashion. Instead of the wretched trude, in sweet pathos, or the war-song of old sentimentalities of the Della Cruscan school, Outalissi, in stern and ferocious grandeur. It is he supplied the public with pictures of nature, astonishing, that he, who could produce these and with fair visions of chivalry. If he is, and other pieces of most genuine poetry, should, and we hope as well as believe that he is, the on some occasions, egregiously mistake gaudy author of the marvellous succession of Scotch words for imagination: and heap up fragments romances, he deserves far deeper sentiments of bad metaphors, as though he could scale of gratitude than those which his poems the “highest heaven of invention," by the acawaken. Then does he merit the praise of cumulation of mere earthly materials. having sent the mountain breezes into the It is the singular lot of Moore, to seem, in his heart of this great nation; of having supplied smaller pieces, as though he were fitted for us all with a glorious crowd of acquaintances, the highest walk of poetry; and in his more and even of friends, whose society will never ambitious efforts, to appear as though he could disturb or weary us; and of having made us fabricate nothing but glittering tinsel. The glow a thousand times with honest pride, in truth is, however, that those of his attempts, that nature of which we are parlakers ! which the world thinks the boldest, and in
Mr. Southey is an original poet, and a de- which we regard him as unsuccessful, are not lightful prose-writer, though he does not even above, but beneath his powers. A thousand belong to the class which it has been the tales of veiled prophets, who wed ladies in the fashion to represent him as redeeming. He abodes of the dead, and frighten their associates has neither the intensity of Wordsworth, nor to death by their maimed and mangled counthe glorious expansion of Coleridge ; but he tenances, may be produced with far less exhas their holiness of imagination, and child- pense of true imagination, fancy, or feeling, like purity of thought. His fancies are often ihan one sweet song, which shall seem the as sweet and as heavenly as those which very echo " of summer days and delightful “may make a crysome child to smile.” There years.” Moore is not fit for the composition is, too, sometimes an infantine love of glitter of tales of demon frenzy and feverish strength, and pomp, and of airy castle-building, dis- only because his genius is of too pure and played in his more fantastical writings. The noble an essence. He is the most sparkling great defect of his purest and loftiest poems and graceful of triflers. It signifies little, is, that they are not imbued with humanity; whether the Fives Court or the Palace furnish they do not seem to have their only home on him with materials. However repulsive the " this dear spot, this human earth of ours,” but subject, he can “turn all to favour, and to prettheir scenes might be transferred, perbaps with tiness." Clay and gold, subjected to his easy advantage, to the moon or one of the planets. inimitable hand, are wrought into shapes, so In the loneliest bower which poesy can rear, pleasingly fantastic, that the difference of the deep in a trackless wild, or in some island, subject is lost in the fineness of the workmanplaced “far amid the melancholy main,” the ship. His lighter pieces are distinguished at air of this world must yet be allowed to breathe, once by deep feeling, and a gay festive air, if the poet would interest “ us poor humans." which he never entirely loses. He leads wit, It may heighten even the daintiest solitude of sentiment, patriotism, and fancy, in a gay fanblessed lovers,
tastic round, gambols sportively with fate, and
holds a dazzling fence with care and with sor"All the while to feel and know,
row. He has seized all the “snatches of old That they are in a world of wo, On such an earth as this."
tunes,” which yet lingered about the wildest
regions of his wild and fanciful country; and Mr. Southey's poems are beautiful and pure, has fitted to them words of accordance, the yet too far from our common emotions. His most exquisite. There is a luxury in his grief, Joan of Arc, his Thalaba, and his Roderick, are and a sweet melancholy in his joy, which are
old and well remembered in our experience, in several numbers of the Indicator - he has rethough scarcely ever before thus nicely re- vived some of those lost parts of our old exvived in poetry.
perience, which we had else wholly forgotten; The works of Crabbe are full of good sense, and has given a fresh sacredness to our daily condensed thought, and lively picture; yet the walks and ordinary habits. We do not see greater part of them is almost the converse of any occasion in this for terms of reproach or poetry. The mirror which he holds up to ridicule. The scenery around London is not nature, is not that of imagination, which soft. the finest in the world ; but it is all which an ens down the asperities of actual existences, immense multitude can see of nature, and brings out the stalely and the beautiful, while surely it is no less worthy an aim to hallow a it leaves the trivial and the low in shadow, and spot which thousands may visit, than to exsets all things which it reflects in harmony patiate on the charms of some dainty solitude, before us: on the contrary, it exhibits the de- which can be enjoyed only by an occasional tails of the coarsest and most unpleasing reali- traveller. ties, with microscopic accuracy and minute There are other living poets, some of them ness. Some of his subjects are, in themselves, of great excellence, on whose merits we should worthless-others are absolutely revolting, be happy to dwell, but that time and space yet it is impossible to avoid admiring the would fail us. We might expatiate on the strange nicety of touch with which he has heaven-breathing pensiveness of Montgomery felt their discordances, and the ingenuity with on the elegant reminiscences of Rogers-on which he has painted them. His likenesses ab- the gentle eccentricity of Wilson-on the luxsolutely startle us. —There are cases in which urious melancholy of Bowles-or on the soft this intense consciousness of little circum- beauties of the Ettrick Shepherd. The works of stances is prompted by deep passion; and, Lloyd are rich in materials of reflection-most whenever Mr. Crabbe seizes one of these, his intense, yet most gentle-most melancholy, extremne minuteness rivets and enchants us. yet most full of kindness-most original in The effect of this vivid picturing in one of his philosophic thought, yet most calm and_betales, where a husband relates to his wife the nignant towards the errors of the world. Reystory of her own intrigue before marriage, as nolds has given delightful indications of a free, a tale of another, is thrilling and grand. In and happy, and bounteous spirit, fit to sing of some of his poems, as his Sir Eustace Grey and merry out-laws and green-wood revelries, the Gipsy-woman's Confession, he has shown that which we trust he will suffer to refresh us he can wield the mightiest passions with ease, with its blithe carollings. Keats, whose Endywhen he chooses to rise from the contempla-mion was so cruelly treated by the critics, has tion of the individual to that of the universal ; just put forth a volume of poems which must from the delineation of men and things, to that effectually silence his deriders. The rich roof man and the universe.
mance of his Lumia—the holy beauty of his We dissent from many of Leigh Hunt's prin- St. Agnes' Eve—the pure and simple diction and ciples of morality and of laste; but we cannot intense feeling of his Isabella—and the rough suffer any difference of opinion to prevent the sublimity of his Hyperion—cannot be laughed avowal of our deep sense of his poetical genius. down, though all the periodical critics in EngHe is a poet of various and sparkly fancy, of land and Scotland were to assail them with real affectionate heartiness, and of pathos as their sneers. Shelley, too, notwithstanding the deep and pure as that of any living writer. He odious subject of his last tragedy, evinced in unites an English homeliness, with the richest that strange work a real human power, of which Italian luxury. The story of Rimini is one of there is little trace among the old allegories and the most touching, which we have ever re- metaphysical splendours of his earlier producceived into our "heart of hearts.". The crisp- tions. No one can fail to perceive, that there are ness of the descriptive passages, the fine spirit mighty elements in his genius, although there is of gallantry in ihe chivalrous delineations, a melancholy want of a presiding power—a the exquisite gradations of the fatal affection central harmony-in his soul. Indeed, rich as and the mild heart-breaking remorse of the the present age is in poetry, it is even richer in heroine, form, altogether, a body of sweetly. promise. There are many minds-among bitter recollections, for which none but the which we may, particularly, mention that of most heartless of critics would be unthankful. Maturin—which are yet disturbed even by the The fidelity and spirit of his little translations number of their own incomplete perceptions. are surprising. Nor must we forget his prose These, however, will doubtless fulfil their gloworks ;-the wonderful power, with which he rious destiny, as their imaginations settle into has for many years seni forth weekly essays, that calm lucidness, which in the instance of of great originality, both of substance and ex- Keats has so rapidly succeeded to turbid and pression; and which seem now as fresh and impetuous confusion. unexhausted as ever. We have nothing here The dramatic literature of the present age to do with his religion or his politics ;-but, it does not hold a rank proportioned to its poetical is impossible to help admiring the healthful genius. But our tragedy, at least, is superior impulses, which he has so long been breathing to any which has been produced since the rich * into the torpid breast of daily life;" or the period of Elizabeth and of James. Though plain and manly energy, with which he has the dramatic works of Shiel, Maturin, Coleshaken the selfism of the age, and sent the ridge, and Milman, are not so grand, and harclaims of the wretched in full and resistless monious, and impressive, as the talent of their force to the bosoms of the proud, or the thought- authors would lead us to desire, they are far less. In some of his productions—especially I superior to the tragedies of Hill, Southern,
Murphy, Johnson, Philipps, Thomson, Young, soft and romantic charm of the novels of the Addison, or Rowe. Otway's Venice Preserved Porters—the brilliant ease and admirable good alone—and that only in the structure of its sense of Edgeworth—the intense humanity plot-is superior to the Remorse, to Bertram, of Inchbald—the profound insight into the Fazio, or Evadne. And then-more pure, more fearful depths of the soul with which the au. dramatic, more gentle, than all these, is the thor of Glenarvon is gifted—the heart-rending tragedy of Virginius—a piece of simple yet pathos of Opie—and the gentle wisdom, the beautiful humanity-in which the most exqui- holy sympathy with the holiest childhood, and site succession of classic groups is animated the sweet imaginings, of the author of Mrs. with young life and connected by the finest Leicester's School-soften and brighten the litelinks of interest—and the sweetest of Roman rary aspect of the age. These indications of stories lives before us at once, new and fami- female talent are not only delightful in them. liar to our bosoms.
selves, but inestimable as proofs of the rich We shall not be suspected of any undue intellectual
which diffused partiality towards modern criticism. But its throughout the sex, to whom the next generatalent shows, perhaps, more decidedly than tion will owe their first and their most sacred any thing else, the great start which the human impressions. mind has taken of late years. Throughout But, after all, the best intellectual sign of the all the periodical works extant, from the Edin- present times is the general education of the burgh Review down to the lowest of the maga- poor. This ensures duration to the principles zines, striking indications may be perceived of good, by whatever political changes the of that something far more deeply interfused," frame of society may be shaken.
The sense which is now working in the literature of of human rights and of human duties is not England. We not rarely see criticisms on now confined to a few, and, therefore, liable to theatrical performances of the preceding even- be lost, but is stamped in living characters on ing in the daily newspapers, which would put millions of hearts. And the foundations of to shame the elaborate observations of Dr. human improvement thus secured, it has a Johnson on Shakspeare. Mr. Hazlitt—incom- tendency to advance in a true geometrical proparably the most original of the regular cri- gression. Meanwhile, the effects of the spirit tics—has almost raised criticism into an inde- of improvement which have long been silently pendent art, and, while analyzing the merits preparing in different portions of the globe, of others, has disclosed stores of sentiment, are becoming brilliantly manifest. The vast thought, and fancy, which are his own peculiar continent of South America, whether it conproperty. His relish for the excellencies of tinue nominally dependent on European states, those whom he eulogizes is so keen, that, in or retain its own newly-asserted freedom, will his delineations, the pleasures of intellect be- teem with new intellect, enterprise, and energy. come almost as vivid and substantial as those Old Spain, long sunk into the most abjeci deof sense. He introduces us into the very pre- gradation, has suddenly awakened, as if resence of the great of old time, and enables us freshed from slumber, and her old genius must almost to imagine that we hear them utter the revive with her old dignities. A bloodless living words of beauty and wisdom. He makes revolution has just given liberty to Naples, us companions of their happiest hours, and and thus has opened the way for the restorashare not only in the pleasures which they tion of Italy. That beautiful region again will diffused, but in those which they tasted. He soon inspire her bards with richer strains than discloses to us the hidden soul of beauty, not of yore, and diffuse throughout the world a like an anatomist but like a lover. His criti- purer luxury. Amidst these quickenings of cisms, instead of breaking the sweetest en-humanity, individual poets, indeed, must lose chantments of life, prolongs them, and teaches that personal importance which in darker pe. us to love poetic excellence more intensely, as riods would be their portion. All selfism-all well as more wisely.
predominant desire for the building up of indiThe present age is, also, honourably distin- vidual fame-must give way to the earnest guished by the variety and the excellence of and simple wish to share in, and promote, the productions from the pen of women. In poetry general progress of the species. He is un—there is the deep passion, richly tinged with worthy of the name of a great poet, who is fancy, of Baillie-the delicate romance of Mit- not contented that the loveliest of his imaginaford-the gentle beauty and feminine chivalry tions should be lost in the general light, or of Beetham-and the classic elegance of He- viewed only as the soft and delicate streaks mans. There is a greater abundance of female which shall usher in that glorious dawn, which talent among the novelists. The exquisite sar- is, we believe, about to rise on the world, and casm of humoar of Madame D'Arblay—the to set no more!
ON PULPIT ORATORY.
WITH REMARKS ON THE REV. ROBERT HALL.
Tae decline of eloquence in the Senate and of poor conceits, miserable compliments, and at the Bar is no matter of surprise. In the hackneyed metaphors,—are scarcely worthy freshness of its youth, it was the only medium of a transient allusion. by which the knowledge and energy of a single But the causes which have opposed the exheart could be communicated to thousands. cellence of pulpit oratory in modern times It supplied the place, not only of the press, but are not so obvious. Its subjects have never of that general communication between the varied, from the day when the Holy Spirit different classes of the state, which the inter- visibly descended on the first advocates of the courses of modern society supply. Then the gospel, in tongues of fire. They are in no passions of men, unchilled by the frigid cus- danger of being exhausted by frequency, or toms of later days, left them open to be in- changed with the vicissitudes of mortal forflamed or enraptured by the bursts of enthu-tune. They have immediate relation to that siasm, which would now be met only with eternity, the idea of which is the living soul of scorn. In our courts of law occasions rarely all poetry and art. It is the province of the arise for animated addresses to the heart; and preachers of Christianity to develope the coneven when these occur, the barrister is fettered nection between this world and the next-to by technical rules, and yet more by the techni- watch over the beginnings of a course which cal habits and feelings, of those by whom he will endure for ever-and to trace the broad is encircled. A comparatively small degree shadows cast from imperishable realities on the of fancy, and a glow of social feeling, directed shifting scenery of earth. This sublunary by a tact which will enable a man lo proceed sphere does not seem to them as trifling or with a constant appearance of directing his mean, in proportion as they extend their views course within legal confines, are the best onward; but assumes a new grandeur and qualifications of a forensic orator. They were sanctity, as the vestibule of a statelier and an exhibited by Lord Erskine in the highest per- eternal region. The mysteries of our beingfection, and attended with the most splendid life and death—both in their strange essences, success. Had he been greater than he was, and in their sublimer relations, are topics of he had been nothing. He ever seemed to their ministry. There is nothing affecting in cherish an affection for the technicalities of the human condition, nothing majestic in the his art, which won the confidence of his duller affections, nothing touching in the instability associates. He appeared to lean on these as of human dignities,—the fragility of lovelihis stays and resting-places, even when he ness-or the heroism of self-sacrifice—which ventured to look into the depth of human na- is not a theme suited to their high purposes. ture, or to catch a momentary glimpse of the It is theirs to dwell on the eldest history of the regions of fantasy. When these were taken world-on the beautiful simplicities of the pafrom him, his powers fascinated no longer. triarchal age-on the stern and awful religion, He was exactly adapted to the sphere of a and marvellous story of the Hebrews-on the court of law-above his fellows, but not be- glorious visions of the prophets, and their fulfilyond their gage--and giving to the forms ment-on the character, miracles, and death which he could not forsake, an air of venera- of the Saviour-on all the wonders, and all the bleness and grandeur. Any thing more full beauty of the Scriptures. It is theirs to trace of beauty and wisdom than his speeches, the spirit of the boundless and the eternal, would be heard only with cold and bitter scorn faintly breathing in every part of the mystic in an English court of justice. In the houses circle of superstition, unquenched even amidst of parliament, mightier questions are debated; the most barbarous rites of savage tribes, and but no speaker hopes to influence the decision. all the cold and beautiful shapes of Grecian Indeed the members of opposition scarcely pre- mould. The inward soul of every religious tend to struggle against the “ dead eloquence of system—the philosophical spirit of all history, votes,” but speak with a view to an influence on the deep secrets of the human heart, when the public mind, which is a remote and chilling grandest or most wayward_are theirs to aim. Were it otherwise, the academic educa- search and to develope. Even those speculation of the members—the prevalent disposition tions which do not immediately affect man's to ridicule, rather than to admire—and the conduct and his hopes are theirs, with all their sensitiveness which resents a burst of enthu- high casuistry; for in these, at least, they dissiasm as an offence against the decorum of cern the beatings of the soul against the bars polished society-would effectually repress any of its earthly tabernacle, which prove the imattempt to display an eloquence in which in- mortality of its essence, and its destiny to tense passion should impel the imagination, move in freedom through the vast ethereal cirand noble sentiment should be steeped in cle to which it thus vainly aspires. In all the fancy. The orations delivered on charitable intensities of feeling, and all the regalities of occasions,-consisting, with few exceptions, l imagination, they may find fitting materials for
their passionate expostulations with their fel- | Liturgy sunk deep into the heart, and prelow men to turn their hearts to those objects vented the devout worshipper from feeling the which will endure for ever.
want of strength or variety in the discourses It appears, therefore, at first observation, of the preacher. The church-yard, with its strange, that in this country, where an irreli- gentle risings, and pensive memorials of affecgious spirit has never become general, the ora- tion, was a silent teacher, both of vigilance tory of the pulpit has made so little progress. and love. And the village spire, whose “siThe ministers of the Established Church have lent finger points to heaven,” has supplied the not, on the whole, fulfilled the promise given place of loftiest imaginings of celestial glory. in the days of its early zeal. The noble en Obstacles of a far different kind long prethusiasm of Hooker—the pregnant wit of vented the advancement of pulpit eloquence South-the genial and tolerant warmth of among the Protestant Dissenters. The minisTillotson-the vast power of reasoning and ob- ters first ejected for non-conformity were men servation of Barrow_have rarely been copied, of rigid honesty and virtue,—but their inteleven feebly, by their successors. Jeremy Tay- | lectual sphere was little extended beyond that lor stands altogether alone among churchmen. of their fellows. There cannot be a greater Who has ever manifested any portion of that mistake than to suppose that they sacrificed exquisite intermixture of a yearning love with their worldly interest from any regard to the a heavenly fancy, which enabled him to em- principles of free inquiry, which have since body and render palpable the holy charities of almost become axioms. They believed that his religion in the loveliest and most delicate their compliance with the requisitions of the images? Who has ever so encrusted his sub-monarch would be offensive to God, and that jects with candied words; or has seemed, like in refusing to yield it they were doing his will; him, to take away the sting of death with “rich but they were prepared in their turn to assume conceit;" or has, like him, half persuaded his the right of interpreting the Bible for others, hearers to believe that they heard the voice of and of condemning them for a more extended pitying angels ? Few, indeed, of the ministers application of their example. Harassed, ridi. of the church have been endued with the di- culed, and afflicted, they naturally contracted vine imagination which might combine, en- an air of rigidity, and refused, in their turn, large, and vivify the objects of sense, so as, with horror, an extensive sympathy with the by stately pictures, to present us with symbols world. The controversies in which the learned of that uncreated beauty and grandeur in men among the Dissenters were long occupied, which hereafter we shall expatiate. The most having respect, not to grand and universal celebrated of them have been little more than principles, but to petty questions of ceremony students of vast learning and research, unless, and minor points of faith, tended yet farther with Warburton and Horseley; they have to confine and depress their genius. Their aspired at once boldly to speculate, and impe- families were not the less scenes of love, beriously to dogmatize.
cause they preserved parental authority in its It cannot be doubted, that the species of pa- state; but the austerity of their manner tended tronage, by which the honours and emoluments to repress the imaginative faculties of the of the establishment are distributed, has tended young. If they indulged themselves in any to prevent the development of genius within relaxation of manner, it was not with flowing its pale. But, perhaps, we may find a more eloquence, but with the quaint conceit and adequate cause for the low state of its preach- grave jest that they garnished their conversa. ing in the very beauty and impressiveness of tion or their discourses. Their religion wore its rites and appointed services. The tendency a dark and uncouth garb; but to this we are of religious ceremonies, of the recurrence of indebted, in no small degree, for ils preservaold festivals, and of a solemn and dignified tion through times of demoralizing luxury. form of worship, is, doubtless, to keep alive A great change has taken place, of late tender associations in the heart, and to pre- years, in the literature and eloquence of Proserve the flame of devotion steady and pure, testant Dissenters. As they ceased to be obbut not to incite men to look abroad into their jects of persecution or of scorn, they insensibly nature, or to prompt any lofty excursions of lost the austerity and exclusiveness of their religious fancy. There have, doubtless, been character. They descended from their dusty eloquent preachers in the church of Rome,- retirements to share in the pursuits and innobecause in her communion the ceremonies cent enjoyments of “this bright and breathing themselves are august and fearful, and because world." Their honest bigotries gave way at her proselyting zeal inspired her sons with the warm touch of social intercourse with peculiar energy. But episcopacy in England those from whom they dissented. Meanwhile, is by far the most tolerant of systems ever the exertions of Whitefield, -his glowing, pasassociated with worldly power. Its ministers, sionate, and awful eloquence;-his daring and until the claim of some of them, to the exclu- quenchless enthusiasm,—and the deep and exsive title of evangelical, created dissensions, iensive impression which he made throughout breathed almost uniformly a spirit of mildness the kingdom, necessarily aroused those who and peace. Within its sacred boundaries, all received his essential doctrines, into new zeal. was order, repose, and charity. Its rights and The impulse thus given was happily refined observances were the helps and leaning-places by a taste for classical learning, and for the of the soul, on which it delighted to rest amidst arts and embellishments of life, which was the vicissitudes of the world, and in its ap- then gradually insinuating itself into their proach to its final change. The fulness, the churches. Some of the new converts who majesty, and the dignified benignities of the forsook the establishment, not from repug.