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acquaintance with Mr Townsend, a gentleman of the law, who was with me on business in Venice three years ago, for the purpose of obtaining any defamatory particulars of my life from this occasional visitor.» Mr Townsend is welcome to say what he knows. I mention these particulars merely to show the world in general what the literary lower world contains, and their way of setting to work. Another charge made, I am told, in the << Literary Gazette» is, that I wrote the notes to « Queen Mab;» a work which I never saw till some time after its publication, and which I recollect showing to Mr Sotheby as a poem of great power and imagination. I never wrote a line of the notes, nor ever saw them except in their published form. No one knows better than their real author, that his opinions and mine differ materially upon the metaphysical portion of that work; though in common with all who are not blinded by baseness and bigotry, I highly admire the poetry of that and his other publications.


a moment upheld their dogmatic nonsense of theo-philanthropy. The church of England, if overthrown, will be swept away by the sectarians, and not by the sceptics. People are too wise, too well-informed, too certain of their own immense importance in the realms of space, ever to submit to the impiety of doubt. There may be a few such diffident speculators, like water in the pale sunbeam of human reason, but they are very few; and their opinions, without enthusiasm or appeal to the passions, can never gain proselytes-unless indeed, they are persecuted: that, to be sure, will increase any thing.

Mr S, with a cowardly ferocity, exults over the anticipated «death-bed repentance» of the objects of his dislike; and indulges himself in a pleasant « Vision of Judgment,» in prose as well as verse, full of impious impudence. What Mr S.'s sensations or ours may be in the awful moment of leaving this state of existence, neither he nor we can pretend to decide. In common, I presume, with most men of any reflection, I have not waited for a «death-bed» to repent of many of my actions, notwithstanding the « diabolical prides which this pitiful renegado in his rancour would impute to | those who scorn him. Whether, upon the whole, the good or evil of my deeds may preponderate, is not for me to ascertain ; but, as my means and opportunities have been greater, I shall limit my present defence to an assertion (easily proved, if necessary) that I, «< in my degree,» have done more real good in any one given year, since I was twenty, than Mr Southey in the whole course of his shifting and turncoat existence. There are several actions to which I can look back with an honest pride, not to be damped by the calumnies of a hireling. There are others to which I recur with sorrow and repentance; but the only act of my life of which Mr Southey can have any real knowledge, as it was one which brought me in contact with a near connexion of his own, did no dishonour to that connexion nor to me.

Mr Southey, too, in his pious preface to a poem whose blasphemy is as harmless as the sedition of Wat Tyler, because it is equally absurd with that sincere production, calls upon the « legislature to look to it,» as the toleration of such writings led to the French Revolution: not such writings as Wat Tyler, but as those of the «Satanic School.»> This is not true, and Mr Southey knows it to be not true. Every French writer of any freedom was persecuted; Voltaire and Rousseau were exiles, Marmontel and Diderot were sent to the Bastille, and a perpetual war was waged with the whole class by the existing despotism. In the next place, the French Revolution was not occasioned by any writings whatsoever, but must have occurred had no such writers ever existed. It is the fashion to attribute every thing to the French revolution, and the French revolution to every thing but its real cause. That cause is obvious-the government exacted too much, and the people could neither give nor bear more. Without this, the Encyclopedists might have written I am not ignorant of Mr Southey's calumnies on a diftheir fingers off without the occurrence of a single alter-ferent occasion, knowing them to be such, which he And the English revolution--(the first, I mean) scattered abroad, on his return from Switzerland, against what was it occasioned by? The puritans were surely me and others they have done him no good in this as pious and moral as Wesley or his biographer? Acts-world; and, if his creed be the right one, they will do acts on the part of government, and not writings against him less in the next. What his death-bed» may be, | them, have caused the past convulsions, and are tending it is not my province to predicate: let him settle it with to the future. his Maker, as I must do with mine. There is something at once ludicrous and blasphemous in this arrogant scribbler of all works sitting down to deal damnation and destruction upon his fellow creatures, with Wat Tyler, the i Apotheosis of George the Third, and the Elegy on Martin the regicide, all shuffled together in his writing-desk. One of his consolations appears to be a Latin note from | a work of a Mr Landor, the author of « Gebir,» whose friendship for Robert Southey will, it seems, he an honour to him when the ephemeral disputes and ephe meral reputations of the day are forgotten.» I for one neither envy him «the friendship,» nor the glory in reversion which is to accrue from it, like Mr Thelusson's fortune in the third and fourth generation.— This friendship will probably be as memorable as his own epics, which (as I quoted to him ten or twelve years ¦ ago in « English Bards») Porson said «would be remem- | bered when Homer and Virgil are forgotten, and not till then.»> For the present, I leave him.

I look upon such as inevitable, though no revolutionist: I wish to see the English constitution restored and not destroyed. Born an aristocrat, and naturally one by temper, with the greater part of my present property in the funds, what have I to gain by a revolution? Perhaps I have more to lose in every way than Mr Southey, with all his places and presents for panegyrics and abuse into the bargain. But that a revolution is inevitable, I repeat. The government may exult over the repression of petty tumults; these are but the receding waves repulsed and broken for a moment on the shore, while the great tide is still rolling on and gaining ground with every breaker. Mr Southey accuses us of attacking the religion of the country; and is he abetting it by writing lives of Wesley? One mode of worship is merely destroyed by another. There never was, nor ever will be, a country without a religion. We shall be told of France again: but it was only Paris and a frantic party, which for

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Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.---Ges. iii, 1.

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Tas following scenes are entitled « a Mystery,» in con-
formity with the ancient title annexed to dramas upon
similar subjects, which were styled « Mysteries, or Mo-
ralities. The author has by no means taken the same
liberties with his subject which were common former-
ly, as may be seen by any reader curious enough to
refer to those very profane productions, whether in
English, French, Italian, or Spanish. The author has
endeavoured to preserve the language adapted to his
characters; and where it is (and this is but rarely) taken
from actual Scripture, he has made as little alteration,
even of words, as the rhythm would permit. The
reader will recollect that the book of Genesis does not
state that Eve was tempted by a demon, but by « the
Serpent; and that only because he was the most
subtil of all the beasts of the field.» Whatever interpre-
tation the Rabbins and the Fathers may have put upon
this, I must take the words as I find them, and reply
with Eishop Watson upon similar occasions, when the
Fathers were quoted to him, as Moderator in the Schools
of Cambridge, «Behold the Book!»-holding up the
Scripture. It is to be recollected that my present sub-
ject has nothing to do with the New Testament, to
which no reference can be here made without ana-
chronism. With the poems upon similar topics I have
not been recently familiar. Since I was twenty, I have
never read Milton; but I had read him so frequently
before, that this may make little difference. Gesner's
Death of Abeln I have never read since I was eight
years of age, at Aberdeen. The general impression of
my recollection is delight; but of the contents I remem-
ber only that Cain's wife was called Mahala, and Abel's
Tharza-In the following pages I have called them
Adah» and « Zillah,» the earliest female names which
occur in Genesis; they were those of Lamech's wives:
those of Cain and Abel are not called by their names.
Whether, then, a coincidence of subject may have
raused the same in expression, I know nothing, and
care as little.

The reader will please to bear in mind (what few hoose to recollect; that there is no allusion to a future Late in any of the books of Moses, nor indeed in the

Old Testament. For a reason for this extraordinary omission he may consult «Warburton's Divine Legation; whether satisfactory or not, no better has yet been assigned. I have therefore supposed it new to Cain, without, I hope, any perversion of Holy Writ.

With regard to the language of Lucifer, it was difficult for me to make him talk like a Clergyman upon the same subjects; but I have done what I could to restrain him within the bounds of spiritual politeness.

If he disclaims having tempted Eve in the shape of the Serpent, it is only because the book of Genesis has not the most distant allusion to any thing of the kind, but merely to the Serpent in his serpentine capacity.

Note. The reader will perceive that the author has partly adopted in this poem the notion of Cuvier, that the world had been destroyed several times before the creation of man. This speculation, derived from the different strata and the bones of enormous and un

known animals found in them, is not contrary to the Mosaic account, but rather confirms it; as no human bones have yet been discovered in those strata, although those of many known animals are found near the remains of the unknown. The assertion of Lucifer, that the pre-adamite world was also peopled by rational beings much more intelligent than man, and proportionably powerful to the mammoth, etc. etc. is, of course, a poetical fiction to help him to make out his

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CAIN (Solus).

And this is

Life-Toil! and wherefore should I toil?-because
My father could not keep his place in Eden.
What had I done in this?-I was unborn,
I sought not to be born; nor love the state

To which that birth has brought me. Why did he
Yield to the serpent and the woman? or,
Yielding, why suffer? What was there in this?
The tree was planted, and why not for him?
If not, why place him near it, where it
The fairest in the centre? They have but
One answer to all questions, «'t was his will,
And he is good.» How know I that? Because
He is all-powerful must all-good, too, follow?
I judge but by the fruits-and they are bitter-
Which I must feed on for a fault not mine.
Whom have we here?-A shape like to the angels,
Yet of a sterner and a sadder aspect
Of spiritual essence: why do I quake?

Why should I fear him inore than other spirits,
Whom I see daily wave their fiery swords
Before the gates round which I linger oft,

In twilight's hour, to catch a glimpse of those

Gardens which are my just inheritance,
Ere the night closes o'er the inhibited walls
And the immortal trees which overtop

The cherubim-defended battlements?

If I shrink not from these, the fire-arm'd angels,
Why should I quail from him who now approaches?
Yet he seems mightier far than them, nor less
Beauteous, and yet not all as beautiful

As he hath been, and might be: sorrow seems
Half of his immortality. And is it

So? and can aught grieve save humanity?
Be cometh.



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That he may torture:-let him! He is great-
But, in his greatness, is no happier than
We in our conflict! Goodness would not make
Evil; and what else hath he made? But let him
Sit on his vast and solitary throne,

Creating worlds, to make eternity

Less burthensome to his immense existence

And unparticipated solitude!

Let him crowd orb on orb: he is alone

Indefinite, indissoluble tyrant!

Could he but crush himself, 't were the best boon

He ever granted: but let him reign on

And multiply himself in misery!

Spirits and men, at least we sympathise;

And, suffering in concert, make our pangs, Innumerable, more endurable,

By the unbounded sympathy of all—

With all! But He! so wretched in his height, So restless in his wretchedness, must still Create, and re-create▬▬▬


Thou speak'st to me of things which long have swum
In visions through my thought: I never could
Reconcile what I saw with what I heard.
My father and my mother talk to me

Of serpents, and of fruits and trees: I see
The gates of what they call their Paradise
Guarded by fiery-sworded cherubim,
Which shut them out, and me: I feel the weight
Of daily toil, and constant thought: I look
Around a world where I seem nothing, with
Thoughts which arise within me, as if they
Could master all things:-but I thought alone
This misery was mine.-My father is
Tamed down; my mother has forgot the mind
Which made her thirst for knowledge at the risk
Of an eternal curse; my brother is

A watching shepherd boy, who offers up
The firstlings of the flock to him who bids
The earth yield nothing to us without sweat;
My sister Zillah sings an earlier hymn
Than the bird's matins; and my Adah, my
Own and beloved, she too understands not
The mind which overwhelms me: never till
Now met I aught to sympathise with me.
'Tis well-I rather would consort with spirits.


And hadst thou not been fit by thine own soul
For such companionship, I would not now
Have stood before thee as I am: a serpent
Had been enough to charm ye, as before.


Ah! didst thou tempt my mother?


I tempt none,
Save with the truth: was not the tree, the tree
Of knowledge? and was not the tree of life
Still fruitful? Did I bid her pluck them not?
Did I plant things prohibited within
The reach of beings innocent, and curious

By their own innocence? I would have made ve
Gods; and even He who thrust ye forth, so thrust ye
Because « ye should not eat the fruits of life,
And become gods as we.»> Were those his words?


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He but woke one
In those he spake to with his forky tongue.
I tell thee that the serpent was no more
Than a mere serpent: ask the cherubim
Who guard the tempting tree. When thousand ages
Have roll'd o'er your dead ashes, and your seed's,
The seed of the then world may thus array
Their earliest fault in fable, and attribute
To me a shape I scorn, as I scorn all

That bows to him who made things but to bend
Before his sullen, sole eternity;

But we, who see the truth, must speak it. Thy
Fond parents listen'd to a creeping thing,

And fell. For what should spirits tempt them? What
Was there to envy in the narrow bounds
Of Paradise, that spirits who pervade

Space--but I speak to thee of what thou know'st not
With all thy tree of knowledge.


But thou canst not

Speak aught of knowledge which I would not know, And do not thirst to know, and bear a mind

They were, as I have heard from those who heard them To know.

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