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(I say young, begging to be understood
By looks, not years; and should be very sorry To state, they were not older than St. Peter, But merely that they seem'd a little sweeter).
The cherubs and the saints bow'd down before
The aspect of a god; but this ne'er nursed
No thought, save for his Maker's service, durst
He and the sombre silent Spirit met
They knew each other both for good and ill; Such was their power, that neither could forget His former friend and future foe; but still There was a high, immortal, proud regret
In either's eye, as if 't were less their will Than destiny to make the eternal years [spheres. Their date of war, and their "champ clos
But here they were in neutral space: we know From Job, that Satan hath the power to pay A heavenly visit thrice a year or so;
And that "the sons of God," like those of clay, Must keep him company; and we might show
From the same book, in how polite a way The dialogue is held between the Powers Of Good and Evil-but 't would take up hours,
XXXIV. And this is not a theologic tract,
To prove with Hebrew and with Arabic, If Job be allegory or a fact,
But a true narrative; and thus I pick From out the whole but such and such an act, As sets aside the slightest thought of trick. 'Tis every tittle true, beyond suspicion, And accurate as any other vision.
The spirits were in neutral space, before
The gate of heaven; like eastern thresholds is The place where Death's grand cause is argued o'er, And souls despatch'd to that world or to this; And therefore Michael and the other wore
A civil aspect: though they did not kiss, Yet still between his Darkness and his Brightness There pass'd a mutual glance of great politeness. XXXVI.
The Archangel bow'd, not like a modern beau,
The heart in good men is supposed to tend. He turn'd as to an equal, not too low,
But kindly; Satan met his ancient friend With more hauteur, as might an old Castilian Poor noble meet a mushroom rich civilian.
XXXVII. He merely bent his diabolic brow
An instant; and then raising it, he stood
1."No saint in the course of his religious warfare was more sensible of the unhappy failure of pious resolves than Dr. Johnson: he said one day, talking to an acquaintance on
In act to assert his right or wrong, and show
Cause why King George by no means could or should Make out a case to be exempt from woe
Eternal, more than other kings, endued With better sense and hearts, whom history mentions, Who long have "paved hell with their good intentions." 1
XXXVIII. Michael began: "What wouldst thou with this man, Now dead, and brought before the Lord? What ill Hath he wrought since his mortal race began,
That thou canst claim him? Speak! and do thy will, If it be just: if in this earthly span
He hath been greatly failing to fulfil
"Michael!" replied the Prince of Air, " even here, Before the Gate of him thou servest, must
I claim my subject: and will make appear
That as he was my worshipper in dust, So shall he be in spirit, although dear
To thee and thine, because nor wine nor lust Were of his weaknesses; yet on the throne He reign'd o'er millions to serve me alone.
XL. "Look to our earth, or rather mine; it was,
Once, more thy master's: but I triumph not In this poor planet's conquest; nor, alas ! Need he thou servest envy me my lot: With all the myriads of bright worlds which pass In worship round him, he may have forgot Yon weak creation of such paltry things:
I think few worth damnation save their kings, —
"And these but as a kind of quit-rent, to
Assert my right as lord; and even had I such an inclination, 't were (as you
Well know) superfluous; they are grown so bad, That hell has nothing better left to do
Than leave them to themselves: so much more mad And evil by their own internal curse, Heaven cannot make them better, nor I worse.
XLII. "Look to the earth, I said, and say again:
When this old, blind, mad, helpless, weak, poor
Began in youth's first bloom and flush to reign,
The world and he both wore a different form, And much of earth and all the watery plain
Of ocean call'd him king: through many a storm His isles had floated on the abyss of time; For the rough virtues chose them for their clime.
"He came to his sceptre young; he leaves it old: Look to the state in which he found his realm, And left it; and his annals too behold,
How to a minion first he gave the helm ; How grew upon his heart a thirst for gold,
The beggar's vice, which can but overwhelm The meanest hearts; and for the rest, but glance Thine eye along America and France.
this subject, Sir, hell is paved with good intentions.'". Boswell, vol. v. p. 305. ed. 1835.]
""T is true, he was a tool from first to last
(I have the workmen safe); but as a tool So let him be consumed. From out the past
Of ages, since mankind have known the rule Of monarchs-from the bloody rolls amass'd
Of sin and slaughter-from the Cæsars' school, Take the worst pupil; and produce a reign [slain. More drench'd with gore, more cumber'd with the XLV.
"He ever warr'd with freedom and the free: Nations as men, home subjects, foreign focs, So that they utter'd the word Liberty !'
Found George the Third their first opponent. History was ever stain'd as his will be
With national and individual woes?
I grant his household abstinence; I grant
1 [George III.'s determination against the Catholic claims.]
"From the opposite region, Heavy and sulphurous clouds rol'd on, and completed the circle. There with the Spirits Accurst, in congenial darkness enveloped Were the Souls of the Wicked, who, wilful in guilt and error, Chose the service of sin, and now were abiding its wages. Change of place to them brought no reprieval froin anguish; They in their evil thoughts and desires of impotent malice, Envy, and hate, and blasphemous rage, and remorse unavailing, Carried a hell within, which all outer affliction,
So it abstracted the sense, might be deem'd a remission of torment.
Than see this royal Bedlam bigot range
The azure fields of heaven, of that be sure! "
Here Michael interposed: "Good saint! and devil! Pray, not so fast; you both outrun discretion. Saint Peter! you were wont to be more civil:
Satan! excuse this warmth of his expression, And condescension to the vulgar's level:
Even saints sometimes forget themselves in session. Have you got more to say?"—" No. "—"If you please, I'll trouble you to call your witnesses."
And if they ran a race, they would not win it
Upon the verge of space, about the size
Of half-a-crown, a little speck appear'd (I've seen a something like it in the skies In the Egean, ere a squall); it near'd, And, growing bigger, took another guise;
Like an aerial ship it tack'd, and steer'd, Or was steer'd (I am doubtful of the grammar Of the last phrase, which makes the stanza stam
But take your choice); and then it grew a cloud;
Of locusts numerous as the heavens saw these ; They shadow'd with their myriads space; their loud And varied cries were like those of wild geese (If nations may be liken'd to a goose), And realised the phrase of " hell broke loose."
Here crash'd a sturdy oath of stout John Bull, Who damn'd away his eyes as heretofore : There Paddy brogued "By Jasus!"-"What's your wull ?" [swore The temperate Scot exclaim'd: the French ghost In certain terms I sha'n't translate in full,
As the first coachman will; and 'midst the war, The voice of Jonathan was heard to express, "Our president is going to war, I guess."
LX. Besides there were the Spaniard, Dutch, and Dane; In short, an universal shoal of shades, From Otaheite's isle to Salisbury Plain,
Of all climes and professions, years and trades, Ready to swear against the good king's reign,
Bitter as clubs in cards are against spades: All summon'd by this grand " subpoena," to Try if kings mayn't be damn'd like me or you.
LXI. When Michael saw this host, he first grew palc, As angels can; next, like Italian twilight,
1 ["On the cerulean floor by that dread circle surrounded,
Stood the soul of the King alone. In front was the Presence
It was the Spirit by whom his righteous reign had been troubled;
And with numberless mouths which were fill'd with lies as with arrows.
* [In reference to this part of Mr. Southey's poem, the Eclectic Reviewer, we believe the late Rev. Robert Hall, said - Mr. Southey's Vision of Judgment is unquestionably a profane poem. The assertion will stagger those only who do not consider what is the import of the word. Profineness is the irreverent use of sacred names and things. A burlesque of things sacred, whether intentional or not, is profaneness. To apply the linguage of Scripture in a ludicrous connection is to profane it. The mummery of prayer on the stage, though in a serious pay, is a gross profanation of sacred things. And all acts which come under the taking of God's naine in vain are acts of profaneness. According to this definition of the word, the Laureate's Vision of Judgment' is a poem grossly and unpardonably profane. Mr. Southey's intention was, we are well persuaded, very far
"But when he stood in the Presence, Then was the Fiend dismay'd, though with impudence clothed as a gar
And the lying tongues were mute, and the lips, which had scatter'd
from being irreligious; and, indeed, the profaneness of the poem partly arises from the ludicrous effect produced by the bad taste and imbecility of the performance, for which his intentions are clearly not answerable. Whatever liberties a poet may claim to take, in representations partly allegorical, with the invisible realities of the world to come, the gnis fatuus of political zeal has, in this instance, carned Mr. Southey far be yond any assignable bounds of poetical license. It would have been enough to celebrate the apothesis of the monarch; but, when he proceeds to travestie the final judgment, and to convert the awful tribunal of Heaven into a drawing-room levee, where he, the Poet Laureate, takes upon humself to play the part of a lord in waiting, presenting one Georgian worthy after another to kiss hands on promotion, what should be grave is, indeed, turned to farce."]
Dress'd in a fashion now forgotten quite; 1
For all the fashions of the flesh stick long By people in the next world; where unite
All the costumes since Adam's, right or wrong, From Eve's fig-leaf down to the petticoat, Almost as scanty, of days less remote.
The spirit look'd around upon the crowds
Assembled, and exclaim'd, " My friends of all The spheres, we shall catch cold amongst these clouds;
So let's to business: why this general call? If those are freeholders I see in shrouds,
And 't is for an election that they bawl, Behold a candidate with unturn'd coat! Saint Peter, may I count upon your vote?"
"Sir," replied Michael," you mistake; these things Are of a former life, and what we do Above is more august; to judge of kings
Is the tribunal met: so now you know." "Then I presume those gentlemen with wings,"
Said Wilkes," are cherubs; and that soul below Looks much like George the Third, but to my mind A good deal older-Bless me! is he blind?"
"He is what you behold him, and his doom
Said Wilkes, "don't wait to see them laid in lead,
"Above the sun repeat, then, what thou hast
To urge against him," said the Archangel. "Why,"
With all his Lords and Commons: in the sky
LXXI. "Foolish, no doubt, and wicked, to oppress
A poor unlucky devil without a shilling; But then I blame the man himself much less
Than Bute and Grafton, and shall be unwilling
flim by the cast of his eye oblique, I knew as the firebrand
He had sown on the winds; they had ripen'd beyond the Atlantic'; *
["Our new world has generally the credit of having first lighted the torch which was to illuminate, and soon set in a blaze, the finest part of Europe; yet I think the first flint was struck, and the first spark clicited, by tlie patriot Jolin Wilkes, a few years before. In a time of profound
3 ["Who might the other be, his comrade in guilt and in suffering,
Soon or late to conscious guilt is the eye of the injured."-SOUTHEY.]
peace, the restless spirit of men, deprived of other objects of public curiosity, seized with avidity on those questions which were then agitated with so much violence in England, touching the rights of the people and of the government, and the nature of power. The end of the political drama was in favour of what was called, and in some respects was, the liberty of the people. Encouraged by the success of this great comedian, the curtain was no sooner dropped on the scene of Europe, than new actors hastened to raise it again in America, and to give the world a new play, infinitely more interesting and more brilliant than the first."-M. SiOND.]
2 ["I don't know what to think. Why should Junius be dead? If suddenly apoplexed, would he rest in his grave without sending his ubwe, to shout in the ears of posterity, Junius was X. Y. Z., Esq. buried in the parish of ** ** · Repair his monument, ye churchwardens ! Print a new edition of his Letters, ye booksellers! Impossible, - the man must be alive, and will never die without the disclosure. I like him; he was a good hater."- Byron Diary, Nov. 23. 1813. Sir Philip Francis died in Dec. 1818.]
[The mystery of "l'homme au masque de fer," the everlasting puzzle of the last century, has at length, in general opinion, been cleared up, by a French work published in 1825, and which formed the basis of an entertaining one in English by Lord Dover. See Quarterly Review, vol. xxxiv. p. 19.]
[That the work entitled "The identity of Junius with a distinguished Living Character established" proves Sir Philip Francis to be Junius, we will not athrm; but this we can safely assert; that it accumulates such a mass of circumstantial evidence as renders it extremely difficult to believe he is not, and that, if so many coincidences shall be found to have misled us in this case, our faith in all conclusions drawn from proofs of a similar kind may henceforth be shaken. — MACKINTOSH.]
[The well-known motto of Junius is, "Stat nominis umbra."]
6 ["Caitiffs, are ye dumb cried the multifaced Demon in anger;
Think ye then by shame to shorten the term of your penance ?
Seizing the guilty pair, he swung them aloft, and in vengeance
Fell precipitate down to their dolorous place of endurance."-SOUTHY.]
"The roll of the thunder
Ceased, and all sounds were hush'd, till again from the gate adamantine
From the Souls of the Blessed, Some were there then who advanced; and more from the skirts of the meeting,
Spirits who had not yet accomplish'd their purification,
One alone remain'd, when the rest had retired to their station.
Here then at the Gate of Heaven we are met!' said the Spirit; King of Eng and! albeit in life opposed to each other, Here we meet at last. Not unprepared for the meeting Ween I; for we had both outlived all enmity, rendering Each to each that justice which each from each had withholden. In the course of events, to thee I seem'd as a Rebel, Thou a Tyrant to me; so strongly doth circumstance rule men During evil days, when right and wrong are confounded!* Washington!' said the Monarch, well hast thou spoken, and truly. Just to thyself and to me. On them is the guilt of the contest Who, for wicked ends, with foul arts of faction and falsehood, Kindled and fed the flame: but verily they have their guerdon. Thou and I are free from offence.' —
When that Spirit withdrew, the Monarch around the assembly Look'd, but none else came forth," &c.- Ibid.]