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terest, deeper pathos, manlier reflection, and the fresher and more

models. If it be asked, "But what shall I deem such?"-the answer is; presume those to be the best, the reputation of which has been matured into fame by the consent of ages. For wisdom always has a final majority, if not by conviction, yet by acquiescence. In addition to Sir J. Reynolds I may mention Harris of Salisbury; who in one of his philosophical disquisitions has written on the means of acquiring a just taste with the precision of Aristotle, and the elegance of Quinctilian.2


Gelido suo ruscel chiaro, e tranquillo
M'insegnó Amor di state a mezzo'l giorno;
Ardean le selve, ardean le piagge, e i colli.
Ond 'io, ch' al piu gran gielo ardo e sfavillo,
Subito corsi; ma si puro adorno

Girsene il vidi, che turbar no'l volli:


1 ["On whom then can he rely, or who shall show him the path that leads to excellence? The answer is obvious. Those great masters who have travelled the same road with success are the most likely to conduct others. The works of those who have stood the test of ages have a claim to that respect and veneration to which no modern can pretend. The duration and stability of their fame is sufficient to evince that it has not been suspended upon the slender thread of fashion and caprice, but bound to the human heart by every tie of sympathetic admiration." Reynolds. Discourse ii.-Ed.]

2 [See Philological Inquiries: Part ii. chap. xii. especially the concluding paragraphs. This Treatise is contained in vol. ii. of the collective edition of the works of Harris,-by his son, the Earl of Malmesbury, in two vols. 4to. London, 1801.

James Harris, the author of those volumes, was born in the Close of Salisbury, July 29, 1709—-died Dec. 22, 1780. He is best known as the author of Hermes, a work on Universal Grammar; which, according to Bishop Lowth, presents "the most beautiful example of analysis that has been exhibited since the days of Aristotle:" and three Treatises concerning Art,Music, Painting and Poetry, and Happiness,-which imitate the method of Plato, and are written with admirable distinctness. Harris was not given up wholly to literary pursuits, and domestic and social amusements, though possessed of high qualifications for both the one and the other he also took a part in public life, held the office first of a Lord of the Admiralty, then for about two years of a Lord of the Treasury. In 1774 he became Secretary and Comptroller to the Queen. He represented the Borough of Christ Church till the day of his death, was assiduous in the discharge of his parliamentary duty and occasionally took a share in debates. See Memoirs of the Author by his Son, prefixed to his works.-S. C.]

various imagery, which give a value and a name that will not

Sol mi specchiava, e'n dolce ombrosa sponda
Mi stava intento al mormorar dell' onda.
Aure dell' angoscioso viver mio
Refrigerio soave,

E dolce sì, che più non mi par grave
Ne'l arder, ne'l morir, anz' il desio;
Deh voi'l ghiaccio, e le nubi, e'l tempo rio
Discacciatene omai, che l'onda chiara,
E l'ombra non men cara

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pass away to the poets who have done honor to our own times, and to those of our immediate predecessors.*

Et hor del vago riso,

Hor del sereno sguardo

Io pur cieco riguardo. Ma qual fugge,
O Rosa, il matti


E chi te, come neve,

E'l mio cor teco, e la mia vita strugge?

Anna' mia, Anna dolce, oh sempre nuovo

E piu chiaro concento,

Quanta dolcezza sento

In sol Anna dicendo? Io mi pur pruovo,

Ne qui tra noi ritruovo,

Ne trà cieli armonia,

Che del bel nome suo più dolce sia :

Altro il Cielo, altro Amore,

Altro non suona l'Ecco del mio core.

Hor che'l prato, e la selva si scolora,
Al tuo sereno ombroso

Muovine, alto Riposo,

Deh ch'io riposi una sol notte, un hora:
Han le fere, e gli augelli, ognun talora
Ha qualche pace; io quando,

Lasso! non vonne errando,

E non piango, e non grido? e qual pur forte?
Ma poichè, non ent' egli, odine, Morte.

Risi e piansi d'Amor; nè però mai

Se non in fiamma, ò 'n onda, ò 'n vento scrissi :
Spesso mercè trovai

Crudel; sempre in me morto, in altri vissi :
Hor da' più scuri Abissi al ciel m'alzai,

Hor ne pur caddi giuso ;

Stanco al fin quì son chiuso.

*[The union of "high finish and perfusive grace with pathos and manly reflection"-pathos recalling the peculiar tone of Southey with a Wordsworthian strength of thought and stateliness of sentiment—is exemplified, as it seems to me, in the poetry of Mr. H. Taylor (not to speak of its other merits of a different kind), especially his later poetry, and very exquisitely in his printed but unpublished lines written in remembrance of E. E. Villiers. A friend pointed out to me, what I had before been feeling, the fine interwoven harmony of the stanza in this poem, which, though long and

1 [Filli in Strozzi's Madrigal.-S. C.]






As far then as Mr. Wordsworth in his preface contended, and most ably contended, for a reformation in our poetic diction, as far as he has evinced the truth of passion, and the dramatic propriety of those figures and metaphors in the original poets, which, stripped of their justifying reasons, and converted into mere artifices of connection or ornament, constitute the characteristic falsity in the poetic style of the moderns; and as far as he has, with equal acuteness and clearness, pointed out the process by which this change was effected, and the resemblances between that state into which the reader's mind is thrown by the pleasurable confusion of thought from an unaccustomed train of words and images; and that state which is induced by the natu

varied, forms a whole to the ear as truly as the more formal Spenserian stanza, but has a soft, flowing movement remarkably well fitted for the expression of thoughtful tenderness, and well illustrates Mr. Wordsworth's remark, recorded in this work, on the musical " sweep of whole paragraphs." It is easy enough to invent new metres, but some new metres which the world has lately been presented with will never live, I fear, to be old. They are as unmusical and not so spirited as a Chicasaw war-song. -There is a witch in Mr. Tennyson's poetry, but I do not imagine that any great part of her witching power resides in newness of metre-though perhaps it is rash even to hazard a conjecture on the properties of such a subtle enchantress, or to say how such a mysterious siren does or does not bewitch.-S. C.]

ral language of impassioned feeling; he undertook a useful task, and deserves all praise, both for the attempt and for the execution. The provocations to this remonstrance in behalf of truth and nature were still of perpetual recurrence before and after the publication of this preface. I can not likewise but add, that the comparison of such poems of merit, as have been given to the public within the last ten or twelve years, with the majority of those produced previously to the appearance of that preface, leave no doubt on my mind, that Mr. Wordsworth is fully justified in believing his efforts to have been by no means ineffectual. Not only in the verses of those who have professed their admiration of his genius, but even of those who have distinguished themselves by hostility to his theory, and depreciation of his writings, are the impressions of his principles plainly visible. It is possible, that with these principles others may have been blended, which are not equally evident; and some which are unsteady and subvertible from the narrowness or imperfection of their basis. But it is more than possible, that these errors of defect or exaggeration, by kindling and feeding the controversy, may have conduced not only to the wider propagation of the accompanying truths, but that, by their frequent presentation to the mind in an excited state, they may have won for them a more permanent and practical result. A man will borrow a part from his opponent the more easily, if he feels himself justified in continuing to reject a part. While there remain important points in which he can still feel himself in the right, in which he still finds firm footing for continued resistance, he will gradually adopt those opinions, which were the least remote from his own convictions, as not less congruous with his own theory than with that which he reprobates. In like manner with a kind of instinctive prudence, he will abandon by little and little his weakest posts, till at length he seems to forget that they had ever belonged to him, or affects to consider them at most as accidental and "petty annexments," the removal of which leaves the citadel unhurt and unendangered.

My own differences from certain supposed parts of Mr. Wordsworth's theory ground themselves on the assumption, that his words had been rightly interpreted, as purporting that the proper diction for poetry in general consists altogether in a language taken, with due exceptions, from the mouths of men in real life,

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