Sidor som bilder

Instruct how hard the medium 'tis to hit

But our good fathers never bent their brains Twixt too much polish and too coarse a wit. To heathen Greek, content with native strains.

The few who read a page, or used a pen, A vulgar scribbler, certes, stands disgraced Were satisfied with Chaucer and old Ben; | In this nice age, when all aspire to taste;

The jokes and numbers suited to their taste The dirty language, and the noisome jest,

Wer• quaint and careless, any thing but chaste; Wbich pleased in Swift of yore, we now detest; Yet whether right or wrong the ancient rules, Proscribed not only in the world polite,

It will not do to call our fathers fools ! . But even too nasty for a city knight!

Though you and I, who eruditely know

To separate the elegant and low,
Peace to Swift's faults! his wit hath made them pass, Can also, when a hobbling line appears,
Croatch'd by all, save matchless Hudibras !

Detect with fingers, in default of ears.
Whose anthor is perhaps the first we meet,
Who from our couplet lopp'd two final feet;

In sooth I do not know, or greatly care
Nor less in merit than the longer line,

To learn, who our first English strollers were; This measure moves a favourite of the Nine.

Or if, till roofs received the vagrant art, Though at first view eight feet may seem in vain Our Muse, like that of Thespis, kept a cart; Form'd, save in ode, to bear a serious strain,

But this is certain, since our Shakspeare's days, Yet Scott has shown our wondering isle of late There's pomp enough, if little else, in plays; This measure shrinks not from a theme of weight, Nor will Melpomene ascend her throne And, varied skilfully, surpasses far

Without high heels, white plume, and Bristol stone. Heroic rhyme, but most in love and war, Whose fluctuations, tender or sublime,

Old comedies still meet with much applause, Are curb'd too much by long-recurring rhyme.

Though too licentious for dramatic laws :

At least, we moderns, wisely, 't is confest, Bat many a skilful judge abhors to see,

Curtail, or silence, the lascivious jest. What few admire-irregularity.

Whate'er their follies, and their faults beside, This some vouchsafe to pardon; but 't is hard

Our enterprising bards pass nought untried'; When such a word contents a British bard.

Nor do they merit slight applause who choose

| An English subject for an English muse, And must the bard his glowing thoughts confine,

And leave to minds which never dare invent Lest censure boser o'er some faulty line?

French flippancy and German sentiment. Remove whate'er a critic may suspect,

Where is that living language which could claim To gain the paltry suffrage of * correct?

Poetic more, as philosophic, fame, Ox prune the spirit of each daring phrase,

If all our bards, more patient of delay, To fly from error, not to merit praise ?

Would stop, like Pope, (1) to polish by the way? Ye, wbo seek finish'd models, never cease,

Lords of the quill, whose critical assaults By day and night, to read the works of Greece." O'erthrow whole quartos with their quires of faults,

Ex noto fictum carnem sequar, ut sibi quivis
Speret idem: sudet multum, frustraque laboret
Ausus idem. Tantum series juncturaque pollet:
Tantum de medio sumtis accedit honoris.

Silvis deducti caveant, me judice, Fauni,
Ne velut innati triviis, ac pene forenses,
Aut nimium teneris jurenentur versibus unquam;
Aut immonda crepent, ignominiosaque dicta.
Offenduntur enim quibus est equus, et pater, et res:
Nec, si quid fricti ciceris probat et nacis emtor,
quis accipiunt animis, donantve corona.

Syllaba longa brevi subjecta vocatur iambus,
Pes citas: unde etiam trimetris accrescere jussit
Nomen iambeis, cum senos redderet ictus,
Primus ad extremum similis sibi: non ita pridem,
Tardior ut paulo graviorque veniret ad aures,
Spondeos stabiles in jura paterna recepit,
Commodas et patiens; non ut de sede secundà
Cederet aut quartå socialiter. Hic et in Acci
Nobilibus trimetris apparet rarus, et Enni

In scenam missus magno cum pondere versus,
Aut operæ celeris nimiam curaque carentis,
Aut ignoratæ premit artis crimine turpi.
Non quivis videt immodulata poemata judex:
Et data Romanis venia est indigna poetis.

Idcircone vager, scribamque licenter; an omnes
Visuros peccata putem mea, tutus, et intra
Spem veniæ cautus ? Vitavi denique culpam,
Non laudem merui. Vos exemplaria Græca
Nocturnà versate manu, versate diurna.

"At vestri proavi Plautinos et numeros et
Laudavere sales.”-Nimium patienter utrumque,
Ne dicam stulte, mirati; si modo ego et vos
Scimus inurbanum lepido seponere dicto,
Legitimumque sonum digitis callemus et aure,

Ignotum tragicæ genus invenisse Camcenæ
Dicitur, et plaustris rexisse poemata Thespis,
Quæ canerent agerentque peruncti fæcibus ora.
Post hunc, personee pallæque repertor honestæ,
Æschylus et modicis instravit pulpita tignis,
Et docuit magnumque loqui, nitique cothurno.
Successit vetas his comedia, non sine multa
Laude ; sed in vitiam libertas excidit, et vim
Dignam lege regi: lex est accepta ; chorusque
Turpiter obticuit, sublato jure nocendi.

Nil intentatum nostri liquere poetæ,
Nec minimum meruere decus, vestigia Græca
Ausi deserere, et celebrare domestica facta,
Vel qui prætextas, vel qui docnere togatas,
Nec virtute foret clarisve potentius armis,

[blocks in formation]

writings were never mended, his controversial seldom con. fated.” On Boswell's asking Johnson wbich of them he should read, the Doctor replied, “Any of them; they are all good.”—L. E.)

(1) « They support Pope, I see, in the Quarterly, "-wrote Lord Byron in 1820, from Ravenna- it is a sin, and a shame, and a damnation, that Pope!! should require it: but be does. Those miserable mountebanks of the day, the

“They sup1920. from Ravone

should require the

Who soon detect, and mark where'er we fail,
And prove our marble with too nice a nail !
Democritus himself was not so bad;
He only thought, but you would make, us mad!

But truth to say, most rhymers rarely guard
Against that ridicule they deem so hard;
In person negligent, they wear, from sloth,
Beards of a week, and nails of annual growth ;
Reside in garrets, fly from those they meet,
And walk in alleys, rather than the street.

Am I not wise, if such some poets' plight,
To purge in spring-like Bayes (3)—before I write?
If this precaution soften'd not my bile,
I know no scribbler with a madder style;
But since (perhaps my feelings are too nice)
I cannot purchase fame at such a price,
I'll labour gratis as a grinder's wheel,
And, blunt myself, give edge to others' steel,
Nor write at all, unless to teach the art
To those rehearsing for the poet's part;
From Horace show the pleasing paths of song,
And from my own example-- what is wrong.

With little rhyme, less reason, if you please,
The name of poet may be got with ease,
So that not tons of helleboric juice
Shall ever turn your head to any use;
Write but like Wordsworth, live beside a lake,(1)
And keep your bushy locks a year from Blake;(2)
Then print your book, once more return to town,
And boys shall hunt your bardship up and down.

Though modern practice sometimes differs quite,
'Tis just as well to think before you write;
Let every book that suits your theme be read,
So shall you trace it to the fountain-head.

He who has learn'd the duty which he owes
To friends and country, and to pardon foes;

Quam lingua Latium, si non offenderet unum-
quemque poetarum limæ labor, et mora. Vos, o
Pompilius sanguis, carmen reprehendite, quod non
Multa dies et multa litura coercuit, atque
Perfectum decies non castigavit ad unguem.

Ingenium miserà quia fortunatius arte
Credit, et excludit sanos Helicone poetas
Democritus; bona pars non ungues ponere curat,
Non barbam ; secreta petit loca ; balnea vitat.
Nanciscetur enim pretium nomenque poetæ,
Si tribus Anticyris caput insanabile nunquam
Tonsori Licino commiserit. 0 ego lævus,

Qui pnrgor bilem sub verni temporis horam!
Non aliis faceret meliora poemata. Verum
Nil taati est. Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quæ ferrum valet, exsors ipsa secandi.
Munus et officium, nil scribens ipse, docebo;
Unde parentur opes; quid alat forinetque poetam;
Quid deceat, quid non ; quo virtus, qno ferat error.

Scribendi recte sapere est et principium et fons.
Rem tibi Socraticæ poterunt ostendere chartæ,
Verbaque provisam rem non invita sequentur.

Qui didicit patriæ quid debeat, et quid amicis;
Quo sit amore parens, quo frater amandus, et hospes ;

poets, disgrace themselves, and deny God, in running down school, and even Moore without a school, and dilettanti lec Pope, the most faultless of poets.” Again, in situ, same turers at institutions, and elderly gentlemen who translate year :-“I have at last lost all patience with the atrocious and imitate, and young ladies who listen and repeat, cant and nonsense about Pope with which our present ***8 and baronets wbo draw indifferent frontispieces for bad are overflowing, and am determined to make such headpoets, and noblemen who let them dine with them in the against it as an individual can by prose or verse, and I country, the small body of the wits and the great body of will at least do it with good will. There is no bearing it the blues, have latterly united in a depreciation, of which any longer, and, if it goes on, it will destroy what little their forefathers would have been as much ashamed as good writing or taste remains amongst us. I hope there their children will be. In the mean time, what have ve are still a few men of taste to second me; but if not l'u got instead? The Lake School, which began with an epie battle it alone, convinced that it is in the best cause of poem written in six weeks' (so Joan of Are proclaimed English literature." Again, in 1821 : "Neither time, nor herself), and finished with a ballad composed in twenty distance, nor grief, nor age, can ever diminish my venera years, as Peter Bell's creator takes care to inform the few tion for him who is the great moral poet of all times, of all who will inquire. What have we got instead? A delage climes, of all feelings, and of all stages of existence. The of flimsy and unintelligible romances, imitated from Scott delight of my boybood, the study of my manhood, perhaps and myself, who have both made the best of our bad ma(if allowed to me to attain it) be may be the consolation terials and erroneous system. What have we got instead? of my age. His poetry is the book of life. Without canting, Madoc, which is neither an epic nor any thing else ; Thalaba, and yet withont neglecting religion, he has assembled all Kehama, Gebir, and such gibberish, written in all metres, that a good and great man can gather together of moral and in no language." B. Letters, 1819.-See also the two wisdom clothed in consummate beauty. Sir William Temple pamphlets against Mr. Bowles, written at Ravenna in 1821, observes, that of all the members of mankind that live in which Lord Byron's. enthusiastic reverence for Pope is within the compass of a thousand years, for one man that the principal feature.-L. E. is born capable of making a great poet, there may be a (2) As famous a tonsor as Licinus himself, and better thousand born capable of making as great generals and mi- | paid, and may, like him, be one day a senator, having a nisters of state as any in story. Here is a statesman's opi- better qualification than one half of the heads be crops, nion of poetry; it is honourable to him and to the art. Such viz.-independence. a poet of a thousand years' was Pope. A thousand years (3) See the Rehearsal :will roll a way before such another can be hoped for in our “Bayes. Pray, Sir, how do yon do when you write ? literature. But it can want them: he is himself a litera. “Smith. Faith, Sir, for the most part I'm in pretty good ture."--L.E.

health. (1) « That this is the age of the decline of English poetry, Bayes. I mean, what do you do when you write ? will be doubted by few who have calmly considered the sub “ Smith. I take pen, ink, and paper, and sit down. ject. That there are men of genius among the present Bayes. Now I write standing--that's one thing; and poets, makes little against the fact; because it has been then another thing is, with what do you prepare yourself? well said, that, next to him who forms the taste of his Smith. Prepare myself! what the devil does the fool country, the greatest genius is he who corrupts it.' No mean? one has ever denied genius to Marini, who corrupted, not Bayes. Why, I'll tell you what I do. If I am to write merely the taste of Italy, but that of all Europe, for nearly familiar things, as sonnets to Armida, and the like, I make a century. The great cause of the present deplorable state use of stewed prunes only; but when I have a grand design of English poetry is to be attributed to that absurd and sys. in hand, I ever take physic and let blood : for whea you tematic depreciation of Pope, in which, for the last few would have pure swiftness of thought, and flery flights of years, there has been a kind of epidemic concurrence. The fancy, you must have a care of the pensive part. in fine, Lakers and their school, and every body else with their you must purge."-LE.

Wbo models his deportment as may best

Two objects always should the poet move,
Accord with brother, sire, or stranger guest; Or one or both,--to please or to improve.
Who takes our laws and worship as they are, Whate'er you teach, be brief, if you design
Nor roars reform for senate, church, and bar; ! For our remembrance your didactic line;
In practice, rather than loud precept, wise,

Redundance places memory on the rack,
Bids not his tongue, but heart, philosophise: For brains may be o'erloaded, like the back.
Sach is the man the poet should rehearse,
As joint exemplar of his life and verse.

Fiction does best when taught to look like truth,

And fairy fables bubble none but youth :
Sometimes a sprightly wit, and tale well told, Expect no credit for too-wondrous tales,
Without much grace, or weight, or art, will hold Since Jonas only springs alive from whales!
4 langer empire o'er the public mind
Than sounding trifles, empty, though refined.

Young men with aught but elegance dispense;

Maturer years require a little sense. Unhappy Greece! thy sons of ancient days To end at once:—that bard for all is fit The Mase may celebrate with perfect praise,

Who mingles well instruction with his wit; | Whose generous children narrow'd not their hearts For him reviews shall smile, for him o'erflow

With commerce, given alone to arms and arts. The patronage of Paternoster-row; ¡Our boys (save those whom public schools compel His bonk, with Longman's liberal aid, shall pass

To long and short" before they're taught to spell) ! (Who ne'er despises books that bring him brass); From frugal fathers soon imbibe by rote,

Through three long weeks the taste of London lead, *A penny saved, my lad, 's a penny got."

And cross St. George's Channel and the Tweed. Babe of a city birth! from sixpence take The third, how much will the remainder make?-- But every thing has faults, nor is 't unknown *A groat. * _"Åh, bravo! Dick hath done the sum! That harps and fiddles often lose their tone, He'll swell my fifty thousand to a plum."

And wayward voices, at their owner's call,

With all his best endeavours, only squall; They whose young souls receive this rust betimes, Dogs blink their covey, flints withhold the spark, (4) · Tis clear, are fit for any thing but rhymes;

And double-barrels (damn them!) miss their mark. (5) And Locke will tell you, that the father 's right Who hides all verses from his children's sight;

Where frequent beauties strike the reader's view, For poets, says this sage,(1) and many more, | We must not quarrel for a blot or two; Make sad mechanics with their lyric lore;

| But pardon equally to books or men, And Delphi now, however rich of old,

The slips of human nature, and the pen.
Discovers little silver, and less gold,
Because Parnassus, though a mount divine,

Yet if an author, spite of foe or friend,
Is poor as Irus,(2) or an Irish mine.(3)

Despises all advice too much to mend,

Onod sit conscripti, quod judicis officium, quæ Partes in bellum missi ducis; ille profecto keddere persone scit convenientia cuique.

Respicere exemplar vitæ morumque jubebo Doctam imitatorem, et veras hinc ducere voces.

Interdum speciosa locis, morataque recte
Fabula nullius veneris, sine pondere et arte,
Valdias oblectat populam, meliusque moratur,
Quam versus inopes rerum, nugæque canoræ.

Graiis ingenium, Grajis dedit ore rotundo
Mesa loqui, præter laudem nullius avaris.
Romani poeri longis rationibus assem
Discunt in partes centum diducere. - Dicat
Filias Albini, si de quincunce remota est
Cacia, quid superet? poteras dixisse, “Triens."-Bu !
kem poteris servare tuam. Redit ancia: quid fit?

Semis," -- An, hæc animos rrugo et cura peculi
Cam semel imbuerit, speramus carmina fingi
Posse linenda cedro, et lasi seryanda cupresso ?

Aat prodesse volunt, aut delectare poetie;
Ant simol et jucunda et idonea dicere vitæ.

Quidquid præcipies, esto brevis : ut cito dicta
Percipiant animi dociles, teneantque fideles.
Omne supervacuum pleno de pectore manat.

Ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima veris :
Nee, quodcunque volet, posent sibi fabula credi :
Neu pransæ Lamiæ vivum puerum extrahat alvo.

Centuriæ seniorum agitant expertia frugis :
Celsi prætereunt austera poemata Rhamnes.
Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci,
Lectorem delectando, pariterque monendo.
Hic meret rera liber Sosiis ; hic et mare transit,
Et longum noto scriptori prorogat ævam.
Sunt delicta tamen, quibus ignovisse velimus.
Nam neque chorda sonum reddit, quem valt manus et mens;
Poscentique gravem persæpe remittit acutum :
Nec semper feriet quodcunque minabitur arcus.
Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis
Offendar maculis, quas aut incuria fudit,
Aut humana parum cavit natura. Quid ergo est
Ut scriptor si peccat idem librarius usque,
Quamvis est monitus, venià caret; ut citharedus

1) I have not the original by me, but the Italian trans. lation runs as follows:--"E una cosa a mio credere molto stravagante, che in padre desideri, o permetta, che suo Izlinolo coltivi e perfezioni questo talento.” A little further a: "si trovano di rado nel Parnaso le miniere d'oro e d' argento.” Educazione dei Fanciulli del Signor Locke. "If the child have a poetie vein, it is to me the strangest thing is the world, that the father should desire or suffer it to be derished or improved."-" It is very seldom seen, that any 1 ae discovers mines of gold or silver on Parnassus."- L.E.]

(3) The Irish gold-mine of Wicklow, which yields just ore enough to swear by, or gild a bad guinea.

2) "Iro pauperior:" this is the same beggar who boxed sinh lysses for a pound of kid's fry, which he lost, and balf a dozen teeth besides. See Odyssey, b. 18.

(4) “ This couplet is amusingly characteristic of that mix. ture of fun and bitterness with which their autbor some. times spoke in conversation; so much so, that those who knew him might almost fancy they hear him utter the words.” Moore.-L. .

(5) As Mr. Pope took the liberty of damning Homer, to whom he was under great obligations—And Homer (damn him.') calls"-it may be presumed that any body or any thing may be damned in verse by poetical license; and, in case of accident, I beg leave to plead so illustrious a preccdent.

Bat ever twangs the same discordant string,
Give him no quarter, howsoe'er he sing.
Let Havard's(1) fate o'ertake him, who, for once,
Produced a play too dashing for a dunce:
At first none deem'd it bis; but when his name
Announced the fact—what then ?-it lost its fame.
Though all deplore when Millon deigns to doze,
In a long work 't is fair to steal repose.

As pictures, so shall poems be; some stand
The critic eye, and please when near at hand;
But others at a distance strike the sight; .
This seeks the shade, but that demands the light,
Nor dreads the connoisseur's fastidious view,
But, ten times scrutinised, is ten times new.

Parnassian pilgrims! ye whom chance, or choice,
Hath led to listen to the Muse's voice,

Receive this counsel, and be timely wise;
Few reach the summit which before you lies.
Our church and state, our courts and camps, concede
Reward to very moderate heads indeed!
In these plain common sense will travel far;
All are not Erskines who mislead the bar :
But poesy between the best and worst
No medium knows; you must be last or first;
For middling poets' miserable volumes
Are damn'd alike by gods, and men, and columns.(2)

Again, my Jeffrey !-as that sound inspires,
How wakes my bosom to its wonted fires !
| Fires, such as gentle Caledonians feel
When Southrons writhe upon their critic wheel;
Or mild Eclectics,(3) when some, worse than Turks,
Would rob poor Faith to decorate "good works."

Ridetur, cbordà qui semper oberrat eâdem :
Sic mihi qui multum cessat, fit Chærilus ille,
Quem bis terve bonum cum risu miror; et idem
Indignor, quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus.
Verum operi longo fas est obrepere somnum.

Ut pictura poesis ; erit, quæ, si propius stes,
Te capiet magis ; et quædam, si longius abstes :
Hæc amat obscurum; volet bæc sub luce videri,
Judicis argutum quæ non formidat acumen :

Hæc placuit semel; hæc decies repetita placebit.

O major juvenum, quamvis et voce paterna
Fingeris ad rectum, et per te sapis; hoc tibi dictum
Tolle memor: certis medium et tolerabile rebus
Recte concedi. Consnltus juris, et actor
Causarum mediocris abest virtute diserti
Messalæ, nec scit quantum Cascellins Aulus :
Sed tamen in pretio est: mediocribus esse poetis
Non homines, non di, non concessere columnæ.

(1) For the story of Billy Havard's tragedy, see Davies's by me might lead to certain consequences, which, although Life of Garrick. I believe it is Regulus, or Charles the First. natural enough, surely came but rasbly from reverend lips. The moment it was known to be his the theatre thinned, I refer them to their own pages, where they congratulated and the bookseller retused to give the customary sumn for themselves on the prospect of a tilt between Mr. Jeffrey the copyright.-1" Havard," says Davies, “was reduced to and myself, froin which some great good was to accrue, great straits, and, in order to retrieve his affairs, the story | provided one or both were knocked on the head. Having of Charles the First was proposed to him as a proper sub- survived two years and a half those Elegies which they ject to engage the public attention. Havard's desire of ease were kindly preparing to review, I have no peculiar gasto was known to be superior to his thirst for fame or money; to give them “80 joyful a trouble," except, indeed, “upon and Giffard, the manager, insisted upon the power of lock compulsion, Hal;” but if, as David says in the Rivals, it ing him up till the work was finished. To this he consented; should come to "bloody sword and gun fighting, we won't and Giffard actually turned the key upon him, and let him run, will we, Sir Lucius ?I do not know what I bad out at bis pleasure, till the play was completed. It was done to these Eclectic gentlemen : my works are their lawful acted with great emolument to the manager, and some de perquisite, to be hewn in pieces like Agag, if it seem meet gree of reputation, as well as gain, to the author. It drew unto them: but why they should be in such a hurry to kill large crowds to the theatre; curiosity was excited with re off their author, I am ignorant. "The race is not always spect to the author: that was a secret to be kept from the to the swift, nor the battle to the strong: " and now, as people; but Havard's love of fame would not suffer it to be these Christians have “smote me on one cheek," I bold concealed longer than the tenth or twelfth nigbt of acting them up the other; and, in return for their good wishes, the play. The moment Havard put on the sword and tie. give them an opportunity of repeating them. Had any other wig, the genteel dress of the times, and professed himself set of men expressed such sentiments, I should have smiled, to be the writer of Charles the First, the audiences were and left them to the “recording angel ;” but from the pharithinned, and the bookseller refused to give the usual sum sees of Christianity decency might be expected. I can as. of a hundred pounds for the copyright."- L.E.]

sure these brethren, that, publican and sinner as I am, I (2) Here, in the original MS., we tind the following couplet would not have treated “mine enemy's dog thus." To show and note:

them the superiority of my brotherly love, if ever the Reve.

rend Messrs. Simeon or kamsden should be engaged in such • Though what 'gods, men, and columns' interdict, The Devil and Jeffrey pardon-in a Pict.-L.E.

a conflict as that in which they requested me to fall, I hope

they may escape with being “winged” only, and that kea(3) To the Eclectic or Christian Reviewers I have to return viside may be at band to extract the ball. --- {The following thanks for the fervour of that charity wbich, in 1809, in is the charitable passage in the Ecleclic Review of which duced them to express a bope that a thing then published | Lord Byron speaks :-“If the noble lord and the learned ad

are here pla and their dne the Devil

• "The Devil and Jeffrey are here placed antithetically to gods and men, such being their usual position, and their dne one-ac. cording to the facetious saying, If God won't take you, the Devil must;' and I am sure no one durst object to his taking the poetry which, rejected by Horace, is accepted by Jeffrey That these gentlemen are in some cases kinder,-the one to countrymen, and the other from his odd propensity to prefer evil to good, -than the

gods, men, and columns' of Horace, may be seen by a reference to the review of Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming; and in No. 31 of the Edinburgh Review (given to me the other day by the captain of an English frigate off Salamis), there is a similar concession to the mediocrity of Jamie Grahame's British Georgics. It is fortunate for Campbell, that his fame neither depends on bis last poem, nor the puff of the Edinburgh Review. The catalogues of our English are also less fastidious than the pillars of the Roman librarians. A word more with the author of Certrude of Wyoming. At the end of a poem, and even of a couplet, we bave generally that unmeaning thing we call a thought;' so Mr. Campbell concludes with a thought in such a manner as to fulfi the whole of Pope's prescription, and be as unmeaning' as the best of his brethren:

• Because I may not stain with grief

The death song of an Indian cbier.'

When I was in the afth form, I carried to my master the translation
of a chorus in Prometheus,t wherein was a pestilent expression about
* staining a voice,' which met with no quarter. Little did I think
that Mr. Campbell would have adopted iny fifth form sublime'-at
least in so conspicuous a situation. Sorrow' has been 'dry (in
proverbs), and wet' (in sonnets). this many a day; and now it
* stains, and stains a sound, of all feasible things! To be sure,
death-songs might have been stained with that same grief to very
good purpose, if Outalissi had clapped down his stanzas on whole-
some paper for the Edinburgh Evening Post, or any other given
hyperborean gazette; or if the said Outalissi had been troubled
with the slightest second sight of his own notes embodied on the
last proof of an overcharged quarto: but as he is supposed to bave
been an improvisatore on this occasion, and probably to the last
tune he ever chanted in this world, it would have done him no dis
credit to have made his exit with a mouthful of common sense.
Talking of staining (as Caleb Quotem says) puts me in mind of a
certain couplet, which Mr. Campbell will find in a writer for
whom he, and his school, have no small contempt :

E'en copious Dryden wanted, or forgot,
The last and greatest art the art to blor." "-L.E.

+ See ante, p. 6, col. 1.-P.E.

As oil in lieu of butter men decry,
And poppies please not in a modern pie;
If all such mixtures then be half a crime,
We must have excellence to relish rhyme.
Mere roast and boil'd no epicure invites;
Thus poetry disgusts, or else delights.

Soch are the genial feelings thou canst claim-
My falcon flies not at ignoble game.
Mightiest of all Dunedin's beasts of chase!
For thee my Pegasus would mend his pace.
Arise, my Jeffrey! or my inkless pen
Shall never blunt its edge on meaner men;
Til thee or thine mine evil eye discerns,
Alas! I cannot "strike at wretched kernes." (1)
Inhoman Saxon! wilt thou then resign
A muse and heart by choice so wholly thine?

d d contemner of my schoolboy songs,
Hast thou no vengeance for my manhood's wrongs?
If unprovoked thou once couldst bid me bleed,
Hast thou no weapon for my daring deed ?
What! not a word -and am I then so low?
Wilt thou forbear, who never spared a foe?
Hast thou no wrath, or wish to give it vent?
No wit for nobles, dunces by descent?
No jest on " minors," quibbles on a name,(2)
| Nor one facetious paragraph of blame?
Is it for this on lion I have stood,
And thought of Homer less than Holyrood ?
On shore of Euxine or Ægean sea,
My hate, antravell’d, fondly turn'd to thee.
Ah! let me cease; in vain my bosom burns,
From Corydon unkind Alexis turns:(3)
Thy rhymes are vain; thy Jeffrey then forego,
No woo that anger which he will not show.
What then ?-Edina starves some lanker son,
To write an article thou canst not shun;
Some less fastidious Scotchman shall be found,
As bold in Billingsgate, though less renown'd.

Who shoot not flying rarely touch a gun : Will he who swims not to the river run ? And men unpractised in exchanging knocks Must go to Jackson (4) ere they dare to box. Whate'er the weapon, cudgel, fist, or foil, None reach expertness without years of toil; But fifty dunces can, with perfect ease, Tag twenty thousand couplets, when they please. Why not?—shall I, thus qualified to sit For rotten boroughs, never show my wit ? Shall I, whose fathers with the quorum sate, And lived in freedom on a fair estate; Who left me heir, with stables, kennels, packs, To all their income, and to-twice its tax; Whose form and pedigree have scarce a fault, Shall I, I say, suppress my Attic salt?

Thus think “the mob of gentlemen;" but you, Besides all this, must have some genius too. Be this your sober judgment, and a rule, And print not piping hot from Southey's school, Who (ere another Thalaba appears), I trust, will spare us for at least nine years. And hark'ye, Southey!(5) pray--but don't be vex'dBurn all your last three works—and half the next. But why this vain advice ? once publish’d, books Can never be recall'd—from pastry-cooks!

! As if at table some discordant dish

Should shock our optics, such as frogs for fish;


Ut gratas inter mensas symphonia discors,
Ei crassum unguentum, et Sardo cum melle papaver
Offendunt; poterat duci quia cana sine istis;
Sic animis natam in ventumque poema juvandis,
Si paulum a summo discessit, vergit ad imum.

Ladere qui nescit, campestribus abstinet armis,
Indoctasque pilæ, discive, trochive, quiescit;
Ne spisse risum tollant impune coronæ.

Qui nescit, versus tamen audet fingerel-" Quid ni?
Liber et ingenuus, præsertim census equestrem
Summam nummorum, vitioque remotus ab omni."

Tu nihil invità dices faciesve Minerva :
Id tibi judicium est, ea mens. Si quid tamen olim
Scripseris, in Metti descendat judicis aures,
Et patris, et nostras: nonumque prematur in annum.
Membranis intus positis, delere licebit

Toate bave the courage requisite to sustain their mutual usalts, we shall probably soon bear the explosions of another kind of paper-war, after the fashion of the ever-memorable doel which the latter is said to bave fought, or kenned to fight, with Little Moore.' We confess there is ! suficient provocation, if not in the critique, at least in the

satire, to urge a map of honour' to defy his assailant to martal combat. Or this we shall no doubt hear more in due time," -LE)

O "Alas! I cannot strike at wretched kernes." Macbeth. |-LE. 1 (2) See the memorable critique of the Edinburgh Review, on Hours of Idleness.-L.E. (3) "Invenies aliam, si te hic fastidit, Alexin."

(9) Lord Byron's taste for boxing brought him acquainted, at an early period, with this distinguisbed, and, it is not 100 much to say. respected professor of the art; for whom, aroughout life, he continued to entertain a sincere regard. In a note to the eleventh canto of Don Juan, be calls him bis old friend, and corporeal pastor and master."-LE.

(5) Mr. Soutbey bas lately tied another canister to his i bal in the Curse of Kehama, mangre the neglect of Madoc,

etc., and has in one instance had a wonderful effect. A kterary friend of mine, walking out one lovely evening last summer, or the eleventh bridge of the Paddington canal, was alarmed by the cry of “one in jeopardy :" he rushed along, collected a body of Irish baymakers (sopping on batter-milk in an adjacent paddock), procured three rakes, se eel-spear, and a, and at last (horresco relered:!) pulled out-his own publisher. The unfortunate

man was gone for ever, and so was a large quarto where. with he had taken the leap, which proved, on inquiry, to have been Mr. Southey's last work. Its "alacrity of sinking” was so great, that it has never since been heard of;

though some maintain that it is at this moment concealed | at Alderman Birch's pastry premises, Cornhill. Be this as

it may, the coroner's inquest brought in a verdict of “Felo
de bibliopola" against a “quarto unknown;" and circum.
stantial evidence being since strong against the Curse of
Kehama (of which the above words are an exact descrip.
tion), it will be tried by its peers next sessions, in Grub-
street Arthur, Alfred, Davideis, Richard Lion,
Exodus, Ecodia, Epigoniad, Calvary, Fall of Cambria,
Siege of Acre, Don Roderick, and Tom Thumb the Great, are
the names of the twelve jurors. The judges are Pye, Bowles,
and the bellman of St. Sepulchre's. The same advocates,
pro and con, will be employed as are now engaged in Sir
F. Burdett's celebrated cause in the scoich courts,
public anxiously await the result, aud all live publishers
will be subpoenaed as witnesses. But Mr. Southey has pub-
lished the Curse of Kehama,-an inviting title to quibblers.
By the by, it is a good deal beneath Scott and Campbell,
and not much above Southey, to allow the booby Ballantyne
to entitle them, in the Edinburgh Annual Register (of which,
by the by, Southey is editor “the grand poetical triumvi.
rate of the day." But, on second thoughts, it can be no
great degree of praire to be the one-eyed leaders of the
blind, though they might as well keep to themselves “Scott's
thirty thousand copies sold,” which must sadly discomfit
poor Southey's unsaleables, Poor Southey, it should seem,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »