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So I'll e'en tell the bard who with rhyming's thus
Had one theme been trac'd while the five thus were
tions there is nothing so striking as the inequalities observable both in his style and versification. In one poem the name of Marmion is incessantly made a tag at the end of the line; while the words enlisted to form a jingle are strained and unpoetical in the extreme: witness
“Charge, Chester, charge!-on, Stanley, on !-
In reply to which, one might well exclaim
Charge, Mazard, charge _Quack on, quack on!
In Mudford's Life of Cumberland is introduced a long note, upon the subject of our northern leviathan and the late Miss Seward, to the which I refer the public for a specimen of just criticism, as to the literary pretensions of this once metrical and corresponding duetto, whose diffidence and modesty are there And the beauties dispers'd throughout all grac'd
In the hemisphere Scot then had blaz'd a bright
blazoned forth to the meanest capacity. As Mr. Scott's walk has not been confined to the mazes of fancy alone, I should like to be made acquainted whether or not, upon the proposal being made to that gentleman of editing the works of the renowned Dryden, two prizes were not tendered by him; viz. remuneration for the toils of the man of literature, or payment for a bookseller's job? the latter of which was grasped at by the publishers, as being the cheapest: in which case the noblest flights of a British poet were subjected to the mere editorship of tare and tret. With regard to the followers of Walter Scott, Miss Holford was particularly bitten with a mania for imitating his style, and has produced a poem entitled Wallace, or the Fight of Falkirk, wherein are to be found many traits of exuberant genius. It is, therefore, only a matter of regret that the literary friends of this lady did not interpose so far as to prevent her from adopting the versification of another; for there is little doubt but, in giving rein to her own natural talent, the production would have borne the stamp of originality, and in all probability obviated the necessity for any stricture on the score of
For to state that no talent appears in our Walter Wou'd prove me from truth a most shameful
Stark mad with unqualified praise of the world,
Be the theme what it may, must enamour the town; Since the rhymes of a Scot cannot fail to go
Ah! fatal delusion, that hoodwinks thy sense, Arouse from such stupor and apathy dense ; Straight marshal thy talents, call wisdom to aid
thee, Nor suffer the thinking for sloth to upbraid thee :
subserviency in style or composition. If we contemplate the volume in question with a publisher's eye, it must certainly rank a complete bookseller's bargain ; for, upon averaging the pages, there will be found about twelve lines in each ; which, considering the price of the work being only one pound five, is a very decent curtailment of matter to the purchaser.
The pathway is wide, true renown may be thine,
(y) Should Mr. Scott ever chance to skim over the present volume, he may perhaps feel little pleased in perusing the last
which was not, however, intended as the vehicle of pique or ill nature: the bard under review being only known to the annotator through the medium of his several poetic productions. Mr. Scott's abilities as a classical scholar cannot be denied; and it is therefore the more astonishing that his judgment should have been warped from those standard principles of literature which have stood the test of ages, and will continue to exist when the new-fangled ephemeræ of fashion shall be no more. It remained with a Chatterton, whose object was deception, to enlist the phraseology of the 13th century: but what reason could possibly prompt this gentleman to produce such a pyebald style of composition ? If, indeed, notoriety and pecuniary benefit were the incitements, Mr. Scott has fully answered his purpose; but I very much doubt whether the fame of his lucubrations will outstretch the boundary of his own mortal career. I shall now terminate my note by stating, in strict unison with Sir Noodle's opinion, that Mr. Scott is capable of producing that which he has never yet thought fit to achieve: Munus Apolline dignum : in expectation of which I dismiss our northern aspirer to the envied honours of Parnassus.