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By Mr D'Israeli
14 Edith and Nora. A Pastoral Poet's
A Description of the Val de Bagne, in
Century, found in the Year 1794.
We have to apologize to a great number, both of old and new Correspondents, for hav.
We have safely received the following articles, which shall be inserted as soon as possible.
“ An Historical and Critical Essay on the Trade and Communications of the Arabs
--" The Tragi-
" Essays on the Lake School of Poetry, No II. The Excursion. No III. Ditto. No
The judicious suggestions of our Friend in Berkshire have been gratefully received ;
THE controversy, concerning the Pedigree of the Steuarts of Allanton, having extended itself
We intend henceforth to publish, at the end of every six months, an additional Num-
(Extracted from a MS. letter of the Baron von LAUERWINKEL.) Tue manner in which you express productions with a severer eye, and to yourself concerning the poetry, of satisfy ourselves that he is by no means Moore, is not unlike that which I
a great one. have met with in many of your Eng- To tell you the truth, had Mr lish journals, and is withal sufficiently Moore been a Frenchman or an Itanatural to a person of your age and lian, nay, I am sorry to say it, had he habits. Like you I admire the lively been born a countryman of my ownand graceful genius of this man ; like had similar pretensions been preferred you I appreciate the amiable tempera- in favour of similar productions among ment and dispositions which lend a any other European people, I know charm to his verses, more touching not that I should have been inclined than any thing which liveliness, grace, to weigh them so scrupulously, or perand genius alone could confer; but i haps justified in rejecting them so decannot consent for a moment to class cidedly. It is the belief of the most Mr Moore with the great poets of orthodox divines, that the guilt of a England-n0 more can i persuade careless Christian is greater than that myself that he is likely to go down to of an ignorant Heathen, even although posterity as the national poet of Ire- the offences of the two men may have land. The claim which has lately been externally and apparently alike. been set up for him is one of no trifling“ of him to whom much is given the import. It would not only assign to more shall be required." I must do him a share of the same magnificent justice to your country, even although honours which have of right descend- it should be at the expense of your ed to Byron, Wordsworth, and Camp- favourite. The English poet who bell, but mingle with his laurels ano- fails to be held great, chiefly because ther wreath such as the grateful af- he chooses not to be puré, falls a fection of your own country has al- splendid sacrifice before the altar to ready woven for Scott and Burns. which he has brought an unacceptable The friends of Mr Moore, or the ad- offering. Even genius will not save mirers of his genius, have done no him ; and yet the highest genius will service either to the poet or to his do much. We listen with sorrow to works by their injudicious praises and the pernicious sophisms, and gloomy their extravagant demands. The only despondings, which deform and darken effect of their zeal is, to make reflec- the native majesty of Byron; but tive men try the productions of their hope and trust are mingled with our idol by a higher standard than they sorrow, and we cannot suppose it might otherwise have judged it neces- would be less than blasphemy to dessary to apply. By rejecting, in behalf pair of such a spirit. În Moore the of their favourite, the honours which redeeming power is less. He possesses we willingly grant to a minor poet, not, whatever his nobler brother may they have compelled us to look at his do, the charm which might privilege Vol. IV,
him to pass through the fire and be and Mr Moore, when he is stretched unsinged.
upon the bed of death, will understand But the genius of a poet is estimat- what it was that troubled, with a tened by every man according to his own fold pang, the last agonies of Rochesprivate feeling, and it may therefore ter. be as well to lay it for a moment out It had been well, however, if, when of the question.—Since the publication Mr Moore learned to despise himself of Lalla Rookh, the admirers of Moore for gross impurity, he had not stophave chosen to talk as if his genius ped half-way in his reformation. It were of the first order, and yourself, I had been well, that instead of lopping observe, are of the same way of think- off the most prominent branches, he ing. On this point we are not likely had torn up the roots also, and for to agree. But however wavering may ever withered the juices of his tree of be the standard of some of the late ad- evil. Did he imagine that the harlot mirers of Mr Moore, I well know that would purify her nature by the asyou at least will have no objections to sumption of a veil, or that his ideas try the morality of any poet by the would be remembered with impunity, only standard which is unchanging only because his words might be reand unerring. If you find that the cited without a blush? His muse has elements of his elegant compositions abused the passport which hypocrisy are essentially and hopelessly impure, or self-ignorance procured her; and you will have no hesitation in agreeing they who adopt the sentiments of the with me, that, whatever his original bard of the Melodies and Lalla Rookh, genius may have been, the use to although indeed they need not be conwhich he has applied it has taken founded with the disciples of Little, from him all right to the place, or the must remain for ever unworthy and communion, of the great poets of incapable of understanding or enjoying England. That man must think those pure and noble thoughts, which lightly and erringly, who doubts the forin the brightest ornament of their eternal union of the highest intellect productions, with whom Mr Moore with the highest virtue. I doubt not would fain have himself to be associthat I shall speedily bring you to be ated. The whole strain of his music of the same mind with myself, res- is pitched upon too low a key. If he pecting the tendency of Mr Moore's never sinks into absolute pollution, performances; and if you do so, you neither dares he for a moment rise to will, in the sequel, have less difficulty the true sublime of purity. He writes in embracing my opinion concerning for women chiefly, and woman is at its inspiration also.
all times his principal topic. How of the early productions, by which strange that he should never have the name of this poet was rendered no- been able to flatter his audience by torious, I shall say nothing. He him- dignifying his theme! How strange, self professes to be ashamed of them, that he who seems to understand so and I doubt not the sincerity of his well every minor, superficial, transitory professions. He is, moreover, suffi- charm, should manifest so total a ciently punished by their existence. blindness to the only charm which is The poison which he has once mingled deep and enduring—to that of which he cannot spill. The muse which he all the rest are but the images and has profaned asserts her privilege even shadows to that for which no luxury in her degradation. The sculptor or compensates, and no passion can atone. the painter may destroy his work, or, I have heard your fair countrywomen if it has parted from his hands, it may warbling the words of Moore ; and be' veiled by its possessor; but the from their lips what can appear unimpure poet has roused a demon clean? But in the retirement of the which he has no spell to lay. The closet, and deprived of the protection foul spirit has received wings with its of their purity, the words were evocation, and the unhappy sorcerer is “ weighed in the balance and found doomed, wherever he may go, to hear wanting.” The sinless creatures that their infernal flap, and tread on the utter them cannot understand their 'vestiges of their blighting. Year after meaning. I do not wish to say that year may pass, and repentance may sit their meaning is any thing positively, in the place of vice,
expressly, necessarily bad. It is e“ But tears which wash out guilt can't wash nough for my purpose that it is not out shame;"
positively and necessarily good. The