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refuted. The work itself, however satisfactory in point of reasoning, did not advance any thing that was essentially new. But the Reviewer makes one observation, which, if it has not the air of perfect novelty, is so important, and has, notwithstanding, been so little regarded, that I make no apology for transcribing it into these pages.
“The miracles recorded in the Gospel are not of the momentary kind, or miracles of even short duration; but they were such as were attended with permanent effects. The fitting appearance of a spectre, the hearing of a supernatural sound, may each be regarded as a momentary miracle: the sensible proof is gone, when the apparition disappears, or the sound ceases. But it is not so, if a person born blind be restored to sight, or a notorious cripple to the use of his limbs, or a dead man to life; for in each of these cases a permanent effect is produced by supernatural means. The change, indeed, was instantaneous, but the proof continues. The subject of the miracle remains : the man cured is there : his former condition was known, and his present condition may be examined and compared with it. Such cases can, by no possibility, be resolved into false perception, or trick; and of this kind are by far the greater portion of the miracles recorded in the New Testament.”
Early in the year 1793 Mr. Good was cheered with the prospect of surmounting his difficulties, by removing to London. He received a proposal to go into partnership with Mr. W.,* a surgeon and apothecary of extensive practice in the metropolis; and having, also, an official connexion, as surgeon, with one of the prisons. Circumstances seemed auspicious; though
it appears from a letter of Mr. Good's to his friend Dr. Drake, bearing date January 17th, 1793, that his intended partner was not ignorant of the art of driving a hard bargain. “I have at length (says he) settled the matter between Mr. W. and myself, after having conceded to his own terms; which, though more severe than I expected, will, I hope, answer in the end.-I have agreed to connect myself with him at Ladyday; so that then, or soon afterwards, we must leave the country.”
Another passage in the same letter, serves to acquaint us with the manner which he usually pursued in the composition of his smaller pieces. “Some (says Johnson)+ employ, at once, memory and invention, and, with little intermediate use of the pen, form and polish large masses by continued meditation, and write their productions, only when, in their own opinion, they have completed them.” Such was, in great measure, the process adopted by Mr. Good; with this additional peculiarity, that by meditating about himself, or the circumstances in which he was placed, he often seemed to forget himself; or instead of thinking of himself as the being over whose perplexities he was cogitating in sober sadness, he transformed himself into the subject of a poem, either grave or lively as the presiding muse dictated : thus causing reverie to triumph over reality. Whether walking or riding, taking a larger or a shorter journey, travelling by day or by night, in fair or in tempestuous weather, in pursuit of pleasure or aiming to free bimself from pain; his elastic intellect was uncoiling itself, and, by an appropriate effort, accomplishing its assigned
+ Life of Pope.
task. In every variety of circumstances he exercised the power of composition; and often, as will be seen, with great success.
Speaking of his journey to London, in the letter already quoted, he says
“The sun shone a little at first, but soon disappeared. I was too early for the moon, and began to contemplate nothing but a gloom of solid darkness, only interrupted by the aurora borealis : when fortunately for me, and for my feelings, the evening star broke through the clouds, and continued to emit a brilliant though slender light during the rest of my journey. I was so much amused by its society, that on my road, as I travelled, I could not avoid composing the elegy beneath.”
TO THE EVENING STAR.
Composed during a Journey.
Bright star of Love ! that pour'st thy steady light,
While all around is darkness and dismay;
Right art thou nam'd, and blessed be thy ray.
Sunk is the sun, the moon is far estrang'd,
Clouds rise, and many a treacherous meteor sweeps ;
Still o'er the gloom its heavenly guidance keeps.
Emblem of friendship seldom found on earth,
Where change alike, and treachery, are bred;
Sees them and feels them bursting o'er his head.
Yes, many a wretch, who, first, his blithe career,
Like me, in smiles and cloudless skies begun;
Who hail'd his lot, and loitered in the sun :
deceiv'd; and doom'd too soon to try,
And a long night of woe before him falls.
Taught by thyself, should fortune's cruel spite
A wretch thus hopeless, e'er to me disclose,
To soothe the traveller amidst his woes.
Small are my means, and humble is my birth ;
But thou hast prov'd, thus glimmering o'er the road, "Tis not the extent of aid that stamps its worth,
But the nice hour in which that aid's bestow'd.
The subjoined jeu d'esprit, composed at the time of his quitting Sudbury, serves also to illustrate the peculiarity of mind to which I have adverted.
VERSES TO A BATH STOVE,
Here rest, O Stove ! the fondest friends must part,
Yet hast thou shewn, in fulness and in want,
But chief at friendship’s call, thy generous make
the virtues that are thine,
In April 1793, at the age of 29, Mr. Good, pursuant to his agreement with Mr. W. removed to London. He was then full of health and spirits, ardently devoted to his profession, and anxious to distinguish himself