« НазадПродовжити »
“ Cock your binnacle up to your chin, words in which they displayed themOpen your shoulders, and let it run in;
selves, was reckoned only half-witted The more you drink the fuller your skin,
by his companions; but as I looked Which nobody can deny."
upon his wildly animated countenance, During the time my lord was singing the zeal that lighted it up when a more this verse to each of the party, separately, than usually exhilarating toast was prowhich he did with as much inflexibility posed, and the even graceful attitedes of muscle and monotony of tone as if into which he threw himself, as he he had been adıninistering Custom- waved his cup above his head, previous house oaths, he filled a brimming horn to draining it off, or sawed the air with to him whom he was addressing, from his hand, in unison with the sentia
cann which he carried round the ments, or melody of the songs, room with him, and custom required could not help reflecting upon the that this horn should be drunk off in different opinions which are entertained the time that the verse was singing, or on the very same subjects by different the remains of it thrown sans cérémonie persons. liad this may been in some in the face of the tardy one who might fashionable circles, his extravaganzas be behind-hand. A bushel basket of would have been laid to the account of nuts was now placed in the middle of genius; caught at, admired, and imithe room; the bumper toosts began to tated, as delightful energy, and exquigo merrily round-nuts and jokes were site originality ; in short, he would have cracked in almost equal numbers, and been a character : whilst among his the vocal performers congregating into village associates, all this waste of one corner, and following their own
animal spirits, or intensity of existence, taste in the selection of their songs, (for every thing is intense now-a-days y poured forth a variety of strains which, only procured him the advantage of though not exactly such as would
being deemed any thing but a conquite set free
jurer. He was however merely one The half-regain'd Eurydice,"
figure that stood a little more forward had, I dare say, often produced an effect than the rest ; for all were so far true to more consonant to the wishes of the nature as to pourtray most faithfully the singers, in taking the prison'd soul of peculiarities of their respective employsome favourite village maid a willing cap- could not indeed have desired a more
ments and habits. Hogarth himself tive, listening to them. One of these fruitful field of contemplation for his songs treated of a certain Squire Marvell
ever varying pencil. In one corner, as “The pearl of this land, and the pride of Skildare," I have already said, were the musicians but in what his particular excellence with their heads erect, and their eyes consisted I am not able to determine, as
half-closed, that their attention might. the performers, after singing all the same
not be interrupted by the sight of what part, about forty stanzas, repeating any
was going on, some with distended one that particularly struck their fancy jaws, others with their lips ingeniously twice over, as a proof of their admira- compressed at one comer so as to retain tion, came to a halt, their leader declar- possession of their pipes; in another ing that he had clean forgotten the other corner, a rival band presented itselt in. half, and we were forced to content our
the farmers, who occasionally favoured. selves with a song from the shepherd
us with specimens of superior refine-.
ment, in songs culled from thc “ Lady's. " Who chose a mournful muse,
Magazine,” and the “ Songster's De. Soft pity to infuse,”
light,” wherein Bacchus and Venus, and gave us an affecting ditty concern and all the long-neglected deities, once ing two unfortunate lovyers, which he
more put in their claims to notice. On got through without taking his pipe out
the other side sat the females of the of his mouth, and was warmly joined, family, who skilfully chose that time to ... at the conclusion, by the woodman, hand about the refreshments, when, who with wonderful energy of tone and had they not been so employed, their gesticulation struck in with
modesty might have been put some “ Then hard-bearted parents, for your own sakes, what 10 the blush by the amatory con Mind and break not the bargains as your children plexion of certain of the songs, the senec
timents of which Moore himself, the This woodman, from the case with Anacreon of our age, has done little which his spirits were excited, and the more than dress out with that sort of redundancy of action, and torreut of classical elegance which has procured
them so universal an admission to the We were now treated with piano-fortes and harp-stands of our “ The fox he loves the low grounds, young ladies ; though in their native The hare he loves the hill, Doric simplicity they certainly would not
My Lord he loves his Leariy, have been chosen by them, any more
And Jock he loves his Gill. than they were by the village matrons
Gill boys Gill, fill boys fill,
My Lord he loves bis Leady, whose smiles and unaffected good
And Jock he loves his Gill." humour gave additional relish to the cates and viands they kept distributing
I need scarcely say that such an inamong us. But it was not the outer yiting chorus called loudly for a full circle alone that furnished us with a horn; and song after song, and bumper display of broad humour and irresistible after bumper, succeeded till midnight, mirth : our own table presented at least when, according to ancient custom, just as many subjects of interest—as many
as the clock gave warning for twelve, leads admirably contrasted to each my lord arose, and taking a couple of other, and turned in every variety of plates, went round among the guests to profile and full face, and marked with as solicit largess; which at such a time it much comic originality of expression. may, be imagined was bestowed with no To one young man nature had been sparing hand. This sum was destined somewhat cross-grained in features and for a second treat among the labourers figure, but had made him amends by themselves, with their wives and chilgiving him a fine taste in music and á dren; and as soon as the whole was very tolerable voice; and whilst he was collected, my lord rushed out of the exerting it for the good of the company, room, with all the rustics at his heels, I was entertained to see his next neigh- and all the guests following him, into bour, who was still worse favoured than the farm-yard at the front of the house, himself
, peering up into his face, and where the harvest-moon was shining in endeavouring to attract the notice of the full splendour, without a single cloud company to that ugliness in the visage to cast a shadow over her of another, which was exhibited to far
“ round, unwrinkled face." greater perfection in his own. To this There, ascending the wall, he and his sort of caricature, however humorous, followers literally shouted with all their the countenance of the young artist, might largess ! largess! largess! to the fraught as it was with intelligence and echoes, till they all wakened and good feeling, exhibited a very interest answered them ; and sooth to say, if ing contrast. He was absorbed in the
any passers-by were within a mile of the scene before him, and scarcely ever house, they must have heard with took his glass from his eye, for he was 80 short-sighted as to use one in addi- continuous, so discordant as to
some astonishment, sounds so loud, so tion to his spectacles, and the very
“ Startle the dull ear of night," thing which in another might have appeared like affectation, only proved in and yet so divested of any thing but joy him how little he was thinking of him- and exultation. The company around self. “I perceire, Sir,” said I, “ you all caught the feeling, many joined in are quite satisfied with your evening's the lengthened reverberating shouts, entertainment. It would make an ex many more added peals of laughter to cellent subject for a picture.” “Oh, the stock of noise, the dog barked Sir," he exclaimed, no painting and flew about, and “bay'd the moon," could fix it, no acting could imitate it. and, at last, my lord himself was Liston himself could not throw the va- seized by one of the stoutest of his cant wonder into his face which that train, and carried round the yard, and fellow exhibits so exquisitely whilst he back to the house, in triumph on his is listening to the song. Could Mathews shoulders, with all the rest after him, screw up his mouth like the young like a pack of hounds in full cry; and man who is watching my lord pouring like good staunch dogs too, they all reout the beer? And observe the exulting turned to the sport, with as much eagerglance which the woodman casts 10 ness as when they first set out. wards his cup, now that it is filled For my part I thought it best to be again: could Emery shew any thing to “ merry and wise,” and therefore began equal it? No, Sir; I never was so en- to meditate a retreat, in which I was tertained before, for I never before saw seconded by the artist, whom the cloudso genuine a scene.”
less sky and radiant moon had inspired New MONTHLY MAG. --No. 82. VOL. XIV.
with an earnest longing for fresh air till four or five o'clock ; they will then and a tranquil walk home.
perhaps take a nap, but it must be a My friend, perceiving my intention, short one, for they all come again to caught me by one arm and the artist by breakfast at nine, and then at twelve another, and pointing to the window, they have a parting cup, by way of a where the moon-beams were playing settler.” “ And that settles it with me,” among the honeysuckles, he raised his said I, “ that this shall be my parting voice, and addressed us in the language glass.” Accordingly taking the advanof Burns, that very soul of song and tage of the ladies' retiring, to equip merry-making.
themselves for the ride home, I stole
away with the artist. We soon lost the * It is the moon! I ken her horn, That's blinkin in the lift sae hie,
fumes of tobacco, ale, and punch, in She shines sae bright to wyle us hame,
the sweets of a mild southern breeze, But by my sooth she'll wait a wee ! and found abundant matter for converWha first shall rise to gang awa'
sation, in eulogizing the hospitality, A cuckold coward loon is he;
and unaffected good-humour of the Wha first beside his chair shall fa',
family we had left, and recalling the He is the king among us three."
drolleries we had witnessed; whilst 1 “ Ay, you may make this moon more especially rejoiced to find that old wait if you please," said I, “ and you English manners were not yet entirely may be king if you please, but you will banished from out the land, and de not object to my going before you, to lighted myself with thinking, that howclear the roads for your wise.” “ Yes I ever I might be disgusted with heartless shall,” said he, “ and so will she too, profusion in London, and vulgar affecand every body else. You must stay tation in the country, I could at least and see the finish.” “ But what do console myself for it all, once a year, by you call the finish ®" I inquired. “ Now seeing genuine enjoyment, and native tell me honestly, when will these good simplicity, added to propriety of manfellows think they have got enough?" ners, and the exercise of the best feel. " Why as to that they will soon be past ings of the heart, at a SUFFOLK giving an opinion, and we certainly Horkey. shall not think of giving one for them
ON THE GENIUS AND WRITINGS OF WORDSWORTH.
How charming is divine Philosophy !
Blessings be on him and immortal praise,
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays !--Wordsworth. Our readers will be disappointed if have striven to deter them from seeking they expect to find in this article any of some of the holiest of those living springs the usual flippancies of criticism. Were of delight which poets hare opened for we accustomed to employ them, its sub- their species. ject would utterly confound us. Strange A minute discussion of Wordsworth's is their infatuation who can fancy that system will not be necessary to our dethe merits of a great poet are suljected sign. It is manifestly absurd to refer to to their decision, and that they have any it as a test of his poetical genius. When authority to pass judicial censures, or an author has given numerous creations confer beneficent praises, on one of the to the world, he has furnished positive divinest of intellects! We shall attempt evidence of the nature and extent of bis to set forth the peculiar immunities and powers, which must preclude the necestriumphs of Wordsworth's genius, not sity of deducing an opinion of them as critics, but as disciples. To him our from the truth or falsehood of his theories. eulogy is nothing. But we would fain One noble imagination —one profound induce our readers to follow us “ where and affecting sentiment-or one new we have garnered up our hearts," and gleam cast on the inmost recesses of the would endeavour to remove those influ- soul, is more than a sufficient compenences by which malignity and prejudice sation for a thousand critical crrors.
False doctrines of taste can endure only offence there is in the assertion or applifor a little season, but the productions of cation of these positions. genius are “for all time." Its discoveries Some have supposed that by rejecting cannot be lost-its images will not a diction as peculiar to poetry,
mits most delicate influences can- worth denied to it those qualities which not be dissipated by the changes of times are its essence, and those harmonious and of seasons. It may be a curious and numbers” which its thoughts “ voluninteresting question, whether a poet la- tarily move." Were his language equiboriously builds up his fame with pur- vocal, which it is not, the slightest pose and judgment, or, as has most glance at his works would shew that he falsely been said of Shakspeare, " grows could have no design to exclude from it immortal in his own despite ;” but it the stateliest imaginings, the most fecannot affect his highest claims to the licitous allusions, or the choicest and gratitude and admiration of the world. most varied music. He objected only If Milton preferred Paradise Regained to a peculiar phraseology – a certain to Paradise Lost, does that strange hacknied strain of inversion—which had mistake detract from our revering love ? been set up as distinguishing poetry from What would be our feeling towards prose, and which, he contended, was critics, who should venture to allude to equally false in either. What is there it as a proof that his works were un of pernicious heresy in this, unless we worthy of perusal, and decline an ex make the crafty politician’s doctrine, amination of those works themselves on that speech was given to man to conthe ground that his perverse taste suf- ceal his thoughts, the great principle of ficiently proved his want of genius ? poetry? If words are fitly combined Yet this is the mode by which popular only to convey ideas to the mind, each Reviewers have attempted to depreciate word having a fixed meaning in itself, Wordsworth - they have argued from no different mode of collocation can his theories to his poetry, instead of ex- be requisite when the noblest sentiamining the poetry itself—as if their ment is to be embodied, from that reasoning was better than the fact in which is proper when the dryest fact question, or as if one eternal image set is to be asserted. Each term employup in the stateliest region of poesy, haded by a poet has as determinate an not value to outweigh all the truths office as clearly means one thing as of criticism, or to atone for all its distinguished from all others—as a maerrors !
thematician's scientific phrases. If a Not only have Wordsworth's merits poet wishes lucidly to convey a grand been improperly rested on his system, picture to the mind, there can be no but that system itself has been misrepre- reason why he should resort to another sented with no common baseness. From mode of speech than that which he some of the attacks directed against it, would employ in delivering the plainest a reader might infer that it recommend- narrative. He will, of course, use other ed the choice of the meanest subjects, and probably more beautiful words, and their treatment in the meanest way; because they properly belong to his suband that it not only represented poetry ject; but he will not use any different as fitly employed on things in them- order in their arrangement, because in selves low and trivial, but that it forbad both cases his immediate object is the the clustering any delicate fancies about same-the clear communication of his them, or the shedding on them any re own idea to the mind of his reader. And conciling and softening lustre. Multi- this is true not only of the chief object tudes, indeed, have wondered as they of the passage, but of every hinted alluread, not only that any persons should be sion, or nice shade of feeling, which may deluded by its perverse insipidities, but adorn it. If by “poetic diction” is inthat critics should waste their ridicule tended the vivid 'expression of poetic on an author who resigned at once all thoughts, to annihilate it is to annihilate pretensions to the poetic art. In reality, poetry; but if it means certain ornathis calumniated system has only refer- mental phrases and forms of language ence to the diction, and to the subjects not necessary to such expression, it is, of poetry. It has merely taught, that at best, but a splendid error. Felicity the diction of poetry is not different from of language can never be other than the that 'of prose, and suggested that themes distinct expression of felicitous thought. hitherto little dwelt on, were not un- The only art of diction in poetry, as in süited to the bard's divinest uses. Leť prose, is the nice bodying forth of each us briefly examine what ground of delicate vibration of the feelings, and
each soft shade of the images, in words admiration of his genius with the lifewhich at once make us conscious of blood of hearts neither, unreflecting nor their most transient beauty. At all ungentle? events, there was surely no offence in an But inost of the subjects of Mr. individual's rejecting the aid of a știle Wordsworth, though not arrayed in any regarded as poetic, and relying for his adventitious pomp, have a real and infame on the naked majesty of his con- nate, grandeur. True it is, that he ceptions. The triumph is more signal moves not among the regalities, but when the Poet uses language as a inir. among the humanities of his art. True ror, clear, and itself invisible, to reflect it is, that his poetry does not “ make its his creations in their native hues,than bed and procreant cradle”, in, the when he employs it as a stained and "jutting, frieze, cornice, or architrave” fallacious medium to exhibit its own of the glorious edifices of human power. varieties of tint, and to shew the objects The universe, in its naked majesty, and which it partially reveals in its own pris- man in the plain dignity of his nature, matic colourig.
are his favourite themes. And is there But it is said that the subjects of no might, no glory, no sanctity in these? Wordsworth's poetry are not in them- Earth has her own venerablenesses her selves, so lofty as those which his noblest awful forests, which have darkened her predecessors have chosen. If this be hills for ages with tremendous gloom; irue, and he has yet succeeded in dis- her mysterious springs pouring out evercovering within them poetical affinities, lasting waters from unsearchable, reor in shedding on them a new conse- cesses; her wrecks of elemental concration, he does not surely deserve ill tests ; her jagged rocks, monumental of of his species. He has left all our old an earlier world. The lowliest of her objects of veneration uninjured, and has beauties has an antiquity beyond that enabled us to recognize new ones in the of the pyramids. The evening breeze peaceful and familiar courses of our has the old sweetness which it shed being. The question is not whether over the fields of Canaan, when Isaac there are more august themes than those went out to meditate. The Nile swells wbich he has treated, but whether these with its rich waters towards the bullast have any interest, as seen in the rushes of Egypt, as when the infant Molight which he has cast around them. ses nestled among them, watched by the If they have, the benefits which he has sisterly love of Miriam. Zion's hill conferred on huinanity are more signal, has not passed away with its temple, and the triumph of his own powers is nor lost its sanctity amidst the tumultus inore undivided and more pure, than if ous changes around it, nor even by the he had treated on subjects which we accomplishment of that awful religion have been accustomed to revere. We of types and symbols which once was are more indebted to one who opens enthroned on its steeps. The sun to
to us a new and secluded pathway in which the poet turns his eye is the , the regions of fantasy with its own ver- same which shone over Thermopylæ ;
dant inequalities and delicate overshad- the wind to which he listens swept ings of foliage, than if he had stepped over Salamis, and scattered the armamajestically in the broad and beaten ments of Xerxes. Is a poet utterly highway to swell the triumphant pro- deprived of fitting themes, to whom cession of laurelled bards. Is it matter ocean, earth, and sky are open-who has of accusation that a poet has opened an eye for the most evanescent of na
visions of glory about the ordinary walks ture's hues, and the most ethereal of 1 of life that he has linked holiest asso- her graces--who can.“ live in the rain
ciations to things which hitherto have bow and play in the plighted clouds,”
been regarded without emotion--that or send into our hearts the awful lone* he has made beauty “a simple product liness of regions" consecrate to eldest
of the common day?”? Shall he bę de time?" Is there nothing in man, con- 1 nied the poetic faculty who without the sidered abstractedly from the distinc
attractions of story-without the blan. tions of this world nothing in a being *** dishments of diction—without even the who is in the infancy of an immortal
aid of those associations which have en life who is lackeyed by if a thousand crusted" themselves around the oldest liveried angels' who is even splendid themes of the poet, has for many years in ashes and pompous in the grave!-o excited the animosities of the most po. awaken ideas of permanence, solemnity, pular critics, and mingled the love and and grandeur. Are there no themes