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We subjoin one more specimen of these “ wild strains”* said to be “ Written two years after the preceding." ECCE ITERUM CRISPINUS.
" I wish I was where Anna lies;
For I am sick of lingering here,
• “How oft, O Dart! what time the faithful pair
Walk'd forth, the fragrant hour of eve to share,
Mæviad, pp. 194, 202. Yet the author assures us just before, that in these “ wild strains” “ all was plain.”
“ Even then (admire, John Be!!! my simple ways)
No heaven and hell danced madly through my lays,
Ibid, v. 185—92.
all is plain,” Mr. Gifford would have accused them of three things. “1. Downright nonsense. 2. Downright frigidity. 3. Downright doggrel ;” and proceeded to anatomise them
“ I wish I could! for when she died
I lost my all; and life has prov'd
A waste unlovely and unlov’d.
Shall duly to her grave repair,
And weeds that have“ no business there?"
The flowers she cherish'd, snow-drops cold,
To scatter o'er her hallow'd mould ?
Upon her name for ever dear,
And pour the bitter, bitter tear?
Should visit still, should still deplore
But I, alas! can weep no more.
The last I offer at thy shrine;
And all thy memory fade with mine.
That voice that might with music vie,
Thy matchless eloquence of eye.
very cordially in his way. As it is, he is thrilled with a very pleasing horror at his former scenes of tenderness, and “gasps at the recollection” “ of watery Aquarius !” he! jam satis est ! “Why rack a grub—a butterfly upon a wheel?”
“ Thy spirits, frolicsome as good,
Thy courage, by no ills dismay’d,
Thy gay good-humour-can they “fade ?”
Cold turf, which I no more must view,
A long, a last, a sad adieu !" .
It may be said in extenuation of the low, mechanic vein of these impoverished lines, that they were written at an early age—they were the inspired production of a youthful lover! Mr. Gifford was thirty when he wrote them, Mr. Keats died when he was scarce twenty! Farther it may be said, that Mr. Gifford hazarded his first poetical attempts under all the disadvantages of a neglected education : but the same circumstance, together with a few unpruned redundancies of fancy and quaintnesses of expression, was made the plea on which Mr. Keats was hooted out of the world, and his fine talents and wounded sensibilities consigned to an early grave. In short, the treatment of this heedless candidate for poetical fame might serve as a warning, and was intended to serve as a warning to all unfledged tyros, how they venture upon any such doubtful experiments, except under the auspices of some lord of the bed-chamber or Government Aristarchus, and how they imprudently associate themselves with men of mere popular talent or independence of feeling !—It is the same in
prose works. The Editor scorns to enter the lists of argument with any proscribed writer of the opposite party. He does not refutė, but denounces him. He makes no concessions to an adversary, lest they should in some way be turned against him. He only feels himself safe in the fancied insignificance of others : he only feels himself superior to those whom he stigmatizes as the lowest of mankind. All per sons are without common-sense and honesty who do not believe implicitly (with him) in the immaculateness of Ministers and the divine origin of Kings. Thus he informed the world that the author of TABLE-Talk was a person who could not write a sentence of common English and could hardly spell his own name, because he was not a friend to the restoration of the Bourbons, and had the assurance to write Characters of Shukespear's Plays in a style of criticism somewhat different from Mr. Gifford's. He charged this writer with imposing on the public by a flowery style; and when the latter ventured to refer to a work of his, called An Essay on the Principles of Human Action, which has not a single ornament in it, as a specimen of his original studies and the proper bias of his mind, the learned critic, with a shrug of great self-satisfaction, said, “ It was amusing to see this person, sitting like one of Brouwer's Dutch boors over his gin and tobacco-pipes, and fancying himself a Leibnitz !" che question was,
whether the subject of Mr. Gifford's censure had ever written such a work or not; for if he had, he. had amused himself with something besides gin and tobacco-pipes. But our Editor, by virtue of the situation he holds, is superior to facts or arguments : he is accountable neither to the public nor to authors for what he says of them, but owes it to his employers to prejudice the work and vilify the writer, if the latter is not avowedly ready to range himself on the stronger side. The Quarterly Review, besides the political tirades and denunciations of suspected writers, intended for the guidance of the heads of families, is filled up with accounts of books of Voyages and Travels for the amusement of the younger branches. The poetical department is almost a sinecure, consisting of mere summary decisions and a list of quotations. Mr. Croker is understood to contribute the St. Helena articles and the liberality, Mr. Canning the practical good sense, Mr. D’Israeli the good-nature, Mr. Jacob the modesty, Mr. Southey the consistency, and the Editor himself the chivalrous spirit and the attacks on Lady Morgan. It is a double crime, and excites a double portion of spleen in the Editor, when female writers are not advocates of passive obedience and non-resistance. This Journal, then, is a depository for every species of political sophistry and personal calumny. There is no abuse or corruption that does not there find a jesuitical pailiation or a bare-faced