Obrázky na stránke

before them) were blind, -that is, the construction of the blank verse, which proves beyond all doubt an intentional imitation, if not the proper hand, of Shakspeare. Now, whatever improbability there is in the former, (which supposes Fletcher conscious of the inferiority, the too poematic minus-dramatic nature, of his versification, and of which there is neither proof, nor likelihood,) adds so much to the probability of the latter. On the other hand, the harshness of many of these very passages, a harshness unrelieved by any lyrical inter-breathings, and still more the want of profundity in the thoughts, keep me from an absolute decision. Act i. sc. 3. Emilia's speech

Since his depart, his sports, Tho' craving seriousness and skill, &c. I conjecture imports,' that is, duties or offices of importance. The flow of the versification in this speech seems to demand the trochaic ending -U; while the text blends jingle and hisses to the annoyance of less sensitive ears than Fletcher's-not to say, Shakspeare's.

[ocr errors]



Act I. sc. 2.

VIIIS scene from the beginning is prose printed as blank verse,

down to the line

E'en all the valiant stomachs in the couri

where the verse recommences. This transition from the prose to the verse enhances, and indeed forms, the comic effect. (1h) Lazarillo concludes his soliloquy with a hymn to the goddless of plenty.



DELIVERED IN MAY, 1809. (ii)

May 7th, 1808.
N receiving your threatening letter I inclosed



him before the lecture, found a letter for me, &c. He has offered to give me admission constantly ; I shall accept his offer whenever I can, and give you a weekly letter on the subject. I shall not pretend to tell you what he says, but mention the topics he runs over. Everything he observes on

says on

morals will be as familiar to you as all he criticism is to me; for he has adopted in all respects the German doctrines : and it is a useful lesson to me how those doctrines are to be clothed with original illustrations, and adapted to an English audience.

The extraordinary lecture on Education was most excellent, delivered with great animation, and extorting praise from those, whose prejudices he was mercilessly attacking: he kept his audience on the rack of pleasure and offence two whole hours and ten minutes: and few went away during the lecture. He began by establishing a common-place distinction neatly between the objects and the means of education, which he observed to be “ perhaps almost the only safe way of being useful." Omitting a tirade, which you can well supply, on the object of Education, I come to the means of forming the character, the cardinal rules of early education. These are, First, to work by love and so generate love: Secondly, to habituate the mind to intellectual accuracy or truth : Thirdly, to excite power. 1. He inforced a great truth strikingly. “My experience tells me, that little is taught or communicated by contest or dispute, but everything by sympathy and love."

“ Collision elicits truth only from the hardest head.” “I hold motives to be of little influence compared with feelings." He apologised for early prejudices with a self-correction “and yet what nobler judgment is there than that


[ocr errors]

a child should listen with faith, the principle of all good things, to his father or preceptor.” Digressing on Rousseau, he told an anecdote pleasantly: se non è rero è ben trovato. A friend had defended the negative education of Rousseau. Coleridge led him into his miserably neglected garden, choked with weeds. “What is this?” said he. “Only a garden," C. replied, “educated according to Rousseau's principles !

On punishment he pleaded the cause of humanity eloquently. He noticed the good arising from the corporal inflictions of our great schools, in the Spartan fortitude it excited ; in the generous sympathy and friendship it awakened; and in the point of honour it enforced. Yet, on the other hand, he shewed this very reference to honour to be a great evil as a substitute for virtue and principle. Schoolboys, he observed, lived in civil war with their masters. They are disgraced by a lie told to their fellows; it is an honour to impose on the common enemy: thus the mind is prepared for every falsehood and injustice, when the interest of the party, when honour requires it. On disgraceful punishments, such as fools-caps, &c. he spoke with great indignation, and declared that even now his life is embittered by the recollection of ignominious punishment he suffered when a child; it comes to him in disease, and when his mind is dejected. This part was delivered with fervour. Could all the pedagogues of the United Kingdom have been


before him! 2. On Truth too he was very judicious: he advised beginning with the enforcement of great accuracy of assertion in


children. The parent, he observed, who should hear his child call a round leaf long, would do well to fetch one instantly. Thus tutored to render words conformable with ideas, the child would have the habit of truth before he had any notion or thought of moral truth. “We should not early begin with impressing ideas of virtue, goodness, &c. which the child could not comprehend.” Then he digressed à l'Allemayne on the distinction between obscure ideas and clear notions. * Our notions resemble the index and hand of the dial; our feelings are the hidden springs which impel the machine; with this difference that notions and feelings re-act on each other reciprocally. The veneration for the Supreme Being, sense of mysterious existence, was not to be profaned by the intrusion of clear notions. Here he was applauded by those who do not pretend to understand religion, while the Socinians of course felt profound contempt for the lecturer. I find from my notes, that C. was not very methodical : you will therefore excuse my not being more so.

1. 2. “ Stimulate the heart to love and the mind to be early accurate, and all other virtues will rise of their own accord, and all vices will be thrown out.” When treating of punishments, he dared to

* Conceptions ? S. C.

« PredošláPokračovať »