Obrázky na stránke
[ocr errors]

publication, were made my acquaintances at their own day in the week : but of « liis character» I know nodesire, or through the unsought intervention of others: thing personally; I can only speak to his manners, and I never, to the best of my knowledge, sought a personal these have my warmest approbation. But I never judge introduction to any. Some of them to this day I know from manners, for I once had my pocket picked by the only by correspondence; and with one of those it was civilest gentleman I ever met with ; and one of the begun by myself, in consequence, however, of a polite mildest persons I ever saw was Ali Pacha. OfMr Bowles's verbal communication from a third person,

« character, » I will not do him the injustice to judge I have dwelt for an instant on these circumstances, from the edition of Pope, if he prepared it heedlessly; because it has sometimes been made a subject of bitter nor the justice, should it b: otherwise, because I would reproach to me, to have endeavoured to suppress that neither become a literary executioner, nor a personal satire. I never shrunk, as those who know me know, one. Mr Bowles the individual, and Mr Bowles the from any personal consequences which could be attached editor, appear the two most opposite things imaginable ; to its publication. Of its subsequent suppression, as I

And he himself one — antithesis. possessed the copyright, I was the best judge and the I won't say « vile,» because it is harsh; nor « mistaken,» sole master.

The circumstances which occasioned the because it has two syllables too many; but every one suppression I have now stated; of the motives, each

must fill up the blauk as be pleases. must judge according to his candour or malignity.

What I saw of Mr Bowles increased my surprise and Mr Bowles does me the honour to talk of « noble mind,» regret that he should ever have lent his talents to such and « generous magnanimity;» and all this because

a task. If he had been a fool, there would have been « the circumstance would have been explained had not the book been suppressed.» I see no « nobility of man, bis conduct would have beco intelligible; but he

some excuse for bim; if he had been a needy or a bad mind» in an act of simple justice; and I hate the word is the opposite of all these : and thinking and feeling as magnanimity,» because I have sometimes seen it ap-li do of Pope, to me the whole thing is unaccountable. plied to the grossest of impostors by the greatest of Ilowever, I must call things by their right names. fools; but I would have u explained the circumstance," cannot call his edition of Pope a «candid» work; and potwithstanding « the suppression of the book,» if Mr I still think that there is an affectation of that quality, Bowles had expressed any desire that I should. As the

not only in those volumes, but in the pamphlets lately « gallant Galbraith» says to « Bailie Jarvie,» « Well, the

published devil take the mistake and all that occasioned it.» I

Why yet he doth deny his prisoners ! have had as great and greater mistakes made about me personally and poetically, once a month for these last Mr Bowles says, that he « has seen passages in his letters ten years, and never cared very much about correcting to Martha Blount, which were never published by me, one or the other, at least after the first eight-and-forty and I hope never will be by others; which are so grois hours liad gone over them.

as to imply the grossest licentiousness.) Is this fair I must now, however, say a word or two about Pope, play? It may, or it may not be that such passages exist ; of whom you have my opinion more at large in the un

and that Pope, who was not a mook, although a cathopublished letter on or to (for I forget which) the editor of lic, may have occasionally sinned in word and in deed « Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine ; » and here I doubt with woman in his youth, but is this a sufficient ground that Mr Bowles will not approve of my sentiments.

for such a sweeping denunciation? Where is the uoAlthough I regret having published « English Bards married Englishman of a certain rank of life, who and Scotch Reviewers,» the part which I regret the least (provided he has not taken orders) has not to reproach is that which regards Mr Bowles with reference to Pope. himself between the ages of sixteen and thirty with far Whilst I was writing that publication, in 1807 and 1808,

more licentiousness than has ever yet been traced to No llobhouse was desirous that I should express our Pope ? Pope lived in the public eye from his youth upmutual opinion of Pope, and of Mr Bowles's cdition of wards; he bad all the dunces of his own time for his his works. As I had completed my outline, and felt enemies, and, I am sorry to say, some, who have not Jazy, I requested that he would do so. Ile did it. His the apology of dulness for detraction, since his death : fourteen lines on Bowles's P'ope are in the first edition and yet to what do all their accumulated hints and of « Englislı Bards and Scotch Reviewers ; » and are quite charges amount?-1o an equivocal liaison with Martha as severe and much more poetical than my own in the Blount, which might arise as much from his infirmities second. On reprinting the work, as I put my name to

as from his passions; to a hopeless flirtation with Lady it, I omitted Me llobhouse's lines, and replaced them Mary W. Montagu ; to a story of Cibber's ; and to two with my own, by which the work gained less than Mr or threc coarse passages in his works. Who could come Bowles. I have stated this in the preface to the second forth clearer from an invidious inquest, on a life of fiftyedition. It is many years since I have read that poem; six years? Why are we to be ofliciously reminded of but the Quarterly Review, Mr Octavius Gilchrist, and sucli passages in his letters, provided that they exist. Is Mr Bowles himself, have been so obliging as to refresh Mr Bowles aware to what such rmmaging among my memory, and that of the public. Tam grieved to letters» and « stories» might lead? I have myself seen say, that in reading over those lines, I repent of their a collection of letters of another eminent, nay, prehaving so far falleu short of what I meant to express eminent, deceased poet, so abominably gross, and elaupon the subject of Bowles's edition of Pope's Works. borately coarse, that I do not believe that they could be Mr Bowles says that « Lord Byron knows he does not paralleled in our language. What is more strange, is, deserve this character.» I koow no such thing. I have that some of these are couched as postscripts to his met Mr Bowles occasionally, in the best society in Lon serious and sentimental letters, to which are tacked don; he appeared to me an amiable, well-informed, either a piece of prose, or some verses, of the most and extremely able man. I desire nothing better than hyperbolical indecency. He himself says, that if « obto dine in company with such a mannered man every sceniiy (using a much coarser word) be the sin against

[ocr errors]


the Holy Ghost, he most certainly cannot be saved.» 10 them in their youth, must laugh at such a ludicrous These letters are in existence, and have been seen by foundation of the charge of a « libertine sort of love, many besides myself; but would his editor have been while the more serious will look upon those who bring « candid» in even alluding to them? Nothing would forward such charges upon an insulated fact, as fanaties have even provoked me, an indifferent spectator, 10 or hypocrites, perhaps both. The two are sometimes allude to them, but this further attempt at the depre- compounded in a happy mixture. ciation of Pope.

Mr Octavius Gilchrist speaks rather irreverently of a What should we say to an editor of Addison, who ce second tumbler of hot white-wive Deguss What cited the following passage from Walpole's letters to does he mean? Is there any harm in nepus? or is it George Montagu ? « Dc Young has published a new book, the worse for being hot? or does Mr Bowles drink de

Mr Addison sent for the young; Earl of Warwick, gus? I had a better opinion of him, I hoped that as he was dying, to show him in what peace a Christian whatever wine he drank was neat; or at least that, like could die; unluckily be died of brandy; nothing makes the ordinary in Jonathan Wild, « le preferred punch. a Christian dic in peace like being maudlin! but don't the rather as there was nothing against it in scripture. | say this in Gath, where you are.» Suppose the editor I should be sorry to believe that Mr Bowles was fond introduced it with this preface : « One circumstance is of negus ; it is such a « candid» liquor, so like a wishymentioned by llorace Walpole, which, if true, was indeed waslıy compromise between the passion for wine and flagitious. Walpole in forms Montagu that Addison sent the propriety of water. But different writers have for the young Earl of Warwick, wlien dying, to show divers tastes. Judge Blackstone composed his « Comhim in what peace a Christian could die ; but unluckily mentaries» (he was a poet too in his youth), with a he died drunk, etc., etc.» Now, although there might bottle of


before him, Addison's conversation was occur on the subsequent, or on the same page, a faint not good for much till he had taken a similar dase, show of disbelief, seasoned with the expression of the Perhaps the prescription of these two great men vis same candour» (the same exactly as throughout the not inferior to the very different one of a soi-disaat book), I should say that this clitor was either foolish poet of this day, who, after wandering amongst the hills, or false to his trust; such a story ought not to have been returns, goes to bed, and dictates his verses, being fed admitted, except for one brief mark of crushing in- by a by-stander with bread and butter during the operadignation, unless it were completely proved. Why the tion. words « if true ?» that «if» is not a peace-maker. Why I now come to Mr Bowles's « invariable principles of talk of « Cibber's testimony» to liis licentiousness ; 19 poetry.» 'These Mr Bowles and some of his correspondwhat does this amount ? that Pope, when very young,cots pronounce « unanswerable ; » aud they are « 2pacwas once decoyed by some noblemau and the player to swered,» at least by Campbell, who seems to bare been a house of carval recreation. Mr Bowles was not always astounded by the title. The sultan of the time being a clergyman; and when he was a very young mau, was offered to ally biinself to a king of France, because he never seduced into as much? If I were in the humour

« hic hated the word league;" which proves that the for story-telling, and relating little anecdotes, I could Padishan understood French. Mr Campbell has 1o tell a much better story of Mr Bowles than Cibber's, up- need of my alliance, nor shall I presume to offer it; on much better authority, viz. that of Mr Bowles him- but I do hate that woril « invariable.» What is there self. It was not related by him in my presence, but in of human, be it portry, philosophy, wit, wisdom, science. ! that of a third person, whom Me Bowles names oftener power, glory, mind, matter, life or death, which is than once in the course of his replies. This gentleman invariable?» Of course I put things divine out of 1 related it to me as a humorous and willy anecdote; the question. Of all arroganı baptisms of a book, this and so it was, whatever its other characteristics might lille to a pamphlet appears the most complacently coebe. But should I from a youthful frolic, brand Mr Bowles ccited. It is Mc Campbell's part to answer the contents with a «libertine sort of love,» or with a liceotiousness?» of this performance, and especially to vindicate his own is he the less now a pious or a good mau for not having Ship,» which Mr Bowles most triumphantly proclaims always been a priest? No such thing; I am willing to

to have struch to his very first fice. believe bin a good man, alınost as good a man as Pope,

Quoth he, there was a Ship; but no better.

Now let me go, thou cres-haird loon, The truth is, that in these days the grand primum

Or my ataft stall make the skip. mobile» of England is cant; cat political, cant poetical, It is no affair of mine, but having once begun certainly cant religious, cant moral; but always cant, multiplied not by my own wish, but called upon by the frequent through all the varieties of life. It is the fashion, and recurrence to my name in the pamphlets), I am like an while it lasts will be too powerful for those who can Irishman in a «row,» « any body's customer. I shall only exist by taking the tone of the time. I say cant, therefore say a word or two on the « Ship.» because it is a thing of words, without the smallest in- Mr Bowles asseris that Campbell's « Ship of the Line, tluence upon bumnan actions ; the English being no derives all its poetry, not from «urt,» but from anaturer wiser, no better, and much poorer, and more divided « Take away the waves, the winds, the sun, ele.. etc one amongst themselves, as well as far less moral, ihan they will become a stripe of blue bunting; and the other a were before the prevalence of this verbal decorum. piece of coarse canvas on three tall poles.» Very true : This hysterical horror of poor Pope's not very well take away the « waves,» « the winds,» and there was ascertained, and never fully proved amours (for even be no slip at all, not only for poetical, but for any Cibber ou us that be prevented the some what perilous other purpose; and take tway «the sun, and we musí adventure in which Pope was embarking) sounds very read Mr Bowles's pamphlet by candie-light. But ibe virtuous in a controversial pamphlet; but all men of “poetry of the «Ship» does not depend on the wardin the world who know what life is, or at least what it was etc.; on the contrary, the « Ship of the Liner conter

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


its own poetry upon the waters, and heightens theirs. I and Turkish craft, which were obliged to « cut and runn do not deny, that the « waves and winds, » and above before the wiud, from their unsafe anchorage, some for all « the sun, » are highly poctical; we know it to our Tenedos, soine for other isles, some for the main, and cost, by the many descriptions of them in verse : but some it might be for eternity. The sight of these little if the waves bore only the foam upon their bosoms, if scudding vessels, darting over the foam in the twilight, the winds wafted only the sea-weed to the shore, if the pow appearing and now disappearing between tbe waves sun shone deither upon pyramids, nor fleets, nor for- in the cloud of night, with their peculiarly white sails tresses, would its beams be equally poetical? I think the Levant sails not being of « coarse canvas», but of

001: the poetry is at least reciprocal. Take away « the white collow), skimming along as quickly, but less safely .ship of the line» u swinging round» the « calm water,» than the sea-mews which hovered over them; their

and the calm water becomes a somewhat monotonous evident distress, their reduction to fluttering specks in
thing to look at, particularly if not transparently clear; the distance, their crowded succession, their littleness,
witness the thousands who pass by without looking on as contending with the giant element, which made our
it at all. What was it attracted the thousands to the stout forty-four's teuk uimbers (she was built in ludia)
launch? they might have seen the poetical «calm water,» creak again; their aspect and their motion, all struck
at Wapping, or in the « London Dock,» or in the Pad- me as something far more « poetical» than the mere
dington Canal, or in a horse-poud, or in a slop-basin, or broad, brawling, shipless sea, and the sullen winds,
in any other vase. They might have heard ihe poetical could possibly have been without them.
winds howling through the chinks of a pig-stye, or the

The Euxine is a noble sea to look upon, and the port garret-window; they might have seen the sun shining of Constantinople the most beautiful of harbours, and on a footman's livery, or on a brass warming-pan; but yet I cannot but think that the twenty sail of the line, could the « calm water,» or the « wind,» or the « sun, some of one hundred and forty guns, rendered it more make all, or any of these « poetical?» I think not. poetical» by day in the sun, and by night perhaps still Mr Dowles admits « the ship» to be poetical, but only more, for the Turks illuminate their vessels of war in a from those accessaries : now if they con fer poetry so as manner the most picturesque, and yet all this is artito make one thing poetical, they would make other ficial. As for the Euxine, I stood upon the Symplethings poetical; the more so, as Mr Bowles calls a «ship gades—I stood by the broken altar still exposed to the of the lines without them, that is to say, its « masts and winds upon one of them-I felt all the « poetry» of the sails and streainers,» « blue bunting,» and « coarse can- situation, as I repeated the first lines of Medea; but vas,» and « tall poles,» So they are; and porcelain is would not that « poetry» have been heightened by the clay, and man is dust, and flesh is grass, and yet the Argo? It was so eveu by the appearance of any inertwo latter at least are the subjects of much poesy.

chant vessel arriving from Odessa. But Mr Bowles says, Did Mc Bowles ever gaze upon the sea ? I

presume why bring your ship off the stocks ?» for no reason that he has, at least upon a sea-piece. Did any painter

that I know, except that ships are built to be launched. ever paint the sea only, without the addition of a ship, The water, etc., undoubtedly Heightens the poetical assoboat, wreck, or some such adjunct? Is the sea itself a ciations, but it does not make them; and ihe ship ammore attractive, a more moral, a more poetical object ply repays the obligation : they aid each other; the with or without a vessel, breaking its vast but fatiguing water is more poetical with the ship-the ship less so monotony! is a storm more poetical without a ship? without the water. But even a ship, laid up in dock, is or, in the poem of the Shipwreck, is it the storm or the a graud and poetical sight. Even an old boat, keel up ship which most interests? both much undoubtedly; but wards, wrecked upon the barren sand, is a « poetical» without the vessel, what should we care for the tempest? object (and Wordsworth, who made a poem about a It would sink into mere descriptive poetry, which in Washing-tub and a blind boy, may tell you so as well itself was never esteemed a high order of that art. as I; whilst a long extent of sand and unbroken water,

I look upon myself as entitled to talk of naval mat- without the boat, would be as like dull prose as any ters, at least to poets :-with the exception of Walter pamphlet lately published. Scott, Moore, and Soutbey, perhaps (who have been What makes the poetry in the image of the « marble voyagers), I have swam more miles than all the rest of waste of Tadmor,» or Grainger's « Ode to Solitude,» them together now living ever sailed, and have lived so much admired by Johnson? Is it the « marble,» or for months and months on ship-board ; and during the the « waste,» the artificial or the natural object. The whole period of my life abroad, have scarcely ever passed

« Waste» is like all other wastes; but the « marble» of a month out of sight of the ocean: besides being brought Palmyra makes the poetry of the passage as of the up from two years till ten on the briok of it. I recol- place. Ject, when ancbored off Cape Sigeum, in 1810, in an

The beautiful but barren Hymeltus, the whole coast English frigate, a violent squall coming on at sunset, so of Alica, her lills and mountains, Pentelicus, Auchesviolent as to make us imagine that the ship would part mus, Philopappus, etc., etc., are in themselves poetical, cable, or drive from her anchorage. Mo Hobhouse and aud would be so if the name of Athens, of Athenians, myself, and some officers, had been up the Dardanelles and her very ruins, were swept from the earth. But to Abydos, and were just returned in time. The aspect am I to be told that the « nature» of Atlica would be of a storm in the Archipelago is as poetical as need be, more poetical without the « art» of the Acropolis ? of the sea being particularly short, dashing, and dangerous, the Temple of Tucseus? and of the suill all Greek and and the navigation intricate and broken by the isles and glorious monuments of her exquisitely artificial yenius ? currents. Cape Sigæum, the tumuli of the Troad, Lem- Ask the traveller what strikes him as most poetical, nos, Tenedos, all added to the associations of the time. the Parthenon, or the rock on which it stands? The But what seemed the most a poetical» of all at the mo- COLUMNS of Cape Colonna, or the Cape itself: The ment, were the numbers (about two hundred) of Greek rocks, at the foot of it, or the recollection that Falconer's ship was bul;ed upon them. There are a thousand sea, and the innumerable islands which constitute the rocks and capes, far more picturesque than those of site of this extraordinary city. the Acropolis and Cape Sunium in themselves; what The


Cloacr of Tarquin at Rome are as poetical are they to a thousand scenes in the wilder parts of as Riclimond Hill; many will think more so. Take Greece, of Asia Minor, Switzerland, or even of Cintra away Rome, and leave the Tiber and the seven hills, in in lortugal, or to many scenes of Italy, and the Sierras ibe nature of Evander's time; let Mr Bowles, or Mr of Spain? But it is the unrt,» the columns, the tem- Wordsworth, or Mr Southey, or any of the other a natiples, the wrecked vessel, which give them their antique rals,» make a poem upon them, and then see which is and their modern poetry, and not the spots themselves. most poctical, their production, or the commonest Without them, the spots of earth would be unnoticed uide-book which tells you the road from St Peter's and unknown; buried, like Babylon and Nineveli, in 10 the Coliseum, and informs you what you will see! indistinct confusion, without poetry, as without exist by the way. The ground interests in Virgil, because it cnce : but to whatever spot of earth these ruins were will be Rome, and not because it is Evander's rural transported, if they were capable of transportation, domain. like the obelisk, and the sphinx, and the Memnon's Mr Bowles then proceeds to press Blomer into his serhead, there they would still exist in the perfection of sice, io answer to a remark of Mr Campbell's, that Their beauty and in the pride of their poetry. I opposedl, « llomer was a great describer of works of art.» Mr and will ever oppose, the robbery of ruins from Athens, Bowles contends that all his great power, even in this, to instruct the Euglish in sculpture; but why did i so? depends upon their connexion with nature. The eshield The ruins are as poetical in Piccadilly as they were in of Achilles derives its poctical interest from the subjects the Parthenon ; but the l'arthenon and its rock are less escribed on it.» And from what does the spear of so without them. Such is the poetry of art.

Achilles derive its interest ? and the beliret and the mail Mr Bowles contends, again, that the pyramids of worn by Patroclus, and the celestial armour, and the Cgypt are poetical, because of the association with very brazen greaves of the well-booted Grecks? Is it solely boundless deserts, and that a « pyramid of the same from the legs, and the back, and the breast, and the liudimensions) would not be sublime in « Lincoln's Inn man body, which they inclose? Jo that case, it would Fields;» not so poetical certainly; but take away the liave beco more poetical to have made them fight naked; "pyramids,» and what is the « desert?» Take away and Gulley and Gregson, as being nearer to a state of Stone-lenge from Salisbury plain, and it is nothing nature, are more poetical, boxing in a pair of drawers, more than lounslow Heath, or any other uninclosed iban Hector and Achilles in radiant armour, and with down. It appears to me that St Peter's, the Coliseum, Veroic weapons. the Pantheon, the Palatine, the Apollo, the Laocoon, Instead of the claslı of helmets, and the rushing of the Venus di Medicis, the Hercules, the dying Gladiator, chariots, and the whizzing of spears, and the glancing of the Moses of Michel Angelo, and all the higher works swords, and the clearing of shields, and the piereing of of Canova (I have already spoken of those of ancient breast-plates, why not represent the Greeks and Trojans Greece, still extant in that country, or transported to like iwo savage tribes, ligging and tearing, and kicking, England), are as poeticalas Mont Blanc or Mount Ætna, and biting, and gnashing, foaming, grinning, and goes perhaps still more so, as they are direct manifestations ing, in all the poetry of martial nature, unincumbered of mind, and presuppose poetry in their very concep-wide gross, prosaic, artificial asis, an equal supertluily tion; and have, moreover, as being such, a something to the natural warrior, and his natural poet? Is there of actual life, which cannot belong 10 any part of inani- any thing unpoetical in Ulysses striking the horses of mate nature, unless we adopt the system of Spinosa, Rhesus with his bow (having forgotten his tong), or that the world is the deity, There can be nothing more would Mr Bowles have had lim kick them with his poetical in its aspect than the city of Venice: does this foot, or smack them with bis band, as being more undepend upon the sea, or the canals ?

sophisticated ? The dirt and sea-seed whinc proud Venice rose!

In Gray's Elegy, is there an image more striking

than bis « stapeless sculpture?» Of sculpture in geneIs it the canal which runs between the palace and the ral, it may be observed, that it is more poetical iluan prison, or the u Bridge of Sighs» which connects them. nature itself, inasınucli as it represents and bodies forth that render it poctical? Is it the « Cual Grande,» that ideal beauty and sublimity which is never to be or the Rialto which archies il, the churches which tower found in actual uature. This at least is the general over it, the palaces winich line, and the gondolas which opinion; but, always excepting the l'enus di Medicis, I slide over the waters, that render this city more poetical differ from that opinion, at least as far as regards fethan Rome itself? Mr Bowles will say, perhaps, that the male beauty, for the head of Lady Charlemont (when I Rialto is but marble, the palaces and churches only first saw her, nine years ago) seemed 10 possess all that stone, and the gondolas a « coarse» black cloth, thrown sculpture could require for its ideal.

I recolleet seeing over some planks of carved wood, with a shining bit of something of the saine kind in the head of an Albanian fantastically formed iron at the prow, « without» the girl, who was actually employed in meuding a road in

And I tell him that without these the water the mountains, wd in some Greek, and one or two would be nothing but a clay-coloured ditch; and who Talian faces. But of sublimity, Uzve never seen any ever says the contrary, deserves to be at the bottom of wing in human nature at all to approach the express that where l'ope's beroes are embraced by the mud- sion of sculpture, cither in the Apollo, the Moses, or nymphs. There would be nothing to make the canal other of the sacruer works of ancient or modern art. of Venice more poetical than that of Paddington, were Letnis examine a little further this o babble of green it not for the artificial adjuncts above mentioned, al-ticles, and of bare vature in general, as superior 10 Though it is a perfectly natural canal, formed by the artificial imagery, for the poetical purposes of the five



In landscape painting, the great artist does not pare his beloved's nose to a « towers on account of its give you a literal copy of a country, but he invents and length, but of its symmetry; and, making allowance for composes one. Nature, in her actual aspect, does not eastern hyperbole and the difficulty of finding a discreet furnish him with such existing scenes as he requires. image for a female cose in nature, it is perhaps as good Even where he presents you with some famous city, or a figure as any other. celebrated scene from mountain or other nature, it Art is not inferior to pature for poetical purposes. must be taken from some particular point of view, and what makes a regiment of soldiers a more noble object with such light, and shade, and distance, etc. as serve

of view than the same mass of mob? Their arms, their not only to heighten its beauties, but to shadow its de- dresses, their banners, and the art and artificial symformities. The poetry of nature alone, exactly as she metry of their position and movements. A Highlandappears, is not sufficient to bear him out. The very sky er's plaid, a Mussulman's turhan, and a Roman toga, of his painting is not the portrait of the sky of nature; are more poetical than the tattoed or untattoed butit is a composition of different skies, observed at diffe-cocks of a New Sandwich savage, although they were rent times, and not the whole copied from any particu- described by William Wordsworth himself like the lar day. And why? Because Nature is not lavish of « idiot in his glory.» her beauties; they are widely scattered, and occasionally I have seen as many mountains as most men, and more displayed, to be selected with care, and gathered with fleets than the generality of landsmen: and to my mind, difficulty.

a large convoy, with a few sail of the line to conduct them, Of sculpture I have just spoken. It is the great is as noble and as poetical a prospect as all that inaniscope of the sculptor to heighten nature into heroic mate nature can produce. I prefer the a mast of some beauty, i. e, in plain English, to surpass his model. great ammiral,, with all its tackle, to the Scorch fir or When Canova forms a statue, he takes a limb from one, the Alpine tannen: and think that more poetry has been a hand from another, a feature from a third, and a made out of it. In what does the infinite superiority of shape, it may be, from a fourth, probably at the same « Falcooer's Shipwreck,» over all other shipwrecks, contime improving upon all, as the Greek of old did in sist? In his admirable application of the terms of his embodying his Venus.

art; in a poet-sailor's description of the sailor's fate. Ask a portrait painter to describe his agonies in ac- These very terms, by his application, make the strength commodating the faces with which Nature and his sit- and reality of his poem. Why? because be was a poet, ters have crowded his painting-room to the principles of and in the hands of a poet art will not be found less his art; with the exception of perhaps ten faces in as oroamental than nature. It is precisely in general namany millions, there is not one which he can venture to ture, and in stepping out of his element, that Falconer give without shading much and adding more. Nature, fails; where he digresses to speak of ancient Greece, and exactly, simply, barely nature, will make no great artist « such branches of learning.» of any kind, and least of all a poet--the most artificial, In Dyer's Grongar Hill, upon which his fame rests, perhaps, of all artists in his very essence. With regard the very appearance of Nature herself is moralised into 10 natural imagery, the poets are obliged to take some of an artificial image: their best illustrations from art. You say that a a foun

This is Nature's vesture wrought, tain is as clear or clearer than glass,» to express its

To instruet our wandering thoaght; beauty

Thus she dresses green and gay,

To disperse our cares away.
O foos Bandusiæ, splendidior vitro!

And here also we have the telescope, the mis-use of In the speech of Mark Antony, the body of Cæsar is which, from Milton, has rendered Mr Bowles so triumphadisplayed, but so also is his mantie:

aut over Me Campbell: You all do know this mantle, etc.

So we mistake the future's face,

Eyed throngh llope's deluding glass.
Look! in this place ran Cassius' dagger through.

And here a word, en passant, to Mr Campbell
If the poet had said that Cassius had run his fist through

As yon summits, soft and fair, the rent of the mantle, it would have had more of Mr

Clad in colours of the air, Bowles's « nature» to help it; but the artiGcial dagger is

Which, to those who journey near,

Barron, brown, and roach appear, more poctical than any natural hand without it. In the

Still we trad the same coarse way sublime of sacred poetry, « Who is this that cometh

The prosent's still a cloudy day. from Edom? with dyed garments from Bozrah ?» Woulu « the comer» be poetical without his « dyed garments?» | Is not this the original of the far-famed which strike and startle the spectator, and identify the

'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, approaching object.

And robes the mountain in ita azure bue! The mother of Sisera is represented listening for the

To return once more to the sea. Let any ouc look ou « wheels of his chariot.» Solomon, in his Song, com- the long wall of Malamocco, which curbs the Adriatic, pares the nose of his beloved to a « tower," which to us and pronounce between the sea and its master. Surely appears an eastern exaggeration. If he had said, that that Roman work (I mean Roman in conception and her statue was like that of « a tower," it would have performance), which says to the ocean, uthus far shalt been as poetical as if he had compared her to a tree.

thou come, and no further,» and is obeyed, is not less The virtuous Marcia towers above her sex,

sublime and poetical than the angry waves which vainly

break hepeath it. is an instance of an artificial image to express a moral Mr Bowles makes the chief part of a ship's poesy desuperiority. But Solomon, it is probable, did not compend on the « wind:» then why is a ship under sail more

« PredošláPokračovať »