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LITERARY SELECTIONS.

have injudiciously applied this rule employed in acts of hospitality and of antient sculpture; for he ought mutual kindness, he had never wit. to have accomplished, by foreshort- nessed any spectacle of beggary, nor ening, the same effect which be bad he ever heard the name of God meant to produce by diminishing uttered to second an entreaty for the size. It should, however, be alms. Here, however, all the lazars observed, that great doubts are en- and the wretched in Rome were tertained if the statues on the collected together; hundreds of Movie Cavallo were originally in- young and old in that extreme of tegral parts of the same group; squalor, nakedness, and disease, but although this doubt may be which affrights the English traveller well founded, it will not invalidate in Italy, were seen on ali sides ; the supposed general principle of and their importunities and cries, the antient sculptors, corroborated for the love of God, and the mercy as it is by innumerable examples. of Christ, to relieve them, thrilled

“ In the evening, after visiting in his cars, and smote upon his the palaces, Mr. Robinson carried heart to such a degree, i hat his Mr. West to see a grand religious joints became as it were loosened, ceremony in one of the churches. and his legs scarcely able to support Hitherto he was acquainted only bim. Many of the beggars knew with the simple worship of the Mr. Robinson, and seeing him acQuakers. The pomp of the papal companied by a stranger, an Eng. ceremonies was as much beyond his lishman, as they concluded the comprehension, as the overpowering Artist to be from his appearance, excellence of the music surpassed surrounded them with confidence his utmost expectations. Undoubt- and clamours. edly, in all the spectacles and “ As they returned from the amusements of Rome, he possessed church, a woman samewhat ad. a keener sense of enjoyment, arising vanced in life, and of a better ap. from the simplicity of his education, pearance than the generality of the tban most other travellers. That beggars, followed them, and Mr. same sensibility to the beauty of West gave her a small piece of forms and colours which had awak. copper money, the first Roman coin ened bis genius for painting, was, which he had received in change, probably, 'accompanied with a ge- the relative value of which to the neral superior susceptibility of the other coins of the country was unother organs as well as the sight; kuown to bim. Shortly afterwards for it is observed that a taste for they were joined by some of the any one of the fine arts is connected Italians, whom they had seen in the with a general predilection for morning, and while they were them all. But neither the Apollo, conversing together, he felt some the Vatican, nor ibe pomp of the one pull his coat, and turned round. Catholic ritual, excited his feeling It was the poor woman to whom he to so great a degree as the spectacle had given the piece of copper which presented itself to his view money. She held out in her hand around the portico of the church. several smaller pieces, and as he did Bred in the universal prosperity of not understand her language, he Pennsylvania, where ibe benevo- concluded that she was chiding lence of the human bosom was only him for having given her such a trife, and coloured deeply with the united, gave him a favoutable idea idea. His English friend, observe of the latent sentiments of the Ita. ing his confusion, inquired what he lians. How much, indeed, is the had given her, and he answered character of that people traduced by that he did not know, but it was a ihe rest of Europe ! How often is piece of money which he had re. the traveller in Italy, when he ceived in change. Robinson, after dreads the approach of robbers, and a short conversation with the beggar, prepares against murder, surprised told Mr. West that she had asked at ihe bountiful disposition of the him to give her a farthing. “But

trifle,

• But common Italians, and made to blush as you gave her a two-penny piece," at having applied the charges against said he,

“she has brought you the a few criminals to the character of a change." This irfstance of humble whole people—without reflecting honesty; contrasted with the awful that the nation is only weak bemass of misery with which it was cause it is subdivided."

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ARTICLE V.-BIOGRAPHIA LITERARÍA, or Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life and Opinions, by S. T. COLERIDGE, Esq. 2 Vols. THIS is a strange medley : mys- ever of all this, there are passages

written with very considerable or metaphysics, if possible, still more powers of mind, and in a style of obscure and unintelligible; criticism impressive eloquence; so that it some parts acute, in good taste, and may be characterised as exhibiting sound; other parts as unintelligible the genius, turn of thought, and as the metaphysics ; and a very sınall peculiar feelings and opinions of portion of literary biography, make the Author in

a very striking up this work. In the midst how

manner.

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CHARACTER OF MR. SOUTHBY.

“ First then, with regard to Mr. and (in the ligbter works) a preSouthey. I well remember the ge- dilection for the strange and whim. neral reception of his earlier pub- sical ; in short, such faults as might lications: viz. the poems published have been anticipated in a young with Mr. Lovell under the names and rapid writer, were indeed suffiof Moschus and Bion; the two ciently enforced. Nor was there volumes of poems under his own at that time wanting a party-spirit name, and the Joan of Arc. The to aggravate the defects of a poet, censures of the critics by profession who with all the courage of unare extant, and may be easily re- corrupted youth bad avowed his ferred to :-careless lines, inequality zeal for a cause, which he deemed in the merit of the different poeins, that of liberty, and his abhorrence 1817.

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of oppression by whatever name be found reviewers to calumniate. consecrated. But it was as little. And such readers will become in all objected by others, as dreamt of by probability more numerous, in prothe poet himself, that he preferred portion as a still greater diffusion of careless and prosaic lines on rule literature shall produce an increase and of forethought, or indeed that of sciolists; and sciolism bring with he pretended to any other art or it petulance and presumption. In theory of poetic diction, besides times of old, books were as religious that which we may all learn from oracles; as literature advanced, Horace, Quintilian, the admirable they next became venerable predialogue de Causis Corruptæ Elo- ceptors; they then descended to quentiæ, or Strada's Prolusions; if the rank of instructive friends; and indeed natural good sense and the as their numbers increased, they early study of the best inodels in sunk still lower to that of enterhis own language had not infused taining companions; and at present the same maxims more securely, they seem degraded into culprits to and, if I may venture the expression, hold up their hands at the bar of more vitally. All that could have every self-elected, yet not the less been fairly deduced was, that in his peremptory, judge, who chooses to taste and estimation of writers Mr. write from humour or interest, from Southey agreed far more with War. enmity or arrogance, and to abide ton, than with Johnson, Nor do the decision (in the words of Jeremy mean to deny, that at all times Mr. Taylor) " of him that reads in Southey was of the same mind with malice, or him that reads after Sir Philip Sidney in preferring an dinner." excellent ballad in the humblest “ In the “ Thalaba," the “ Mastyle of poetry to twenty indifferent doc," and still more evidently in the poems that sirutted in the highest. unique "Cid;" the “Kebama," And by what have his works, pub- and as last, so best, the “ Don lished since then, been characterized, Roderick;" Southey has given each more strikingly than the pre- abundant proof, se cogitasse ceding, but by greater splendor, à quàm sit magnum dare aliquid in deeper pathos, profounder reflec- manus hominum : nec persuadere tions, and a more sustained dignity sibi posse, non sæpe tractandum of language and of metre ? Distant quod placere et semper et omnibus may the period be, but whenever cupiat.” Plit. Ep. Lib. 7, Ep. 17. the time shall come, when all his But on the other hand I guess, that works shall be collected by som Mr. Southey was quite unable to editor worthy to be his biographer, comprehend, wherein could consist I trust that an excerpta of all the the crime or 'mischief of printing passages, in which his writings, half a dozen of more playful poems; name, and character have been at- or to speak more generally, compotacked, from the pamphlets and sitions which would be enjoyed of periodical works of the last twenty passed over, according as the taste years, may be an accompaniment. and homour of the reader inight Yet that it would prove medicinal chance to be ; provided they conin after times, I dare not bope; for tained nothing immoral. In the as long as there are readers to be present age peritura parcere delighted with calumny, there will charte" is emphatically an unrea

sonable

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sonable demand. The merest trife, Penseroso of Milton are not without
he ever sent abroad, had tenfold merit; but repay yourself for this
better claims to its ink and paper, concession, by reprinting at length
than all the silly criticisms, which the two poems on the University
prove no more, than that the critic Carrier ! As a fair specimen of his
was not one of those, for whom the sonnets, quote “ a book was writ of
trifle was written ; and than all the late called Tetrachordon ;” and as
grave exhortations to a greater re- characteristic of his rhythm and
verence for the public. As if the metre cite his literal translation of
passive page of a book, by baving the first and second psalm! In order
an epigram or droggrel tale im- to justify yourself, you ned only
pressed on it, instantly assumed at assert, that bad you dweli chiefly
once loco-motive power and a sort on the beauties and excellencies of
of ubiquity, so as to flutter and buz the poet, the admiration of these
in the ear of the public to the sore might seduce the attention of future
annoyance of the said mysterious writers from the objects of their
personage. But what gives an ad- love and wonder, to an imitation of
ditional and more ludicrous absur- the few poems and passages in
dity to these lamentations is ibe which the poet was most unlike
curious fact, that if in a volume of himself.
poetry the critic should find á poem “But till reviews are conducted
or passage wbich he deems more on far other principles, and with
especially worthless, he is sure to far other motives; till in the place
select and reprint it in the review; of arbitrary dictation and petulant
by which, on his own grounds, he sneers, the reviewers support their
wastes as much more paper than the decisions by reference to fixed
author, as the copies of a fashionable canons of criticism, previously es-
review are

more numerous than tablished and deduced from the those of the original book ; in some, nature of man; reflecting minds and those the most prominent in- will pronounce it arroga' ce in them stances, as ten thousand to five thus to announce themselves to men hundred. I know no:hing that sur- of letters, as the guides of their passes the vileness of deciding on taste and judgment. To the purihe merits of a poet or painter (not chaser and mere reader it is, at all hy characteristic defects ; for where events, an injustice. He who tells there is genius, these always point me that there are defects in a new to his characteristic beauties ; but) work, tells me nothing which I by accidental failures or faulty pas- should not have taken for gran!ed sages; except the impudence of without his information. But be, defending it, as the proper duty, and who points out and elucidates the most instructive part, of criticism. beauties of an original work, does Omit or pass slightly over, the ex. indeed give me interesting inforpression, grace, and grouping of mation, such as experience would Raphael's figures ; but ridicule in not have authorised me in antici. detail the knitting-needles and pating.

And as

(0 compositions broom-twigs, that are to represent wbich the authors themselves antrees in his back grounds; and never nounce with “ H:ec ipsi Dorions let him hear the last of his galli- esse vihil,” why should we judge pots! Admit, that the Allegro and by a different rule two printed

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works,

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works, only because the one antlior when I regard him, as a popular was alive, and the other in bis grave? essayist, (for the articles of his comWhat literary man has not regretted positions in the reviews are for the prudery of Spratt in refusing to the greater part essays on subjects let his friend Cowley appear in his of deep or curious interest, rather slippers and dressing-gown! I am than criticisms on particular works,) not perhaps ibe only one who bas I look in vain for any writer, wbo derived an

innocent amusement bas conveyed so much information, froin the riddles, conundrums, tri- from so many and such recondite syllable lipes, &c. &c. of Swift and sources, with so many just and his correspondents, in hours of lan- original reflections, in a style so guor, when to have read his more lively and poignant, yet so unitinished works would have been formly classical and perspicuous; useless to myself, and, in some sort, no one in short who has combined an act of injustice to the author. so much wisdom with so much But I am at a loss to conceive by wit; so much truth and knowledge what perversity of judgment, these with so much life and fancy. His relaxations of his genius could be prose is always intelligible and employed to diminish his fame as always entertaining. In poetry be the writer of “Gulliver's Travels," has attempted almost every species and the “ Tale of a Tub." Had of composition known before, and Mr. Southey written twice as many he has added new ones; and if we poems of inferior merit, or partial except the highest lyric, (in which interest, as have enlivened the how few, how very few even of the journals of the day, they would have greatest minds have been fortunate) added to his honour with good and he has attempted every species sucwise men, not merely or principally cessfully: from the political song as proving the versatility of bis of the day, thrown off in the playtalents, but as evidences of the ful overflow of honest joy and papurity of that mind, which even in triotic exultation, to the wild ballad; its levities never wrote a line which, from epistolary ease and graceful it need regret on any moral account.' narrative, to the austere and impe

" I have in imagination trans- tuous moral declamation; from the ferred to the future biographer the pastoral claims and wild streaming duty of contrasting Southey's fixed lights of the "Thalaba," in which and well-earned fame, with the sentiment and imagery have given abuse and indefatigable hostility of permanence even to the excitement his anonymous critics from bis early of curiosity; and from the full youth to his ripest manhood. But blaze of the “ Kehama,” (a gallery Í cannot think so ill of human of finished pictures in one splendid nature as not to believe, that these fancy piece, in which, notwithcìitics have already taken shame to standing, the moral grandeur rises themselves, whether they consider gradually above the brilliance of the object of their abuse in bis the colouring and the boldness and moral or his literary character. For novelty of the machinery) to the reflect but on the variety and ex- more sober beauties of the “ Ma. tent of his acquirements. He stands doc;" and lastly, from the Madoc second to no inan, either as an bis

to his "6

Roderic,” in which, retoriau or as a bibliographer; and taining all, his former excellencies.

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