elegant taste though on the occasion there | but of the native simplicity and amiableness mentioned, the flowers were aided by a less delicate sort of excitement.

of this Eastern highlander.

"My solicitude to visit my western dominions is boundless, and great beyond expression. The affairs of Hindustan have at length, however, been reduced into a certain degree of order; and I trust in Almighty God that the time is near at hand, when, through the grace of the Most High, every thing will be completely settled in this country. As soon as matters are brought into that state, I shall, God willing, set out for your quarter, without losing a moment's time. How is it possible that the delights of those lands should ever be erased from the heart? Above all, how is it possible for one like me, who have made a vow of abstinence from wine, and of purity of life, to forget the delicious melons and grapes of that pleasant region? They very recently brought me a single musk-melon. While cutting it up, I felt myself ex-affected with a strong feeling of loneliness, and a sense of my exile from my native country; and I could not help shedding tears while I was eating it!"

"This day I ate a maajûn. While under its influence, I visited some beautiful gardens. In different beds, the ground was covered with purple and yellow Arghwan flowers. On one hand were beds of yellow flowers in bloom; on the other hand, red flowers were in blossom. In many places they sprung up in the same bed, mingled together as if they had been flung and scattered abroad. I took my seat on a rising ground near the camp, to enjoy the view of all the flower-pots. On the six sides of this eminence they were formed as into regular beds. On one side were yellow flowers; on another the purple, laid out in triangular beds. On two other sides, there were fewer flowers; but, as far as the eve could reach, there were flower-gardens of a similar kind. In the neighbourhood of Pershawer, during the spring, the flower-plots are quisitely beautiful."

We have, now enabled our readers, we think, to judge pretty fairly of the nature of On the whole, we cannot help having a this very curious volume; and shall only liking for "the Tiger"-and the romantic, present them with a few passages from two though somewhat apocryphal account that is letters written by the valiant author in the given of his death, has no tendency to diminish last year of his life. The first is addressed our partiality. It is recorded by Abulfazi, to his favourite son and successor Hûmâiùn, and other native historians, that in the whom he had settled in the government of after these Memoirs cease, Hûmâiûn, the beyear Samarcand, and who was at this time a sover-loved son of Baber, was brought to Agra in a eign of approved valour and prudence. There state of the most miserable health: is a very diverting mixture of sound political counsel and minute criticism on writing and composition, in this paternal effusion. We can give but a small part of it.


"In many of your letters you complain of ration from your friends. It is wrong for a prince to indulge in such a complaint. "There is certainly no greater bondage than that in which a king is placed; but it ill becomes him to complain of inevitable separation.


while several men of skill were talking to the em"When all hopes from medicine were over, and peror of the melancholy situation of his son, Abul Baka, a personage highly venerated for his knowledge and piety, remarked to Baber, that in such a receive the most valuable thing possessed by one case the Almighty had sometimes vouchsafed to friend, as an offering in exchange for the life of life was dearest to Hûmâiun, as Hûmâiûn's was to another. Baber, exclaiming that, of all things, his In compliance with my wishes, you have in- him, and that, next to the life of Huûmâiûn, his own deed written me letters, but you certainly never was what he most valued, devoted his life to Hearead them over; for had you attempted to read ven as a sacrifice for his son's! The noblemen them, you must have found it absolutely impossible, around him entreated him to retract the rash vow, and would then undoubtedly have put them by. I and, in place of his first offering, to give the dia. contrived indeed to decipher and comprehend the mond taken at Agra, and reckoned the most valumeaning of your last letter, but with much diffi- able on earth: that the ancient sages had said, culty. It is excessively confused and crabbed. Who that it was the dearest of our worldly possessions ever saw a Moamma (a riddle or a charade) in alone that was to be offered to Heaven. But he prose? Your spelling is not bad, yet not quite of whatever value, could be put in competition with persisted in his resolution, declaring that no stone, correct. You have written iltafat with a toe (in-his life. He three times walked round the dying stead of a te), and kuling with a be (instead of a kaf). Your letter may indeed be read; but in prince, a solemnity similar to that used in sacrifices consequence of the far-fetched words you have and heave-offerings, and, retiring, prayed earnestly employed, the meaning is by no means very intel-to God. After some time he was heard to exclaim, ligible. You certainly do not excel in letter-writing, I have borne it away! I have borne it away! and fail chiefly because you have too great a desire The Mussulman historians assure us, that Humâiun to show your acquirements. For the future, you proportion as he recovered, the health and strength almost immediately began to recover, and that, in should write unaffectedly, with clearness, using of Baber visibly decayed. Baber communicated plain words, which would cost less trouble both to his dying instructions to Khwâjeh Khalîteh, Kamber Ali Beg, Terdi Beg, and Hindu Beg, who were then at court commending Hûmâiûn to their protection. With that unvarying affection for his of his life, he strongly besought Hûmain to be family which he showed in all the circumstances

the writer and reader."

The other letter is to one of his old companions in arms;-and considering that it is written by an ardent and ambitious conqueror,

from the capital of his new empire of Hin-kind and forgiving to his brothers. Hùmâiûn produstan, it seems to us a very striking proof, mised-and, what in such circumstances is rare, not only of the nothingness of high fortune, kept his promise."


(March, 1819.)

Specimens of the British Poets; with Biographical and Critical Notices, and an Essay on English Poetry. By THOMAS CAMPBELL. 7 vols. 8vo. London: 1819.

If he were like most authors, or even like most critics, we could easily have pardoned this; for we very seldom find any work too short. It is the singular goodness of his criticisms that makes us regret their fewness; for nothing, we think, can be more fair, judicious and discriminating, and at the same time

WE would rather see Mr. Campbell as a poet, than as a commentator on poetry:-because we would rather have a solid addition to the sum of our treasures, than the finest or most judicious account of their actual amount. But we are very glad to see him in any way: --and think the work which he has now given us very excellent and delightful. Still, how-more fine, delicate and original, than the ever, we think there is some little room for greater part of the discussions with which he complaint; and, feeling that we have not got has here presented us. It is very rare to find all we were led to expect, are unreasonable so much sensibility to the beauties of poetry, enough to think that the learned author still united with so much toleration for its faults; owes us an arrear: which we hope he will and so exact a perception of the merits of handsomely pay up in the next edition.. every particular style, interfering so little with a just estimate of all. Poets, to be sure, are on the whole, we think, very indulgent judges of poetry; and that not so much, we verily believe, from any partiality to their own vocation, or desire to exalt their fraternity, as from their being more constantly alive to those impulses which it is the business of poetry to excite, and more quick to catch and to follow out those associations on which its efficacy chiefly depends. If it be true, as we have formerly endeavoured to show, with reference to this very author, that poetry produces all its greater effects, and works its more memorable enchantments, not so much by the images it directly presents, as by those which it suggests to the fancy; and melts or inflames us less by the fires which it applies from without, than by those which it kindles within, and of which the fuel is in our own bosoms, it will be readily understood how these effects should be most powerful in the sensitive breast of a poet; and how a spark, which would have been instantly quenched in the duller atmosphere of an ordinary brain, may create a blaze in his combustible imagination, to warm and enlighten the world. The greater poets, accordingly, have almost always been the warmest admirers, and the most liberal patrons of poetry. The smaller only-your Laureates and Ballad-mongersare envious and irritable-jealous even of the dead, and less desirous of the praise of others than avaricious of their own.

When a great poet and a man of distinguished talents aunounces a large selection of English poetry, "with biographical and critical notices," we naturally expect such notices of all, or almost all the authors, of whose works he thinks it worth while to favour us with specimens. The biography sometimes may be unattainable-and it may still more frequently be uninteresting-but the criticism must always be valuable; and, indeed, is obviously that which must be looked to as constituting the chief value of any such publication. There is no author so obscure, if at all entitled to a place in this register, of whom it would not be desirable to know the opinion of such a man as Mr. Campbell-and none so mature and settled in fame, upon whose beauties and defects, and poetical character in general, the public would not have much to learn from such an authority. Now, there are many authors, and some of no mean note, of whom he has not condescended to say one word, either in the Essay, or in the notices prefixed to the citations. Of Jonathan Swift, for example, all that is here recorded is "Born 1667-died 1744;" and Otway is despatched in the same summary manner-" Born 1651-died 1685." Marlowe is commemorated in a single page, and Butler in half of one. All this is rather capricious:-But this is not all. Sometimes the notices are entirely biographical, and sometimes entirely critical. We humbly conceive they ought always to have been of both descriptions. At all events, we ought in every case to have had some criticism,-since this could always have been had, and could scarcely have failed to be valuable. Mr. C., we think, has been a little lazy.

But though a poet is thus likely to be a gentler critic of poetry than another, and, by having a finer sense of its beauties, to be better qualified for the most pleasing and important part of his office, there is another requisite in which we should be afraid he

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would generally be found wanting, especially bell was himself a Master in a distinct school in a work of the large and comprehensive nature of that now before us-we mean, in absolute fairness and impartiality towards the different schools or styles of poetry which he may have occasion to estimate and compare. Even the most common and miscellaneous reader has a peculiar taste in this way-and has generally erected for himself some obscure but exclusive standard of excellence, by which he measures the pretensions of all that come under his view. One man admires witty and satirical poetry, and sees no beauty in rural imagery or picturesque description; while another doats on Idyls and Pastorals, and will not allow the affairs of polite life to form a subject for verse. One is for simplicity and pathos; another for magnificence and splendour. One is devoted to the Muse of terror; another to that of love. Some are all for blood and battles, and some for music and moonlight-some for emphatic sentiments, and some for melodious verses. Even those whose taste is the least exclusive, have a lean-to be severe. No one indeed, we will venture ing to one class of composition rather than to to affirm, ever placed himself in the seat of another; and overrate the beauties which fall judgment with more of a judicial temperin with their own propensities and associations though, to obviate invidious comparisons, we -while they are palpably unjust to those must beg leave just to add, that being called which wear a different complexion, or spring on to pass judgment only on the dead, whose from a different race. faults were no longer corrigible, or had already been expiated by appropriate pains, his temper was less tried, and his severities less provoked, than in the case of living offenders,and that the very number and variety of the errors that called for animadversion, in the course of his wide survey, must have made each particular case appear comparatively insignificant, and mitigated the sentence of individual condemnation.

of poetry, and distinguished by a very peculiar and fastidious style of composition, without being apprehensive that the effects of this bias would be apparent in his work; and that, with all his talent and discernment, he would now and then be guilty of great, though unintended injustice, to some of those whose manner was most opposite to his own. We are happy to say that those apprehensions have proved entirely groundless; and that nothing in the volumes before us is more admirable, or to us more surprising, than the perfect candour and undeviating fairness with which the learned author passes judgment on all the different authors who come before him; |—the quick and true perception he has of the most opposite and almost contradictory beauties-the good-natured and liberal allowance he makes for the disadvantages of each age and individual-and the temperance and brevity and firmness with which he reproves the excessive severity of critics less entitled

It is to this last circumstance, of the large and comprehensive range which he was obliged to take, and the great extent and variety

But, if it be difficult or almost impossible to meet with an impartial judge for the whole great family of genius, even among those quiet and studious readers who ought to find delight even in their variety, it is obvious that this bias and obliquity of judgment must be still more incident to one who, by being himself a Poet, must not only prefer one school of poetry to all others, but must actually belong to it, and be disposed, as a pupil, or still more as a Master, to advance its pretensions above those of all its competitors. Like the votaries or leaders of other sects, successful of the society in which he was compelled to poets have been but too apt to establish ex-mingle, that we are inclined to ascribe, not clusive and arbitrary creeds; and to invent only the general mildness and indulgence of articles of faith, the slightest viola of his judgments, but his happy emancipation which effaces the merit of all other virtues. from those narrow and limitary maxims by Addicting themselves, as they are apt to do, which we have already said that poets are so to the exclusive cultivation of that style to peculiarly apt to be entangled. As a large which the bent of their own genius naturally and familiar intercourse with men of different inclines them, they look everywhere for those habits and dispositions never fails, in characbeauties of which it is peculiarly susceptible, ters of any force or generosity, to dispel the and are disgusted if they cannot be found.-prejudices with which we at first regard them, Like discoverers in science, or improvers in and to lower our estimate of our own superior art, they see nothing in the whole system but happiness and wisdom, so, a very ample and their own discoveries and improvements, and extensive course of reading in any departundervalue every thing that cannot be con- ment of letters, tends naturally to enlarge our nected with their own studies and glory. As narrow principles of judgment; and not only the Chinese mapmakers allot all the lodgeable to cast down the idols before which we had area of the earth to their own nation, and formerly abased ourselves, but to disclose to thrust the other countries of the world into us the might and the majesty of much that little outskirts and by-corners-so poets are disposed to represent their own little field of exertion as occupying all the sunny part of Parnassus, and to exhibit the adjoining regions under terrible shadows and most unmerciful foreshortenings. With those impressions of the almost in- a tendency to correct and liberalize their evitable partiality of poetical judgments in judgments of their old favourites, and to general, we could not recollect that Mr. Camp-strengthen and enliven all those faculties by

we had mistaken and contemned.

In this point of view, we think such a work as is now before us, likely to be of great use to ordinary readers of poetry-not only as unlocking to them innumerable new springs of enjoyment and admiration, but as having

There was great room therefore,—and, we will even say, great occasion, for such a work as this of Mr. Campbell's, in the present state of our literature ;-and we are persuaded, that all who care about poetry, and are not already acquainted with the authors of whom it treats

which they derive pleasure from such studies. | being a mere bookseller's speculation.-As Nor would the benefit, if it once extended so we have heard nothing of it from the time of far, by any means stop there. The character its first publication, we suppose it has had the of our poetry depends not a little on the taste success it deserved. of our poetical readers-and though some bards have always been before their age, and some behind it, the greater part must be pretty nearly on its level. Present popularity, whatever disappointed writers may say, is, after all, the only safe passage of future glory; -and it is really as unlikely that good poetry and even all who are cannot possibly do should be produced in any quantity where it better than read it fairly through, from the is not relished, as that cloth should be manu- first page to the last-without skipping the factured and thrust into the market, of a extracts which they know, or those which may pattern and fashion for which there was no not at first seem very attractive. There is no demand. A shallow and uninstructed taste reader, we will venture to say, who will rise is indeed the most flexible and inconstant- from the perusal even of these partial and and is tossed about by every breath of doc- scanty fragments, without a fresh and deep trine, and every wind of authority; so as sense of the matchless richness, variety, and neither to derive any permanent delight from originality of English Poetry: while the juxthe same works, nor to assure any permanent taposition and arrangement of the pieces not fame to their authors;-while a taste that is only gives room for endless comparisons and formed upon a wide and large survey of en-contrasts,-but displays, as it were in miniaduring models, not only affords a secure basis ture, the whole of its wonderful progress; and for all future judgments, but must compel, sets before us, as in a great gallery of pictures, whenever it is general in any society, a salu- the whole course and history of the art, from tary conformity to its great principles from all its first rude and infant beginnings, to its who depend on its suffrage-To accomplish maturity, and perhaps its decline. While it such an object, the general study of a work has all the grandeur and instruction that belike this certainly is not enough:-But it longs to such a gallery, it is free from the would form an excellent preparation for more perplexity and distraction which is generally extensive reading-and would, of itself, do complained of in such exhibitions; as each much to open the eyes of many self-satisfied piece is necessarily considered separately and persons, and startle them into a sense of their in succession, and the mind cannot wander, own ignorance, and the poverty and paltriness like the eye, through the splendid labyrinth of many of their ephemeral favourites. Con- in which it is enchanted. Nothing, we think, sidered as a nation, we are yet but very im- can be more delightful, than thus at our ease perfectly recovered from that strange and to trace, through all its periods, vicissitudes. ungrateful forgetfulness of our older poets, and aspects, the progress of this highest and which began with the Restoration, and con- most intellectual of all the arts-coloured as tinued almost unbroken till after the middle it is in every age by the manners of the times of the last century.-Nor can the works which which produce it, and embodying, besides have chiefly tended to dispel it among the those flights of fancy and touches of pathos instructed orders, be ranked in a higher class that constitute its more immediate essence, than this which is before us.-Percy's Relics much of the wisdom and much of the morality of Antient Poetry produced, we believe, the that was then current among the people ; and first revulsion-and this was followed up by thus presenting us, not merely with almost Wharton's History of Poetry.-Johnson's Lives all that genius has ever created for delight, of the Poets did something;—and the great but with a brief chronicle and abstract of all effect has been produced by the modern com- that was once interesting to the generations mentators on Shakespeare. Those various which have gone by. works recommended the older writers, and reinstated them in some of their honours; but still the works themselves were not placed before the eyes of ordinary readers. This was done in part, perhaps overdone, by the entire republication of some of our older dramatists and with better effect by Mr. Ellis's Specimens. If the former, however, was rather too copious a supply for the returning appetite of the public, the latter was too scanty; and both were confined to too narrow a period of time to enable the reader to enjoy the variety, and to draw the comparisons, by which he might be most pleased and instructed.-Southey's continuation of Ellis did harm rather than good; for though there is some cleverness in the introduction, the work itself is executed in a crude, petulant, and superficial manner,—and bears all the marks of

The steps of the progress of such an art, and the circumstances by which they have been effected, would form, of themselves, a large and interesting theme of speculation. Conversant as poetry necessarily is with all that touches human feelings, concerns, and occupations, its character must have been impressed by every change in the moral and political condition of society, and must even retain the lighter traces of their successive follies, amusements, and pursuits; while, in the course of ages, the very multiplication and increasing business of the people have forced it through a progress not wholly dissimilar to that which the same causes have produced on the agriculture and landscape of the country;-where at first we had rude and dreary wastes, thinly sprinkled with sunny spots of simple cultivation-then vast forests

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and chases, stretching far around feudal cas- has complied perhaps too far with the popular tles and pinnacled abbeys-then woodland hamlets, and goodly mansions, and gorgeous gardens, and parks rich with waste fertility, and lax habitations-and, finally, crowded cities, and road-side villas, and brick-walled gardens, and turnip-fields, and canals, and artificial ruins, and ornamented farms, and cottages trellised over with exotic plants!

prejudice, in confining his citations from Milton to the Comus and the smaller pieces, and leaving the Paradise Lost to the memory of his readers. But though we do not think the extracts by any means too long on the whole, we are certainly of opinion that some are too long and others too short; and that many, especially in the latter case, are not very well selected. There is far too little of Marlowe for instance, and too much of Shirley, and even of Massinger. We should have

But, to escape from those metaphors and enigmas to the business before us, we must remark, that in order to give any tolerable idea of the poetry which was thus to be rep-liked more of Warner, Fairfax, Phineas resented, it was necessary that the specimens Fletcher, and Henry More-all poets of no to be exhibited should be of some compass scanty dimensions-and could have spared and extent. We have heard their length several pages of Butler, Mason, Whitehead, complained of-but we think with very little Roberts, Meston, and Amhurst Selden. We justice. Considering the extent of the works do not think the specimens from Burns very from which they are taken, they are almost well selected; nor those from Prior-nor can all but inconsiderable fragments; and where we see any good reason for quoting the whole the original was of an Epic or Tragic charac- Castle of Indolence, and nothing else, for ter, greater abridgment would have been Thomson-and the whole Rape of the Lock, mere mutilation, and would have given only and nothing else, for Pope. such a specimen of the whole, as a brick might do of a building. From the earlier and less familiar authors, we rather think the citations are too short; and, even from those that are more generally known, we do not well see how they could have been shorter, with any safety to the professed object, and only use, of the publication. That object, we conceive, was to give specimens of English poetry, from its earliest to its latest periods; and it would be a strange rule to have followed, in making such a selection, to leave out the best and most popular. The work certainly neither is, nor professes to be, a collection from obscure and forgotten authorsbut specimens of all who have merit enough to deserve our remembrance;-and if some few have such redundant merit or good fortune as to be in the hands and the minds of all the world, it was necessary, even then, to give some extracts from them, that the series might be complete, and that there might be room for comparison with others, and for tracing the progress of the art in the strains of its best models and their various imitators.

In one instance, and one only, Mr. C. has declined doing this duty; and left the place of one great luminary to be filled up by recollections that he must have presumed would be universal. He has given but two pages to SHAKESPEARE and not a line from any of his plays! Perhaps he has done rightly. A knowledge of Shakespeare may be safely presumed, we believe, in every reader; and, if he had begun to cite his Beauties, there is no saying where he would have ended. A little book, calling itself Beauties of Shakespeare, was published some years ago, and shown, as we have heard, to Mr. Sheridan. He turned over the leaves for some time with apparent satisfaction, and then said, "This is very well; but where are the other seven volumes?" There is no other author, however, whose fame is such as to justify a similar ellipsis, or whose works can be thus elegantly understood, in a collection of good poetry. Mr. C.

Next to the impression of the vast fertility, compass, and beauty of our English poetry, the reflection that recurs most frequently and forcibly to us, in accompanying Mr. C. through his wide survey, is that of the perishable nature of poetical fame, and the speedy oblivion that has overtaken so many of the promised heirs of immortality! Of near two hundred and fifty authors, whose works are cited in these volumes, by far the greater part of whom were celebrated in their generation, there are not thirty who now enjoy any thing that can be called popularity-whose works are to be found in the hands of ordinary readers-in the shops of ordinary booksellers-or in the press for republication. About fifty more may be tolerably familiar to men of taste or literature:-the rest slumber on the shelves of collectors, and are partially known to a few antiquaries and scholars. Now, the fame of a Poet is popular, or nothing. He does not address himself, like the man of science, to the learned, or those who desire to learn, but to all mankind; and his purpose being to delight and be praised, necessarily extends to all who can receive pleasure, or join in applause. It is strange, then, and somewhat humiliating, to see how great a proportion of those who had once fought their way successfully to distinction, and surmounted the rivalry of contemporary envy, have again sunk into neglect. We have great deference for public opinion; and readily admit, that nothing but what is good can be permanently popular. But though its vivat be generally oracular, its pereat appears to us to be often sufficiently capricious; and while we would foster all that it bids to live, we would willingly revive much that it leaves to die. The very multiplication of works of amusement, necessarily withdraws many from notice that deserve to be kept in remembrance; for we should soon find it labour, and not amusement, if we were obliged to make use of them all, or even to take all upon trial. As the materials of enjoyment and instruction accumulate around us, more and more, we fear, must thus be daily rejected, and

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