[blocks in formation]

Something too much there sits of native scorn, And her smile kindles with a conscious glow. (tell -These may be dreams! But how shall Woman Of woman's shame, and not with tears?-She fell! That mother left that child !-went hurrying by Its cradle-haply not without a sigh; Haply one moment o'er its rest serene She hung-But no! it could not thus have been, For she went on!-forsook her home, her hearth, All pure affection, all sweet household mirth, To live a gaudy and dishonour'd thing, Sharing in guilt the splendours of a king.

"Her lord, in very weariness of life, Girt on his sword for scenes of distant strife; He reck'd no more of Glory :-Grief and shame Crush'd out his fiery nature, and his name Died silently. A shadow o'er his halls Crept year by year; the minstrel pass'd their walls; The warder's horn hung mute: Meantime the

[ocr errors]

child, On whose first flow'ring thoughts no parent smil'd, A gentle girl, and yet deep-hearted, grew Into sad youth: for well, too well she knew Her mother's tale! Its memory made the sky Seem all too joyous for her shrinking eye; Check'd on her lip the flow of song, which fain Would there have linger'd; flush'd her cheek to If met by sudden glance; and gave a tone [pain, Of sorrow, as for something lovely gone, Even to the spring's glad voice. Her own was low And plaintive!-Oh! there lie such depth of woes

In a young blighted spirit! Manhood rears
A haughty brow; and Age has done with tears;
But Youth bows down to mis'ry, in amaze
At the dark cloud o'ermantling its fresh days,-
And thus it was with her. A mournful sight

In one so fair-for she indeed was fair-
Not with her mother's dazzling eyes of light.
Hers were more shadowy, full of thought and

And with long lashes o'er a white-rose cheek, Drooping in gloom, yet tender still and meek. "One sunny morn,

With alms before her castle gate she stood, 'Midst peasant-groups; when, breathless and o'er


And shrouded in long robes of widowhood, A stranger through them broke:-The orphan maid With her sweet voice, and proffer'd hand of aid, Turn'd to give welcome: But a wild sad look Met hers; a gaze that all her spirit shook; And that pale woman, suddenly subdued By some strong passion in its gushing mood, Knelt at her feet, and bath'd them with such tears As rain the hoarded agonies of years [press'd From the heart's urn; and with her white lips The ground they trode; then, burying in her vest Her brow's deep flush, sobb'd out-Oh! undefil'd!

I am thy Mother-spurn me not, my child!'
"Isaure had pray'd for that lost mother; wept
O'er her stain'd memory, while the happy slept
In the hush'd midnight; stood with mournful gaze
Before yon picture's smile of other days,
But never breath'd in human ear the name
which weigh'd her being to the earth with shame.
What marvel if the anguish, the surprise,
The dark remembrances, the alter'd guise,
Awhile o'erpower'd her ?-from the weeper's touch
She shrank-'Twas but a moment-yet too much
For that all-humbled one; its mortal stroke
Came down like lightning, and her full heart broke
At once in silence. Heavily and prone
She sank, while, o'er her castle's threshold-stone,
Those long fair tresses-they still brightly wore
Their early pride, though bound with pearls no


Bursting their fillet, in sad beauty roll'd,
And swept the dust with coils of wavy gold.


'Her child bent o'er her-call'd her-'Twas too late

Dead lay the wanderer at her own proud gate! The joy of courts, the star of knight and bard.How didst thou fall, O bright-hair'd Ermengarde!"

The following sketch of "Joan of Arc in Rheims," is in a loftier and more ambitious vein; but sustained with equal grace, and as touching in its solemn tenderness. We can afford to extract but a part of it :—

'Within, the light,

Through the rich gloom of pictur'd windows flowing,

[ocr errors]

Tinged with soft awfulness a stately sight,

The chivalry of France, their proud heads bowing In martial vassalage!-while 'midst the ring, And shadow'd by ancestral tombs, a king Received his birthright's crown. For this, the hyma Swell'd out like rushing waters, and the day With the sweet censer's misty breath grew dim,

As through long aisles it floated, o'er th' array Of arms and sweeping stoles. But who, alone And unapproach'd, beside the altar stone, [ing, With the white banner, forth like sunshine stream. And the gold helm, through clouds of fragrance gleaming,

Silent and radiant stood ?-The helm was rais'd, And the fair face reveal'd, that upward gaz'd, Intensely worshipping;-a still, clear face, Youthful but brightly solemn!-Woman's cheek And brow were there, in deep devotion meek, Yet glorified with inspiration's trace!

[ocr errors]

"A triumphant strain,
A proud rich stream of warlike melodies,
Gush'd through the portals of the antique fane,
And forth she came."


"The shouts that fill'd
The hollow heaven tempestuously, were still'd
One moment; and in that brief pause, the tone,
As of a breeze that o'er her home had blown,
Sank on the bright maid's heart!-Joanne !'-
Who spoke?

Like those whose childhood with her childhood

"Thou hast forsaken me! I feel, I know!
There would be rescue if this were not so.

Under one roof?- Joanne !'-that murmur broke Thou'rt at the chase, thou'rt at the festive board,
With sounds of weeping forth!-She turn'd-Thou'rt where the red wine free and high is pour'd,
Thou'rt where the dancers meet!--a magic glass
Is set within my soul, and proud shapes pass,
Flushing it o'er with pomp from bower and hall!
I see one shadow, stateliest there of all,-
Thine!-What dost Thou amidst the bright and fair,
Whisp'ring light words, and mocking my despair ?"

"There went a swift bird singing past my cell-
O Love and Freedom! ye are lovely things!
With you the peasant on the hills may dwell,

And by the streams; But I-the blood of kings,
A proud unmingling river, through my veins
Flows in lone brightness,-and its gifts are chains!
-Kings-I had silent visions of deep bliss,
Leaving their thrones far distant! and for this
I am cast under their triumphal car,
An insect to be crush'd!

she knew

Beside her, mark'd from all the thousands there,
In the calm beauty of his silver hair,


The stately shepherd! and the youth, whose joy
From his dark eye flash'd proudly; and the boy,
The youngest-born, that ever lov'd her best!
Father! and ye my brothers!'-On the breast
Of that grey sire she sank-and swiftly back,
Even in an instant, to the native track
Her free thoughts flow'd.--She saw the pomp no
The plumes, the banners!-To her cabin door,
And to the Fairy's Fountain in the glade,
Where her young sisters by her side had play'd,
And to the hamlet's chapel, where it rose
Hallowing the forest into deep repose,
Her spirit turn'd.-The very wood-note, sung

In early spring-time by the bird, which dwelt
Where o'er her father's roof the beech-leaves hung.

Was in her heart; a music heard and felt, Winning her back to nature!-She unbound

The helm of many battles from her head, And, with her bright locks bow'd to sweep the ground,

Lifting her voice up, wept for joy, and said,-
Bless me, my father, bless me! and with thee,
To the still cabin and the beechen-tree,
Let me return!'"

[ocr errors]

The following, though it has no very object or moral, breathes, we think, the very spirit of poetry, in its bright and vague picturings, and is well entitled to the name it bears" An Hour of Romance:"

"There were thick leaves above me and around,

And low sweet sighs, like those of childhood's [sleep, Amidst their dimness, and a fitful sound

As of soft showers on water! Dark and deep

Lay the oak shadows o'er the turf, so still

They seem'd but pictur'd glooms: a hidden rill
Made music, such as haunts us in a dream,
Under the fern-tufts: and a tender gleam
Of soft green light, as by the glow-worm shed,
Came pouring thro' the woven beech-boughs
And steep'd the magic page wherein I read [down,
Of royal chivalry and old renown;
A tale of Palestine.-Meanwhile the bee

There are several strains of a more passionate character; especially in the two poetical epistles from Lady Arabella Stuart and Properzia Rossi. We shall venture to give a few lines from the former. The Lady Arabella was of royal descent; and having excited the fears of our pusillanimous James by a secret union with the Lord Seymour, was detained in a cruel captivity, by that heartless monarch, till the close of her life-during which she is supposed to have indited this letter to her lover from her prison house:

My friend my friend! where art thou? Day by

Gliding, like some dark mournful stream, away,
My slent youth flows from me! Spring, the while,
Comes, and rains beauty on the kindling boughs
Round hall and hamlet: Summer, with her smile,
Fills the green forest ;-young hearts breathe

their vows;

Swept past me with a tone of summer hours,
A drowsy bugle, wafting thoughts of flowers,
Blue skies and amber sunshine: brightly free,
On filmy wings the purple dragon-fly
Shot glancing like a fairy javelin by;
And a sweet voice of sorrow told the dell

Where sat the lone wood-pigeon:

Brothers, long parted, meet; fair children rise
Round the glad board: Hope laughs from loving


The full of all sweet sound,-the shut from me!

But ere long,

All sense of these things faded, as the spell
Breathing from that high gorgeous tale grew strong
On my chain'd soul!-Twas not the leaves I
A Syrian wind the Lion-banner stirr'd,
Singing in secret thro' its grassy glen;- [brook,
Thro' its proud, floating folds!-'twas not the
A wild shrill trumpet of the Saracen
Peal'd from the desert's lonely heart, and shook

The burning air!-Like clouds when winds are
O'er glitt'ring sands flew steeds of Araby;
And tents rose up, and sudden lance and spear
Flash'd where a fountain's diamond wave lay clear,
Shadow'd by graceful palm-trees! Then the shout
Sent thro' an Eastern heaven, whose glorious hue
of merry England's joy swell'd freely out,
Made shields dark mirrors to its depth of blue!
And harps were there;-I heard their sounding


** Ye are from dingle and fresh glade, ye flowers!
By some kind hand to cheer my dungeon sent;
O'er you the oak shed down the summer showers,
And the lark's nest was where your bright cups

Qivering to breeze and rain-drop, like the sheen
Of twilight stars. On you Heaven's eye hath been,
Through the leaves pouring its dark sultry blue
Into your glowing hearts; the bee to you
Hath murmur'd, and the rill.-My soul grows faint
With passionate yearning, as its quick dreams paint
Your haunts by dell and stream,--the green, the

As the waste echo'd to the mirth of kings.-
The bright masque faded-Unto life's worn track,
What call'd me from its flood of glory back?
A voice of happy childhood!-and they pass'd,
Banner, and harp, and Paynim trumpet's blast
Yet might I scarce bewail the splendours gone,
My heart so leap'd to that sweet laughter's tone."

There is great sweetness in the following portion of a little poem on a "Girl's School :"

"Oh! joyous creatures! that will sink to rest,

Lightly, when those pure orisons are done, As birds with slumber's honey-dew opprest, 'Midst the dim folded leaves, at set of sun

Yet in those flute-like voices, mingling low,
Is Woman's tenderness-how soon her woe!
Her look is on you-silent tears to weep, [hour;
And patient smiles to wear, through suff ring's
And sumless riches, from affection's deep,

To pour on broken reeds-a wasted show'r!
And to make idols, and to find them clay,
And to bewail that worship!-therefore pray!
"Her lot is on you! to be found untir'd,

the temptation of noting down every beautiful passage which arrests us in turning over the leaves of the volumes before us. We ought to recollect, too, that there are few to whom our pages are likely to come, who are not already familiar with their beauties; and, în fact, we have made these extracts, less with the presumptuous belief that we are intro ducing Mrs. Hemans for the first time to the knowledge or admiration of our readers, than from a desire of illustrating, by means of them, that singular felicity in the choice and

Watching the stars out by the bed of pain, With a pale cheek, and yet a brow inspir'd, And a true heart of hope, though hope be vain; Meekly to bear with wrong, to cheer decay, And, oh to Love through all things!-there-employment of her imagery, of which we have already spoken so much at large;-that fine accord she has established between the There is a fine and stately solemnity, too, world of sense and of soul-that delicate in these lines on "The Lost Pleiad :"

fore pray !"'


[merged small][ocr errors]

"Couldst thou be shaken from thy radiant place,
E'en as a dew-drop from the myrtle spray,
Swept by the wind away?
Wert thou not peopled by some glorious race?
And was there power to smite them with decay?
Then who shall talk of thrones, of sceptres riv'n
Bow'd be our hearts to think on what we are!
When from its height afar


A World sinks thus-and yon majestic heav'n Shines not the less for that one vanish'd star!" The following, on "The Dying Improvisatore," have a rich lyrical cadence, and glow of deep feeling :—

'Never, oh! never more,
On thy Rome's purple heaven mine eye shall dwell,
Or watch the bright waves melt along thy shore-
My Italy, farewell!

"Alas!-thy hills among,

Had I but left a memory of my name,

Of love and grief one deep, true, fervent song,
Unto immortal fame!

"But like a lute's brief tone,

Like a rose-odour on the breezes cast,
Like a swift flush of dayspring, seen and gone,
So hath my spirit pass'd!

"Yet, yet remember me!

Friends! that upon its murmurs oft have hung,
When from my bosom, joyously and free,

The fiery fountain sprung! "Under the dark rich blue

Of midnight heav'ns, and on the star-lit sea,
And when woods kindle into spring's first hue,
Sweet friends! remember me!

"And in the marble halls, Where life's full glow the dreams of beauty wear, And poet-thoughts embodied light the walls,

Let me be with you there! "Fain would I bind, for you,

My memory with all glorious things to dwell;
Fain bid all lovely sounds my name renew-
Sweet friends! bright land! farewell!"
But we must stop here. There would be
no end of our extracts, if we were to yield to

blending of our deep inward emotions with their splendid symbols and emblems without.

We have seen too much of the perishable nature of modern literary fame, to venture to predict to Mrs. Hemans that hers will be immortal, or even of very long duration. Since the beginning of our critical career we have seen a vast deal of beautiful poetry pass into oblivion, in spite of our feeble efforts to recall The tuneful or retain it in remembrance. quartos of Southey are already little better than lumber:- and the rich melodies of Keats and Shelley,-and the fantastical emphasis of Wordsworth, and the plebeian pathos of Crabbe, are melting fast from the field of our vision. The novels of Scott have put out his poetry. Even the splendid strains of Moore are fading into distance and dimness, except where they have been married to immortal music; and the blazing star of Byron himself is receding from its place of pride. We need say nothing of Milman, and Croly, and Atherstone, and Hood, and a legion of others, who, with no ordinary gifts of taste and fancy, have not so properly survived their fame, as been excluded by some hard fatality, from what seemed their just inheritance. The two who have the longest withstood this rapid withering of the laurel, and with the least marks of decay on their branches, are Rogers and Campbell; neither of them, it may be remarked, voluminous writers, and both distinguished rather for the fine taste and consummate elegance of their writings, than for that fiery passion, and disdainful vehemence, which seemed for a time to be so much more in favour with the public.

If taste and elegance, however, be titles to enduring fame, we might venture securely to promise that rich boon to the author before us; who adds to those great merits a tenderness and loftiness of feeling, and an ethereal purity of sentiment, which could only emanate from the soul of a woman. She must beware, however, of becoming too voluminous; and must not venture again on any thing so long as the "Forest Sanctuary." But, if the next generation inherits our taste for short poems, we are persuaded it will not readily allow her to be forgotten. For we do not hesitate to say, that she is, beyond all comparison, the most touching and accomplished writer of occasional verses that our literature has yet boast of...



I AM aware that the title prefixed to this head or Division of the present publication, is not likely to attract many readers; and, for this reason, I have put much less under it, than under any of the other divisions. But, having been at one time more addicted to the studies to which it relates than to any other-and still confessing to a certain partiality for them-I could not think of letting this collection of old speculations go forth to the world, without some specimen of those which once found so much favour in my eyes.

I will confess, too, that I am not unwilling to have it known that, so long ago as 1804, I adventured to break a spear (and I trust not quite ingloriously) in these perilous lists, with two such redoubted champions as Jeremy Bentham and Dugald Stewart, then in the maturity of their fame; and also to assail, with equal gallantry, what appeared to me the opposite errors of the two great Dogmatical schools of Priestley and of Reid.

I will venture also to add, that on looking back on what I have now reprinted of these early lucubrations, I cannot help indulging a fond, though probably delusive expectation, that the brief and familiar exposition I have there attempted, both of the fallacy of the Materialist theory, and of the very moderate practical value that can be assigned to Metaphysical discussions generally, and especially of the real shallowness and utter insignificance of the thorough-going Scepticism (even if unanswerable) to which they have been supposed to lead, may be found neither so tedious, nor so devoid of interest even to the general reader, as the mere announcement of the subjects might lead him to apprehend.

(April, 1804.)

Traités de Législation Civile et Pénale; précédés de Principes Généraux de Législation, et d'une Vue d'un Corps complet de Droit; terminés par un Essai sur l'influence des Tems et des Lieux relativement aux Lois. Par M. JÉRÉMIE BENTHAM, Jurisconsulte Anglois. Publiés en François par M. DUMONT de Genève, d'après les Manuscrits confiés par l'Auteur. 8vo. 3 tom. Paris, an X. 1802.

THE title-page of this work exhibits a curious instance of the division of labour; and of the combinations that hold together the literary commonwealth of Europe. A living author consents to give his productions to the world in the language of a foreign editor; and the speculations of an English philosopher are published at Paris, under the direction of a redacteur from Geneva. This arrangement is not the most obvious or natural in the world; nor is it very flattering to the literature of this country; but we have no doubt that it was adopted for sufficient reasons.

While the author displayed, in many places, great originality and accuracy of thinking, and gave proofs throughout of a very uncommon degree of courage, acuteness, and impartiality, it was easy to perceive that he was encumbered with the magnitude of his subject, and that his habits of discussion were but ill adapted to render it popular with the greater part of his readers. Though fully possessed of his subject, he scarcely ever appeared to be properly the master of it; and seemed evidently to move in his new career with great anxiety and great exertion. In the subordiIt is now about fifteen years since Mr. nate details of his work, he is often extremely Bentham first announced to the world his de- ingenious, clear, and satisfactory; but in the sign of composing a great work on the Prin-grouping and distribution of its several parts, ciples of morals and legislation. The specimen he is apparently irresolute or capricious; and which he then gave of his plan, and of his has multiplied and distinguished them by such abilities, was calculated, we think, to excite a profusion of divisions and subdivisions, that considerable expectation, and considerable the understanding is nearly as much bewilalarm, in the reading part of the community.dered from the excessive labour and com

plexity of the arrangement, as it could have | Bentham's system depends is, that Utility. been from its absolute omission. In following and utility alone, is the criterion of right and out the discussions into which he is tempted wrong, and ought to be the sole object of the by every incidental suggestion, he is so anxi- legislator. This principle, he admits, has ous to fix a precise and appropriate principle often been suggested, and is familiarly recur of judgment, that he not only loses sight of red to both in action and deliberation; but he the general scope of his performance, but maintains that it has never been followed out pushes his metaphysical analysis to a degree with sufficient steadiness and resolution, and of subtlety and minuteness that must prove that the necessity of assuming it as the exclu repulsive to the greater part of his readers. In sive test of our proceedings has never been the extent and the fineness of those specula- sufficiently understood. There are two printions, he sometimes appears to lose all recol- ciples, he alleges, that have been admitted to lection of his subject, and often seems to have a share of that moral authority which belongs tasked his ingenuity to weave snares for his of right to utility alone, and have exercised a understanding. control over the conduct and opinions of society, by which legislators have been very frequently misled. One of these he denomi nates the Ascetic principle, or that which enjoins the mortification of the senses as a duty and proscribes their gratification as a sin; and the other, which has had a much more extensive influence, he calls the principle of Sympathy or Antipathy; under which name he comprehends all those systems which place the basis of morality in the indications of a moral Sense, or in the maxims of a rule of Right; or which, under any other form of expression, decide upon the propriety of human actions by any reference to internal feelings, and not solely on a consideration of their consequences.

The powers and the peculiarities which were thus indicated by the preliminary treatise, were certainly such as to justify some solicitude as to the execution of the principal work. While it was clear that it would be well worth reading, it was doubtful if it would be very fit for being read; and while it was certain that it would contain many admirable remarks, and much original reasoning, there was room for apprehending that the author's love of method and metaphysics might place his discoveries beyond the reach of ordinary students, and repel the curiosity which the importance of the subject was so likely to excite. Actuated probably, in part, by the consciousness of those propensities (which nearly disqualified him from being the editor of his own speculations), and still too busily occupied with the prosecution of his great work to attend to the nice finishing of its parts, Mr. Bentham, about six years ago, put into the hands of M. Dumont a large collection of manuscripts, containing the greater part of the reasonings and observations which he proposed to embody into his projected system. These materials, M. Dumont assures us, though neither arranged nor completed, were rather redundant than defective in quantity; and left nothing to the redacteur, but the occasional labour of selection, arrangement, and compression. This task he has performed,

ed to him, in the work now before us; and has certainly given a very fair specimen both of the merit of the original speculations, and of his own powers of expression and distribution. There are some passages, perhaps, into which a degree of levity has been introduced that does not harmonise with the general tone of the composition; and others in which we miss something of that richness of illustration and homely vigour of reasoning which delighted us in Mr. Bentham's original publications; but, in point of neatness and perspicuity, conciseness and precision, we have no sort of doubt that M. Dumont has been of the most essential service to his principal; and are inclined to suspect that, without this assistance, we should never have been able to give any

as to a considerable part of the papers entrust-7. of piety: 8. of benevolence: 9. of malevolence: 10. of memory: 11. of imagination 12. of hope: 13. of association: 14. of relief from pain. The pains, our readers will be happy to hear, are only eleven; and are almost exactly the counterpart of the pleasures that have now been enumerated. The construction of these catalogues, M. Dumont considers as by far the greatest improvement that has yet been made in the philosophy of hu man nature!

account of his labours.*

The principle upon which the whole of Mr.

* A considerable portion of the original paper is here omitted; and those parts only retained, which relate to the general principle and scope of

the system.

As utility is thus assumed as the test and standard of action and approbation, and as it consists in procuring pleasure and avoiding pain, Mr. Bentham has thought it necessary, in this place, to introduce a catalogue of all the pleasures and pains of which he conceives man to be susceptible; since these, he alleges, are the elements of that moral calculation in which the wisdom and the duty of legislators and individuals must ultimately be found to consist. The simple pleasures of which man is susceptible are fourteen, it seems, in number; and are thus enumerated-1. pleasures of sense: 2. of wealth: 3. of dexterity: 4. of good character: 5. of friendship: 6. of power:


It is chiefly by the fear of pain that men are regulated in the choice of their deliberate actions; and Mr. Bentham finds that pain may be attached to particular actions in four different ways: 1. by nature: 2. by public opinion: 3. by positive enactment: and 4. by the doctrines of religion. Our institutions will be perfect when all these different sanctions are in harmony with each other.

task remains. In order to make any use of But the most difficult part of our author's those "elements of moral arithmetic," which are constituted, by the lists of our pleasures

« 前へ次へ »