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invasion of the French has compelled to emigrate, with such relics of his family as had escaped the hostile sword. He is hospitably received into the cabin of a shepherd boy, to whom he relates his battles, and the misfortunes of his countrymen. The idea of his absent country supplies the emigrant with imagery, alternately affecting and sublime; and his complaints induce us to sympathize with his natal mountains and hamlets, as if they were animated beings. The poems on the Slave Trade and Greenland, display an equal quantity of beauties of the first order. Montgomery has also been successful in a number of lyrical pieces, chiefly remarkable for their melancholy and unaffected sentiment. There is one of these pieces, the origin of which refutes the miserable irony with which the Edinburgh Review has always referred to “poor Montgomery and his sentimental mania.” A short time after the publication of his first essays, the poet received a letter from a lady, who described herself as converted by illness to the charms of a plaintive poetry. A correspondence ensued between her and the poet, whose letters and verses succeeded in comforting the last days of the sufferer. After her departure to a better world, Montgomery learned her name, and found that his imagination had depicted her exactly as she was. The event furnished him with the subject of a poem, expressive of his grief, and of his pious friendship. In this the poet compares the direct commerce of poetry with an inhabitant of paradise, to the mysterious ladder which the patriarch Jacob perceived in his dream. Even when divested of the charms of its versification, the poem referred to, appears to me to exhibit a curious example of the spiritualism of a class of English poets, whose poetical creed is often allied to catholicism. Montgomery belongs to the sect of Moravian brothers.
TO MR. CH, NODIER,
THE grand nazir, or chamberlain to the daughter of Aurenz-Zeb, is not so foolish a personage as Mr. Moore has wished to make him. His decision in Lalla Rookh on the subject of the Persian poet's flowery style, is, nevertheless, too exclusive; it is not worthy of the “supreme judge in all things, from the proper form of the eyelashes of a young Circassian, down to the deepest questions in science and literature; from the composition of a conserve of roses to the composition of an epic poem.” Is not this portrait of Fadladin, at the same time, the portrait of Thomas Moore, author of several humourous poems, enriched with learned notes? Chaulieu, Panard, Parny, and, in our time, Beranger, Desangiers, Francis, &c., who have sung of the same subjects as Thomas Moore, have forgotten to apprise the public that they knew Greek, and that they had read the Bibliotheque Orientale d’Herbelot. Notwithstanding his scientific language, Thomas Moore is not less the favourite poet of the English ladies; his sentimental songs are upon all the pianos, and his voluptuous sonnets are discovered beside the Bible in the boudoirs. It will be objected to me, for the sake of saving the honour of the chaste daughters of modest Albion, that I have never been permitted entrance into this sanctum sanctorum, and I readily admit that I am only repeating in this place the private rumours of scandal, or the public accusations of Mr. Irving from the apostolic chair. But, however that may be, one of the prominent imputations which the English bring against us, is that of reckoning Parny among the number of our poets; without going farther back, we may reply, that Moore, his contemporary, has given a Parny to English poetry. After perusing the amorous trifles published under the fictitious name of Little, and the very free paraphrase of Anacreon, dedicated to the Prince Regent, who, at that time, performed the part of Polycrates to the Irish Anacreon, and after surveying, in some drawing-room, the mignonne physiognomy of the poet, one would be tempted to depict him in the midst of the beauties of the court of Windsor, or rather in one of the boudoirs of Madame Pompadour, canvassing for the smile of some favourite or powerful libertine, with his melodious voice, and somewhat effeVOL. II. M
minate verses; but it would occasion some surprise to observe this little poet of the bedchamber, while luxuriously reclined upon a sofa, suddenly passing from a languishing sonnet, or an eulogium upon Lalage, or a brimming goblet of wine, to a coarse satire against the Bourbons or the priests. Let us, however, do him the justice to say, that he instantly breaks off his amorous descant when called upon to pour forth a nobler effusion in the cause of liberty, or a daring protest, in favour of oppressed Ireland; at such times, he resembles Parny, composing national odes in the manner of Beranger. Are we to attribute this alliance of coquetterie, voluptuousness, and independence, to poetic vanity, which is quite as much an English as a French defect? Shall I venture to explain the contradictions of the author of Lalla Rookh, by endeavouring to prove that he has been mistaken in considering himself a republican, because it is difficult to be so without having the proper temperament 2 Mr. Moore acts the democrat in the boudoirs; and it is, perhaps, no more than an inconsequence, like that which he has committed in making a liberal troubadour of the King of Bucharia.” Mr. Moore is accordingly accused of being li
beral after the fashion adopted by princes; that is
" * Besides, the disguised lover of Lalla Rookh was only a prince royal, like George IV. when he associated with the opposition; or like a certain German prince, to whom Mademoiselle B– said, behind the scenes of the Comedie Francaise, “Ah! I perceive why your lordship is so liberal-you are not at the head of affairs.”
to say, of being jealous of those who are a little more so than himself, and of wishing to prescribe arbitrary limits to liberalism. This is the charge of Leigh Hunt, and of Lord Byron's little court at Pisa; and it is echoed by Hazlitt and other critics; they complain bitterly that Mr. Moore holds them cheap, refuses to contribute to their journal, and recommends his noble friend not to make common cause with radicals of the second order. Mr. Moore appertains to that numerous coterie of the tory party, who take upon themselves a portion of the functions of the whigs, in order to prevent their being fulfilled by homest reformers; a circumstance which would bring liberal truths into direct collision with the interests of the privileged orders. These pseudo-whigs enjoy all the advantages of popularity, added to the possession of rank, and the immense privileges of the English aristocracy. In making their attacks on public corruption, they take good care to measure their blows; they defend liberty, not as if she were a queen whose soldiers they are, but as if she were a captive, whose spoils they hold in reserve; corruptions in other nations excite all their indignation; and they cannot find sufficiently strong expressions, in order to mark them with their brand. The Bourbons are tyrants, France a country of slaves, whom they encourage to a just revolution, while their straight-laced opposition is incapable of inspiring them on the subject of their own concerns, with more than the eloquence of the special