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is, morally speaking, the grand engine by which Christianity supported and propagated.
Mr. Williams's style is lively and interesting. He has comprised a variety of information in bis Lecture, and we cordially recommend it, in the hope that it will obtain an extensive circulation. We subjoin
We subjoin a short extract as a specimen of the Lecture.
History is, I think, of far more importance than Poetry, yet Poetry is so great a favourite, that to slight her would betray a want of taste. History, however, comes first, and I shall leave you to determine whether she ought to be considered as the fore-runner of Poetry, or Poetry as the attendant upon History ; thus much is certain in some nations the first histories were in verse.
• We are apt to lament the shortness of human life,and reflect with a kind of envy on the longevity of the antient patriarchs; it must, no doubt, have been of great advantage, when the same man could devote five or six hundred years to the study and improvement of his favourite art. But History renews the golden age. -it furnishes us with all the wisdom and experience of our ancestors, from the creation of the world. In every branch of science a thousand experiments are on record, and we have only to begin where they stopped, -to proceed with their studies. In short, we have " entered into their labours,' andwhile we reap that advantage, have only te add something for the benefit of posterity.
• If we refer to History, and enquire what Greek and Roman wisdom have done in the melioration of mankind - alas ! what have they done ? -But Christianity! what hast thou done ?-Her influence has, indeed, been partial and contracted, yet, where is the system which knew no servitude but slavery, and which gave the life of every slave into the hands of his master?-Where is that system which allowed infanticide? --which tolerated concubinage?—which' sacrificed hecatombs of our fellow creatures on the altars of senseless idols, or rather of sanguinary demons ?-She has abolished them, and is progressing through the world ;-and wherever she erects her standard, in India, oi in China,- in the wilds of Africa, or in the Southern Ocean, the idols are thrown to the moles, and to the bats, and JEHOVAN alone is worshipped !
· History records these facts ; and though“ we are but ofyesterday, and know nothing,” History raises us on the Colossean shoulders of Time, and enables us, not only to look around upon the world but to look back on former ages, -ages rising above each other in the horizon of time, like the pyramidal clouds which forebode the gathering thunder. History does more than Joshua did; he bade the sun stand still ;-she calls back the sun, and shews us the ages before the food.
Art. XI. Poems. By Lord Byron, 8vo. pp. 38. Price 1s. 6d.
Murray-1816. W TE hesitated to notice on their first appearance, the poems
ascribed to Lord Byron, professedly connected with cer"tain domestic occurrences,' although it was generally understood that the publication of them originated with the Author, and there was therefore no room for doubting their authenticity, nor occasion for delicacy in speaking of them. But they hardly seemed to deserve attention from a literary Journal. It appeared to us, indeed, sufficiently obvious, that the poems alluded to, were written expressly for the public eye; since it would be difficult on any other supposition, to account for their baving been written at all. Dr. Johnson, it is said, loved a good hater. The “ Sketch “ from Private Life” discovers sufficient energy of hatred, but it breathes still more of spleen and unmanly revenge, vented in the impotency of words on an individual defenceless, and possibly unoffending; or rather, it may be, affected for the purpose of diverting to that individual a portion of the indignant feeling which it might be apprehended the incidents alluded to, would excite in the public mind. For our own parts, we con. sidered it as a disgusting display of prostituted talent. And indeed, as the poem is omitted in the present publication, it is but fair to conclude that even Lord Byron is heartily ashamed of having written it.
The Farewell' is a poem of a different description; but we find it equally difficult to believe that, had those verses originated in the feelings they described, the public eye would have been suffered to rest upon them. They are undeniably beautiful and touching: they fall short of nature only from not being vraisemblable. There have been actors, whose consummate accuracy in displaying the semblance of passion has been such, as not only powerfully to work upon the feelings of the audience, but to delude them into imagining that the tragedian himself felt, from strong sympathy, with the ideal personage he represented. The absence of all feeling on his part, was, however, proved by the perfection of the imitation. Garrick, in the most pathetic part of King Lear, had his mind sufficiently at leisure to observe the aspect of his audience, and to whisper, with a low oath, to a fellow actor, Tom, this will do.' Sterne, the licentious, the unfeeling Sterne, could excel in pathos. The voluptuous Moore has produced some touching little songs. Shaw wrote a monody on the wife who died heart-broken from his unkindness. And Lord Lyttleton, a man far more estimable than any of the former, wrote a monody on the irreparable loss of his first wife, and married a second the following year. What do we adduce these instances to prove? It is not necessary to refer all such cases either to hypocrisy, or to deliberate affectation. It was probably the sincere sentiment of grief that proinpted the noble husband to frame so classically elegant and polished a tribute to the memory of his lady; and many a marble monument has been erected to testify equal sincerity of grief, although it is impossible to consider such an expression of feeling as intended solely in honour to the dead. What we mean to assert is this, that the sentiment of pathos, the sensibility of taste, may exist where there is little real feeling, and less moral principle; that a poet may as easily attain the pathetic without strong natural affection, as the sublime without native grandeur of character. With regard to inany productions of the affecting kind, the harrowing tale of madness, or despairing love, or frantic grief, the very skill displayed in such moral dissections, proves that the Author has more nerve than sensibility; or to changc the figure, betrays the inind of an artist at leisure, coolly to attend to the costume of the passions he delineates. It is true that
• The Poet's lyre, to fix his fame,
Should be the Poet's heart.' The genuine language of poetry is the language of genuine feeling. But it is the recollection of passions and feelings by which at the time we were incapacitated for the measured utterance of art, rather than the presence of deep emotion, which constitutes the source of the inspiration.
6 When the wounds of wo are healing,
When the heart is all resigned, then is the season for cherishing the joy of grief, and for giving permanence to sentiments which when fresh were simply painful, even to agony. Yet after all, the deepest, tenderest, holiest feelings are such as, perhaps, no man really conscious of them would think of dilating into poetry; or if he should succeed in giving them external shape, he would be little disposed to exhibit thein to the cold proud eye of the world. He that bares his heart to strangers, has nothing left for a friend.
Our readers must make their own application of these remarks, which are we believe, at any rate, just in themselves. Certainly the ostensible purpose of Lord Byron's poems, was that of indirect self vindication; and it is needless to say, that this purpose they did not answer.
Little remains to be said of the contents of the present pamphlet. The Verses addressed to Madame Lavalette, The Farewell to Malta, and the very fine and spirited Ode beginning
• Oh, shame to thee, Land of the Gaul!' which were given as Lord Byron's, in the different editions of · The Seven Poems,' published by Messrs. E. Wilson, Edwards, Hone, Cox, &c. are omitted in this publication, we presume as spurious. The Star of the Legion of Honour, Waterloo, and Bonaparte's Farewell to France, are preserved. The two latter are designated. From the French,' as an apology for their being inserted among the acknowledged works of a man born an Englishman. His Lordship appears to be ambitious of the dignity of Poet-laureate to Napoleon Bonaparte, as his friend Mr. Hobhouse would seem to claim the post of historiographer to his Ex-Majesty.
From the original pieces we select the following stanzas, addressed, we believe, to bis Lordship's sister.
And reason half withheld her ray-
Which more misled my lonely way:
And that internal strife of heart,
The weak despair-the cold depart ;
And hatred's shafts flew thick and fast,
Which rose and set not to the last.
That watched me as a seraph's eye,
For ever shining sweetly nigh.
Which strove to blacken o'er thy ray-
And dashed the darkness all away.
And teach it what to brave or brook
Than in the world's defied rebuke.
Whose branch unbroke, but gently bent,
Its boughs above a monument.
But there thou wert-and still wouldst be
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.
; For heaven in sunshine will requite
The kind and thee the most of all.
Then let the ties of baffled love
Be broken-thine will never break;
Thy soul, though soft, will never shake.
Were found and still are fixed in thee
10-12 These are followed by a short poem of an elegiac nature, a Song, dated 1808, and two poems, entitled Stanzas for Music. The Fare thee well, and four of the other poems already published, make up the contents.
Art. XII. 1. Observations on Banks for Savings ; by the Right Ho
norable George Rose. 8vo. pp. 58. Cadell and Davies, London,
1816. 2. An Essay on the Nature and Advantages of Parish Banks, for
the Savings of the Industrious ; By the Řev. Henry Duncan, 8vo.
pp. 90. Oliphant and Waugh, Edinburgh. 3. A Summary Account of the London Savings Bank: including its
Formation, Progress, and Present State; the Steps successively resorted to, and their Applicability in Various Circumstances. By Charles Taylor, Provincial Manager and Treasurer of the London Savings Bank. 8vo. pp. 60. price ls. 6d. Taylor, Hatton
Garden, 1816. 4. Friendly Advice to Industrious and Frugal Persons, in humble
Stations of Life; Recommending Provident Institutions; or Banks of Saving. By William Davis. One of the Managers of the Provident Institution in Bath. 12mo. pp. 32. price 6d. John
Robinson, Paternoster-Row, London, 1816. 5. The Rules and Regulations of an Institution called Tranquillity,
commenced in the Metropolis as an Economical Bank. By John
Bone. London. 6. A Plan for a County Provident Bank ; with Observations upon
Provident Institutions already established. By Edward Christian, of Gray's Inn, Esq. Barrister, Professor of the Laws of England, &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 78. Clarke and Sons, Portugal-street, London,
1816. 1F F we attentively contemplate the moral government of the
world, and observe the economy of Providence in the administration of it, we find that a scheme of compensation is every where apparent. Evil, physical and moral, does indeed abound; but then, some coincident and comprehensive provision of mercy is ever at hand to convert it into an instrument for working out a greater sum of happiness than could, under the circumstances, exist in its absence.