Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The gro

[ocr errors]

comparison is therefore peculiarly natural and familiarity so far as to bid the Supreme Being graceful. Dew on a bramble is no more like stop and ineditate on the importance of the a woman's eyes than dew anywhere else. interests which are under his care. There is a very pretty Eastern tale, of which tesque indecency of such an address throws the fate of plagiarists often reminds us. The into shade the subordinate absurdities of the slave of a magician saw his master wave his passage, the unfurling of whirlwinds, the unwand, and heard him give orders to the spirits rolling of thunder, and the upheavir.g of who arose at the summons. He accordingly worlds. stole the wand, and waved it himself in the Then comes a curious specimen of our air; but he had not observed that his master poet's English--used the left hand for that purpose. The spirits

“ Yet not alone created realms engage thus irregularly summoned, tore him to pieces, Thy faultless wisdom, grand, priineval sage! instead of obeying his orders. There are very For all tbe thronging woes to life ulijed few who can safely venture to conjure with

Thy mercy tempers, and Thy cares provide." the rod of Sir Walter, and we are sure that we should be glad to know what the word Mr. Robert Montgomery is not one of them. “For” means here. If it is a preposition, it

Mr. Campbell, in one of his most pleasant makes nonsense of the words, “ Thy mercy pieces, has this line

lempers.” If it is an adverb, it makes non

sense of the words, “ Thy cares provide." “ The sentinel stars set their watch in the sky."

These beauties we have taken, alınost at The thought is good—and has a very striking random, from the first part of the poem. The propriety where Mr. Campbell placed it-in second part is a series of descriptions of vaihe inouth of a soldier telling his dream. But, rious evenis,-a battle---a murder--an executhough Shakspeare assures us that "every tion.--a marriage.-a funeral--and so forth. Mr. true man's apparel fits your thief,” it is by no Robert Montgomery terminates each of these means the case, as we have already seen, that descriptions, by assuring us that the Deity was every true poet's similitude fits your plagiarist.present at the battle, murder, execution, marLet us see how Mr. Robert Montgomery uses riage, or funeral, in question. And this propo. the image

sition, which might be safely predicaled of “Ye quenchless stars! so eloquently bright,

every event that ever happened, or ever will Untroubled sentries of the shadowy night,

happen, forms the only link which connects While half the world is lapped in downy dreams, And round the lattice creep your midnight beams,

these descriptions with the subject, or with How sweet to gaze upon your placid eyes,

each other. In lambent beauty looking from the skies.”

How the descriptions are executed, our rea

ders are probably by this time able to conjecCertainly the ideas of eloquence---of un

ture. troubled repose---of placid eyes, on the lambent all ages and nations ; " red-mouthed cannons,

The battle is made up of the battles of beanty of which it is sweet to gaze, harmonize uproaring to the clouds,” and “ hands grasping admirably with the idea of a sentry!

firm the glitering shield.” The only military We would not be understood, however, to say, that Mr. Robert Montgomery cannot make operations of which this part of the poem re. similitudes for himself. Å very few lines far- minds us are those which reduced the Abbey ther on, we find one which has every mark of with his cross---the Austrian and Prussian

of Quedtinburgh to submission---the Templar originality, and on which, we will be bound,

grenadiers in full uniform--ard Curtius and none of the poets whom he has plundered will Dentatus with their battering-ram. We ought ever think of making reprisals :

not to pass by unnoticed the slain war-horse, “The soul, aspiring, pants its source to mount, who will no more As streams meander level with their fount.'

“Roll his red eye, and rally for the fight;" We take this to be, on the whole, the worst similitude in the world. In the first place, no

or the slain warrior, who, while “ lying on his stream meanders, or can possibly meander, bleeding breast," contrives to “stare ghastly level with its fount. In the next place, if and grimly on the skies.” As to this last ex. streams did meander level with their founts, no ploit, we can only say, as Dante did on a simi. two motions can be less alike than that of

lar occasion, meandering level, and that of mounting up

“Forse per forza gia di parlasia

Si stravolse cosi alcun del tutto: wards.

Ma io nol vidi, ne credo che sia.' We have then an apostrophe to the Deity, couched in terms which, in any writer who

The tempest is thus described-dealt in meanings, we should call profane, but “But lo! around the marsh'lling clouds unite, to which, we suppose, Mr. Robert Montgomery

Like thick battalions halting for the fight; attaches no idea whatever.

The sun sink back, the tempest-spirits sweepi
Fierce through the air, and Autter on the deep,

Till from their caverns rush the maniac blasts, “Yes! pange and think, within one fleeting hour, Tear the loose sails, and split the creaking masts, Jlow vast a universe obeys Thy power;

And the lash'd billows, rolling in a train, Unseen, but felt, Thine interfused control

Rear their white heads, and race along the main!" Works in each atom, and pervades the whole; Expands the blossom, and erects the tree,

Whal, we should like to know, is the difer. Conducts each vapour, and commands each sea, ence between the two operations which Mr. Beams in each ray, bids whirlwinds be unfurlid, Unrolls the thunder, and upheaves a world!"

Robert Montgomery so accurately distinguishes

from each cther---the fierce sweeping of the No field-preacher ever carried his irreverenti tempest-spirits through the air, and the rushing

[ocr errors]

of the maniac blasts from their caverns? And! We should be sorry to stake our faith in a why does the former operation end exactly higher Power on Mr. Robert Montgomery's when the latter commences?

logic. Does he believe ihat lightning, and bub. We cannot stop over each of Mr. Robert bles, and the phenomena of dreams, are desigoMontgomery's descriptions. We have a ship- less and self-created? If he does, we cannot wrecked sailor, who “visions a viewless temple conceive why he may not believe that the whole in the air;”—a murderer, who stands on a universe is designless and self-created. A few heath, “ with ashy lips, in cold convulsion lines before, he tells us that it is the Deity who spread;"- -a pious man, to whom, as he lies in bids “thurder rattle from the skiey deep." bed at night,

His theory is therefore this, that God made the

thunder, but that the lightning made itself. “The panorama of past life appears,

Warms his pure mind and melts it into tears;"a traveller, who lose: his way, owing to the set forth the fearful cffects of atheism.

are not at present our game. He proceeds to thickness of the “cloud-battalion," and the want of “heaven-lamps, to beam their holy “Then, blood-stain'd Murder, bare thy hideous arm,

And thou, Rebellion, welter in thy storm : light.” We have a description of a convicted

Awake, ye spirits of avenging crine; felon, stolen from that incomparable passage in Burst from your bonds, and battle with the time !" Crabbe's Borough, which has made many a

Mr. Robert Montgomery is fond of personirough and cynical reader cry like a child. We can, however, conscientiously declare, that school of poets who hold that nothing more is

fication, and belongs, we need not say, to that persons of the most excitable sensibility may necessary to a personification in poetry than to safely venture upon it in Mr. Robert Montgo- begin a word with a capital letter. 'Murder mery's alteration. Then we have the “

“poor, mindless, pale-faced, maniac boy," who

may, without impropriety, bare her arm,-as

she did long ago, in Mr. Campbell's Pleasures “Rolls his vacant eye,

of Hope. But what possible motive Rebellion To greet the glowing fancies of the sky." can have for weltering in her storm,- what What are the glowing fancies of the sky ? avenging crime may be,—who its spirits may And what is the meaning of the two lines which be,- why they should burst from their bonds, almost immediately follow ?

-what their bonds may be, why they should

battle with the time,-wilat the time may be, “A soulless thing, a spirit of the woods,

-and what a battle between the time and the He loves to commune with the fields and floods."

spirits of avenging crime would resemble, we How can a soulless thing be a spirit? Then must confess ourselves quite unable to undercoines a panegyric on the Sunday. A baptism stand. follows:-after that a marriage; and we then

“And here let Memory turn her tearful glance proceed, in due course, to the visitation of the

On the dark horrors of tumultuous France. sick, and the burial of the dead.

When blood and blasphemy detiled her land, Often as death has been personified, Mr.

And fierce Rebellion shook her savage hand." Montgomery has found something new to say Whether Rebellion shakes her own hand, about him.

shakes the hand of Memory, or shakes the “O Death! thou dreadless vanquisher of earth,

hand of France, or what any one of the melaThe Elements shrank blasted at thy birth! phors would mean, we know no more than we Careering round the world like tempest wind,

know what is the sense of the following pass. Martyrs before, and victims strew'd behind; Ages on ages cannot grapple thee,

age: Dragging the world into eternity!"

“Let the foul orgies of infuriate crime If there be any one line in this passage about

Picture the raging havoc of that time, which we are more in the dark than about the

When leagued Rebellion march'd to kindle man,

Frigbt in her rear, and Murder in her van. rest, it is the fourth. What the difference may And thou, sweet flower of Austria, slaughtered be between the victims and the martyrs, and

Queen,

Who dropped no tear upon the dreadful scene, why the martyrs are to lie before Death, and

When gushed the life-blood from thine angel form, the victims behind him, are to us great myste- And martyr'd beauty perish'd in the storm, ries.

Once worshipp'd paragon of all who saw, We now come to the third part, of which we

Thy look obedience, and thy smile a law,' may say with honest Cassio, “Why, this is a What is the distinction between the foul orgies more excellent song than the other.” Mr. Ro- and the raging havoc which the foul orgies are bert Montgomery is very severe on the infidels, to picture? Why does Fright go: behind Re. and undertakes to prove that, as he elegantly bellion, and Murder before? Why should not expresses it,

Murder fall behind Fright? Or why should "One great Enchanter helm'd the harmonious whole." | not all the three walk abreast? We have read

of a hero who had What an enchanter has to do with helming, or

“Amazement in his van, with Flight combined, what a helm has to do with harmony, we do

And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind." not quite understand. He proceeds with his argument thus:

Gray, we suspect, could have given a reason And dare men dream that dismal Chance has framed ward thus. But to proceed.-“ Flower of Aus.

for disposing the allegorical attendants of Ed All that the eye perceives, or tongue has named; The spacious world, and all its wonders, born tria" is stolen from Byron. “Dropped" is Designless, self-created, and forlorn;

false English. “Perish'd in the storm” means Like to the flashing bubbles on a stream, Fire from the cloud, or phantom in a dream?" nothing at all; and “thy look obedience" means

* &c.

a

a

the very reverse of what Mr. Robert Montgo- ner of the Morning Post-can produce emolu. mery intends to say.

ment and fame? The circulation of this Our poet then proceeds to demonstrate the writer's poetry has been greater than that of immortality of the soul:-

Southey's Roderic, and beyond all comparison

greater than that of Carey's Dante, or of the " And shall the soul, the fount of reason, die, best works of Coleridge. Thus encouraged, When dust and darkness round its temple lie ?

Mr. Robert Montgomery has favoured the pub. Did God breathe in it no ethereal fire, Dimloss and quenchless, though the breath expire.”

lic with volume after volume. We have given

so much space to the examination of his first The soul is a fountain ; and therefore it is not and most popular performance, that we have :0 die, though dust and darkness lie round its none to spare for his Universal Prayer, and his einple, because an ethereal fire has been smaller poems, which, as the puffing journals breathed into it, which cannot be quenched tell us, would alone constitute a sufficient lille though its breath expire. Is it the fountain, to literary immortality. We shall pass at once or the temple, that breathes, and has fire to his last publication, entitled Satan. preathed into it?

This poem was ushered into the world with Mr. Montgomery apostrophizes the

the usual roar of acclamation. But the thing

was now past a joke. Pretensions so ur. “ Immortal beacons,-spirits of the just.” founded, so impudent, and so successful, had

aroused a spirit of resistance. In several and describes their employments in another magazines and reviews, accordingly Satan world, which are to be, it seems, bathing in has been handled somewhat roughly, and the light, hearing fiery streams flow, and riding on

arts of the puffers have been exposed with living cars of lightning. The deathbed of the good sense and spirit. We shall, therefore, be sceptic is described with what we suppose

is

very concise. meant for energy.

of the iwo poems, we rather prefer that on

the Omnipresence of the Deity, for the same “ See how he shudders at the thought of death!

reason which induced Sir Thomas Moore to What doubt and horror hang upon his breath, The gibbering leeth, glazed eye, and marble limb. rank one bad book above another.

“Marry, Shades from the tomb stalk out and stare at hiin." this is somewhat. This is rhyme. But the

other is neither rhyme nor reason.” Satan is A man as stiff as marble, shuddering and gibbering violently, would certainly present so in five or six ihcusand lines of blank verse,

a long soliloquy, which the Devil pronounces curious a spectacle, that the shades, if they concerning geography, politics, newspapers, came in his way, might well stare. We then have the deathbed of a Christian Sir Walter Scott's novels, Lord Byron's poetry,

fashionable society, theatrical amusements, made as ridiculous as false imagery and false and Mr. Martin's pictures. The new designs English can make it. But this is not enough: for Milton have, as was natural, particularly – The Day of Judgment is to be described,

attracted the attention of a personage who and a roaring cataract of nonsense is poured occupies so conspicuous a place in them. Mr. furth upon this tremendous subject. Earth, we are told, is dashed into Eternity. Furnace Martin must be pleased to learn, that, whatever blazes wheel round the horizon, and burst into may be thought of those performances on

earth, they give full satisfaction in Pandemobright wizard phantoms. Racing hurricanes unroll and whirl quivering fire-clouds. The off the likenesses of the various thrones and

nium, and that he is there thought to have hit white waves gallop. Shadowy worlds career

dominations very happily. Tround. The red and raging eye of Imaginacion is then forbidden to pry further. But fur- from the Book of Job:Whence comest

The motio to the poem of Satan is taken ther Mr. Robert Montgomery persists in pry- thou? From going to and fro in the earth, and ing. The stars bound through the airy roar. walking up and down in it." And certainly, The unbosomed deep yawns on the ruin. The Mr. Robert Montgomery has not failed to make billows of Eternity then begin to advance. his heru go to and fro, and walk up and down. The world glares in fiery slumber. A car with the exception, however, of this propen. comes forward driven by living thunder.

sity to locomotion, Satan has not one Satanic "Creation shudders with sublime dismay; quality. Mad Tom had told us, that “the And in a blazing tempest whirls away.

prince of darkness is a gentleman;" but we And this is fine poetry! This is what ranks had yet to learn that he is a respectable and its writer with the master-spirits of the age ! pious gentleman, whose principal fault is, that This is what has been described over and over he is something of a twaddle, and far too liberal again, in terms which would require some of his good advice. That happy change in his qualification if used respecting Paradise Lost! character which Origen anticipated, and of It is too much that this patchwork, made by which Tillotson did not despair, seenis to be siitching together old odds and ends of what, rapidly taking place. Bad habits are not eradi. when new, was, for the most part, but tawdry cated in a moment. It is not strange, therefore, frippery, is to be picked off the dunghill on that so old an offender should now and then which it ought to rot, and to be held up to ad- relapse for a short time into wrong disposi miration as an inestimable specimen of art. tions. But to give him his due, as the proverb And what must we think of a system, by recommends, we must say, that he always remeans of which verses like those which we turns, after two or three lines of impiety, to his have quoted-verses fit only for the poet's cor- preaching tone. We would seriously advise

Mr. Montgomery to omit, or alter, about a hun- Attend : the second, are a sensual tribe,

Convened to hear romantic tarinis snig. dred lines in different parts of this large volume,

On forins 10 banquei a lascivious gaze, and to republish it under the name of “Ga- While the bright perfidy of wanton eyes briel.” The reflections of which it consists Through brain and spirit darts delicious fire.

The last, a throng most pitiful! who seen, would come less absurdly, as far as there is a

With their corroded figures, rayless glance more and a less in extreme absurdity, from a And denth-like struggle of decaying age, good than from a bad angel.

Like painted skeletons in charnel pomp

Set forth to satirize the human kind!We can afford room only for a single quota

How fine a prospect for demoniac view! tion. We give one taken at random-neither Creatures whose souls outbalance worlds awake!" worse nor better, as far as we can perceive,

Methinks I bear a pitying angel cry." than any other equal number of lines in the

Here we conciude. If our remarks give book. 'Í'he Devil goes to the play, and moral- pain to Mr. Robert Montgomery, we are sorry izes thereon as follows :

for it. But, at whatever cost of pain to indi. “Music and pomp their mingling spirit shed

viduals, literature must be purified of this Around me; beauties in their cloud-like robes

taint. And, to show that we are not actualed Shine forth,-a scenic paradise, it glares

by any feelings of personal enmity towards Intoxication through the reeling sense

him, we hereby give notice, that, as soon as Of flushed enjoyment. In the motley host Three prime gradations may be ranked: the first, any book shall, by means of puffing, reach a To mount upon the wings of Shakspeare's mind, second edition, our intention is, to do unto the And win a dash of his Promethean thought,-

writer of it as we have done unto Mr. Robert To smile and weep, to shudder and achieve A round of passionate omnipotence,

Montgomery.

CIVIL DISABILITIES OF THE JEWS.*

The distinguished member of the House of to say, some person or persons must have a Commons who, towards the close of the late right to political power. Parliament, brought forward a proposition for It is because men are not in the habit of the relief of the Jews, has given notice of his considering what the end of government is, intention to renew it. The force of reason, in that Catholic disabilities and Jewish disabili. the last session, carried the measure through ties have been suffered to exist so long. We one stage, in spite of the opposition of power. hear of essentially Protestant governments Reason and power are now on the same side; and essentially Christian governments, words and we have little doubt that they will con- which mean just as much as essentially Pro. jointly achieve a decisive victory. In order testant cookery, or essentially Christian horse. to contribute our share to the success of just manship. Government exists for the purpose principles, we propose to pass in review, as of keeping the peace, for the purpose of comrapidly as possible, some of the arguments, pelling us to settle our disputes by arbitration or phrases claiming to be arguments, which instead of settling them by blows, for the purhave been employed to vindicate a system full pose of compelling us to supply our wants by of absurdity and injustice.

industry instead of supplying them by rapine. The constitution, it is said, is essentially This is the only operation for which the ma. Christian ; and therefore to admit Jews to office chinery of government is peculiarly adapted, is to destroy the constitution. Nor is the Jew the only operation which wise governments injured by being excluded from political power. ever propose to themselves as their chief ot. For no man has any right to his property ; a man ject. If there is any class of people who are has a right to be protected from personal injury: not interested, or who do not think themselves These rights the law allows to the Jew; and interested, in the security of property and the with these rights it would be atrocious to inter- maintenance of order, that class ought to have sere. But it is a mere matter of favour to ad- no share of the powers which exist for the mit any man to political power; and no man purpose of securing property and maintaining can justly complain that he is shut out from it. order. But why a man should be less fit 10

We cannot but admire the ingenuity of this exercise those powers because he wears a contrivance for shifting the burden of the proof beard, because he does not eat ham, because from those to whom it properly belongs, and he goes to the synagogue on Saturdays instead who would, we suspect, find it rather cumber- of going to the church on Sundays, we cannot some. Surely no Christian can deny that every conceive. numan being has a right to be allowed every The points of difference between Christianity gratification which produces no harm to others, and Judaism have very much to do with a and to be spared every mortification which man's fitness to be a bishop or a rabbi. Bill produces no good to others. Is it not a source they have no more to do with his finess to be of mortification to a class of men that they are a magistrate, a legislator, or a minister of excluded from political power? If it be, they finance, than with his fitness to be a cobbler. have, on Christian principles, a right to be Nobody has ever thought of compelling cob. freed from that mortification, unless it can be blers to make any declaration on the true faith shown that their exclusion is necessary for the of a Christian. Any man would rather have arerting of some greater evil. The presump- his shces mended by a heretical cobbler than tion is evidently in favour of toleration. It is by a person who had subscribed all the thirtyfor the persecutor to make out his case. nine articles, but had never handled an awl.

The strange argument which we are con. Men act thus, not because they are indifferent sidering would prove too much even for those to religion, but because they do not see what who advance it. If no man has a right to po- religion has to do with the mending of their litical power, then neither Jew nor Gentile has shoes. Yet religion has as much to do with the such a right. The whole foundation of go. mending of shoes as with the budget and the vernment is taken away. But it government army estimates. We have surely had several be taken away, the property and the persons signal proofs within the last twenty years that of men are insecure; and it is acknowledged a very good Christian may be a very bad that men have a right to their property and to Chancellor of the Exchequer. personal security. If it be right that the pro- But it would be monstrous, say the persecu perty of men should be protected, and if this tors, that Jews should legislate for a Christian can only be done by means of government, community. This is a palpable misrepresen. then it must be righi that government should tation. What is proposed is, not that the Jews exist. Now there cannot be government unless should legislate for a Christian community, but sume person or persons possess political power. that a legislature composed of Christians and Therefore it is right that some person or per- Jews should legislate for a community com sons should possess political power. That is posed of Christians and Jews. On nine hundred

and ninety-nine questions out of a thousand, ** Statement of the Civil Disabilities and Privations af- and criminal law, of foreign policy, the sew

on all questions of police, of finance, of civi. recting Jeres in England. 8vo. Vol. V, -81

З к 2

a

:

« AnteriorContinuar »