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learned Doctor we wish a full measure of success in his new undertaking. May he at once receive the fostering support of public patronage, and may his editorial labours reap the flattering homage of universal public applause !
Scots Times, January 9, 1830. The North BRITON.- In our advertising columns the publication of a new twice a-week paper in Edinburgh, under this title, is announced. The Editor is Dr BROWNE, Advocate, who lately performed the same duty for the Caledonian Mercury. In the last Westminster Review, honourable mention is made of this gentleman as
a man of distinguished ability, and the writer of several articles in the Edinburgh Review."
Glasgow Herald, January 11, 1830.
New JOURNAL.We have much pleasure in calling the attention of our readers to an advertisement in this day's paper, anno
nouncing that a new Journal is to be published in Edinburgh, under the management of Dr BROWNE, well known as a man of talents and extensive literary acquirements, and for the last three years by the able manner in which he conducted the Caledonian Mercury. Although we would not be prepared to go all lengths with Dr BROWNE in his political sentiments, we have no hesitation in saying that his talents, manly independence, and consistency, never failed to excite our warmest admiration. On the whole, we do not remember of a Journal being announced under more favourable auspices. Under any circumstances, the Doctor could not fail to secure for his labours a favourable reception from the public; but coming before them, as he now does, powerfully supported—yet perfectly unfettered and when we add to these his own first-rate abilities, joined to no ordinary share of energy we would say he will indeed disappoint those who know him best, if he do not make THE North Briton rank among the first publications of the day, both as a Political and Literary Journal.
Stirling Advertiser, 25th Dec. 1829. A new Journal, under the title of THE NORTH BRITON, is about to be established in Edinburgh, and to be conducted by Dr JAMES BROWNE, who, for some time past, has been most favourably known to the public as editor of the Caledonian Mercury. Dr Browne's political and literary talents are highly spoken of; and combining, as he is known to do, an extensive and varied store of information, with a mind of great originality and independence, the appearance of a paper under his auspices is looked to with great interest.
Aberdeen Journal, 13th January, 1830. The North BRITON.--A new Journal, under this title, and under the able management of Dr J. Browne, late Editor of the Caledonian Mercury, is about to be adder to the Edinburgh publications which come out twice a-week. The experience and ability of Dr Browne, and his fitness to give power and interest to such an undertaking, are already well known to the public. The advertisement states the Journal to be “ unfettered by any party connexions, unshackled by subserviency to any local interest, and free from the dictation or caprice of a limited proprietary," and we cannot doubt that the scope thus given to the Doctor's talents, of which he seems to feel the full enjoyment, will produce a Journal highly interesting to its readers, and eminently useful to the country.
Inverness Journal, 15th January, 1830. We beg to call the attention of our readers to an advertisement in our first page, announcing another Paper --THE NORTH BRITON -- to be edited by Dr James Browne. High hopes are entertained of the embryo periodical, and we observe the Edinburgh Literary Journal, in announcing its publication, thus characterizes the able Editor. [The extract is quoted above.]
Inverness Courier, 13th January, 1830. NORTH BRITON.-Our readers will find in another column, an advertisement of a Journal about to be started in Edinburgh, under this title. It is to be under the entire management of Dr. BROVNÉ. To those who, like ourselves, have read the Caledonian Mercury for the last three years, during which time it was condueted solely by this gentleman, it is unnecessary to say one word regarding his qualifications for his new undertaking. To a fearless and independent style of thinking and writing, Dr Browne unitos talents of the very first order; and his connexion with the Mercury formed, in many respects, a new epoch in the annals of Scottisk
The aminant, monde no hi ha al
DESCRIPTIVE Poetry is either the that you unjustly suspect her of a bad most dull or the most delightful habit; and as soon as she winks, or thing in the united kingdoms of Art shuts her eyes, begins prosing away and Nature. To write it well, you from memory, till you lose all belief must see with your eyes shut-no in the existence of the external world. such easy operation. But to enable Chaos is come again—and old John you to see with your eyes shut, you Nox introduces you to Somnus. The must begin with seeing with your poem falls out of your hand—for we eyes open-an operation, also, of shall suppose a poem-a composing much greater difficulty than is ge draft of a Descriptive Poem to have nerally
imagined—and indeed not to been in it—but not till you have swalbe well performed by one man in a lowed sufficient of one dose to prothousand. Seeing with your eyes duce another doze that threatens to open is a very complicated concern last till doomsday. -as it obviously must be, when per We really cannot take it upon ourhaps fifty church-spires, and as many selves to say what is the best mode more barns, some millions of trees, of composition for a gentleman or and hay-stacks innumerable, hills lady of poetical propensities to adopt and plains without end, not to men with respect to a Descriptive Poem tion some scores of cities, towns, vil- - whether to sketch it, and lay the lages, and hamlets, are all impressed colours on—absolutely to finish it off -tiny images-on each retina - entirely in the open air, sitting unwhich tiny images the mind must der the shade of an elm, or an umsee as in reflection within these mi- brella; or from a mere outline, drawn raculous mirrors. She is apt to get sub dio, to work up the picture to confused aniidst that bewildering perfect beauty, in a room with one conglomeration—to mistake one ob- window, looking into a back-court ject for another-to displace and dis- inhabited by a couple of cockless arrange to the destruction of all bar- hens, innocent of cackle. Both modes monies and proportions—and finally, are dangerous—full of peril. In the to get, if not stone-at least, what is one, some great Gothic Cathedral is perhaps worse, sand-blind. The mo apt to get into the foreground, to the ment she opens her mouth to dis- exclusion of the whole county; in course of these her perceptions, the the other, the scenery too often reold lady is apt to wax so confused, tires away back by much too far
• Days Departed, or Banwell Hill; a Lay of the Severn Sea : including the Tale of the Maid of Cornwall, or Spectre and Prayer-Book. By the Rev. William Li-le Bowles. Murray, London, 1829.
into the distance-the groves look an angelic speech. Aye-even their small, and the rivers sing small and homeliest phrases—their everyday all nature is like a drowned rat. expressions—in which they speak of
The truth is—and it will out-that life's dullest goings-on and most unthe Poet alone sees this world. Nor impassioned procedure-seem kindoes it make the slightest difference dled as by a coal from heaven, and to him whether his eyes are open prose brightens into poetry. True, or shut-in or out-bright as stars, that the poet selects all his words or“ with dim suffusion veiled” but he selects them in a spirit of inprovided only the Iris of each spiration, which is a discriminating * particular orb” has, through tears spirit—as well as a moving and creof love and joy, been permitted for ating spirit. All that is unfit for his some twenty years, or thereabouts, high and holy purpose, of itself fades to span heaven and earth, like seeing away; and out of all that is fit, gerainbows. All the imagery it ever nius, true to nature, chooses whatever knows has been gathered up by the is fittest-out of the good—the best. perceiving soul during that period of Not with a finer, surer instinct, fies time—afterwards 'tis the divining the bee from flower to flower-touchsoul that works—and it matters not ing but for a moment, like a shadow, then whether the material organ be on the bloom where no honey iscovered with day or with night. Mil- and where that ambrosia lies, pierton saw without eyes more of the cing with passion into the rose's heart. beauty and sublimity of the heavens Poetical language, indeed—who may than any man has ever done since tell what it is ? What else can it be with eyes-except perhaps Words- but poetry itself? And what is poworth ;-and were Wordsworth to etry-we know not--though “our lose his eyes-which heaven forbid heart leaps up when we behold” it still would he
-even as at sight of a Something in “ Walk in glory and in joy,
the sky--faint at first as a tinging Following his soul upon the mountain- dually out of the darkness of the
dream, cloud-born-but growing graside."
showery sky-child of the sun-dyThe sole cause of all this power pos- ing almost as soon as born-yet seemsessed by the Poet over Nature, is ing to be a creature-a being a lithe spirit of delight, the sense of ving thing that might endure for ever beauty, in which, from the dawning of -and not a mere apparition, too, too moral and intellectual thought, he has soon deserting the earth and the heagazed upon all her aspects. He has ven it has momentarily glorified with always felt towards her “as a lover a-Rainbow! or a child”-she hath ever been his But is Poetry indeed thus evanesmother-his sister-his bride-his cent? Yes—in the Poet's soul. For wife-all in one wonderful Living it is produced upon the shadowy and Charm breathed over the shapings of showery back-ground of the imagihis brain and the yearnings of his nation, by genius shining upon it sunblood;--and no wonder that all her like; that visionary world fades away, sights dwell for ever and ever in the and leaves him “shorn of his beams, fountains of his eyes, and all her like a common man in this common sounds in the fountains of his ears world; but words once uttered may for what are these fountains but the live for ever-in that lies their supedepths and recesses of his own happy riority over clouds; and thus poetry yet ever agitated heart?
-when printed by Bensley or BalA Poet, then, at all times, whether lantyne--becomes a stationary world he will or not, commerces with the of rainbows. And there are waysskies, and with the seas, and with the sacred ways which religion teaches earth, in a language of silent symbols; -of preserving in the spirit of men and when he lays it aside, and longs who read Poetry-even till their dyto tell correctly of what he sees and ing day-that self-same ecstasy with feels to his brethren of mankind not which Noah and his children first so gifted by God, though then he beheld the Arch of Promise. must adopt their own language, the There was a long period of our only one they understand, yet from poetry, during which poets paid, àphis lips it becomes, while still human, parently, little or no devotion to ex
ternal Nature; when she may be said a time when poetasters were more to have lain dead. Perhaps, we poets frigid in their lays than at present; of this age pay her--we must not say never was there a greater shew of too much homage-but too much tri- fantastic frost-frost; instead of a lie bute-as if she
exacted it-whereas ving Flora, you are put off with a it ought all to be a free-will offering, Hortus Siccus. And therefore it was, spontaneous as the flower-growth of that in the first sentence of this artithe hills. It is possible to be religi- cle we said that Descriptive Poetry ous overmuch at her shrine-to deal might be the dullest—and we now in long prayers, and longer sermons, add-the driest and deadest thing in forgetting to draw the practical con the united kingdom of Art and Nature clusions. Without knowing it, we -or the most delightful—just as the may become formalists in our wor true Poet is wedded to Nature, or ship; nay, even hypocrites ; for all the true proser keeps dallying with moods of mind are partly hypocriti- her, till he with a Hea in his ear is cal that are not thoroughly sincere ordered out of her presence, and and truth abhors exaggeration. True kicked by Cupid and Hymen into passion is often sparing of words; the debateable land between Imagicompressedly eloquent; not doting nation and Reality, where luckless upon and fondling mere forms, but wights are, like fish without fins, or carrying its object by storm-spirit fowls without wings, unable either by spirit--a conflict-a catastrophe to swim or fly, and yet too conceited and peace. There is rather too long to use their feet like either walking, a courtship-stoo protracted a wooing creeping,or crawling creatures. Never of Nature now by shilly-shallying --never was there such a multitude bards; they do not sufficiently insist of pretenders elbowing themselves on Her, their bride, naming the nuptial into notice among the inspired; and day; some of them would not for the one and all of them it is our intenworld run away with her to Gretna- tion to take-monthly during the Green. They get too philosophical next ten years-by the nape of the --too Platonic; amicitia seems their neck-and after exhibiting them in watchword rather than amor; and the writhing contortions for a few miconsequence is, that Nature is justi- nutes, to duck them--for evermore fied in jilting them, and privately es -into the Pool Obl vion. pousing a mate of more flesh and But tremble not-gentle reader blood - Passion, who not only pops whoever you be-at such denunciathe question, but insinuates a suit of tion of our wrath; for sure we are saffron, and takes the crescent honey- that no friends of Maga can ever be moon by the horns. Nature does not brought under that ban. Perhaps relish too metaphysical a suitor ; she we may relent and spare even the abhors all that is gross, but still loves dunces; for our wrath is like that of a something in a tangible shape; no summer-wave, rising and falling with cloud herself, she hates being em- a beautiful burst and break of foam, braced by a cloud; and her chaste that frightens not the sea-mew, nor nuptials, warm as they are chaste, even the child sporting on the shore. must be celebrated after our human And thou--thou art a Poet-whatfashion, not spiritually and no more, ever be the order to which thou maybut with genial embraces, beneath the est belong--and there are many ormoon and stars, else how, pray,could ders, believe us, among the true Sons she ever be- Mother-Earth > Un- of Song. Mediocrity indeed! Where fruitful communion else,--and the may that line be drawn? How many fairy-land of Poetry would soon be ranks-degrees of glory-between depopulated.
William Shakspeare and Allan RamBut observe--that if true poets are say! Between Allan Ramsay and the sometimes rather too cold and frigid humblest shepherd thatever tuned the in their tautological addresses to rural pipe to love on Scotia's pastoral Nymph Nature, those wooers of hers hills ! Nature is not such a niggards who are no poets at all, albeit they to her chịldren--but scatters her? lisp to her in numbers, carry their blessed boons wide over life. Each rigmaroling beyond all bounds of her nook has its own native flower-each patience, and assail her with sonnets grove - its own songster--and meas cold as icicles, Never was there thinks the daisy, wee, modesta
crimson-tippit flower,” is little less ly been so trammelled; and Genius lovely than the imperial rose; to our and Feeling have been allowed their hearing, when the nightingale is mute, triumphs, in spite of the accompanymost sweetly doth the linnet sing ; ing defects, deficiencies, and faults
in taste. It is far better so; and in“ One touch of Nature wakes the whole deed the cause of this lies deep in world of kin."
human nature, which seems to have Surely touches of Nature are not so had depths opened up in it altogether rare as to be thought miraculous ; unknown in the world of old. The her harp gives forth music to many very perfection of the Greek drama a hand; and though highest genius is proves its inferiority to that of Shakthe endowment but of a few, yet ge- speare. His materials are not in nanius—that is, geniality-dwells in un ture susceptible of being moulded numbered bosoms, and its breath- into such shapes and forms as were ings are heard wide over all the required on the Greek stage. And world on a thousand airs. Its voice as of Shakspeare, so in due degree, is always recognised at last, let it in the cases of all true poets, down whisper as humbly—as lowly as it to those of even the lowest ordermay; and the brow that misses the all of them, without exception, have laurel, or merits it not, may be en excelled, not so much by the power circled with the holly or the broom, of art as of nature, in whose free emblems both, in their greenness, of spirit they had their being as poets. immortality. 'Tis not much of the An indefinable feeling is excited by divine spirit, after all, that is need- their productions—imperfect, medied to give a name its magic. One ocre in execution, nay, even in desong-one verse of a song-has con sign, as many of them are—a feeling secrated a peasant's name, who ca which rises but beneath the breath red not for fame the phantom; and of genius, and a certain proof, thereunborn ages have wept over the pa- fore, of its existence. So noble—so thos of some tune which flowed al- sacred an achievement is it to give most unconsciously from the shep- delight to the spirit through its finer herd's heart, at the “ Wauken of the emotions ! So that glory is his who fauld,”. or when waiting by moon so moves us, and gratitude; though light at the Trysting Thorn. Now, he has done no more than present to much of the poetical literature of us a few new images, round which, every people is of this character. Is by the mysterious constitution of our not Scotland full of it—and all Scot- souls, we can gather some dearlytish hearts ? Not the work of intel cherished thoughts and feelings, and, lect, surely--but the finer breath of when they are so gathered, know the spirit, passion-roused and fancy- that they are for ever embalmed, as fired by the hopes, joys, and fears of it were, in words which it was gethis mortal life!
nius for the first time to utter, and Surely this must be the spirit in which, but for genius, could never which all poetry-high or low, hum- have been for our delight or our conble or ambitious—ought to be read; solation. for only in such a spirit can its spirit Thus explained, Mediocrity in pobe fully, fairly, and freely felt; and etry appears at once to be a height in any other mood, inspiration itself to which, though many aspire, but will be wasted and thrown away on few attain-and which can be reacheven the most gifted mind. True, ed only by genius. There are at that in states of society exceedingly present in this island, hundreds, aye cultivated and refined--that is to say, thousands, nay, millions, of writers in artificial—when the most exquisite verse, who would disdain to accept the and consummate skill of execution palm of mediocrity, who turn
up their is necessarily aimed at, and therefore noses at senior and junior Ops, and expected, nothing short of the most dream of nothing less than being high faultless perfection of style will se Wranglers. Yet, among the ó corão. cure to any poet the highest honours will they remain while they consume of his art-and at such a period did crops. It is not in them to beautify Horace deliver his celebrated ana -or to embalm beauty; and therethema against mediocre bards. But fore, as Cowley says, they “like beasts poetry in the modern world has rare or common people die;" and their