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thing of course, nor was it unreason- topics of applause or vituperation; able to expect that, in the absence of with a plentiful seasoning, as usual, the means of vindication, a little per- of inuendos and personalities. The sonal abuse might be substituted for only point of the slightest importance argument. But what has ensued was on which the Committee seem to be hardly to be expected, namely, that assailable is, that they went somewhat because Mr Brougham happens to be farther in their investigation than in opposition, the Report of the Com- their original purpose may be thought mittee, of which he was the chair- to have required. But of how little man, should be treated by the sup- value is a question of this kind, when porters of Ministers, as if it were a placed beside the important facts question of party polítics; and every which were by this means disclosed, nerve be strained to overthrow the and the unspeakable benefits which evidence on which it rests. With the their discovery ought to produce? If exception of a few passages in the Let the Committee exceeded their powers, ter, drawn from him by the fate of the let them bear the blame; but surely Bill which he introduced in pursuance this will neither be admitted as an exof that Report, there does not appear a cuse for the misapplication of funds trace of political hostility throughout which every conscientious man will all the proceedings in which he took hold sacred, nor be urged as a reason so deep a concern.

for declining further investigation. It would require very strong evi It is a melancholy thing to see dence to induce an impartial person men of talents animated with a spirit to believe that Government could wish that wants only the arm of power to to protect the abuses of charitable deal out persecution to all who differ funds; but if such should happen to from themselves, either in religion or be the case, it deserves to be remark- politics ;-men who attack or defend ed, that they would not want able and measures, not because they are good zealous defenders. The last number or bad, but because they originate of the Quarterly Review affords a me with one or other of our great politilancholy evidence of this. The writer cal parties ;-men whose estimate, of an article in that Journal, on the event of such works as do not touch Education Committee, has filled eighty upon public affairs, is deeply tinged of its pages with all manner of insinua- with the spirit of party. No rank, tion and abuse, even the late House nor sect, nor profession, nor private of Commons itself not escaping with virtues, nor public services, not even impunity, and has forgot nothing that the weaker sex, must be allowed to could serve his purpose of holiling up escape. But what great delinquent the Committee, and particularly its have they ever helped to drag to light, chairman, to the censure of the pub- -what abuses have they ever joined lic, except only to point out any ma- the public voice in condemning, what terial error in Mr Brougham's Letter, measures of liberal policy have they of the Minutes of Evidence on whichever recommended; or rather, in which his statements are founded. So much of the conquests which justice or huindustry and perverted ingenuity,– manity has achieved of late, from the so many strong prejudices,

,--so great abolition of the slave trade down to a display of irritated and even vindic- the inspection of our gaols, can the tive feeling,--in short, such a disre- Quarterly Reviewers claim any share? gard of principle, will not easily be Let Spanish America bear witness to found, even in the Quarterly Review, their hatred of tyranny; the contiwithin a space of twice the extent of nent of Europe will supply materials this ample dissertation. Only about for deciding as to their love of constia fourth part of it bears upon the tutional liberty; and if it should ever instances of abuses noticed" in Mr be made a question, whether their reBrougham's Letter; the rest is chief- ligious principles be as liberal as their ly occupied with the national church, political, the Catholics of Ireland will national schools, that is, schools ex- join with the Dissenters of England clusively for the children of Church of in declaring, that the weight of a feaEngland parents ;-the illustrious se ther thrown into either scale would minaries of education in England, - make the other kick the beam. L. Northern Crities, and other standing March 1, 1819.


CURSORY REMARKS ON POETS AND for the paraphrases of his Parish Re


Since we have entered on the subThe pausing mind, awake,

ject of poetry, we shall make a few Beholds the change that seasons make ; And scans, on earth's diurnal sphere,

cursory observations on what has The wrecks of each revolving year!

been sometimes denominated the poTime circuits on unjarring wheels :

etical constitution, and sometimes the Below his viewless pencil steals,

temperament of genius. In the first And traces o'er all being fall,

place, we set out by declaring ourPerceived by none, and felt by all. selves utterly hostile to the doctrines THE LEAFLESS TREE. inculcated by Johnson and Helvetius,

that there is no such thing as superiIt is curious that scarcely two au- ority of judgment, or imagination, in thors agree in their definitions of persons endowed with a mind naturalPoetry, while no two men of taste will iy vigorous; and that such, consemistake it, when it is actually served quently, would be equally successful, up to them. However, though the in any of the various departments of question has been a hundred times human knowledge, in art or science, agitated, and canvassed, and settled, to which they allotted an equal share or supposed to be settled, it is one in of attention. On the other hand, truth of speculation and curiosity a- however, we have as little wish to be lone-a matter of moonshine. It classed among the dupes to the fascicannot influence, in the smallest de- nating speciousness of German craniogree, our comprehension of its excel- logy; nor do we believe, with Locke, lence, or increase our susceptibility to that the infant mind may be likened the beauties of composition. The poet to a sheet of white paper. The latter himself, though he possesses the fa- doctrine has been sufficiently confutculty, and delights others by his ex ed already, and the former is not ercise of it, is as ignorant wherein it worth confuting : it carries its mark consists, as that man is destitute of on the forehead. Moreover, we have musical ear, who cannot distinguish no intention to enter into any philobetween the tones of a bagpipe, and sophical consideration of the subject; those of a Cremona violin. As a proof because philosophy coincides with of this, Burns, and Chatterton, and facts, when it is true ; but must be Kirke White, lisped in numbers; and false, when it runs counter to them ; Pope wrote some fine verses, and fan- and one contrary example will overcied himself the greatest poet that turn a thousand gilded theories and ever lived, before he ever thought of specious hypotheses. We shall conframing an art of criticism, or of tent ourselves for the present with trying excellence by a regulated stand- making a few interrogatories, instead ard. The great mass of readers, or, in of laying down corollaries. How does other words, “ the reading public,” it happen, that one child, in particuhave no other end or aim but amuse- lar circumstances, will show a prediment; so that will ever be the more lection for certain amusements, and popular poetry, which excites the be constantly occupied with certain greater number of pleasurable sensa trains of thought, while others, extions, directly, or by association. actly or nearly in the same situation, Were success to be attained, and lau- and of the same natural temperament, rels distributed, in the direct ratio of show dispositions directly opposite, the poet's conformance or digressions and tendencies of mind wholly dissifrom the rules laid down, and the milar? Would a young person, who principles inculcated by Aristotle, showed a strong disposition for abHorace, Vida, Boileau, Pope, and struse study and deep calculation, be Roscommon, it would be somewhat an equal adept, by time and attention, puzzling to account for the manner in in the delineation of natural objects, which Southey gained fame from or in pourtraying the changes of soThalaba, or Scott from the Lay of the ciety; in taking a portrait of “ the Last Minstrel, or Byron from the times, their form and pressure," and Siege of Corinth, or Moore from Lal- “ catching the manners living as they lah Rookh ; while Gifford was, in the rise ?” Would Crabbe be equally same age, collecting admirers for the successful in descriptions of FairyMaeviad and Baeviad ; and Crabbe land ; or would Hogg ever rival him

in the severe truth of actual observa. sion of the faculties, as the mind aption? With all his predilection for proximates maturity, conjoined with metaphysics, has Coleridge been as the auxiliary aids of study and actual happy in abstruse speculation as in observation. Let the reader contrast poetry; or, will his discovery of the Lord Byron's juvenile verses on a Tear, difference between fancy and imagi- in the earliest of his publications, nation procure him as much admira- with the lyrical pieces woven into tion as the ballad of the “ Ancient Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, and he Mariner,” or the “ Introduction to will be astonished at the metamorphothe tale of the Dark Ladye?” All sis a few years is capable of producing these questions, we think, we could in a mind naturally gifted, and will take upon us to answer, without much be struck with surprise at the rapidihazard of deviating far from the truth. ty of the intellectual march of genius,

Though we deny that the various and will perceive the evident devefaculties that combine to constitute lopement of the capacious powers mind are all equally strong by nature, that lie folded up in man.” or could be rendered so by art and in We are doubtful whether it be aldustry, we think it is quite obvious, together decorous to make mention of that they may be indiviilually streng- a volume which the author himself thened and improved by frequent and seems to wish to be forgotten ; but free exercise. It would be as impossi- there is one piece in it so exquisitely ble for any man, however great his beautiful, that we earnestly hope it powers, however inuch his attention, may be retouched, and adopted into however vivid his enthusiasm, and the collection of the legitimate works however splendid his imagination, to of the noble author. We cannot rebecome a great poet at once, from sist the opportunity of making an exmere admiration of the most exquisite tract from it, which we think breathes models, without long and laborious all the melancholy and tender pathos training, as it would be for a connois- of his more matured effusions. seur of paintings, who had never handled a pencil, or wasted a thought on Yet all this giddy waste of years, the combination of colours for the This tiresome round of palling pleasures ; production of light and shade, to ri- These varied loves, these matron fears, val Angelo, or Rubens, or Raphael.

These thoughtless strains to passion's Nothing, in short, appears to us more evident, -however critics may sneer,

If thou wert mine, all had been huh'd,

This cheek now pale with early riot, and philosophers may frown,--than With passion's hectic ne'er had flush'd, the old adage, Poeta nascitur.But bloom'd in calm domestic quiet.

But though this be our opinion, we Yes, once the rural scene was sweet ; by no means wish to inculcate the For nature seem'd to smile before thee; pernicious doctrine, that a poet has no And once my heart abhor'd deceit ; need of exerting his powers and en For then it beat but to adore thee ;larging the storehouse of his thoughts; But now I seek for other joys, or that he will attain eminence and

To think would drive my soul to mad. be crowned with success, if he sits down, with folded arins,

In thoughtless throngs, and empty noise,

apathy and indolence. Some there are who would Yet e'en in these a thought will steal,

I conquer half my bosom's sadness. never become poets, though they were

In spite of every vain endeavour; to spend the days of the years of Me

And fiends might pity what I feel, thusalah in repeated efforts; and yet To know that thou art lost for ever. no man ever became a great poet without indefatigable industry, and This progressive improvement is unwearied exercise of his powers. discernible and distinct, even in those Unless tie soil be of itself fertile, and whom we have been pleased to denounless seed be thrown into it, it is minate illiterate. Compare the earvain for the husbandman to depend liest of Burns's productions, as given on the produce of harvest ; and even by Dr Currie, with the efforts of his when both these requisites are con- ripened genius. Contrast it with joined, the grain may be choked by “the Winter Night," where the poet, the weeds, or blasted by the mildew. extended on his lonely couch, listens The gradual advance to perfection to the lashing of the rain, and the must be owing to the natural expan, conflict of the elements, and heaves a



sigh of compassion for the wretched like changes rung on the same bells, outcasts, who have not a roof to shel- or fluctuations of the intensity of the ter them “ from seasons such as hues in the rainbow, these are only these!" Contrast it with “ the Vie aberrations of taste, for the satisfacsion," where the bard sits by his tion of the emotion of novelty; and hearth to muse on wasted time, and not dependent on an alteration of the then turns to dream over the glories principle itself: A century ago, and of his future destiny; or contrast it Pope lorded it, with his followers, over with the Elegy on Mary,” where the literary world. All was then drawthe blessedness of the past is opposed ing-room finery, and toilette descripto the misery of the present, and the tion, and epigrammatic smartness. The lonely twilight of the soul, with the air of the country was too strong and splendour of its meridian sunshine. fresh to be respired by their weak Contrast that with these, and the lungs; and it was quite enough to mind will be scrupulous in believing survey nature from the bow-windows that they are the efforts of the pen, of a city residence. Parnell has, inor the effusions of the same spirit. deed, some fine night pieces, nor is

There is also a time, when the fa- Gay awanting in some exquisite culties seem to have reached the ze- touches of nature. None of them nith of their glory, and the ultima- were hardy enough, however, to tum of their expansion, where the drink of “ the pure well of English mind exults in its own vigour, and undefiled;" or to copy manliness, the spirit bas attained its “ pride of freshness, and profundity, from the place." The judgment becomes sta- glorious Herculean models of the age tionary in the splendour of its matue of Elizabeth. After a chequered rity, and the upward flight of imagi- “era of good and evil,” Goldsmith nation cannot be further extended, un- took the lyre into his hand, and less there were a possibility of turn- brought out tones truer to nature; and ing the thoughts into another chan- struck on a chord, that found, and nel. None of the later works of Scott finds an answer in every bosom. We can be considered as superior to Mar- cannot think very highly of the poeta mion, or the Lady of the Lake ; nor ry of Johnson. His versification is, has Cainpbell ever excelled the ear no doubt, chaste, elegant, and correct, liest of his efforts ;-an effort which yet,“ soul is wanting there;” and, if makes us proud to rank ourselves a we find little to censure, we find less mong his countrymen ; and which is to admire: It has few faults, and still not more remarkable for the splendour fewer beauties. We feel less in the of genius it displays, than for the pu- open air with the azure sky for our cority of the principles which it incul- vering, than in a hot-house, with a cates.

glazed roof above us. We do not reIf we wish to be aware how much spire the pure air of Helicon. The weight the influence of an original blossoms are pretty enough, but they' genius has in impressing the age in want the robust healthiness of unaswhich he lives, we need only observe, sisted nature. His lyrical pieces are how many inferior spirits chuckle at peculiarly of this stamp, and have an his success, and underrate bis efforts, assumed kind of pert, artificial, stiff, yet ape his manners, and imitate his anacreontic merriment about them, sentiments, with the hope of being which is far from having the effect inpartakers in the glory be has acquired. tended, and is liker dying jests than They are astonished at the obtuseness ebullient mirth; and savours more of of the public to their own excellen- the doleful cantata of Morris, when cies, and never remember, that a field under the influence of bodily and submitted to the sickle for a second mental perturbation, than of Cymon, time, in one season, will afford but a in the tale of Iphigenia, who scanty supply for the granary. These

66 Whistled as he went, for want of cannot proceed along unless they find

thought." a path levelled for them; genius makes one for itself, and despises to Cowper was the conductor of the tread in the steps of its predecessors. great revolution which has taken place

With the hero who produced them, in the poetical department of British these innovations die away in their literature; though Thomson dissemiturns, to give place to others; but nated many of the principles which


led to the change. In “ the Seasons," whom some consideration most be and in “ The Castle of Indolence," had. All the lave of the year let the there are many symptoms of a return hour of gathering in the morning be to the dominion of nature : But, it seven o'clock, and the hour of skailseems rather like the longings of an ing six; and such as learn Latin sould exile for the natale sol:em- the land always prevent the rest a pretty space. of his nativity, than as an actual re-es 5. Let the scholars gae to breaktablishment in it. Cowper is the fast at nine hours, and convene again exile returned, he walks out in his at ten, to denner likewise at twelve, own fields, and feeds his tame hares, and return at one atternune, so near and reads the newspapers, with the as may be, for whilk purpose their hissing urn on the table, and the lares maun be a sand-glass to measure the and penates on each side of the chim- hours. ney-piece.

D. M. 6. Let the master pray gravely and

religiously every morning before the scholars at their first meeting, and so at even before he dismiss them.

7. Let a task be prescrived every 1640.

morning to ilka scholar in the Lord's {The following “ Regulations”, have Chatechism, according to their age

Prayer, Belief, Commands, Graces, or been copied for us from the original by a correspondent in the country; and, as they

and progress, whilk let them say every afford a curious illustration of the mode in morning before they enter to their which education was conducted among our

ordinar lesson. austere forefathers, we think it right to 8. It most be carefully attended to, give them a better chance of preservation that the scholars be present at the serby inserting them in our Miscellany.} mons on the Lord's day, that they sit

round about the master silent, hearkJanuar 1640.

ening modestly and reverently, and Orders to be subscrived be him wha have in readiness what they have obshall have charge of instructing the served to say on Maunonday morning, youth hereafter at the kirk of Dun- at whilk time, as also on ilka Saturday donald, whereuntill he shall tie him- before they goe heme, the master self under pain of deposition from sould spend ane half hour at least ohis office in case of failzie, after due pening up to them the grounds of retrial and admonitions.


9. They wha learn Latin most have 1. The master shall attend at all a prufe of that whilk they have learntimes when the children are in schule, ed before to say every morning, whilk and not suffer himself to be withdrawn being accurately examined, let their by drinking, playing, or any other lessons in author and grammar, if avocation.

they be that far advanced, be taucht, 2. If ony inevitable necessity draw and what difficulty occurs in them, him away a whole day, or the great let it be pointed out to them; let the pairt of it, he shall not fail to have pairts of their lesson whereof they are some other in his absence to teach the to be examined be tauld them, whescholars, and keep them in order. ther belonging to etymology, or syn

3. If it shall happen that the mas tax in the author, and whatever is to ter have necessary business to with- them obscure in the grammar. hold him longer nor the space of one 10. Let them expone their lesson, day, he shall acquaint the session and confer of the parts thereof anong therewith, or at least the minister themselves till nine hours,—when if the haste of the business cannot ad- they enter at ten hours, let the master mit delay till the session meet, that hear them expone their author and he

may obtene liberty thereto. grammar, so much of the author as he 4. Let the childer in the months may overtake, let it be examined at of October, November, December, the same time, and what he misses Januar, Februar, meet in the morn- then let him overtake at ane in the ing at the sun-rising, and be dismis- afternoon, that when they are to give sed at the sun-setting at nicht, except an account of their lesson, there be some younger anes, or those who are nae mare to examine but the gramfarthest distant from the school, of mer. Let them get a theme to turn

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