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person, or of a being vested with choice and can be made in the possession of natural volition, and has reference to the will of such right without the consent of the individual person respecting the object of his choice. possessor. This object may subsist in the person him- In every condition of society it has been a self; in bis lot or possession; or in any practice to punish some infractions of the constituent of his being or state whatever.” criminal and commercial law, by deprivation
It is a maxim of mathematical science of personal liberty and forced labour, and it that “equals to the same thing are equal to is thought that this must be a proof of the one another," and although it is not frequently justifiable nature of slavery under some cirthe case that moral or social science admits cumstances; but on a moment's reflection it of the same formulæ as the stricter science, will be perceived this has nothing at all to we think our previous remarks will enable do with the question of slavery. It is a us to develop the same principle in the fol- punishment for wrong done-a defence of lowing argumentative formula :
natural right, which had been infringed by Existences having the same origin and the person punished, and not an abnegation nature are naturally equal.
of that right. All men have the same nature and origin.
“The amiable vice, Therefore all men are naturally equal.
Hid in magnificence and drowned in state," This principle holds good, however long is also made a pro-slavery advocate; fit the chain of descent may be continued, pro- co-worker this, which viding that at no time the links have been broken by“ voluntary consent” to “altera-Looses the fiend, receives the sounding name tion” in any individual case; but even then, Uncurst, the ornamented murderers move."
Of gloriouswar; and through the admiring throng, “voluntary consent” only affects the person willing and consenting, and cannot affect a The right of conquest has been freely asthird party against his will; hence slavery, sumed as valid argument, justifying the or involuntary servitude, by the nature of demand of involuntary servitude from prithings can never become a right; " voluntary soners of war. Were we to object, as we consent” being a necessary condition to every fairly may, that war is unjustifiable, what alteration of the natural equality of man- then becomes of the boasted rights of conkind, slavery can under no circumstances be quest, or prisoners of war? They become justifiable.
nonentities. Yet, as we would not be thought In exact unison with the foregoing re- to evade what the pro-slavery advocate conmarks is the declaration of the apostle Paul, siders one of his strongest bulwarks, we and the scriptural account of the creation of meet him upon his own ground, and observe our first parents; so far, reason and revela- that the laws of nations give to each nation tion agree in the prohibition of slavery: but the right to detain prisoners of war in safe it may be urged that the natural right to custody during the continuance of the war, freedom in some instances has been forfeited and the right to demand ransom or exchange by consent, by overt act, or by some other of prisoners: but a prisoner is not a slavemode implying volition on the part of the detention in safe custody is not slaveryslave, and thereby, under certain circum- the ransom or exchange of prisoners is not stances, rendering slavery justifiable in the dealing in the flesh and bone, the body and present day. To these assumptions we ob- soul of prisoners—it is an acknowledgment of ject in toto; for should a person have sold the injury done, or capable of being done, to himself to another for the purpose of servi- the state releasing the prisoner, by the tude, as was practised among the Jews and individual, as an integrant portion of the other nations of antiquity, still this act of belligerent state: hence the practices of war selling was voluntary on the part of the ser- fail to justify the existence of slavery. vant himself; it was not the act of a third We have never known any civilized people party selling him against his will into a of modern times who have sold their pristate of involuntary servitude, neither was it soners of war into perpetual slavery, except a forcible act of the master, and it could not the Moors. affect the descendants of the servant, because, The predatory incursions of some African as we have previously shown, no alteration tribes upon their less powerful and more
peaceable neighbours, is rather to be desig- creased—the inherent value of the immortal nated wholesale man-stealing than war; we soul is ignored—and millions of our fellow therefore only refer to the horrible cruelties men, made of one blood” with ourselves, originating in that benighted and barbarous equally with us “the offspring of God," are land to show that the right of conquest can reduced to hopeless misery, endless toil. Yet not justify the practice of slavery throughout
“ It often falls in course of common life, the New World. The negro, being a man
That right long time is overborne of wrong, hunted and captured by a band of his fel- Through avarice, or power, or guile, or strife, low men, cannot be a prisoner of war; he
That weakens her, and makes her party strong: occupies a relation to his captors analogous
But Justice, though her doom she do prolong,
Yet at the lust, will her own cause right!" to that of game to the sportsman. Nature, reason, revelation, the laws of
Reader, our object has been, not so much commerce and of war, all are shown to be to vanquish opposing writers as to afford opposed to slavery of any kind-herein sla
suggestive thoughts and principles, by which very is evidently unjustifiable upon principle; you may become a philanthropist to the but as a fact, in its social and moral bearing slaveit is equally unjustifiable, for it is subversive of the true dignity of human nature. God “That thou mayst injure no man, dove-like be, is dishonoured-the standard of morals is
And serpent-like, that none may injure thee.' debased—vice, cruelty, and crime are in
POETIC CRITIQUE.-No. IV.*
" Assist me, some extemporal god of rhyme." erect, immovable, bathed in a flood of light and
"Love's Labour Lost," act i. scene 1. beauty, as the pine upon the mountain top stands "Some of them had more feet than the verses
amid the glories of the setting sun. The heat of would bear."
life is dispelled by glorious shadowy evening, “ As You Like It," act iii. scene 2.
falling like a benediction upon the soul; then all
petty cares are lulled to rest, all is peaceful, like “ Bring me a rope, and an oaken staff, the foreshadowing of a future heaven. Half reveAnd I will bind him fast;
lations--or pre-monitions---come to the sensitive Short be his shrift, for he shall swing soul, like the voice of God in cool of the evening. From yonder tall top-mast.”.
They are star-points of light relieving the rays of “Sir Gillum of Mydetoun." the setting sun-tremulous evening whispers of a
glorious morning history - lamps lit for vespers When the soul awakes to the beauty of the by the declining torch of day: world it inhabits, and enters into communion This human reverie in divine things is shared with the beings which are ever present in our in some degree by all. Whether these inklings of dream-life-the Real, though not the ACTUAL- radiance serve as lights to guide, or as ylimmerings when it listens to the “eternal whispers," which that mislead, depends partly upon the individual, are ever hovering around to address themselves and partly upon his mental and physical conforto a soul elect-to find themselves an abiding mation. But certain it is that only to the few is place in a chosen human breast, which shall the privilege given to gaze, like the eagle, unhearken to their teachings, treasure them up in abashed, at the full, glaring, mid-day sun. These its “heart of hearts," then mould and fashion few are the gifted. For the right to interpret for them into the language of the time, to urge on humanity, which is the province of genius, can the human race to elevate the common into the never be shared by all. The poet may, perhaps, regions of the beautiful, that so the actual may have this position accorded to him as his by right assimilate itself to the ideal, then is the material par excellence. We know not how it is; but so it held in abeyance, and the spiritual is strong. is. A poet is indescribable, and “is, as one should The whole of man's
being is wrapt in that calm, say, a poet." And though we cannot pretend to from whence springs the strength of souls that analyze one, yet we shall all perceive that there is Set at nought all outward things--they stand calm, a vast difference between him and the mere verse
maker, however sweetly he may sing: for, as we * Those of our readers who wish to understand have said before, there are many writers of bal. some of the references in this article should tirst lads, sonnets, poems, &c., who may charm and read “ Poetic Critique, No. III." in our number delight us, and yet have' no pretensions to the
title that belongs to few. We may not be able to
of July, 1852.
draw the boundary line in definable limits, yet a sent to us for notice, whether they please or disline there is that separates the two classes of please. We like the old proverb well, “Spare writers. We know them, each in his place, and the rod and spoil the child;" and it is particularly each apart, but can give no pass-word by which to applicable in this case. designate unerringly the one or the other. It is, But we fear that we shall trespass on the space perhaps, to this want of demarcation that are to allotted to this part of the magazine, and will at be attributed the many claims of imposture, the once to business. We shall not noticė all the soit disants nourrissons du Parnasse.* But verses that have been sent, as many are anonythat such dry, milkless-nurtured babes as “Ig mous, and we purpose to pass in silence such as notus," and others of our correspondents, should are not accompanied by the name of the writer, lay claim to the title, is certainly a most ludicrous and we may say that we have not even read the idea, and is of itself sufficient to exonerate us from contributions so sent. We shall reserve them being considered “merciless critics."
till our correspondents entrust us with their per. Coleridge says, “There is a great difference sonality. We wish this to be kept as a rule which between an egg and an eggshell, but at a distance we shall always abide by; not that we shall ever they look remarkably alike.' This, perhaps, is publish names when there are other signatures one of the pithiest distinctions between sham and appended, but that we hold it as a bad principle reality that has ever been penned, and is just the to admit contributions to a magazine, unless difference we have to point out. The real thing accompanied by the writer's name as a guarantee is full of life-giving meat-there is vitality within of his sincerity and good faith. it; whereas, for the other, you have only just to To commence, then, with P.W.D.-1, “The prick it-say with a steel pen-and you find that, Poet's Grave;" and, 2, “The Years that have like Sir Charles Coldstream's head, “there's no- gone." There is, certainly, a poetic fancy run. thing in it."
Yet it is wonderful how many ning through these verses; but we would advise chickens have been hatched in these dry cradles P. W. D. to take more care in the selection of his -the shells without meat-and how they strut words and phrases, as there is a phraseology, about like walking anatomy-nothing but bone, always to be avoided, which rather suggests admiring their own deformity, and thinking others ludicrous images than otherwise. Take as a ill made ; as the peasants in one of the cantons of sample (perhaps the worst line in the compoSwitzerland, who had large, thick necks, laughed sition), "Oh, poet, now thy thoughts are all subat strangers because theirs were not so too, little lime ! It suggests “all serene to our minds. thinking it was their own misfortune, and not the For a young writer we prefer simplicity of dicstrangers'.t
tion; then, if there is any merit in the thought, it The desire to be thought“ somebody" seems to will out. The thoughts should be “sublime," or have a fast hold on the minds of many young “beautiful,” or “heavenly," &c., not the words; men. They no sooner begin to read than they as it has been well said, "The poem should be fancy they have a MISSION to write. Do they read moral, not the hero." We should feel, and exBacon or Kant, they will be philosophers; or press our feelings, if we chose; but not the writer. Milton, they will be poets; or Hume, and they, A witty friend of ours used to reply, when asked too-yes, they will be sceptics! and- what a sen- what he had to say on the matter, “Oh, nothing; sation ! We should be sorry to ruffle the fea- I don't feel 'profound.'” In this “ feeling pro. thers of our warbling correspondents ; but we found" lies the great mistake of many who attempt must protest against this sickly phantasy-this to give utterance to their thoughts. In No. 2 we morbid craving to appear in print on" magazine- do not like the last line of the first verse, where day," as though all the world were waiting in “past" is made to serve as a double word, or as breathless anxiety to read their effusions. As two words, a proper noun and an adjective, “ To an instance, one of our subscribers was highly that past eternity." It is seen at once that it is indignant that“ his" article had not been noticed compelled to perform that duty. Again, we object tout-a-coup. Others, deeming their merits of the to the construction of the verses; they are somehighest order, are indignant at our remarks, and what“ lame." The shortening of the last line in think them "rather hard." Yet we are glad to each verse is bad, as well as being very difficult notice improvement steadily pursued by others, for a beginner; it palls upon the ear. We think who have taken our advice and gone to prose that in early attempts also, and especially in short writing, by which they may express in clear, pieces, the measure with which they are comlegible outline, what they wish others to under- menced should be followed out to the end, otherstand, and succeed in making men at least respect wise it has the appearance of trying to see how them. We know it is harder to be than to seem to mechanically clever it is possible to be, or it is be, at least when seeming has once commenced, like a vain endeavour to get out of a difficulty; for then one sham must be held up as a curtain to even where it succeeds, we only excuse it for the screen another. It really is very difficult to give up thoughts and real merit of the production, and trying to be poets. But we must remember the old not for the beauty of the change. What we mean saying, that, if we take the highest seat at the will be best illustrated by the burlesque following, feast, the master of the house may place one be- where it will be seen that all sorts of stratagems fore us; whereas, if we take the lowest, he may are resorted to to overcome this obvious difficulty, say, Friend, go up higher.” We shall always as also in “ Iguotus's" original. We should be honestly speak what we think of the effusions glad to see No. 2 re-written in a better form. As
P. W. D. confesses he has never read Goethe's * The would-be children of Parnassus,or would. "Faust," we can only say he ought not to write be poets.
another line till he has; we cannot excuse him + See fourth verse of “Shame is a Goddess," on any pretence; it is almost as bad as never by "Ignotus."
having read the “ Pilgrim's Progress," or Shake# All on a sudden-at once.
spere. We remember, some years ago, doing
penance for not having read “The Vicar of Wake- “ Let others shrink to meet their gaze, field."
And hear them chide with mute amaze; Next comes“ Ignotus," ,"* which, we prophecy,
I'll let them chide away. he will always remain, so far as regards being a Shall eagle cease to soar on high, poet. But first for his letter, which runs as fol- And quit his eyrie in the sky, lows
Because he heard as he did fly
The croaking of a jay? “Dear Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of the certificate of merit't which you were
“ Or shall the meteor in its flight pleased to bestow upon me. I am young, and Quick vanish from all mortal sight, unused to making formal compliments and Because they cannot bear the light thanksgiving; therefore, in a word, accept my
of its dazzling ray? warmest and sincerest thanks.
Or shall the tuneful nightingale perhaps, be surprised to hear that I have just
. Neglect to tell her plaintive tale, passed my nineteenth birthday. I am also, at Because a spiteful, blustering gale least my friends say so, a poet, or at least f a
Wafted a bull-dog's bay?"Q writer of poetry; for, after all, a poet is by no
We need give no more of this; it will serve as means synonymous with a writer of poetry. I
a specimen. Next ishave full confidence in your candour, and therefore humbly beg to send you some specimens of
“ Hark! 'tis the bugle's last my effusions. Yours, &c.,
Most melancholy blast,
That tells the day is past. 1. “ Lines to my Mother." As a specimen,
Extinguish every lamp, take this:
Cease the re-echoing tramp “In childhood's happy hours of joy
Through the benighted camp.
Hush all the busy noise; You ne'er forgot your eldest boy,
Be silent every voice;
Rest in the hours of night,
Till the returning light
Afford a sweeter strain, twelve years of age. We have seen verses written
To call the camp to life again." by a girl, thirteen, that far exceed in merit any
Then we have the lines on the death of the thing “Ignotus" has written since he was “a
Duke: boy." And yet she would not have the hardihood to call herself a poetess.
“ With military pomp and show, The translations are tolerably executed; though, With mournful steps and slow,l! as you say, too literal: that is the fault of all
With roll of muffled drum, early attempts. Not that we would give much
They come! they come ! liberty in this delicate task of translating another's “ Their standards veiled, thoughts. “Ode to Poetry" might have been
Their splendours paled; better with greater care. "Christmas Hymn" is
The solemn train appear rather tame, though the language is wild and ex
On every face travagant enough, as is also that in the “ Ode on “Of the numberless throng, the Death of the Duke of Wellington."
Of sorrow deep and long. At the end of twenty-four pages of
The nation is in tears," &c. &c. "Ignotus" says,
“And now, sir, I await your decision. Have I, or have 1 not, the right to We think our readers will agree with us, that claim the title of poet?" Modest, unassuming there is not much in “ Ignotus's" verses, if they little “Ig." We will give our readers a few spe- have even the merit of that title, which we scarcely cimens, and see what they think, and then show think they have, to warrant his claims to consider how easy it is to produce such glib nonsense, himself a poet.' Just to show how easy it is to " by way of ainusement," as our friend of “Auld string together lines in a certain order, with Scotland" would honestly say.
He says, he tolerable metre and with rhyme, we will offer the believes he dreamt, one night, that he showed following perpetration, written off at once, without some verses to a friend, who said he ought to be any consideration as to where it may lead; for, ashamed of himself; the next day he wrote after all, that is the way most of the silly nonsense, "Shame is a Goddess."
We can only say, the these novices in the art of verse-making perpefriend of “ Ignotus's" dream was a better friend trate, is done. than his “ wide awake" ones.
But, “to our
“Shame is a goddess, before whose shrine
I'll always bend these knees of mine, “Shame is a goddess, at whose shrine
Especially when I'm full of w(h)ine,
And ever own her sway.
I'll crouch like one in pallid fear,
Be ready, too, to drop a tear';
And' drop another' when I hear
What she is pleased to say.
+ Not for rhyming, as it is not our intention to reward that, except by the honour of one of E. B.'s
Poor, crippled lines ! !! “ They, hand in hand, with wandering steps
The italics are ours.
and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way."
“Paradise Lost," book xii. line 648.
“Like Caudie, too, with mute amaze,
So, bolting quickly my chagrin, I'll hear her chide, and 'go my ways';
Though feeling sore about the chin,
I thought it better to begin
To finish saying grace.
"" Then bear,' I cried,‘my suppliant prayer, Have dared to soar without a string, Because I feared a scorpion's sting,
And hear me vow; yes, “ Hear me swear, Or croaking of a jay.'
Then" (as Normall sang, with streaming hair,
When 'cross the stage she trod), “Or yet, supposing I had spun
That, should I dare, for sake of song, A tale about your eldest son,
To introduce a glittering throng,
With sorrow deep, and faces long,
I hope thou'lt use a rod.
“Or e'er again, by mouth or pen, Would think that he was no small beer,'
Should utter love-sick strains again,
As,“ Meet me in the willow glen
When flowers begin to nod ;” “ Or if I'could or would have sung,
Or if I only celebrate And harmonized it with a gong,
In verse my birth-day, twenty-eight, · Whose accents rolled the clouds among,'
Which comes next March, not very late,
The seventeenth-that's odd! Or banged against the sky; Or blown aloud the bugle's last,
«« Or e'er I rise with crippled wing, Most mournful, melancholy blast,
And should " communicably sing Which tells the day is almost past,
Oi grovelling worm"—the nasty thing! And night is nearly nigh.
Or anything so grim,
And —' 'Hold!' the goddess cried, in scorn; “ 'Tis time to snuff the candles out,
• I see the fast-approaching morri And bundle off yon noisy rout,
Is gilding yonder field of corn For fear their Ma's should know they're out,'
With gold (?), though rather dim. When they should be in bed. And thus throughout the busy camp Would silence reign instead of tramp,
2 We kuow that chagrin should be pronounced And echoing feet of drunken scamp,
shagreen, and therefore would not rhyme with Who comes with heavy tread.
“chin," &c.; but, as we said we had to “bolt
it quickly," we thought it might“ go down." “Why, then, as surely as I live
W A malicious friend, who wishes to spoil the What other word, now, shall I give
above verse by his critical remarks, says 'twas To rhyme, unless I make a riv.
Adelgisa sang it. Now, as that name is too long Er ripple o'er the stones?
for our purpose-for Ad-el-gi-sa bas too many Why, then, as surely'—that's the cue- feet to walk or run smoothly in that line-we Would I the goddess give ber due;
think our friend is hypercritical ; nevertheless, if Yea, wear my —s through and throngh our readers will pardon the use of a rather vulgar, On 'bended marrow bones.'
though we are sorry to say a somewhat common
word, we can oblige our friend, and at the same “And thus my prayer should rise on high :- time prove our ability to rhyme the word, as also Oh, gentle goddess in the sky,
logically prove that we were correct in the first Vouchsafe to lend me half an eye !
instance. Thus, then, Of pity for my sin. Behold, I bow me to thy feet,
“As Adelgisa spoke in Norma's cause, And thus my lips thy toe shall greet?
'Twas Norma spoke through Adelgisa's jaws." But here the goddess left her seat,
What says our critic now?
9 We consider our editor blameable in pointing “Come, now,' she cried; 'let's have no soap;
out the above phrase as being exceptionable, as Come, cut it short, or, by the Pope,
it might have passed without observation had he
not underlined it. We know as well as he does I'll treat you to a yard of rope, And make you know your place.'
that "we cannot gild without gold," at least in manufactures (which we are half inclined to think
now that our editor has something to do with, *“Thus snng, or would, or could, or should though we always thought him before a tolerably have sung."
handsome fellow); but he would not, surely, wish “ Don Juan," canto iii. stanza 103. us to electro-plate the “field of corn." We only + As some of our readers may be disposed to ' gilded it poetically, not as a workman would question whether the goddess “ Shame" should buttons, to hide the brass; yet, dwell aloft, we beg to suggest that she should be
“If workmen gild to hide the brass, enveloped in clouds. More than that; humanity, we hope, will never be above Shame when they
So we may gild to show the grass. have done wrong. Therefore, dear goddess, Besides, we said the gold was “rather dim," so
pray be seated;" and, while we have imperfect we think our readers will agree with us that it natures, may we never be “Shame"-less.
was the editor who caused it to shine. Besides, † “ Lend me ten thousand eyes."(a) Surely, if it is allowed “to gild refined gold," (a) surely, we may borrow a half one.
we may“ gild with gold.” Alas! how bypercritical **** Troilus and Cressida," act ii, scene 2. (a) Shakespere.