Imágenes de páginas


Tory and Whig party. Never, it is said, worthless acquisition of modern accorsa was known such intellectual gladiator. plishinents. I would teach them to turn, ship:

with disgust, from the perusal of fricos “ So frown’d the mighty combitants, that Jous novels, not by invective, not by prue hell

hibition, but by early setting their taste Grew darker at their frown, so biatch'd they above them, and this, by familiarizing stood !"

their memory and mind with the (wa If, however, when provoked, their power all that can operate as waruing and es

great works of Richardson, which invoire to crush their opponents was equal, get ample; all that is elevated and beaustur remains in favour of Dr. Parr; since, in inagination, in wit, in eloquence, in when properly respected, he is kind and characteristic discrimination, and plety. sunny of spirit, and punishes not, as the

Thus fortifying their understandiogs surly despot punished, a liberal and po

and their hearts, I would disdain coere lite dissent from his opinions. Then, far cion, and even teasing interference; from the Johnsonian niggardliness of every thing that wears the slightest appraise, where deserved, he dispenses it pearance of suspicious watchfulness. $ bounteously; and none better know 10

should their home be delightful; por give that praise characteristic discrimni. would an indiscriminating desire of leave nation, of shich each of you liave doubt- ing it for the married state, subject thein less perused many instances.

to the danger of an unhappy marriage;

while their habits of life and taste for Were I a mother, instead of adopting of celibacy, should celibacy be their lot.

literature, must preclude the discontents Mr. Gisborne's and Mr. Wilberforce's voluminous number of penal laws for the

OPINIONS OF 1796. souls of youthibul females, I would sub- 0! this horrid, this remorseless war! stitute the following exertions. I would Infatuated ministry! who have rejected induce them to be religious, by applying so many opportunities of terminating it, the Christian system rather to their hopes with honour and advantage to this de than to their fears. I would endeavour ceived country; on the taking of Touion to inspire them with an high sense of and Valenciennes; on the desertion of virgin' honour and truth, and of the Prussia; on the subsidiary claims of the grace and beauty of rational decorum; emperor; yet still they went on, regarde with a terror as well as abhorrence of less of our exhausted wealth of the miseries female libertinism, by placing before of a bleeding world; foundering deeper their eyes, from real life, strong instances and deeper in defeated projects, till the of its misery; while, by every opportu- olive, with all its healing blessedness, is nity of judicious ridicule, I would inspire perhaps no longer within our reach. Yet a sovereign contempt of male profligacy; it ought to have been tried, if it could of gamesters, sots, tops, and fox-hunters. have been procured even hy the sacrifice Thus, instead of making myself and my of that (no longer great) title, king of daughters ridiculous, as Nr. Gisborne France; by the restitution of the Toulna advises, by demanding testimonials of ships, and by the cession of all the moral and pious character of every foreign conquests, whose advantages are man who may ask them to dance a cola as dust in the balance against the mise. ple of dances at a ball, I should depend ries of protracted war. Peace is worth upon their principles and good sense for any price to England, short of ibe redespising, instead of being corrupted by duction of her navy. In another twelveimproper conversation, or indecent free month we shall offer the recently-ree dom in the monsentary pauses of the jected terms, and then offer thein in dance; attempts which it is in the ut- So it has been through the whole most degree improbable that they should progress of this mad contesi. Nothing encounter, cren from the most aban- but the blindest prejudice can prevent doned libertine. When the dance is the public froin being universally seasible over, by all the indispensable rules of of that inelancholy Liuth.. fashionable life, every young woman takes her seat by her mother or chaperon, No, dear Madíım, I was not, as you

I would very early introduce my suppose, favoured with a letter from daughters to the finest English writers, General Washington, expressly addressed both in prose or verse, rather than de- to myself; but, a few years after peace vole all their leisure to the comparatively was signed between this country and


[ocr errors]




America, an officer introduced himşçlf, nine-tenths of the English people, im. commissioned from General Washington pute it chiefly, and but that they choose to call upon ipe, and to assure me, froin to call in the aid of religious zeal to sup. the General Limself, that no circum- port sanguinary measures, most opposite stance of his life had been so mortifying to the gospel precepts, they would, ex. as to be ceasured in the Monody on clusively, impute the overthrow of moAudré, as the piciless author of his igno. narchy in France to the concessions munious fate: that he had laboured to made by the king in favour of his subjects' save bim, that he requested my attention liberties. to papers on the pubject, which he had

Hence every

rational and religious seni by this officer för iny perusal. plan for the reformation of abuses is

On examining them, I found they en- termed Jacobinism. Hence Mr. Pitt tirely acquitted the General. They dared to say, in the senate, not a month filled ine with contrition for the rash in- ago, that to assert that the interests of justice of my censure. With a copy of the few ought to be subordinate to those the proceedings of the court-martial that of the many, was maintaining the vital determined André's condemnation, there principle of Jacobinism. Hence, while was a copy of a letter from General he and his adherents justly represent our Washington to General Clinton, offering foes as crippled in their navy, their comto give up André in exchange for Arnold, merce ruined, and most of their military who had fled to the British camp, ob. conquests wrested from their possession, serving the reason there was to believe they are absurd enough to declare that that the apostate general had exposed there can be no security for England in a that gallant English officer to unnecessary peace with France; as if that ruin to us, danger to facilitate his own escape: which, under her inonarchy, and in the copy of another letter from General plenitude of her power and greatness, she Washington to Major André, adjuring could not effect, she was likely to comhim to state to the commander in chief pass in the disordered and exhausted his unavoidable conviction of the selfish state in which she must long remain. perfidy of Arnold, in suggesting that plan France never kept peace with England of disguise, which exposed André, if when she thought it for ber interest to taken, to certain condemnation as a spy, break it; neither did this country with when, if he had come openly in his regi- her! What has ever been will ever be, mentals, and under a flag of truce, to the whether the Gallic government be repubthen unsuspected American general, helic, democratic, consular, or inonarchical; would have been perfectly safe: copy of but each nation stands now more in need Andie's higlo-souled answer, thanking of a long peace than aller any former General Washington for the interest he war, and therefore, whey made, it will took in bis destiny; but, observing that, probably be of proportionate duration. even under conviction of General Ara It is insulting nonsense to plead the nold's inattention to his safety, he could vices of Buonaparte, or the instability of not suggest to General Clinton any thing his power, as a reason for prolonging the which might influence him to save his miseries of war. llis mortality might as less important life by such an exchange rationally be pleaded. An opportunity OPINION OF 1800.

was opened, by bin late concessions, for At first I hailed the revolution in obtaining a general pacilication, and proFrance as a glorious attempt to procure bably upon yood terms for England and for that country the blessings of a limited her allies; and the present debilitated monarchy, but I soon saw, in the tyranny state of France is the true security for its exerted towards its mild monarch, and permanence; far greater than could result in the interference of the neighbouring from the Bourbon family regaining that nations, that the result would prove a power which is nou vested in the Crom. fatal blow to rational liberty in Europe, well of that country. and most of all, in this country; that it would, as you finely express it, place British freedom upon a

Darrow and Cowper is the poetic son of Dr. Young. wasting isthmus, between anarchy and More equal, more consistent, more judi. despotism. Had this revolution hap- cious, far less uniformly sombre than his pened beneath the reign of a tyrant, it parent,--but also much less frequently inight have acted upon other kingdoms sublime. Darwin has no parent amongst with a warning influence against tyranny. the English poets; he sprung in his deAs it was, our king and parliament, with clining years, with all the strength and



[ocr errors]

fancy of juvenile life, from the temples chair, even though a very high one, with of an immortal muse, like Pallas from the out the assistance of two people; and head of Jove.

also of ascending or descending stairs. Nor should it be forgotten, that Cole- Hitherto time, in whose name lavish proridge's Ode to the Departing Year is mises were made me by the faculty, has sublimer throughout than any part of done nothing towards the restoration of Cowper's Task; that the stripling, that power, though I can walk, with a Southey, has written an epic poem, full servant's arı, through the range of those of strength as to idea, and grandeur as to fortunately large and airy rooms, which imagery; that both those writers, in their are level with my bed-chamber and drese Thyme-productions, far outshine Cowper's sing-room. Thus I contrive, by a quare prosaic couplets.

ter of an hour at a time, to walk my alWhen these claims are made, without loited two miles every day, though I have mentioning the various and charıning not attempted to go down stairs. Mason, since his poetic sun was setting Within these last twelve years, my con when Cowper's rosem when they are stitution has struggled with various mala. poized in the scale, surely you will resign dies, but under them I always hoped reyour Colossal claim for the muse of Cow. lief, and often, through the goodness of per, destined as she is to immortal re. God, obtained it. Now a deep internal membrance. Thar destiny I asserted for conviction of life-long inibecility sickens her to Dr. Darwin, and Sir Brooke at my heart, and withers the energy of Bootliby, ten years ago, when I heard my mind, -while the gloon of apprehenthem decide that the Task was too pro. sion, more than selfish, often darkens saic to survive its century, and that they my spirit. The oldest, the most esteem. could not read it through.

ed, the most valued of iny friends, finds his long precarious health more free

quently assailed by nervous malady, be. . Ah, my friend, I have a sad account neath which his strength and cheerful. to give you of my situation, and of my ness decline. I will not apologize for hopes of ever being able to accept your this exuberance of wailful egotisın, buc kind invitation to Cantley. Too much rest it securely ou your sympathy. reason have I to apprehend a total loss of all ability to travel. You know that the strength of my youth was blighted by I estimate the Farmer's Boy, as on a the accident which bruke the patella of level with Rogers' Pleasures ol Memory; my right knee, though I obtained the and consider each as being amongst power of walking on even ground, with. poetic compositions, what green is out perceptible laineness; but I re- amongst colours; that they have not the mained, through life, subject to the con. richness of the golden yellow, the splenstantly impending danger of falling. Fre- dour of red, the elegance of pink and quent have been those falls, producing azure, the spirit of scarler, or the grantemporary pain and confinement, but ge- deur of purple, but are of that bue on nerally a few days restored me to the which the eye delights to dwell, which is usual level of my, at best, feeble exertion. lively without gaiety, and serious withouc On the 27th of last month, deceived by melancholy. an imperfect moonlight, I fell with vioJence dowu steps into the street, after

ANDRÉ. paying an evening visit. Then, alas! it In the first paroxysın of anguish for was, that I so violently sprained the the fate of my beloved friend, I wrote muscles and tendons of my, till then, un- that Monody under the belief that he injured left knee, as to reduce it to an was basely inurdered rather than reluc equal degree of weakness with that which tanily sacrificed to the belligerent cus is broken. Unable to stand, I was car. toms and laws. I bave since understood ried by two men from my sedan to my the subject better. General Washing, bed; wbich my surgeon ordered I should ton allowed bis aide-de-camp to return not leave till the swelling and discolora- to England after peace was established, tion subsided. He fattered me that, and American independence acknow. since nothing was absolutely broken, a ledged; and he commissioned him to see fortnight or three weeks would repair the me, and request my attention to the pa. mischief. When, at the four days expi. pers he seni for my perusal; copies of ration, I was got up, I found I had utterly bis letters to André, and Andri's ac. lost all power of rising from my bed, or swers, in his own hand, were amorgst



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

them. Concern, esteem, and pity, were verbatim in my presence, directed that
avowed in those of the general, and copy to Dr. Franklin, America, and seat
warm entreaties that he would drye Ge- it instantly to the post-ofice by my fa.
neral Clinton, to resign Arnold in ex. ther's servant.
change for himseli, as the only means to
avert that sacritice which the laws of

war demanded. Mr. Andre's letters Certainly Cowper's letters are those of
breathed a spirit of gratitude to General a mind not ordinarily gifted; yet, if I
Washington for the interest he took in could forget that they proceeded from a
his preservation, but firmly declined the pen which had produced one great ori-
application to General Clinton. The ginal work, they would by no means shew
other papers were minutes of the court- me an understanding responsible for sucha
martial, frain which it appeared, that a production.

For the impartially inges General Washington had laboured to nious surcly they do not possess the liteavert the sentence against André, and to rary usefulness of Pope's letters; the wit soften the circumstances of disguised and inagination of Gray's, the strength dress, and of those fatal drawings of the and humour of Dr. Johnson's, or the enemies outworks and situation, which brilliance, the grace, the play of fancy, placed him in the character of a spy which, in former years, rendered your rather than that of a negotiator. The letters to me equal to the best of Ma. general's next fruitless endeavour was to dame Sevigné's, whose domestic beauties have obtained the grant of poor Andre's seem to mę to throw those of Cowper petition, to die a less disgraceful death, into shade. I mean the generality of his His voice, though commander of the epistles. Some few of them are very Ainerican armies, counted but as one on interesting egotism, for all is egotism; the court-martial. General Washington such of thein as describe his home, his did me the honour to charge his aide-de. daily haunts, and the habits of bis life. camp to assure me, that no circumstance Neither can a feeling heart contemplate of his life had given him so much pain as undelighted the effusions of his personal the necessary sacrifice of Andre's life, tenderness for his friends, inconsistent and that nexi to that deplored event, the as they were with the apathy and nego censure passed upon himself in a poem lect towa:ds his poetic contemporaries. which he admired, and for which he I thank


for your third volume of loved the author; also to express his Cowper, which arrived the first of this hope, that, whenever I reprinted the month. Its contents, perused with deliMonody, a note might be added, which berate attention, still deeper impress my should tend to acquit him of that imputed conviction, that far indeed from perfect inexorable and cruel severity wbich had was Cowper's character, his judgment, doomed to ignominious death a gallant or his epistolary style; that his character and arniable prisoner of war.

was sullied by want of charity to the

failings of others, and by an unsocial DP.. DARWIN.

exclusion of all except a few worshippers, While he lived here he was not in the whose attention bimself and his writings habit of throwing his iinagination into wholly engrossed his judgment per. his letters; they were rather hurried over verted by jealous prejudice against the as tasks than written con amore. I have compositions of contemporary genius: often heard him say he did not possess his epistolary style, by a dearth of ima• the epistolary graces. He told me one gination and eloquence, inconceivable day, when I was about six or seven-and- to me from the pen which gave us the twenty, that he wished to write to Dr. Task. Franklin, to compliment him upon having united modern science and philoso

REVIEWERS. pby; and desired I would put bis When I was at Bristol last summer, a thoughts into my own language. He lady said to me, “My son is of Mertook his pen, and, throwing on paper the chant Taylors' school. He has there a beads of what he purposed saying, den friend and schoolfellow, not yet sixteen, sired I would give them verbal ornament, who has been employed by one of the and that he would call next day for the review editors to write strictures for his result. He did call; and, looking over 'work, on your Memoirs of Dr. Darwin." what I had written, laughingly com- Such are often the presumptuous decimended the style ; copied the inanuscript ders on new publications.


[ocr errors]


naced with invasion; our opportunities Peace will soon be restored in the of making a safe peace all gone hy! Continent, by the utter defeat of the and how stands Mr. Pitt's administration, present coalition; but, if no repeated ex- the test of the philosopher? The tree is perience can convince this country of known by its fruits. - Strange that any the fatal mischiefs of her belligerent prin. one should mistake the apples of the manciples, they will soon bring on the loss of chineal for the bread tree! Ireland, and the rapidly succeeding downfal of British independence.

The stimulant idea, which ministers In the course of thie last winter and have excited amongst the people, that spring Miss Fern read to me Lord OrBuonaparte is bent upon the destruction ford's Posthumous Works, and Godwiii's of England, appears to me a dangerous Life of Chaucer. His lordslip's letters illusion. Our rulers, probably, know it possess the arch-chymic power, for they to be such; and if their dread is sincere, turn the lead of common-life themes and I am afraid it will prove another instance domestic occurrences to sterling gold. of the truth of the adage which says, They are a perfect luxury of wit and bu" Fear is a bad counsellor."

inour. His reminiscences familiarize us I feet assured that the French emperor with the interior of the court of George is only bent upon obtaining a share in the First and Second, and display, in full the commerce of the East and West In- light, the numskullism of both those regal dies; and that we ought to fulfil the personages. treaty of Amieńs, by resigning our exclu. “ How oft at royalty poor folk most scoff, sive pretension to Maltă. Concessions were distance not the foil which sets it off!" in those respects would, I am convinced, satisfy him; and better, surely, that we

REVIEWS. should share with France our colonial When I had the lighly-prized happie possessions, than that we become a vas. ness of your conversation, you expressed sal to that empire. I see no alternative, surprise at my owning that, except in I can hear none suggested, even by the miscellaneous collections, my courage to Joudest clamourers for continued war. encounter the trouble and ansiety of The day-spring of security will never renewed publication had been appalled break upon us through the sanguinary by the injustice which authors, much my clouds raised by the breath of ministerial superiors, had met from the reviewers. infatuation,

You politely asserted that they could not injure my compositions in the opinion of

the public; but indeed I knew by expen Secure on the tap of restoring peace, rience, that they can retard their sale, and with our alliance courted by all the and what is poetic fame but the multisurrounding nations, Mr. Pitt found us, plication of editions ? in 1784, when we resigned ourselves to You afterwards confessed that your his protection; and, with our revived desire, regularly and attentively lo peo commerce, flourishing more and inore ruse Madoc, had been chilled and rebeneath the shade of the olive. Per- pressed by the hootings of those name ceiving, as he must, the blessings that less critics who, like their prototypes of peace was regaining for us, he early the feathered race, shut their eyes on the panted to exchange them for the curses sun, and cry, " there is no daylight." of war, in a quarrel with Spain about a If they can inQuence Dr. Mansel, whert barren and useless territory. "He, was so great a poet is their subject, well, may. happily unsuccessful in that sanguinary I be conscious of their power to blight. attempt, - Would to God he had been the less-noble fruits of my imagination. só, also in the second !--After obstie In years long past I heard Lucy Pore rately persevering in unsuccessful war- ter cell Dr. Johnson that she should like fare through fourteen years, hie dies, and sometimes to purchase new publications, leaves us with the national debt trebled, and ask him if she might crust the re every port in Europe shut against us, viewers. “ Infallibly, dear Lucy," he our internal trade perishing by bankrupt. replied, provided you buy what they ejes, owing to that arrested intercourse, abuse, and never any, thing they praise." and the consequent impossibility of being paid by those European cities to which

OPINIONS IN 1807.. our merchants had sent their goods; our Al, yes, England has at last, Coward tases niore than trebled; our shores mea che continent at least, completed the 1



« AnteriorContinuar »