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unlawful desires; and by this time the monsters and nor by reference and careful re-perusal could dis diseases will be numerous and intolerable, when cover, any other meaning, either in Milton or Taylor God's heavy hand shall press the sanies and the in- but that good men will be rewarded, and the impentolerableness, the obliquity and the unreasonableness, itent wicked punished, in proportion to their disposi the amazement and the disorder, the smart and the tions and intentional acts in this life; and that if the sorrow, the guilt and the punishment, out from all punishment of the least wicked be fearful beyond our sins, and pour them into one chalice, and mingle conception, all words and descriptions must be so far them with an infinite wrath, and make the wicked true, that they must fall short of the punishment tha drink of all the vengeance, and force it down their awaits the transcendently wicked. Had Milion stated unwilling throats with the violence of devils and either his ideal of virtue, or of depravity, as an indiaccursed spirits." vidual or individuals actually existing? Certainly not That this Tartarean drench displays the imagina- Is this representation worded historically, or.only hytion rather than the discretion of the compounder; pothetically? Assuredly the latter! Does he express that, in short, this passage and others of the kind it as his own wish, that after death they should suffer are in a bad taste, few will deny at the present day. these tortures? or as a general consequence, deduced It would doubtless have more behoved the good from reason and revelation, that such will be their bishop not to be wise beyond what is written, on a fate? Again, the latter only! His wish is expressly consubject in which Eternity is opposed to Time, and a fined to a speedy stop being put by Providence to death threatened, not the negative, but the positive their power of inflicting misery on others! But did he Oppositive of Life; a subject, therefore, which must name or refer to any persons, living or dead? No! of necessity be indescribable to the human under- But the calumniators of Milton dare say (for what standing in our present state. But I can neither find will calumny not dare say?) that he had LAUD and nor believe, that it ever occurred to any reader to STAFFORD in his mind, while writing of remorseless ground on such passages a charge against BISHOP persecution, and the enslavement of a free country, TAYLOR'S humanity, or goodness of heart. I was from motives of selfish ambition. Now, what if a not a little surprised therefore to find, in the Pur- stern anti-prelatist should dare say, that in speaking suits of Literature and other works, so horrible a of the insolencies of traitors and the violences of rebels, sentence passed on MILTON's moral character, for a Bishop Taylor must have individualized in his mind, passage in his prose-writings, as nearly parallel to Hampden, Hollis, Pym, Fairfax, IretON, and MILthis of Taylor's as two passages can well be con- TON? And what if he should take the liberty of conceived to be. All his merits, as a poet forsooth-all cluding, that, in the after description, the Bishop was the glory of having written the PARADISE LOST, are feeding and feasting his party-hatred, and with those light in the scale, nay, kick the beam, compared individuals before the eyes of his imagination enjoywith the atrocious malignity of heart expressed in ing, trait by trait, horror after horror, the picture of the offensive paragraph. I remembered, in general, their intolerable agonies? Yet this bigot would have that Milton had concluded one of his works on Re- an equal right thus to criminate the one good and formation, written in the fervor of his youthful im- great man, as these men have to criminate the other. agination, in a high poetic strain, that wanted metre Milton has said, and I doubt not but that Taylor with only to become a lyrical poem. I remembered that equal truth could have said it, "that in his whole in the former part he had formed to himself a perfect life he never spake against a man even that his skin ideal of human virtue, a character of heroic, disin- should be grazed." He asserted this when one of his terested zeal and devotion for Truth, Religion, and opponents (either Bishop Hall or his nephew) had public Liberty, in Act and in Suffering, in the day called upon the women and children in the streets of Triumph and in the hour of Martyrdom. Such to take up stones and stone him (Milton). It is spirits, as more excellent than others, he describes known that Milton repeatedly used his interest to as having a more excellent reward, and as distin- protect the royalists; but even at a time when all guished by a transcendent glory: and this reward lies would have been meritorious against him, no and this glory he displays and particularizes with an charge was made, no story pretended, that he had energy and brilliance that announced the Paradise ever directly or indirectly engaged or assisted in Lost as plainly as ever the bright purple clouds in their persecution. Oh! methinks there are other and the east announced the coming of the sun. Milton far better feelings, which should be acquired by the then passes to the gloomy contrast, to such men as perusal of our great elder writers. When I have from motives of selfish ambition and the lust of per- before me on the same table, the works of Hammond sonal aggrandizement should, against their own light, and Baxter when I reflect with what joy and dear persecute truth and the true religion, and wilfully ness their blessed spirits are now loving each other abuse the powers and gifts intrusted to them, to it seems a mournful thing that their names should bring vice, blindness, misery and slavery, on their be perverted to an occasion of bitterness among us, native country, on the very country that had trusted, who are enjoying that happy mean which the human enriched and honored them. Such beings, after that TOO-MUCH on both sides was perhaps necessary to speedy and appropriate removal from their sphere of produce. "The tangle of delusions which stifled and mischief which all good and humane men must of distorted the growing tree of our well-being has bee course desire, will, he takes for granted by parity of torn away! the parasite weeds that fed on its ve. reason, meet with a punishment, an ignominy, and a roots have been plucked up with a salutary violenc retaliation, as much severer than other wicked men, To us there remain only quiet duties, the constant as their guilt and its consequences were more enor- care, the gradual improvement, the cautious unmous. His description of this imaginary punishment hazardous labors of the industrious though contented presents more distinct pictures to the fancy than the gardener-to prune, to strengthen, to engraft, and extract from Jeremy Taylor; but the thoughts in the one by one to remove from its leaves and fresh latter are incomparably more exaggerated and hor-shoots the slug and the caterpillar. But far be rific. All this I knew; but I neither remembered, it from us to undervalue with light and senseless
detraction the conscientious hardihood of our prede- even by the Schoolmen in subtlety, agility and logic cessors, or even to condemn in them that vehemence, wit, and unrivalled by the most rhetorical of the to which the blessings it won for us leave us now fathers in the copiousness and vividness of his exneither temptation or pretext. We antedate the pressions and illustrations. Here words that confeelings, in order to criminate the authors, of our pres- vey feelings, and words that flash images, and words ent Liberty, Light and Toleration." (THE FRIEND, of abstract notion, flow together, and at once whirl p. 54.) and rush onward like a stream, at once rapid and
If ever two great men might seem, during their full of eddies; and yet still interfused here and there whole lives, to have moved in direct opposition, though we see a tongue or isle of smooth water, with some neither of them has at any time introduced the picture in it of earth or sky, landscape or living name of the other, Milton and Jeremy Taylor were group of quiet beauty.
they. The former commenced his career by attack- Differing, then, so widely, and almost contrarianting the Church-Liturgy and all set forms of prayer. ly, wherein did these great men agree? wherein The latter, but far more successfully, by defending did they resemble each other? In Genius, in both. Milton's next work was then against the Pre- Learning, in unfeigned Piety, in blameless Purity lacy and the then existing Church-Government of Life, and in benevolent aspirations and purposes Taylor's in vindication and support of them. Milton for the moral and temporal improvement of their felbecame more and more a stern republican, or rather low-creatures! Both of them wrote a Latin Accian advocate for that religious and moral aristocracy dence, to render education more easy and less painwhich, in his day, was called republicanism, and ful to children; both of them composed hymns and which, even more than royalism itself, is the direct psalms proportioned to the capacity of common conantipode of modern jacobinism. Taylor, as more and gregations; both, nearly at the same time, set the more sceptical concerning the fitness of men in general glorious example of publicly recommending and supfor power, became more and more attached to the porting general Toleration, and the Liberty both of prerogatives of monarchy. From Calvinism, with a the Pulpit and the Press! In the writings of neither still decreasing respect for Fathers, Councils, and for shall we find a single sentence, like those meek Church-Antiquity in general, Milton seems to have deliverances to God's mercy, with which LAUD acended in an indifference, if not a dislike, to all forms companied his votes for the mutilations and lotheof ecclesiastic government, and to have retreated some dungeoning of Leighton and others!-nowhere wholly into the inward and spiritual church-commu- such a pious prayer as we find in Bishop Hall's nion of his own spirit with the Light, that lighteth memoranda of his own Life, concerning the subtle every man that cometh into the world. Taylor, with and witty Atheist that so grievously perplexed and a growing reverence for authority, an increasing gravelled him at Sir Robert Drury's, till he prayed to sense of the insufficiency of the Scriptures without the Lord to remove him, and behold! his prayers the aids of tradition and the consent of authorized were heard; for shortly afterward this Philistine interpreters, advanced as far in his approaches (not combatant went to London, and there perished of indeed to Popery, but) to Catholicism, as a conscien- the plague in great misery! In short, nowhere shall tious minister of the English Church could well ven- we find the least approach, in the lives and writings Milton would be, and would utter the same, of John Milton or Jeremy Taylor, to that guarded to all, on all occasions: he would tell the truth, the gentleness, to that sighing reluctance, with which whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Taylor the holy Brethren of the Inquisition deliver over a would become all things to all men, if by any condemned heretic to the civil magistrate, recom-, means he might benefit any; hence he availed him- mending him to mercy, and hoping that the magisself, in his popular writings, of opinions and repre- trate will treat the erring brother with all possible sentations which stand often in striking contrast with mildness!—the magistrate, who too well knows what the doubts and convictions expressed in his more would be his own fate, if he dared offend them by philosophical works. He appears, indeed, not too acting on their recommendation.
severely to have blamed that management of truth | The opportunity of diverting the reader from my(istam falsitatem dispensativam) authorized and ex-self to characters more worthy of his attention, has emplified by almost all the fathers: Integrum omnino led me far beyond my first intention; but it is not Doctoribus et cœtus Christiani antistibus esse, ut dolos unimportant to expose the false zeal which has occa ver sent, falsa veris intermisceant et imprimis religionis sioned these attacks on our elder patriots. It has hostes fallant, dummodo veritatis commodis et utilitati been too much the fashion, first to personify the inserviant. Church of England, and then to speak of different The same antithesis might be carried on with the individuals, who in different ages have been rulers elements of their several intellectual powers. Mil- in that church, as if in some strange way they conton, austere, condensed, imaginative, supporting his stituted its personal identity. Why should a clergytruth by direct enunciations of lofty moral senti- man of the present day feel interested in the defence ment and by distinct visual representations, and in of Laud or Sheldon? Surely it is sufficient for the the same spirit overwhelming what he deemed false-warmest partisan of our establishment, that he can hood by moral denunciation and a succession of pic-assert with truth,-when our Church persecuted, it tures appalling or repulsive. In his prose, so many was on mistaken principles held in common by all metaphors, so many allegorical miniatures. Taylor, Christendom; and, at all events, far less culpable eminently discursive, accumulative, and (to use one was this intolerance in the Bishops, who were mainof his own words) agglomerative; still more rich in taining the existing laws, than the persecuting spirit images than Milton himself, but images of Fancy, afterwards shown by their successful opponents, who and presented to the common and passive eye, rather had no such excuse, and who should have been than to the eye of the imagination. Whether sup- taught mercy by their own sufferings, and wisdom by porting or assailing, he makes his way either by ar- the utter failure of the experiment in their own case. gument or by appeals to the affections, unsurpassed We can say, that our Church, apostolical in its faith
primitive in its ceremonies, unequalled in its liturgical England, in a tolerating age, has shown herself emi forms; that our Church, which has kindled and dis- nently tolerant, and far more so, both in Spirit and in played more bright and burning lights of Genius and fact, that many of her most bitter opponents, who Learning, than all other Protestant churches since profess to deem toleration itself an insult on the the Reformation, was (with the single exception of rights of mankind! As to myself, who not only know the times of Laud and Sheldon) least intolerant, the Church-Establishment to be tolerant, but who when all Christians unhappily deemed a species of see in it the greatest, if not the sole safe bulwark of intolerance their religious duty; that Bishops of our Toleration, I feel no necessity of defending or palchurch were among the first that contended against liating oppressions under the two Charleses, in order this error; and finally, that since the Reformation, to exclaim with a full and fervent heart, ESTO PFR when tolerance became a fashion, the Church of PETUA!
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
IN SEVEN PARTS.
Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis nobis enarrabit? et gradus et cognationes et discrimina et singulorum munera ? Quid agunt? quæ loca habitant? Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium humanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabulâ, majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuefacta hodiernæ vitæ minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in pusillas cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, diem a nocte, distinguamus.-T. BURNET: Archaol. Phil. p. 68.
An ancient Mari- IT is an ancient Mariner,
ner meeteth three
gallants bidden to a wedding-feast,
and detaineth one
The weddingguest is spellbound by the eye of the old seafar
ing man, and con
strained to hear his tale.
The Mariner tells
how the ship sailed southward with a good wind
And he stoppeth one of three:
By thy long gray beard and glitter-
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?
"The Bridegroom's doors are open'd
And I am next of kin ;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
He holds him with his skinny hand:
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
He holds him with his glittering eye-And forward bends his head,
And listens like a three-years' child;
The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone,
The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the
And southward aye we fled.
And now there came both mist and
And it grew wondrous cold;
And thus spake on that ancient man, And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
The bright-eyed mariner.
As green as emerald.
by a storm toward the south pole
The ship was cheer'd, the harbor And through the drifts the snowy clifts The land of ice,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
The Sun came up upon the left,
The ice was here, the ice was there,
And he shone bright, and on the right It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and
and fair weather,
Went down into the sea.
Like noises in a swound!
At length did cross an Albatross :
The Wedding-Guest here beat his Thorough the fog it came;
For he heard the loud bassoon.
As if it had been a Christian soul,
and of fearful sounds, where no living thing was to be seen.
Till a great seabird, called the Albatross, Came through the snow fog, and was received with great joy and hospital ity
returned northward through fog and floating ice.
Came to the mariner's hollo!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perch'd for vespers nine;
And all the boards did shrink:
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Whiles all the night, through fog- Upon the slimy sea.
Glimmer'd the white moon-shine.
"God save thee, ancient Mariner!
About, about, in reel and rout
Why look'st thou so?"-With my And some in dreams assured were
I shot the ALBATROSS.
Of the spirit that plagued us so ;
And the Albatross begins to be avenged.
A spirit had followed them: one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet,-neither departed souls nor angels; con
THE Sun now rose upon the right: cerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Constantinopolitan, Michael Paellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without
one or more.
And the good south-wind still blew And every tongue, through utter
But no sweet bird did follow,
And I had done an hellish thing,
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to
That made the breeze to blow!
Was wither'd at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Nor dim nor red, like God's own THERE pass'd a weary time. Each
The shipmates, in their sore distress would fain throw the whole guilt on the ancient Mariner-in sign whereof they hang the dead sea-bird round his neck.
The ancient Mariner beholdeth a sign in the element afar off
With throats unslaked, with black At its nearer ap
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we
I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,
proach, it seemeth him to be a ship; and at a dear ransom he freeth his speech from the bonds o thirst.
A flash of joy.
And horror fol
ows: for can it be a ship, that comes onward without
wind or tide ?
It seemeth him but the skeleton of a ship.
And its ribs are
seen as bars on the face of the setting Sun.
The spectrewoman and her death-mate, and
no other on board the skeleton-ship. Like vessel, like crew!
With throats unslaked, with black One after one, by the star-dogged One after au lips, baked,
Agape they heard me call;
See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
The western wave was all a flame,
Betwixt us and the Sun.
Too quick for groan or sigh,
And cursed me with his eye.
Four times fifty living men
"I FEAR thee, ancient Mariner!
And straight the Sun was fleck'd I fear thy skinny hand!
(Heaven's Mother send us grace!) As if through a dungeon-grate he
With broad and burning face.
And thou art long, and lank, brown,
As is the ribb'd sea-sand.*
drop down dead
Death begins her work on the ancient Mariner.
The weddingguest feareth that a spirit is talking
and to him;
"I fear thee and thy glittering eye, And thy skinny hand so brown.”—
Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding- But the ancient
Did peer, as through a grate;
And is that woman all her crew?
Her lips were red, her looks were
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Who thicks man's blood with cold.
Death, and Life- The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice; "The game is done! I've won, I've
The many men, so beautiful!
Lived on; and so did I.
I look'd upon the rotting sea,
I look'd to Heaven, and tried to pray;
I closed my lids, and kept them close,
Lay like a load on my weary eye
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and proceedeth to relate his horrible penance.
He despiseth the creatures of the calm.
And envieth that they should live, and so many lie dead.
But the curse liv eth for him in the eye of the dead
For the two last lines of this stanza, I am indebted to Mr.
Wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from Nether Stowey to Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the Autumn of 1797 that this Poem was planned, and in part composed.