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added events, which of themselves have been found sufs ficient to overset the minds of the strongest; namely, the decease of his particular friend and intimate Sir William Russel; and his meeting with a disappointment in obtaine ing a lady, upon whom his affections were placed.
But the state of a person, torn and depressed (not by his religious connections, but) by adverse circumstances, and these mceting naturally morbid sensibility, long be. fore he knew Olney, or had forined any connection with its inhabitants, will best appear from soune verses which he had sent at this time to ove of his female relations, and for the communication of which, we are indebted to Mr. Hayley : : « Doom'd as I am, in solitude to waste
The present moments, and regret the past ;
That any man, under such pressures, should at first turn his mind to those resources which religion alone can afford, is both natural and rational. But Mr. Cowper was like a person looking from a high tower, who perceives only the danger of falling, but neither the security nor prospect it presents; and therefore it is no wonder, with so melancholy, morbid, and susceptible a mind, that his unhappiness should be increased.--And yet this very mind of Cowper, when put under the care of Dr. Cotton, of St. Albans (a physician as capable of administering to the spiritual, as to the natural mala. dies of his patients) received the first consolation it ever tasted, and that from evangelical truths. It was under the care of this physician, that Mr. C. first obtained a clear view of those sublime and animating truths, which 80. distinguished and exalted his future strains as a poet.
Here also he received the settled tranquillity and peace which he enjoyed for several years afterwards. So far, therefore, was his constitutional malady from being produced or increased by his evangelical connections, either at St. Albans or at Olney, that he seems never to have had any settled peace but from the truths he learned in these societies. It appears that among them alone he found the only sunshine he ever enjoyed, through the cloudy day of his afflicted life.
It appears also that, while at Dr. Cotton's, Mr. Cowper's distress was, for a long time, entirely removed, by marking that passage in Rom. iii, 25. “ Him hath God set forth as a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare bis righteousness for the remission of sins that are past.” In this scripture he saw the remedy, which God provides for the relief of a guilty conscience, with such clearness, that for several years after, his heart was filled with love, and his life occupied with prayer, praise, and doing good to his needy fellow-creatures.
Mr. N. told me, that, from Mr. Cowper's first coming to Olney, it was observed he had studied bis Bible with such advantage, and was so well acquainted with its design, that not only his troubles were removed, but that, to the end of his life, he never had clearer views of the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel than when he first became an attendant upon them; that (short intervals excepted) Mr. Cowper enjoyed a course of peace for several successive years; that, duriug this period, the inseparable attendants of a lively faith appeared, by Mr. Cowper's exerting himself to the utmost of his power in every benevolent service he could render to his poor neighbours; and that Mr. N. used to consider him as a sort of curate, from his coustant attendance upon the sick and afflicted in that large and necessitous parish.
But the malady, which seemed to be subdued by the strong consolations of the Gospel, was still latent, and only required some occasion of irritation to break out again, and overwhelm the patient. Any object of constant attention that shall occupy a mind previously disordered, whether fear, or love, or science, or religion, will not be so much the cause of the disease as the accidental occasion of exciting it. Cowper's letters will shew us how much his mind was occupied at one time by the truths' of the Bible, and at another time by the fictions of Homer ; but his melancholy was originally a constitutional disease
-a physical disorder, which, indeed, could be affected either by the Bible or by Homer, but was utterly distinct in its nature from the mere matter of either. And here I cannot but mark this necessary distinction ; having often been witness to cases where religion has been assigned as the proper cause of insanity, when it has been only an accidental occasion, in the case of one already affected * Thus Cowper's malady, like a strong current, breaking down the banks which had hitherto sustained the pressure and obliquity of its course, prevailed against the supports he had received, and precipitated him again into his former distress. · I inquired of Mr. N. as to the manner in which Mr. Cowper's disorder returned, after an apparent recovery of nearly nine years continuance; and was informed, that the first symptoms were discovered one morning in his discourse, soon after he had undertaken a new engages ment in composition.
As a general and full account of this extraordinary genius is already before the public, such particulars would not have occupied so much room in these menoirs, but with a view of removing the false statements that have been made.
* I have been an eye witness of several instances of this kind of misrepresentation, but will detain the reader with mentioning only one. I was called to visit a woman whose mind was disordered, and, on my observing that it was a case which required the assista ance of a physician, rather than that of a clergyman, her husband replied; "Sir, we sent to you, because it is a religious case---her mind has been injured by constantly reading the Bible.” I have known many instances, said I, of persons brought to their senses by reading the Bible ; but it is possible, that too intense an application to that, as well as to any other subject, may have disordered your wife. “There is every proof of it,” said he; and was proceeding to multiply his proofs, till his brother interrupted him by thus ad. dressing me: . “Sir, I have no longer patience to stand by and see you imposed on. The truth of the matter is this; my brother has forsaken his wife, and been long connected with a loose woman. He had the best of wives in her, and one who was strongly attached to him : but she has seen his heart and property given to another, and in her solitude and distress, went to the Bible, as the only consolation left her. Her health and spirits at length sunk under her troubles; and there she lies distracted, not from reading her Bible, but from the infidelity and cruelty of her husband.”--- Does the reader wish to know what reply the husband made to this ? He made no reply at xll, but left the room with confusion of face !
REVIEW OF BOOKS.
A Poetical Translation of the Works of Horace, with the original Text and critical Notes, by P. Francis, D. D. a new Edition, with additional Notes, by Edward Du Bois, Esq. of the Hon. Society of the the Inner Temple. 4 vols, 12mo. 21s. all the Booksellers.
The works of Horace are, it is true, not for to-day or to-morrow, but like those of our Shakspeare, " for all time," and for every season of life, boyhood and old age, What Mr. Du Bois has also said of the translator, may with at least equal propriety be affirmed of the original bard : " His literary labours have passed the ordeal of many years of criticism, and his reputation is fixed.”— Introduction, iii. It is now no time to canvass his merits, and Mr. D. has justly admitted the inequality of Dr. Francis's adding, after critically pointing out the difficulty of the undertaking, that " it is not too much to affirm, in justice to Dr. Francis, that it will be long before any one shall be found amongst Englishmen, to dispute his right to share the favor due to the Roman poet, and to pursue him with honour in his unrivalled course.” p. iv. In this opinion we perfectly concur, and, before we quote several of the comments, congratulate the public on this improved edition of Francis's Horace, which is not only enriched with many new notes by Mr. Du Bois, and his friends, Sir Philip Francis, and the Rev. Stephen Weston, but also by a purified text, and the judicious restoration of odes and passages, omitted in former editions of this work.
As a specimen of the additional commentary, we shall select one or two notes, in the substance of which we differ, as well as some of the remainder, on which we entertain po dissimilarity of opinion. Mr. Weston's comments are numerous, and for the most part display considerable acuteness and discrimination. His learning,
however, appears occasionally to be more curious and fanciful than sound and convincing. On the passage
Quantâ laboras in Charybdi !
Lib. 1. od. 27. he remarks son reading this passage, the mixture of metaphor brings to our recollection the words of Quintilian - Sunt qui cum ab incendio initium sumpserint, tempestate finiunt.” Here Horace begins with water and ends with fire. Perhaps the text is not quite correct. It is possible that the poet might have written
Quantâ laboras in Chalybdi ! Whạt an iron-hearted damsel you are in love with! Chalybdis is a lady of the Chalybes, a people that excelled in iron. Horace had authority for the formation of this word, as we find χαλυβδικα in Euripides : ατες χαλυβδικά, sine ferro, and the country where the ironímines were is, xaaußdorn. See Eurip. Heraclid. ver. 162, and Lycophron 1109, where xañußdoxw is Æolicè for you hubixw: thus Chalybis from Chalybs is Chalybdis.”
Mr. Du Bois seems to be of our opinion, for he observes on this interpretation, “ a perusal of the above note may, perhaps, tempt some pleasant critic to represent my friend Mr. Weston as having shown that he is able laborare in Charybdi in a new sense of the phrase. There is however much ingenuity in his comment; but I must confess that I think with Dacier, who gives laborare in Charybdi as a proverbial expression, signifying se trouver dans un pas fâcheux; and Desprez considers the allusion to be to an avaricious prostitute, avara meretrix,''
Dr. F. reads " ferro, et” in lib. 111. od. 27. v. 46, but Mr. D. makes this judicious comment- Et weakens the energy of this passage. So after copiam, ver. 9. and negotio, ver. 49. ode 29. lib. 3. where it is in both cases an incumbrance. The same may be said of that noble passage in Virgil :
Micat auribus et tremit artus
Collectumque premens. Intremit is, I have no doubt, the true reading. In ver. 21. lib. 11. Carm. 3. I have omitted et with Wakefield and others.
Many of Mr. Du Bois' notes have much pleasantry in them, as well as critical taste and erudition. We shall