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imagery. This, we own, is a somewhat vague description, and contains little in it to distinguish him from many other poets of his class, all bearing the same family face. There is, in fact, little distinction among them. Our sagacious readers, however, will be able to form a better notion of Dr. Beaumont from the subjoined extracts, than from any thing we could say. In " Psyche" every thing, however slight in itself, is presented in a lively and palpable form. Minute touches are beyond his art, but his colours are gorgeous and glowing, and his figures, though rudely drawn, stand out distinct and striking. His power of language is considerable, and frequently comes in aid of deficient matter.* He had his full share in the prevailing rage for uncommon and far-fetched combinations of ideas, called, in the language of criticism, conceits; that propensity which marred the happy genius of Cowley, and which the sturdy intellect of Donne, unable to escape, contented itself with bending to its own purposes. Such an inclination was not likely to starve for want of food, in so fertile a brain as Beaumont's. Accordingly, his poem is, full of the most fantastic conceptions, both in the way of occasional metaphor and detailed allegory; although the gravity of his subject preserves him from falling into the extreme absurdities of some of his contemporaries, and religious passion gives to his conceits a life and meaning of which they would otherwise be destitute. The allegorical fancy-pieces, above alluded to, are among the most elaborate parts of the poem. They are, in general, personifications of evil passions, such as are common in most of our old narrative poets; a species of portrait, of which Ovid, in his description of Envy and Famine, supplied the idea, and Sackville, in his Induction, the immediate model. Those who remember the picture of Cruelty, in Crashaw's translation of Marino, may form a tolerable notion of Dr. Beaumont's style of delineating these subjects. He delights in heaping together images of terror and disgust, and tasks his invention for additional circumstances of deformity. It was among the peculiarities of his school of religionists, not merely to draw a broad and indelible distinction between moral good and evil (a distinction which must exist under every form of religion worthy of the name) but to inculcate the doctrine of a mysterious union between moral and physical good, and vice versa. Hence, the strong and decisive colours which writers of this class employ, when they embody their conceptions, whether of

* Pope's remark on “ Psyche” is exceedingly characteristic of its author, “There are in it a great many flowers well worth gathering, and a man who has the art of stealing wisely will find his account in reading it.”

good or evil, in a visible shape. Milton is cited as an example of the contrary tendency; nor can these remarks be better illustrated than by a comparison of Milton's hell, as well as of his Satan, with that of Dante. To Dr. Beaumont, of course, the above observations apply in all their force. With him, whatever is evil, is evil in every way, and in all degrees. We are reminded of the good and bad man in the story-books; or of Swedenborg's definition of hell, as what this earth would be, if all moral good were withdrawn from it, and the evil left to putrefy; or of the sublime conception, on the same subject, in Marlow's Faustus,

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when all the world dissolves,
And every creature shall be purified,
All places shall be hell which are not heaven.”

The most striking instance of this, is the picture of Heresy, in the eighteenth canto, stanza clxxxv. a piece of combined horror and loathsomeness, too disgusting to be quoted here, and which might be supposed the joint production of Dante and Dean Swift.

Our readers, probably, think that we have allotted a disproportionate space to the discussion of Beaumont's merits, and it is not impossible that they may consider us equally unconscionable in the quantity of our extracts. It ought, however, to be recollected, that they are made from a poem of forty thousand lines, and which, from the peculiar cast of the author's talent, abounds with producible passages. · The poem opens with a grand infernal council, in which Satan proclaims his designs against Psyche, and arranges the entire plan of the campaign. We quote the description of the infernal palace and its lord.

“Hell's Court is built deep in a gloomy vale,
High wall’d with strong Damnation, moated round
With flaming Brimstone: full against the hall
Roars a burnt bridge of brass: the yards abound

With all envenom'd herbs and trees, more 'rank

And fruitless than on Asphaltite's bank.
The gate, where Fire and Smoke the porters be,
Stands always ope with gaping greedy jaws.
Hither flock'd all the States of misery;
As younger snakes, when their old serpent draws .

Them by a summoning hiss, haste down her throat
Of patent poison their aw'd selves to shoot.

The hall was roof?d with everlasting Pride,
Deep paved with Despair, checker'd with Spite,
And hanged round with torments far and wide :
The front display'd a goodly-dreadful sight,
Great Satan's arms stamp'd on an iron shield,

A crowned dragon, gules, in sable field.
There on’s immortal throne of Death they see
Their mounted Lord; whose left hand proudly held
His globe, (for all the world he claims to be
His proper realm,) whose bloody right did wield

His mace, on which ten thousand serpents knit,
With restless madness gnaw'd themselves, and it.

His awful horns above his crown did rise,
And force his fiends to shrink in theirs : his face
Was triply-plated impudence: his eyes.
Were hell reflected in a double glass,

Two comets staring in their bloody stream,

Two beacons boiling in their pitch and flame.
His mouth in breadth vied with his palace gate
And conquer'd it in soot: his tawny teeth
Were ragged grown by endless gnashing at
The dismal riddle of his living death :

His grizly beard a sing'd confession made
What fiery breath through his black lips did trade.

Which, as he op'd, the centre, on whose back
His chair of ever-fretting pain was set,
Frighted beside itself began to quake :
Throughout all hell the barking hydraś shut

Their awed mouths : the silent peers, in fear,

Hung down their tails, and on their Lord did stare."

Phylax, by way of preparative against the attacks of sensual temptation, relates to his charge the history of 'Joseph. Joseph's dream is told with much fancy.

“When this last night had sealed up mine eyes,
And open'd Heav'n's, whose countenance now was clear,

And trimm'd with every star; on his soft wing

A nimble vision me did thither bring.
Quite through the store-house of the air I past
Where choice of every weather treasur'd lies :

Here, rain is bottled up; there, hail is cast
In candy'd heaps ; here, banks of snow do rise ;

There, furnaces of lightning burn, and those
Longbearded stars which light us to our woes.

Hence tow'r'd I to a dainty world': the air
Was sweet and calm, and in my memory
Wak'd my serener mother's looks : this fair
Canaan now fled from my discerning eye;

The earth was shrunk so small, methought I read,

By that due prospect, what it was indeed.
But then, arriving at an orb whose flames
Like an unbounded ocean flow'd about,
Fool as I was, I quak'd; till its kind beams
Gave me a harmless kiss. I little thought

Fire could have been so mild ; but, surely, here

It rageth, 'cause we keep it from its sphere. There, reverend sire, it flam’d, but with as sweet An ardency as in your noble heart That heavenly zeal doth burn, whose fostering heat. Makes you Heaven's living holocaust: no part

Of my dream's tender wing felt any harm;

Our journey, not the fire, did keep us warm.
But here my guide, his wings' soft oars to spare,
On the moon's lower horn clap'd hold, and whirld
Me up into a region as far.
In splendid worth surmounting this low world

As in its place : for liquid crystal here

Was the tralucid matter of each sphere.
The moon was kind, and, as we scoured by,
Shew'd us the deed, whereby the great Creator
Instated her in that large monarchy
She holdeth over all the oceans' water:

To which a schedule was annex’d, which o'er
All other humid bodies gives her power.

Now, complimental Mercury was come
To the quaint margin of his courtly sphere,
And bid us eloquent welcome to his home:
Scarce could we pass, so great a crowd was there

Of points and lines; and nimble wit beside
Upon the backs of thousand shapes did ride.

Next Venus' face, heaven's joy and sweetest pride,
(Which brought again my mother to my mind,)
Into her region lur'd my ravish'd guide:
This strew'd with youth, and smiles, and love we find

And those all chaste : 'tis this foul world below
Adulterates what from thence doth spotless flow.

Then rapt to Phoebus' orb, all pav'd with gold,
The rich reflection of his own aspect :
Most gladly there I would have staid and told
How many crowns and thrones his dwelling deck’d,

What life, what verdure, what heroic might,

What pearly spirits, what sons of active light.
But I was hurried into Mars his sphere,
Where Envy (O how curs’d was its grim face !)
And Jealousy, and Fear, and Wrath, and War
Quarreld, although in heaven, about their place. ;

Yea, engines there to vomit fire I saw,
Whose flame and thunder earth at length must know.

Nay, in a corner, 'twas my hap to spy
Something which look'd but frowardly on me:
And sure my watchful guide read in mine eye,
My musing troubled sense ; for straightway he,

Lest I should should start and wake upon the fright,
Speeded from thence his seasonable flight.

Welcome was Jupiter's dominion, where
Illustrious Mildness round about did flow; "
Religion had built her temple there,
And sacred honours on its walks did grow :

No mitre ever priest's grave head shall crown,
Which in those mystic gardens was not sown.

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At length, we found old Saturn in his bed;
And much I wonder'd how an he so dull
Could climb thus high: his house was lumpish lead,
Of dark and solitary corners full;

Where Discontent, and Sickness dwellers be,
Damn’d Melancholy, and dead Lethargy.

Hasting from hence into a boundless field,
Innumerable stars we marshall’d found
In fair array: this earth did never yield
Such choice of flowr'y pride, when she had crown'd

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