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Still bae a stake
have been the cause of vice and misery to their fellow
Ye aiblins might-I dinna kencreatures ? Could we endure for a moment to think
I'm wae to think upon yon den, that a spirit, like Bishop Taylor's, burning with Chris
Ev'n for your sake! tian love; that a man constitutionally overflowing with pleasurable kindliness; who scarcely even in a 'casual need not say that these thoughts, which are here illustration introduces the image of woman, child, or dilated, were in such a company only rapidly suggested. bird, but he embalms the ught with so rich a ten- Our kind host smiled, and with a courteous compliment derness, as makes the very words seem beauties and observed, that the defence was too good for the cause. fragments of poetry from a Euripides or Simonides;- My voice faultered a little, for I was somewhat agitated; can we endure io think, that a man so natured and so though not so much on my own account as for the undisciplined, did at the time of composing this horrible easiness that so kind and friendly a man would feel picture, attach a sober feeling of reality to the phrases? | from the thought that he had been the occasion of disor that he would have described in the same cone of tressing me. At length I brought out these words : « I justification, in the same luxuriant flow of phrases, the must now confess, Sir! that I am author of that Poem. Tortures about to be inflicted on a living individual by It was written some years ago. I do not attempt to jusa verdict of the Star-Chamber? or the still more atro- tify my past self, young as I then was; but as little as I cious sentences executed on the Scotch anti-prelatists would now write a similar poem, so far was I even then and schismatics, at the command, and in some in- from imagining, that the lines would be taken as more stances under the very eye of the Duke of Lauderdale, or less than a sport of fancy. At all events, if I know and of that wretched bigot who afterwards dishonoured my own heart, there was never a moment in my exand forfeited the throne of Great Britain ? Or do we istence in which I should bave been more ready, had not rather feel and understand, that these violent words Mr Pitt's person been in hazard, to interpose my own were mere bubbles, flashes and electrical apparitions, body, and defend his life at the risk of my own.» from the magic cauldron of a fervid and ebullient
I have prefaced the Poem with this anecdote, because fancy, constantly fuelled by an unexampled opulence to have printed it without any remark might well have of language ?
been understood as implying an unconditional approWere I now to hiave read by myself for the first time bation on my part, and this after many years conside-, the Poem in question, my conclusion, I fully believe, ration. But if it be asked why I re-published it at all? would be, that the writer must have been some man of I answer, that the Poem had been attributed at different warm feelings and active fancy; that he had painted to
times to different other persons; and what I had dared himself the circumstances that accompany war in so beget, I thought it neither manly nor honourable not many vivid and yet fantastic forms, as proved that nei- to dare farther. From the same motives I should have ther the images nor the feelings were the result of ob- published perfect copies of two Poems, the one entitled servation, or in any way derived from realities. I should The Devil's Thoughts, and the other The Two Round judge, that they were the product of his own seething Spaces on the Tomb-Stone, but that the three first stanimagination, and therefore impregnated with that plea
zas of the former, which were worth all the rest of the surable exultation which is experienced in all energetic poem, and the best stanza of the remainder, were writexertion of intellectual power; that in the same mood
ten by a friend of deserved celebrity; and because there he had generalized the causes of the war, and then per
are passages in both, which might have given offence to sonified the abstract, and christened it by the name
the religious feelings of certain readers. I myself inwhich he had been accustomed to hear most often as
deed see no reason why vulgar superstitions, and absurd sociated with its management and measures.
I should conceptions that deform the pure faith of a Christian, guess that the minister was in the author's mind at the should possess a greater immunity from ridicule than moment of composition, as completely apudrs, divul stories of witches, or the fables of Greece and Rome.
But there are those who deem it profaneness and irreposrpxos, as Anacreon's grasshopper, and that he had as little notion of a real person of tlesh and blood,
verence to call an ape an ape, if it but wear a monk's
cowl on its head; and I would rather reason with this Distinguisbable in member, joint, or limb,
weakness than offend it. as Milton had in the grim and terrible phantoms (half is found in his second Sermon on Christ's Advent to
The passage from Jeremy Taylor to which I referred, person, half allegory) which he has placed at the gates Judgment; which is likewise the second in his year's of Hell. I concluded by observing, that the Poem was
course of sermons. Among many remarkable passages not calculated to excite passion in any mind, or to of the same character in those discourses, I have selected make any impression except on poetic readers; and that this as the most so. • But when this Lion of the tribe from the culpable levity, betrayed at the close of the of Judah shall appear, then Justice shall strike and Eclogue by the grotesque union of epigrammatic wit Mercy shall not hold her hands ; she shall strike sore with allegoric personification, in the allusion to the strokes, and Pity shall not break the blow. As there most fearful of thoughts, I should conjecture that the
are treasures of good things, so hath God a treasure of • rantin' Bardie,» instead of really believing, much less wrath and fury, and scourges and scorpions; and then wisling, the fatę spoken of in the last line, in applica- shall be produced the shame of Lust and the malice of tion to any human individual, would shrink from pass- Envy, and the groans of the oppressed and the perseculing the verdict even on the Devil himself, and exclaim tions of the saints, and the cares of Covetousness and with poor Burns,
the troubles of Ambition, and the indolence of trailors But fare ye weel, auld Nickie-ben
and the violences of rebels, and the rage of anger and Oh! wad ye tak a thought an' men'!
the upeasiness of impatience, and the restlessness of un
lawful desires; and by this time the monsters and di- careful re-perusal could discover, any other meaning, seases will be numerous and intolerable, when God's cither in Milton or Taylor, but that good men will be heavy hand shall press the sanies and the intolerable- rewarded, and the impenitent wicked punished, in proness, thic obliquity and the unreasonableness, the amaze- portion to their dispositions and intentional acts in this ment and the disorder, the smart and the sorrow, the life; and that if the punishment of the least wicked be guilt and the punishment, out from all our sins, and fearful beyond conception, all words and descriptions pour them into one chalice, and mingle tem with an
must be so far true, that they must fall short of the infinite wrath, and make the wicked drink of all the punishment that awaits the transcendently wicked, Had vengeance, and force it down their unwilling throats Milton stated either lis ideal of virtue, or of depravity, with the violence of devils and accursed spirits.» as an individual or individuals actually existing? Cer
That this Tartarean drench displays the imagination tainly not! Is this representation worded historically, rather than the discretion of the compounder; that, in or only hypothetically? Assuredly the latter! Does he short, this passage and others of the kind are in a bad express it as his own wish, that after death they should taste; few will deny at the present day. It would doubt- suffer these tortures? or as a general consequence, deless have more behoved the good bishop not to be wisc duced from reason and revelation, that such will be their beyond what is written, on a subject in which Eternity fate? Again, the latter only! His wish is expressly conis opposed to Time, and a death threatened, not the ne fined to a speedy stop being put by Providence to their gative, but the positive Oppositive of Life; a subject, power of intlicting misery on others! But did he name Therefore, which must of necessity be indescribable to or refer to any persons, living or dead? No! But the the human understanding in our present state. But I can calumniators of Milion dare say (for what will calumny neither find nor believe, that it ever occurred to any not dare say?) that he had Laup and STAFFORD in his reader to ground on such passages, a charge against mind, while writing of remorseless persecution, and the Bishop Taylor's humanity, or goodness of beart. I was enslavement of a free country, from motives of selfish not a little surprised therefore to find, in the Pursuits of ambition. Now, what if a stern anti-prelatist should Literature and other works, so horrible a sentence passed dare say, that in speaking of the insolencies of traitors on Milton's moral character, for a passage in his prose- and the violences of rebels, Bishop Taylor must have writings, as nearly parallel to this of Taylor's as two individualised in his mind, Hampden, Ilollis, Pym, Fairpassages can well be conceived to be. All his merits, as fax, TRETON, and Micron? And what if lie should take a poet forsooth-all the glory of having written the the liberty of concluding, that, in the after description, PARADISE Lost, are light in the scale, nay, kick the beam, the Bishop was feeding and feasting his party-hatred, compared with the atrocious malignity of heart ex
and with those individuals before the eyes of his ima-pressed in the offensive paragraph. I remembered, in sination enjoying, trait by trait, horror after horror, general, that Milton bad concluded one of his works on the picture of their intolerable agonies ? Yet this bigot Reformation, written in the fervour of his youthful would have an equal right thus to criminate the one imagination, in a high poetic strain, that wanted metre good and great man, as these men hate to criminate the only to become a lyrical poem. I remembered that in other. Milton has said, and I doubt not but that Taylor the former part be had formed to himself a perfect with equal truth could have said that in huis wliole ideal of human virtue, a character of heroic, disin- life he never spake against a man even that his skin terested zcal and devotion for Truth, Religion, and should be grazed. » He asserted this when one of his public Liberty, in Act and in Suffering, in the day of opponents (either Bishop Hall or his nephew) had called Triumph and in the hour of Martyrdom. Such spirits, upon the women and children in the streets to take as more excellent than others, he describes as having a
stones and stone him (Milton). It is known that Milton more excellent reward, and as distinguished by a tran- repeatedly used his interest to protect the royalists ; but scendent glory: and this reward and this glory he dis even at a time when all lies would have been meritoplays and particularises with an energy and brilliance rious against him, no charge was made, no story prethat announced the Paradise Lost as plainly, as ever the tended, that he had ever directly or indirectly engaged bright purple clouds in the east announced the coming or assisted in their persecution. Oh! methinks there of the sun.
Milion then passes to the gloomy contrast, are other and far better feelings, which should be acto such men as from motives of selfish ambition and the quired by the perusal of our great elder writers. When lust of personal aggrandisement should, against their I have before me on the same table, the works of llamown light, persecute truth and the true religion, and mond and Baxter: when I reflect with what joy and wilfully abuse the powers and gifts entrusted to them, dearness their blessed spirits are now loving each other: to bring vice, blindness, misery and slavery, on their it seems a mournful thing that their names should be native country, on the very country that had trusted, perverted to an occasion of bitterness among us, who enriched and honoured them. Such beings, after that are enjoying that happy mean which the human roospeedy and appropriate removal from their sphere of mucu on both sides was perhaps necessary to produce. mischief which all good and humane men must of The tangle of delusions which stitled and distorted the course desire, will, he takes for granted by parity of growing tree of our well-being has been torn away! the reason, meet with a punishment, an ignominy, and a parasite weeds that fed on its very roots have been retaliation, as much severer than other wicked men, as plucked up with a salutary violence. To us there remain their guilt and its consequences were more enormous. only quiet duties, the constant care, the gradual imllis description of this imaginary punishment presents provement, the cautious unhazardous labours of the more distinct pictures to the fancy than the extract industrious though contented gardener- to prune, to from Jeremy Taylor; but the thoughts in the latter are strengthen, to engraft, and one by one to remove from incomparably more exaggerated and horrific. All this its leaves and fresh shoots the slug and the caterpillar. I knew; but I neither remembered, nor by reference and But far be it from us to undervalue with light and sense
less detraction the conscientious hardihood of our pre- and logic wit, and unrivalled by the most rhetorical of decessors, or even to condemn in them that vebemence, the fathers in the copiousness and vividness of his exto which the blessings it won for us leave us now neither pressions and illustrations, Here words that convey temptation or pretext. We ante-date the feelings, in feelings, and words that flaslı images, and words of aborder to criminate the authors, of our present Liberty, stract notion, flow together, and at once whirl and rush Light and Toleration.» (The FRIEND, p. 54.)
onward like a stream, at once rapid and full of eddies; If ever two great men might seem, during their whole and yet still interfused here and there, we see a tongue lives, to have moved in direct opposition, though neither or isle of smooth water, with some picture in it of earth of them has at any time introduced the name of the or sky, landscape or living group of quiet beauty. other, Milton and Jeremy Taylor were they. The former Differing, then, so widely, and almost contrarianily, commenced his career by attacking the Church-Liturgy wherein did these great men agree? wherein did they and all set forms of prayer. The latter, but far more resemble each other? In Genius, in Learning, in unsuccessfully, by defending both. Milton's next work feigned liety, in blameless Purity of Life, and in benewas then against the Prelacy and the then existing volent aspirations and purposes for the moral and Church-Government–Taylor's in vindication and sup- temporal improvement of their fellow-creatures ! Both port of them.
Milton became more and more a stern of them wrote a Latin Accidence, to render education republican, or rather an advocate for that religious and more easy and less painful to children; both of them moral aristocracy which, in his day, was called repub-composed hyinns and psalms proportioned to the capalicanism, and which, even more than royalism itself, is city of common congregations; botlı, nearly at the same the direct antipode of modern jacobinism. Taylor, as time, set the glorious cxample of publicly recommendmore and more sceptical concerning the fitness of men ing and supporting general Toleration, and the Liberty in general for power, became more and more attached both of the Pulpit and the Press ! In the writings of to the prerogatives of monarchy. From Calvinism, with neither shall we find a single sentence, like those meek a still decreasing respect for Fathers, Councils, and for deliverances to God's mercy, with which Laud accomChurch-Antiquity in general, Milton seems to have panied his votes for the mutilations and loatlısome dunended in an indifference, if not a dislike, to all forms geoning of Leighton and others!—no where such a pious of ecclesiastic government, and to have retreated wholly prayer as we find in Bishop Hall's memoranda of his into the inward and spiritual church-communion of his own Life, concerning the subtle and witty Atheist that own spirit with the Light, that lighteth every man that so grievously perplexed and gravelled him at Sir Robert cometh into the world. Taylor, with a growing re- Drury's, till he prayed to the Lord to remove him, and verence for authority, an increasing sense of the insuf- behold! his prayers were heard; for shortly afterward ficiency of the Scriptures without the aids of tradition this philistine combatant went to London, and there and the consent of authorized interpreters, advanced as perished of the plague in great misery! In short, no far in his approaches (not indeed to Popery, hul) to Ca where shall we find the least approach, in the lives and tholicism, as a conscientious minister of the English writings of John Milton or Jeremy Taylor to that Church could well venture. Milton would be, and would guarded gentleness, to that sighing reluctance, with utter the same, to all, on all occasions : le would tell which the holy Brethren of the Inquisition deliver over the truth, the whole truth, and noihing but the truth. a condemned heretic to the civil magistrate, recomTaylor would become all things to all men, if by any mending him to mercy, and hoping that the magistrate means he might benefit any; hence he availed himself, will treat the erring brother with all possible mildness! in his popular writings, of opinions and representations - the magistrate, who too well knows what would be which stand often in striking contrast with the doubts his own fate, if he dared offend them by acting on their and convictions expressed in his more philosophical recommendation. works. He appears indeed, not too severely to have The opportunity of diverting the reader from myself blamed that management of truth (istam falsitatem dis-to characters more worthy of his attention, has led me pensativam) authorized and cxemplified by almost all far beyond my first intention; but it is not unimportant the fathers : Integrum omnino Doctoribus et cætus Chris- to expose the false zeal which has occasioned these attiani Antistitibus esse, ut dolos versent, falsa veris in- tacks on our elder patriots. It has been 100 much the termisceant et imprimis religionis hostes fallant, dum- fashion, first to personify the Church of England, and modo veritatis commodis et wililati inserviant. then to speak of different individuals, who in different
The same antithesis might be carried on with the ages have been rulers in that church, as if in some elements of their several intellectual powers, Milton, strange way they constituted its personal identity. Why austere, condensed, imaginative, supporting his truth by should a clergyman of the present day feel interested in direct enunciation of lofty inoral sentiment and by the defence of Laud or Sheldon? Surely it is sufficient distinct visual representations, and in the same spirit for the warmest partizan of our establishment, that he overwhelming what he deemed falsehood by moral de can assert witir eruth, - when our Church persecuted, it nunciation and a succession of pictures appalling or was on mistaken principles held in common by all repulsive. In his prose, so many metaphors, so many Christendom; and at all events, far less culpable was allegorical miniatures. Taylor, eminently discursive, this intolerance in the Bishops, who were maintaining accumulative, and (to use one of his own words) agglo- the existing laws, than the persecuting spirit afterwards merative; still more rich in images than Milton him-shown by their successful opponents, who had no such self, but images of Fancy, and presented to the common excuse, and who should have been taught mercy by. and passive eye, rather than to the eye of the imagina- their own sufferings, and wisdom by the ulter failure tion. Whether supporting or assailing, he makes his of the experiment in their own case. We can say, that way either by argument or by appeals to the affections, our Church, apostolical in its faith, primitive in its ceunsurpassed even by the Schoolmen in subtlety, agilityremonies, unequalled in its liturgical forms; that our
Church, which has kindled and displayed more bright self eminently tolerant, and far more so,
both in Spirit and burning lights of Genius and Learning, than all and in fact, than many of her most bitter opponents, other protestant churches since the Reformation, was who profess to deem toleration itself an insult on the (with the single exception of the times of Land and rights of mankind! As to myself, who not only know Sheldon) least intolerant, when all Christians unhappily the Church-Establishment to be tolerant, but who sec decmed a species of intolerance their religious duty; in it the greatest, if not the sole safe bulwark of Tolerathat Bishops of our church were among the first that tion, I feel no necessity of defending or palliating opcontended against this error; and finally, that since the pressions under the two Charleses, in order to exclaim reformation, when tolerance became a fashion, the with a full and fervent heart, ESTO PERPETUA ! Church of England, in a tolerating age, has shown her
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
IN SEVEN PARTS.
Facile crodo, plures esse Nataras Invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam
Guest heareth the Red as a rose is she;
bridal music, but An ancient Mari- It is an ancient Mariner,
the Mariner conner meetetl threa
Nodding their heads before her
tinu oth his tale. gallants bidden to And he stoppeth one of three :
The merry minstrelsy.
The Wedding-Guest be beat his breast,
Yet he cannot chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The ship drawn
by a storm toward Mayst hear the merry din.» Was tyrannous and strong:
the south pole.
Hold off!unhand me, grey-beard loon!. With sloping masts and dripping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe, The wedding He holds him with his glittering eye
And forward bends his head, guest is spellbound by the eye The wedding-guest stood still,
The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast, of the old seafar And listens like a three-years' child; And southward aye we tled. ing mao, and constrained to hear The Mariner hath his will.
And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold ;
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
and of fearful Did send a dismal sheen :
sounds, where no The ship was cheer'd, the harbour clear'd, Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken, living thing was Merrily did we drop
The ice was all between.
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around : The Mariner tells The Sun came up upon the left, It crack'd and growld, and roard and bow the ship sailed south-ward Out of the sea came he!
howld, with a good wind And he shone bright, and on the right Like noises in a swound ! and fair weather,
Went down into the sea. till it reached the line.
At length did cross an Albatross :
Till a great sea
bird, called the
fog, and was reThe Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, We hail'd it in God's name.
ceived with great For he heard the loud bassoon.
joy and hospitality.
to be seen.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
Day after day, day after day,
Aad lo! the Al And a good south-wind sprung up be- Water, water, every where,
And the Albabatross proreth a
tross begins to be hind;
And all the boards did shrink : bird of Good om
avenged. en, and followeth The Albatross did follow,
Water, water, every where, the ship as it re And every day, for food or play, Nor
any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot: 0 Christ!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils, ner inhospitably From the fiends, that plague thee thus! Burnt green, and blue and white. killeth the pious bird of good om- Why look'st thou so ?»— With my crossbow And some in dreams assured were
A spirit bad fol I shot the ALBATROSS.
lowed them: one Of the spirit that plagued us 80 ;
of the invisiblein
departed souls The Sun now rose upon the right:
nor angels; con Out of the sea came he,
cerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantin
popolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numeStill hid in mist, and on the left
rous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.
And every tongue, thro' utter drought,
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot,
their sore distress Had I from old and young!
would fain throw His shipmates ery And I had done an hellish thing, Instead of the cross, the Albatross
the whole guilt on out against the
the ancient Maancient Mariner, And it would work 'em woe: About my neck was hung.
riner: - in sign for killing the For all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
whereoftheyhaug bird of good
the dead sea-bird luck. That made the breeze to blow.
round bis neck. Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
There pass'd a weary time. Each throat
Was parch'd, and glazed each eye. justify the same,
A weary time! a weary time! and thus make Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird How glazed each weary eye, themselves accoraplices in the That brought the fog and mist.
When looking westward, I beheld
The arcient Macrime. 'T was right, said they, such birds to A something in the sky.
riner beboldeth a
siqa in the eleslay
ment afar off. That bring the fog and mist.
At first it seem'd a little speck, The fair breeze The fair breeze blew, the white foam And then it seem'd a mist; ;
flew, ship enters the
It moved and moved, and took at last Pacific Ocean and The furrow follow'd free;
A certain shape, I wist.
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
it dodged a water-sprite, been suddenly down,
It plunged and tack'd and veer'd. becalmed.
'T was sad as sad could be ;
proach, it seemThe silence of the sea !
eth him to be a We could nor laugh nor wail;
ship ; and at a
dear ransom he All in a hot and copper sky, Through utter drought all dumb we
freeth his speech The bloody Sun, at noon,
from the bonds of
I suck'd the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail !