« AnteriorContinuar »
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 oiher 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 obliquy and the unreasonableness, itent wicked punished, in proportion to their disposithe amazement and the disorder, the sinart 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 tall 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 depravily, 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 sutler are in a bad tasle, 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 fale? Again, the latter only! His wish is expressly consubject in which Eternity is opposed to Time, and a tined 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 sind 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 sellish ambition. Now, what it 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 trailors 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 10 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 afier description, the Bishop was the glory of having written the PARADISE Lost, are feeding and feasting his party-haired, and with those light in the scale, nay, kick the beam, compared individuals before the eyes of his imagination enjoy. with the atrocious malignity of heart expressed in ing, trait by trait, horror atier horror, the picture of the offensive paragraph. I remembered, in general, their intolerable agonies ? Yet this bigot would have that Milion 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 ihis 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 ihat announced the Paradise ever directly or indirectly engaged or assisted in Lost as plainly as ever the bright purple clouds in their persecution. Oh! meihinks 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 nave 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 wilsully 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 spealy 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 un. mous. 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 engrafi, 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; bui 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
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 pain. which, 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 lighteih memoranda of his own Life, concerning the subile 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 lo 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 10 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 ture. 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 oflend then 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 cælus Christiani antistibus esse, ut dolos unimportant to expose the false zeal which has occaver sent, falsa veris intermisceant et imprimis religionis sioned these attacks on our elder patriots. It has hostes fallant, dummodo veritatis commodis el utilitati been too much the fashion, first to personify the inserciant.
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 main. of his own words) agglomerative ; still more rich in taining the existing laws, than the persecuring 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. Wheiher 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 buluark 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 PER 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.
| The bride hath paced into the hall, The wedding-
guest heareth the An ancient Mari- It is an ancient Mariner,
bridal music; but per meeteth three And he stoppeth one of three :
Nodding their heads before her goes the Mariner congallants bidden to
tinueth his tale.
The Wedding-Guesthe beat his
Yet he cannot choose but hear;
The bright-eyed Mariner.
And now the STORM-BLAST came, and the ship drawn
by a storm toward
the south pole
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe, The wedding- He holds him with his glittering eye-Land forward bends his head, guest is spell
The Wedding-Guest stood still, The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the bound by the eye
blast, And listens like a three-years' child ; of the old seafaring man, and con- The Mariner hath his will.
And southward aye we Ned.
And now there came both mist and
Aud it grew wondrous cold;
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
and of fearful
sounds, where no
living thing was
to be seen. Below the light-house top.
The ice was all between. The Mariner tells The Sun came up upon the left, The ice was here, the ice was there, how the ship sail- Out of the sea came he!
The ice was all around : ed southward
And he shone bright, and on the right It crack'd and growl’d, and roar'd anu with a good wind and for renther, Went down into ine sea.
hould, ili it reached the IIigher and higher every day,
Like noises in a swound ! lice
Till a great prile
bird, called the
through the now
As if it had been a Christian soul, fog, and wist
ceived with pipilt
joy and huspital 70
It ate the food it ne'er had eat, Day after day, day after day,
And lo! the Al- And a good south-wind sprung up Water, water, everywhere,
And the Albabatross proveth behind;
And all the boards did shrink : tross begins to bo a bird of good The Albatross did follow,
Water, water, everywhere,
avenged. omen, and followeth the ship as it And every day, for food or play, Nor
any drop to drink. returned north- Came to the mariner's hollo! ward through fog
The very deep did rot: 0 Christ! and floating ice.
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, That ever this should be !
The death-fires danced at night;
A spirit had folomen,
Why look'st thou so ?"—With my And some in dreams assured were lowed them : one cross-bow
of the spirit that plagued us so ; of the invisible inI shot the ALBATROSS.
Nine fathom deep he had follow'd us habitants of this
planet,-neither PART IT.
nor angels ; conThe Sun now rose upon the right: cerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Out of the sea came he,
Constantinopolitan, Michael Paellus, may be consulted. They
Was wither'd at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
The shipmates, in
their sore distresy His shipmates cry And I had done an hellish thing, Ah! well-a-day!: what evil looks
would fain throw out against the And it would work 'em woe:
Had I from old and young !
the whole guilt on ancient Mariner, for killing the bird For all averr’d, I had kill'd the bird Instead of the cross, the Albatross
the ancient MarThat made the breeze to blow.
About my neck was hung. of good-luck.
iner :-in sign
whereof they Ah wretch ! said they, the bird to
hang the dead slay,
sea-bird round That made the breeze to blow !
one or more.
But when the fog Nor dim nor red, like God's own THERE pass'd a weary time. Each cleared off, they head,
throat justify the same, The glorious Sun uprist:
Was parch'd, and glazed each eye. and thus make themselves ac
Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird A weary time! a weary time! complices in the That brought the fog and mist.
How glazed each weary eye,
The ancient Ma. crime. ’T was right, said they, such birds to When looking westward, i beheld
riner beholdeth a slay A something in the sky.
sign in the eleThat bring the fog and mist.
ment afar off
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; continues ; the flew,
It moved and moved, and took at last ship enters the Pacific Ocean and The furrow follow'd free;
A certain shape, I wist. sails northward, We were the first that ever burst even till it reach- Into that silent sea.
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! es the Line.
And still it near'd and near'd : The ship hath Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt As if it dodged a water-sprite, • been suddenly down,
It plunged and tack'd and veer'd. beca.med.
'T was sad as sad could be ;
proach, it seem
eth him to be a We could nor laugh nor wail ;
ship ; and at a All in a hot and copper sky,
Through utter drought all dumb we dear ransom ho
stood; The bloody Sun, at noon,
freeth his gpeech
from the bonds us Right up above the mast did stand, I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,
thirst. No bigger than the Moon.
And cried, A sail! a sail !
With throats unslaked, with black One after one, by the star-dogged One after au lips baked,
And all at once their breath drew in, pang,
And cursed me with his eye.
His shipmates Lows: for can it be Hither to work us weal ;
|(And I heard nor sigh nor groan),
drop down dead a ship, that comes onward without Without a breeze, without a tide, With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, wind or tide ? She steadies with upright keel! They dropp'd down one by one.
The western wave was all a flame, The souls did from their bodies fly,— But Life-in-
Death begins her
work on the anRested the broad bright Sun;
guest feareth that It seemeth him And straight the Sun was fleck'd I fear thy skinny hand !
a spirit is talking but the skeleton with bars,
And thou art long, and lank, and to him; of a ship. (Heaven's Mother send us grace!) brown,
As if through a dungeon-grate he As is the ribb'd sea-sand.*
" 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- Bnt the ancient loud)
Mariner assureth How fast she nears and nears! This body dropt not down.
him of his bodily
life, and proceedAre those her sails that glance in the
eth to relate bis Sun, Alone, alone, all, all alone,
horrible penance. Like restless gossameres ?
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on And its ribs are Are those her ribs through which the My soul in agony. seen as bars on
Sun the face of the
Did peer, as through a grate ; setting Sun.
The many men, so beautiful! He despiseth the
creatures of tho And is that woman all her crew ? And they all dead did lie :
calm. The spectre- Is that a DEATH, and are there two ? | And a thousand thousand slimy woman and her Is Death that woman's mate?
things death-mate, and no other on board Her lips were red, her looks were
Lived on; and so did I. the skeleton-ship. Like vessel, like free,
I look'd upon the rotting sea, And envieth tha: crew ! Her locks were yellow as gold : And drew my eyes away;
they should live, Her skin was as white as leprosy,
and so many lie I look'd upon the rotting deck, The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was And there the dead men lay.
Who thicks man's blood with cold. I look'd to Heaven, and tried to pray ; Death, and Life- The naked hulk alongside came,
But or ever a prayer had gush'd, in-Death have
A wicked whisper came, and made diced for the And the twain were casting dice; ship's crew, and “The game is done! I've won, I've My heart as dry as dust. she (the latter) winneth the an
I closed my lids, and kept them close, cient Mariner. Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
And the balls like pulses beat; No twilight The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush For the sky and the sea, and the sea within the courts
and the sky,
Lay like a load on my weary eye
And the dead were at my feet.
The cold sweat melted from their But the curse liv
limbs, At the rising of We listen'd and look'd sideways up!
eth for him in the he moon, Fear at my heart, as at a cup, Nor rot nor reek did they ;
eye of the dead
The look with which they look'd on
A spirit from on high;
# For the two last lines of this stanza, I am indebted to Mr. The horned Moon, with one bright wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from Nother Stowey star
to Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the Autumn of 1797 Within the nether tip.
that this poem was planned, and in part composed.