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pursues his thoughts too far; and
SOUTHEY. considers more how he may show Whom did they imitate? If his them entirely, than how he may show genius is equal to theirs he has no them advantageously. Good men need of a guide. He also will be an may utter whatever comes upper- ancient; and the very counterparts of most, good poets may not. It is those, who now decry him, will extol better, but it is also more difficult, him a thousand years hence in mato make a selection of thoughts, than lignity to the moderns. Whatever to accumulate them. He who has a is good in poetry is common to all splendid sideboard, should likewise good poets, however wide may be have an iron chest with a double the diversity of manner. Nothing lock upon it, and should hold in re- can be more dissimilar than the three serve a greater part than he dis- Greek tragedians: but would you plays.
prefer the closest and best copier of Wordsworth goes out of his way Homer to the worst (whichever he to be attacked. He picks up a piece be) amongst them? Let us avoid of dirt, throws it on the carpet in the what is indifferent or doubtful, and midst of the company, and cries embrace what is good, whether we “ Tuis is a better man than any of see it in another or not; and if we you.” He does indeed mould the have contracted any peculiarity, base material into what form he while our muscles and bones were chooses; but why not rather invite softer, let us hope finally to outgrow us to contemplate it, than challenge it. Our feelings and modes of thinkus to condemn it? This surely is ing forbid and exclude a very frefalse taste.
quent imitation of the old classics, SOUTHEY
not to mention our manners, which The principal and the most gene- have a nearer connection than is geral accusation against Wordsworth nerally known to exist with the is, that the vehicle of his thoughts is higher poetry. When the occasion unequal to them. Now did ever the permitted it, Wordsworth has not dejudges at the Olympic games say, clined to treat a subject as an ancient “ We would have awarded to you the poet of equal vigour would have meed of victory, if your chariot had treated it. Let me repeat to you his been equal to your horses: it is true Laodamia. they have won ; but the people are displeased at a car neither new nor richly After your animated recital of this gilt, and without a gryphen or sphynx most classic poem, I begin to think engraven on the axle ?
more highly of you both. It is pleaYou admire simplicity in Euri- sant to find two poets living as bropides; you censure it in Wordsworth: thers, and particularly when the believe me, sir, it arises in neither palm lies between them, without any from penury of thought, which seldom third in sight. Those who have ashas produced it, but from the strength cended to the summit of the mounof temperance, and at the suggestion tain, sit quietly and familiarly side of principle.
by side; it is only those who are Take up a poem of Wordsworth's climbing with gravel in their shoes, and read it; I would rather say, read that scramble, kick, and jostle. You them all; and, knowing that a mind have recited a most spirited thing inlike yours must grasp closely what deed. I never had read it. Now to comes within it, I will then appeal to give you a proof that I have been atyou whether any poet of our country, tentive, I will remark two passages since Shakspeare, has exerted a that offend me. In the first stanza, greater variety of powers with less With sacrifice before the rising morn strain and less ostentation. I would Performed, my slaughtered lord have however, with his permission, lay be- quired ; fore you for this purpose a poem And in thick darkness, amid shades forlorn, which is yet unpublished and incom- Him of the infernal Gods have I desired. plete.
The second line and the fourth terPORSON.
minate too much alike: have I rePity, with his abilities, he does not quired and have I desired are worse imitate the ancients somewhat more. ihan prosaic. In another,
He spake of love, such love as spirits feel have made a common cause in behalf
them, conjured them to receive aFor all that is most perfect upon earth.
gain, while it was possible, the In a composition such as Sophocles glories of their species—and they might have exulted to own, and in a turned their backs. They pretend stanza the former part of which that it is not their business or their might have been heard with shouts duty to interfere in the internal afof rapture in the regions he describes, fairs of other states. This is not an how unseasonable is the allusion to internal affair of any state whatever : witness and second birth, which it interests all ; it belongs to all; things, however holy and venerable and these scrupulous men have no in themselves, come stinking and scruple to interfere in giving their reeking to us from the conventicle. countenance and assistance, when a I desire to see Laodamia in the silent province is to be torn away or a peoand gloomy mansion of her beloved ple to be enslaved. The most conProtesilaus ; not elbowed by the temptible of the Medicean family godly butchers in Tottenham-court- did more for the advancement of letroad, nor smelling devoutly of ratafia ters than all the potentates now in among the sugar-bakers at Black- existence. If their delicacy is shocked friars.
or alarmed at the idea of making a Mythologies should be kept dis- proposal to send scientific and learntinct: the fire-place of one should ed men thither, let them send a never be subject to the smoke of brace of printers and the property is another. The Gods of different their own. Twenty men in seven countries, when they come together years might retrieve all the losses we unexpectedly, are jealous Gods, and, have experienced from the bigotry of as our old women say, turn the house popes and califs. I do not intend to out of windows.
assert, that every Herculanean maA current of rich and bright nuscript might within that period be thoughts runs throughout the poem. unfolded; but the three first senPindar himself would not, on that tences of the larger part might be ; subject, have braced one into more which is quite sufficient to inform nerve and freshness, nor Euripides the scholar, whether a further athave inspired into it more tenderness tempt on the scroll would repay his and more passion. I am not insen- trouble. There are fewer than thirty sible to that warmly chaste morality Greek authors worth inquiring for; which is the soul of it, nor indiffer- they exist beyond doubt, and beyond ent to the benefits that literature on doubt they may with attention, pamany occasions has derived from tience, and skill be brought to light. Christianity. But poetry is a luxury With a smaller sum than is annually to which, if she tolerates and per- expended on the appointment of mits it, she accepts no invitation : some silly and impertinent young she beats down your gates and cita- envoy, we might recall into existence dels, levels your high places, and all, or nearly all, those men of imeradicates your groves. For which mortal name, whose disappearance reason I dwell more willingly with has been the regret of genius for those authors, who cannot mix and three hundred years. In my opinion confound the manners they represent. a few thousand pounds laid out on The hope that we may rescue at such an undertaking would be laid Herculaneum a great number of out as creditably as on a Persian them hath, I firmly believe, kept me carpet or a Turkish tent; as creditalive. Reasonably may all the bestably as on a collar of rubies and a be imagined to exist in a library of ball-dress of Brussells-lace for our some thousands. It will be recorded lady in the manger, or as on gilding, to the eternal infamy of the kings for the adoration of princesses and and princes now reigning, or rather their capuchins, the posteriors and of those whose feet put into motion anteriors of saint Januarius. their rocking-horses, that they never
THE CHASE:A DRAMATICLE.
AMARYLLO, a young lord of Spain.
SYLVIAN, his friend; an Italian.
NERINĀ, a Catalan girl.
Scene... The Sea-shore. Shipwreck at a distance.
Storm; with fits of Sunshine.
Enter SYLVIAN and MARINEL.
What though it shew bleak and inhospitable,
Ne'er yet might dash the wooer.
The high-hung wave on which our bark sat balanced,
His threats have lost their terror.
I've been so toss'd, by wind and saucy wave,
Look'd like young tilters at a tournament ?
Or shook the stunning waters from his ears,
Of her slender leg, and-off! he's after her.
I laugh'd to see him shake his fist at the wave
Where shall we look to find him
That same fair Oread makes her tabernacle,
We had some hope of finding him.
Then Love must be his pilot. Keep the way;
Call back this wanton falcon. Amaryllo !
Scene changes to the Mountain Rocks.
Enter NERINA, as pursued.
Soft! soft my bosom !-Juno! here's a gallant !
(Enters the Cave. Hear'n keep that spring-foot greyhound from my lair !
Re-enter SYLVIAN and MARINEL.
Mark you yon dusky wreaths that climb the air
Its long sails furla.
What towers are these, whose yellow-pointed spires
Gleaming at times? these, here upon the right?
"Tis a foul wind blows no one home. Of Rosas, say you ?
How speaks report of this same lord of Rosas ?
As different from this
Lest they should blast me for the utterance.
Not worth the spending of a thunderbolt;
Mendes, I think they call him.
He bore the pacquet from the lord of Rosas
Me and his brother Amaryllo.
He told me of this lord :-
(Thunder. Hush ! hush! I've hurt the ears of heaven. Sylvian. You have ;
And thus it bellows out its pain. O folly! Marinel. Why, do you not believe this fact ?
Sylvian. No, not a point of it:
Tush! tush! good captain, leave such goblin tales
(Exit. Marinel. I'm with you, sir.
That thunder did not growl for nothing :
Re-enter SYLVIAN and MARIXEL.
Running my thread of error like a spirit:
Since you twain and I last parted.
And leave it printless ; walk the sea itself,
By Cupid's bow! she's swifter than his arrow.
She is a very paramour for angels.
To make a baby-bed some nine months hence ?
(Woman, you wot, makes Nimrods of us all),
Stood mute, and lost my purpose.
Is't not a sign the heav'ns will soon be glad?
Whom Amaryllo wooes.
Whom Amaryll' has won,
Would swell the Tyrrhen waters to o'ertop
A breakfast for one bee.
This is not shriving-time; else you'd confess