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standing it as the moral warfare of indignation and ridicule against turpitude and absurdity,' attacked the corruptions of the clergy, prayed heaven to amend the pope, and predicted the reign of a king, who should destroy the monasteries. Mr. Campbell has given a very masterly character of this early satirist.

' His style, even making allowance for its antiquity, has a vulgar air, and seems to indicate a mind that would have been coarse, though strong, in any state of society. But, on the other hand, his work, with all its tiresome homilies, illustrations from school divinity, and uncouth phraseology, has some interesting features of originality. He employs no borrowed materials; he is the earliest of our writers in whom there is a tone of moral reflection, and his sentiments are those of bold and solid integrity. The zeal of truth was in him; and his vehement manner sometimes rises to eloquence, when he denounces hypocrisy and imposture. The mind is struck with his rude voice, proclaiming independent and popular sentiments, from an age of slavery and superstition, and thundering a prediction in the ear of papacy, which was doomed to be literally fulfilled at the distance of nearly two hundred years. His allusions to contemporary life afford some ainusing glimpses of its manners. There is room to suspect that Speuser was acquainted with his works; and Milton, either from accident or design, has the appearance of having had one of Langlande's passages in his mind, when he wrote the sublime description of the lazar-house in Paradise Lost.' Vol. I, p. 68.

The sixteenth century gave birth to a singular pastoral poet, Alexander Barclay, a priest of St. Mary Otterburne, in Devonshire. His pictures of rural felicity lack the customary enchantment with which his brethren of the song have been used to environ them, as his conception of the times immediately succeeding the golden age of Paradise will abundantly testify.

Adam, he tells us in verse, was one day abroad at his work Eve was at the door of the house, with her children playing about her; some of them she was “ kembing,” says the poet, prefixing another participle, not of the most delicate kind, to describe the usefulness of the comb. Her Maker having deigned to pay her a visit, she was ashamed to be found with so many ill-drest children about her, and hastened to stow a number of them out of sight; some of them she concealed under hay and straw, others she put up the chimney, and one or two in a “tub of draff.” Hav. ing produced, however, the best looking and best dressed of them, she was delighted to hear their Divine visitor bless them, and destine some of them to be kings and emperors, some dukes and barons, and others sheriffs, mayors, and aldermen. Unwilling that any of her family should forfeit blessings whilst they were going, she immediately drew out the remainder from their concealment; but when they came forth, they were so covered with dust and cobwebs, and had so many bits of chaff and straw sticking to their

hair, that instead of receiving benedictions and promotion, they were doomed to vocations of toil and poverty, suitable to their dirty appearance. Vol. I. p. 99.

We can by no means agree with Mr. Campbell, in calling Spen. ser the Rubens of English poetry,' no two styles, as far as we can compare the sister arts, appear to us to be more dissimilar. The colouring of Rubens is vivid, dazzling, and diversified; splitting his pictures into a variety of parts, and never permitting the eye to repose itself. The tints of the poet of the Faerie Queene, are soft, melting, and harmonized; and taking each book as a separate painting, every touch heightens the general effect, and contributes to the beauty of the whole. In the Flemish artist, for the most part, his stories are well told, but his separate component figures are far from pleasing; the powers of Spenser lie in a directly opposite direction; his general design is faulty in the extreme, and his story impossible in execution; yet nothing in poetry can go beyond the exquisite delicacy of each detached scene, and the happy conception of individual character. He is, indeed, a 'painter who makes us forget the defect of his design by the magic of his colouring;' but not by this only, for even his colouring is subordinate to the merit both of his particular grouping, and his single figures. If we still doubt that Spenser and Reubens are to be assigned to different schools, let us pause but for a moment on the perfection of grace and dignity in Una, or in Britomart, and then turn to one of the fleshy and abdominous vrows in the judgment of Paris,

We have more charity also to Gammer Gurton's Needle than Mr. Campbell expresses. The main incident, indeed, the loss of a needle, in a man's small clothes, is not of the heroic class, but it has afforded us many a hearty laugh; it is decently managed, and it possesses one very rare quality, that of being highly humorous without being at all vulgar. Of Ben Johnson's excellencies we have not long ago had occasion to speak so much at large, that we must only repeat ourselves if we again entered upon an estimate of them. Mr. Campbell (with some hesitation, however, trav dexo71 de Juncu) gives the palm to the Epicæne in preference to the Fox and the Alchymist. To us, we confess, that the Fox appears the purest, the most legitimate, and the most truly classical comedy which our language has produced. If it were left alone, the soli. tary surviving wreck of all his works, it would indisputably, of itself, entitle its author to the same high rank which he now holds while his numerous laurels are entire. Chalkhill's exquisite description of the Temple of Diana, we have also recently laid before our readers. We can refer them to the abode of the witch Orandre,' as another very choice specimen of his rich and romantic muse. In his estimate of our elder dramatists, Mr. Campbell's remarks are so just, that we can only lament their brevity, and regret that a more extensive survey was incompatible with the plan which he has laid down for himself.

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Of the school of Dryden and Pope also, he speaks with that high merited admiration, which it has been the contagious disease of vulgar minds of late to deny it. For ourselves, perhaps, we place the elder of these poets on a still loftier pedestal than is here assigned him; and we are convinced that the more diligently his works are studied, the more firmly will his fame be established. It has been the fashion to represent him as coarse and deficient in finishing; that Dryden has coarse and unfinished passages, cannot be denied; but that in the great mass of his words, the boldness, vigour, and elasticity of his touch, by any means detract from grace and delicacy, where he deems them appropriate ornaments, we utterly deny. Where are we to look for examples of refinement in our poetry, if they are not to be found in the light and aerial pictures of the Flower and the Leaf? or where shall we discover more pleasing images of repose than in the Epistle to his Kinsman, John Dryden, of Chesterton? We cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of extracting the foilowing able defence of our other great poet, from a charge which, however commonly advanced against him, has neitheir meaning nor justice; and we heartily thank Mr. Campbell for having set it at rest, as we hope, for ever.

That Pope was neither so insensible to the beauties of nature, nor so indistinct in describing them as to forfeit the character of a genuine poet, is what I mean to urge, without exaggerating his picturesqueness. But before speaking of that quality in his writings, I would beg leave to observe, in the first place, that the faculty by which a poet luminously describes objects of art, is essentially the same faculty, which enables him to be a faithful describer of simple nature; in the second place, that nature and art are to a greater degree relative terms in poetical description than is generally recollected: and, thirdly, that artificial objects and manners are of so much importance in fiction, as to make the exquisite description of them no less characteristic of genius than the description of simple physical appearances. The poet is “creation's heir.” He deepens our social interest in existence. It is surely by the liveliness of the interest which he excites in existence, and not by the class of subjects which he chooses, that we most fairly appreciate the genius or the life of life which is in him. It is no irreverence to the external charms of nature to say, that they are not more important to a poet's study, than the manners and affections of his species. Nature is the poet's goddess; but by nature, no one rightly understands her mere inanimate facehowever charming it may be-or the simple landscape painting of trees, clouds, precipices, and flowers. Why then try Pope, or any other poet, exclusively by his powers of describing inanimate phenomena? Nature, in the wide and proper sense of the word, means life in all its circumstances-nature moral as well as external. As the subject of inspired fiction. nature includes artificial forms and manners. Richardson is no less a painter of nature than

Homer. Homer himself is a minute describer of works of art; and Milton is full of imagery derived from it. Satan's spear is compared to the pine that makes " the mast of some great ammiral,” and his shield is like the moon, but like the moon artificially seen through the glass of the Tuscan artist. “The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, the royal banner, and all quality, pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war,” are all artificial images. When Shakspeare groups into one view the most sublime objects of the universe, he fixes first on the cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples.” Those who have ever witnessed the spectacle of the lanching of a ship of the line, will perhaps forgive me for adding this to the examples of the sublime objects of artificial life. Of that spectacle I can never forget the impression, and of having witnessed it reflected from the faces of ten thousand spectators. They seem yet before me I sympathize with their deep and silent expectatjon, and with their final burst of enthusiasm. It was not a vulgar joy, but an affecting national solemnity. When the vast bulwark sprang from her cradle, the calm water on which she swung majestically round, gave the imagination a contrast of the stormy element on which she was soon to ride. All the days of battle and the nights of danger which she had to encounter, all the ends of the earth which she had to visit, and all that she had to do and to suffer for her country, rose in awful presentiment before the mind; and when the heart gave her a benediction, it was like one pronounced on a living being." Vol. I.

We do not complain that Mr. Campbell is too poetical here. He speaks with the enthusiasm which a poet ought to feel for an injured brother, and he expresses himself in a lofty but unforced strain of legitimate eloquence.

The remaining six volumes of this work are occupied by critical notices and specimens;-—we shall endeavour to glean a few particulars from the former, but to extract from extracts would be only to pour water on a dilution. James I. of Scotland, was a statesman as well as a poet, and a primitive legislator, who seemed to think that punishment had little other origin than what it could find in the Lex Talionis--a petty chieftain of the North, Macdonald, having wronged the widow of his retainers, she threatened an appeal to the king. The barbarian seized the unhappy woman, and ordered her feet to be shod with iron plates nailed to the soles, adding this bitter sarcasm, that she was now armed against the roughness of the roads. The poor sufferer, however, found means to acquaint the king with her tragedy. He surprised Macdonald, and having shod him and twelve of his associates in a similar manner, after several days exposure in Edinburgh, consigned them to the executioner. Drayton, in his childhood, was very anxious to know what strange kind of beings poets were, and, on his coming to college, importuned his tutor, if possible, to make him a

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poet. (By the way, we wish the booksellers would indulge us with an edition of his works collected. It is difficult to meet with the Poly Olbion entire, and the folio, when the whole is to be found, sells at a great price.)-William Cartwright was a' most florid and seraphic preacher:' William Quarles a volumnious saint;' two characters which, if we may judge from the signs of the times, are not yet extinct among us. In the course of the civil war, George Wither was taken prisoner by the royalists, some of whom pressed for his execution, as of one of the most seditious among the puritanical faction. Denham, the poet, is said to have saved his life by an opportune jeu d'esprit. He humbly prayed his majesty that he would be pleased not to hang his prisoner, for as long as Wither lived, he (Denham) could not be counted the worst poet land. It may be questioned whether, if this unhappy wight had really drank of Aganippe at its source, he would not have sacri. ficed his life to prevent the sarcasm. Dr. Henry Moore, the author of Psychozoia, studied the Platonic writers and mystic divines till his frame became emaciated, and his enthusiasm was so excited, that he held vivá voce conversations with invisible spirits, and fancied that his body exhaled the perfume of violets. Nat Lee's derangement was of another kind-partly hereditary, and partly aggravated by habits very alien from Platonic studies. He was for a short time on the stage as an actor, and though in this line completely unsuccessful, he read aloud from his own tragedies in so pathetic a manner, that, according to Cibber, when the poet one day was reading to Mohun at a rehearsal, Mohun, in the warmth of his admiration, threw down his part and said, unless I were able to play it as well as you read it, to what purpose should I undertake it?' Much has been said of the ungenial office which was bestowed upon Burns in our own days--we did not know that his patrons had high authority in the same line. Rowe's preferment was that of poet laureate, and land surveyor of the customs; a union which, if Mr. Southey is allowed to practise what his favourite poet sung, is not likely to be revived. “Why,' asks this gentleman, in his Specimens of English Poetry, 'is Pomfret's Choice the most popular poem in our language.' Why,' observes Mr. Campbell, it may be inquired with equal propriety, is London bridge built of Parian marble?' Matthew Green, though he wrote a poem with a hypochondriacal title, “The Spleen,' was a facetious fellow, as the following anecdote will testify. “One day his friend, Sylvanus Bevan, complained to him, that while he was bathing in the river, he had been saluted by a waterman with the cry of Quaker Quirl, and wondered how he should have been known to be a Quaker without his clothes, Green replied, ' by your swimming against the stream.' (Vol. v. 49). William Hamilton, of Bangour, whom, we know not why, it has sometimes been the fashion to call a poet, was a desperate lover,—that is, in verse. A Scotch lady whom he teased with his addresses, applied to Home, the author of Douglas, for advice how to get rid of them. Homé ad

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