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Calling on man his spirit to attune
With a most deep delight. Whenever I
In liquid music o'er Arcadian plains."
“ The Wanderer's Early Recollec-
these high themes : Then would my heart its deepest sense confess “ Mine was the mood, aided by impulse warm Of thy immortal verse, () bard inspired ! of young credulity, when aught that wears Whose holy harpings waked the wondrous song The female form, to man so justly dear, Of Eden's fair, but sin-polluted, bowers. If rife with youth's fresh bloom, divine appears; The majesty of Nature, veiled in gloom, And if the fair one be exalted too The melancholy light of her last smiles Above those un-ideal shapes that throng All emblematic of departed joy,
The ways of vulgar life, if phrase refined, My mind with kindred pensiveness embued. A voice for music framed, soft blandishments, In the first blush of renovated bloom
And beaming smiles are added thereunto, Worn by awakening spring, when bees of flowers She in the sanctuary of the heart is placed, Grow amorous, and insect myriads sport As though she were the sole existing thing All the long day on the elastic air ;
Worthy man's worship ; like a goddess shrined When birds pour forth their choral songs, and in the most sacred temple of the land ;
Invested too with all that excellence Relax from their sweet toil through the brief Born of the fulness of her votary's soul.”
hours Of night's diminish'd sway; when from the The latter part of the Recollections depths
exhibits ofheaven's clear azure, the young moon of May
equal poetical power; but we Through the green glades a glancing love-light own that we do not think the subject, sends,
-the caprice of a heartless coquette, Undimm’d, save that some gauzy cloud may and its effects on her lover,-deserves
float Like sail of fairy bark athwart her track; the talent-bestowed upon it. MateriWhen o'er the earth a great enchanter rules, em superabat opus. Joying in nature's metamorphosis, The visible working of his viewless wand,
The next poem, “ The Seal HuntThat well in times of eld might be ascribed ers,” creates a striking and delightful To power of fay benign or genius good - diversity. Mrs. Godwin paints the In that sweet time, the blythest of the year, The heart of man, attemper'd to glad thoughts, rigors of the polar regions with a masFeels all its pulses beat in unison
terly pencil. One would think she With life’s reviving call: then would my mind, had accompanied Captain Parry in his Abandon'd to the passionate romance
northern expeditions. of the soft season, yield its senses up To the illusions of the poet's dream ;
The adventures of two young and Wander with fair Titania o'er the meads, gallant
Finlanders, their voyage And through the moon-lit forests resonant With laugh of mischief-loving elves; no maze,
through the stormy Arctic Sea, their Howe'er fantastic, by thy spells conjur’d, disembarkation (we had nearly said Magician great of Avon's gentle shores !
landing) on an iceberg, the drifting Fail'd to ensnare the homage of my heartThe humblest mite of all the grateful praise
and destruction of their frail boat, Admiring ages shall to thee accord
their suffering and despair, and their For a rich banquet stored with rarest cates
ultimate deliverance, are told with a Which thy unrivall'd genius hath dispread. Nor let me here withhold thy due award,
truth, a pathos, and an energy, which O courtly minstrel ! whose kind Fairy Queen will greatly surprise as well as gratify Led my entranced steps through many a bower the reader. And sylvan haunt so wondrously bedight,
We have devoted a larger space to None but a poet's eye might image it ; Nor could the splendid hues wherein all things extracts from this volume than we can Were steep'd thy fertile fancy did create, well spare ; but there is reality, and Have flow'd from aught but an inspired source. I love the graceful chivalry that hath garbid
strength, and body, in Mrs. Godwin's Woman's fair form in attributes so bright, poetry; and, in these days, a volume She may be placed in man's adoring mind, of which this can be honestly affirmed, Upon a pedestal, bis baser thoughts
must not be lightly esteemed, or hasDare not profane. Mine ear receives The stately measure of those antique rhymes tily discussed.
REVISED and improved, the second “Do not require your dress so much edition of Pelham comes in evidence to fit, as to adorn you. Nature is not how much its early praise has been to be copied, but to be axalted by art. confirmed by public approbation. We Apelles blamed Protogenes for being believe few novels have been more too natural. read, more talked of,-ay, or more “Never in your dress altogether criticised, (rather as if the hero were desert that taste which is general. an actual and living person, than the The world considers eccentricity in principal character in a book), and great things, genius ; in small things, his lively impertinences made matters folly. of personal offence by the readers ; Remember, that none but those thereby acknowledging, somewhat un- whose courage is unquestionable, can awares, the truth of the delineation. venture to be effeminate. It was onPelham is the representative of a cer ly in the field that the Lacedemonians tain class : the question is neither of were accustomed to use perfumes and its mental nor its moral excellence; curl their hair. but does that class exist, and is the “Never let the finery of chains and likeness taken of it an accurate one ? rings seem your own choice; that And that, both in his talents and fol- which naturally belongs to women, lies, his higher qualities and affecta— should appear only worn for their tions, Pelham is a picture, as true as sake. We dignify foppery, when we it is animated, of a large portion of invest it with a sentiment. young men of the present day, no one “ The most graceful principle of can deny. We have heard it object- dress is neatness; the most vulgar is ed, that it is not a representation of preciseness. human nature : what human nature ac “ Dress contains the two codes of tually is at this period, would be a morality-private and public. Attenmatter of some difficulty to ascertain, tion is the duty we owe to othersmodified as it is by education, con cleanliness that which we owe to ourtrolled by circumstance, and com- selves. pounded of customs and costumes. “ Dress so that it may never be said The novelist must take, not make, bis of you · What a well-dressed man !materials; and in all states of society, but, “What a gentleman-like man!' whether one of furs, feathers, and “ Nothing is superficial to a deep paint, au naturel,—or of those furs observer! It is in trifles that the turned into muffs, those feathers wav- mind betrays itself. “In what part of ing over helmets and barrettes, and that letter,' said a king to the wisest that paint softened into rouge and of living diplomatists, did you discopearl-powder,—the view taken by an ver irresolution ?' “In its ns and gs." acute observer will be valuable as was the answer. philosophy ; and it is as an accurate, “ There is an indifference to please lively delineation of existing society, in a stocking down at heel—but there that we hold ourselves justified in may be a malevolence in a diamond predicting that Pelham will be a stan- ring. dard, as well as popular, work. There “He who esteems trifies for themis a very clever preface, new to this selves, is a trifler-he who esteems edition, and some very amusing max them for the conclusions to be drawn ims : we will extract two or three for from them, or the advantage to which our readers' benefit.
they can be put, is a philosopher."
* Pelham ; or, the Adventures of a Gentleman. Second edition. 3 vols, 12mo. London, 1828.
We have seldom met with a work to the young stranger's appearance-it which calls for more minute attention was the strikingly bold, buoyant, frank, than the one now before us. If there and almost joyous, expression which be any truth in what some writer as- presided over all. There seemed to serts, that the most original genius dwell the first glow and life of youth, must take its tone from its own times, undimmed by a single fear, and unbafhighly indeed do the present volumes Aed in a single hope. There were speak for their existing period; for how the elastic spring, the inexhaustible much must the nature of even amuse wealth of energies, which defied, in ment be improved, when a novel can their exulting pride, the heaviness of be made the vehicle of philosophical sorrow and the harassments of time. discussion and metaphysical discovery, It was a face that while it filled you --not the less true and profound for with some melancholy foreboding of being thrown out in conversations, not the changes and chances which must in essays-in a delightful fiction, in- in the inevitable course of fate cloud stead of a treatise ? We ourselves the openness of the unwrinkled brow, own to liking the plan of the old- and soberise the fire of the daring and fashioned gardens, where the fruits restless eye, instilled also within you that sustained life were surrounded by some assurance of triumph, and some borders of the flowers that adorned it. omen of success :-a vague but powerDifferent systems of conduct, embo- ful sympathy with the adventurous and died in different characters, are here cheerful spirit which appeared literaldeveloped with an accuracy and a va- ly to speak in its expression. It was riety which the most minute know- a face you might imagine in one born ledge of human nature alone could under a prosperous star; and you felt, have produced: from the humorous as you gazed, a confidence in that delineation of the broker, Mr. Brown, bright countenance which, like the “ a most excellent article”-to that shield of the British prince, seemed of the high-minded Algernon Mor- possessed with the power to charm daunt, all bespeak the same power of into impotence the evil spirits who investigation into the deep recesses of menaced its possessor.” the heart, and the eye of one accus Then we have the young artist, postomed not only to see, but to observe- sessing all the faults and the unbappitwo faculties more distinct than is ness, with all the redeeming beauty of generally admitted.
genius ;-the stern republican feedWith regard to the various charac- ing his fierce enthusiasm, till crime ters, we have no terms too high for seems but a harsh necessity,-brought the praise of their excellent delinea- into admirable contrast with Crauford, tion. Perhaps Algernon Mordaunt whose pitiful guilt is but the result of is as fine a picture of the ideal of ex- selfish and sensual indulgence. We cellence in our nature as was ever have also the volunteer gipsy, a lover fashioned by either philosophy or po- of liberty too, but satisfied with taking etry. His whole story is one of the it himself, without either extending it most painful but exciting interest. to or abridging it in others ;-and last, Clarence Linden is--but let the though not least, Mr. Talbot, votary author speak for his other hero. and victim of vanity, whose story
“ It was neither his features nor his forms one of the most masterly epiform, eminently handsome as they sodes in the work,—the strength and were, which gave the principal charm weakness of vanity being exhibited in
* The Disowned. By the Author of " Pelham.” 4 vols. 12mo. London, 1828.
very striking colors. There is not, how- consolation in the voices of nature or ever, more variety of character than of the mysteries of romance; they have style ; the serious reflection of the become the petty stings and the falling tasked mind succeeds some even po- drops, the irritating and vexing littleetical bursts of the imagination; and nesses of life; they have neither digif there be much of grave and serious nity on the one hand, nor delusion on converse, it is companioned by the the other. One by one they cling most lively wit. In making our ex- around us, like bonds of iron ; they tracts we will open the page and take multiply their links; they grow over our chance. The following passage our hearts; and the feelings, once too is a beautiful specimen of the author's wild for the very earth, fold their more serious style :
broken wings within the soul. Dull “ How little, when we read the and heavy thoughts, like dead walls, work, do we care for the author! close around the laughing flowers and How little do we reck of the sorrow fields that so enchanted us of yore ; from which a jest has been forced, or the sins, the habits, the reasonings of the weariness that an incident has the world, like rank and gloomy fogs, beguiled! But the power to fly from shut out the exulting heavens from feeling, the recompense of literature our view; the limit of our wandering for its heart-burnings and cares, the becomes the length of our chain ; the disappointment and the anxiety, the height of our soarings, the summit of cavil and the censure sharp,'-even our cell. Fools—fools that we are, this passes away, and custom drags on then, to imagine that the works of our the dull chain which enthusiasm once later years shall savor of the freedom so passionately wore! Alas, for the and aspirations of our youth ; or that age when, in the creation of fiction, amidst all which hourly and momentawe could lose the bitterness and bar- rily recals and binds our hearts and renness of truth ! The sorrows of spirits to the eternal “self,' we can youth, if not wholly ideal, borrow at give life, and zest, and vigor, to the least from the imagination their color imaginary actions and sentiments of and their shape. What marvel, then, another!” that from the imagination come also It is said a few short sentiments best their consolation and their hope ? But eluecidate the mind of a man—we will now, in manhood, our fancy consti- see what they will do for an author. tutes but little of our aflictions, and “ We have often thought that prinpresents to us no avenues for escape. ciple to the mind is what a free conIn the toil, the fret, the hot, the un- stitution is to a people : without that quiet, the exhausting engrossments of principle, or that free constitution, the maturer years, how soon the midnight one may be for the moment as good lamp loses its enchantment, and the the other as happy ; but we cannot noon-day visions their spell ! We tell how long the goodness and the are bound by a thousand galling and happiness will continue. grinding ties to this hard and unholy There is no dilemma in which vanity earth. We become helots of the soil cannot find an expedient to derelope of dust and clay; denizens of the pol- its form; no stream of circumstances luted smoke, the cabined walls, and in which its buoyant and light nature the stony footing of the inhospitable will not rise to float on the surface. world. What now have our griefs And its ingenuity is as fertile as that with the moonlit melancholy,' the of the player who (his wardrobe algentle tenderness of our young years ? lowing him no other method of playCan we tell them any more to the ing the fop) could still exhibit the woods and waterfalls ? Can we make prevalent passion for distinction, by for them a witness of the answering wearing stockings of different colors.” sea, or the sympathizing stars ? Alas! How finely, but how truly, are the they have now neither commune nor ensuing varieties of ambition drawn !
“ The ambition of Clarence was like that of Epirus, is often left not that of circumstances rather than to him who has the noblest genius, character; the certainty of having to but the sharpest sword.' Ah!' carve out his own fortunes without cried Mr. Perrivale, “tbe wit of a sasympathy or aid, joined to those tirist is like invisible writing : look at whispers of indignant pride which na- it with an indifferent eye, and, lo ! turally urged him, if disowned by there is none; hold it up to the light, those who should have protected him, and you can't perceive it; but rub it to allow no breath of shame to justify over with your own spirit of acid, and the reproach : these gave an irresisti- see how plain and striking it beble desire of distinction to a mind na- comes.' turally too gay for the devotedness, “ Our first era of life is under the too susceptible for the pangs, and influence of the primitive feelings ; too benevolent for the selfishness, we are pleased, and we laugh ; hurt, of ordinary ambition. But the very and we weep ; we vent out little pasessence and spirit of Warner's nature sions the moment they are excited ; was the burning and feverish desire of and so much of novelty have we to fame; it poured through his veins perceive, that we have little leisure to like lava; it preyed even as a worm reflect. By and by, fear teaches us upon his cheek; it corroded his natu- to restrain our feelings : when disral sleep; it blackened the color of pleased, we seek to revenge the dishis thoughts; it shut out, as with an pleasure, and are punished; we find impenetrable wall, the wholesome en- the excess of our joy, our sorrow, our ergies, and enjoyments, and objects, anger, alike considered criminal, and of living men ; and taking from him chidden into restraint. From harshall the vividness of the present, all the ness we become acquainted with detenderness of the past, constrained his ceit : the promise made is not fulfilled, heart to dwell forever and forever upon the threat not executed, the fear the dim and shadowy chimeras of a falsely excited, and the hope wilfully future he was fated never to enjoy.” disappointed; we are surrounded by
systematised delusion, and we imbibe “ But as we have seen that that pas- the contagion. From being forced sion for glory made the great charac- into concealing the thoughts which teristic difference between Clarence and we do conceive, we begin to affect Warner, so also did that passion ter- those which we do not : so early do minate any resemblance which War we learn the two main tasks of life, ner bore to Algernon Mordaunt. to suppress and to feign, that our With the former, a rank and unwhole- memory will not carry us beyond that some plant, it grew up to the exclu- period of artifice to a state of nature sion of all else : with the latter, sub- when the twin principles of veracity dued and regulated, it sheltered, not and belief were so strong as to lead withered, the virtues by which it was the philosophers of a modern school surrounded. With Warner, ambition into the error of terming them innate. was a passionate desire to separate himself by fame from the herd of oth “ As the petty fish, which is fabled er men ; with Mordaunt, to bind him- to possess the property of arresting self by charity yet closer to his kind: the progress of the largest vessel to with the one it produced a disgust to which it clings—even so may a single his species; with the other, a pity prejudice, unnoticed or despised, more and a love : with the one, power was than the adverse blast, or the dead the badge of distinction ; with the calm, delay the Bark of Knowledge in other, the means to bless!
the vast seas of Time. ** Satire is a dwarf, which stands
“ Never get
a reputation for a upon the shoulders of the giant Ill- small perfection, if you are trying for Nature ; and the kingdom of verse, fame in a loftier area : the world can
50 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.