« AnteriorContinuar »
THE LION'S HEAD.
Quem non ille ducem potuit terrere tumultus !
Let me have just one “ push and parry” with the Consuls Julius and Cæsar, if you love me. Julius asks, “ what does he mean by quoting Sappho’s els traipav to prove her power of imagination ?” and he adds, “ it proves not this at all; but her intensity of feeling.” Again he says, that “ The Simple Story is, even by Surrey's own account of it, rather the product of intense feeling than of fine imagination.” He says also, “ intense feeling is not always a source of the sublime ;” and that “ feeling never takes this direction, unless when prompted by a totally different agent-towering genius.” Now here he admits that intense feeling is sometimes the source of sublimity: the admission being included in the phrase not always : it may be so then in the instance of Sappho’s ‘ode: if he affirm that this is not an instance of feeling “ prompted by towering genius," he merely begs the question. It is still sub lite.
Will Julius permit me to answer his question by asking him one in turn? “ How can things or characters be represented, brought into bold relief, or, as we say, created, by intense feeling only, apart from the imaginative power or shaping faculty?” As I think they cannot, I hold myself free to consider Sappho's pathological rhapsody as sublime, and The Simple Story as a work of imagination. Not, of course, in the vulgar or popular sense affixed to the word ; of something of diablerie or fairyism. Not having the fear of Pope before my eyes, I must own it to be my opinion, that men and women, and not sylphs, are the subjects which task a writer's imagination. He thinks the epithet masculine, applied in common parlance to such productions of women as partake of extraordinary energy, concedes the point in dispute. I think just the contrary. Namely, that it proves that for which alone I contended: that there have been and are such productions: works of masculine genius and power by female pens.
With regard to the sublimity of Sappho's fragment, the proposition belongs to Longinus, and to Longinus I refer him. Παντα μεν τοιαυτα γινεται περι τους ερωντας: η ληψις δ', ως εφην, των ακρων, και η εις ταυτο συναιρεσις απειργάσατο ΤΗΝ ΕΞΟΧΗΝ.*
SURREY. * These symptoms severally occur in persons under the influence of love: it is, as I have before said, the seizure of the most prominent and the condensation of them, that bas STRUCK OUT THE SUBLIME.
Mr. Lion,-An Horatian sop for your kingly maw. Bos Short,
Away with the linden-tied coronet :
Where the late rose of summer lingers yet.
Busily sorting flower with flower ;
As thou fill'st and I quaff in the vine-tree bower.
We have much pleasure in finding room for the following Sonnet, which ought to have been inserted some time ago.
And earth will wake again in loveliness ;
Of man may mark her desolate distress
But let him weep himself, whose hope is less,
Earth will arise in light when he is sleeping !
Her vines will blush, her harvests will be reaping :
One youth-one spring—but one-one summer's glow;
We cannot give Tantalus a favourable answer to his question, and shall therefore be silent on that score, and spare at once his poetry and his feelings.
The answer which was given last month to N. G. S. must, we are sorry to say, suffice likewise for the present.
There is so much that is really clever in Q.'s communication, that we give it up with regret, but we really cannot find room for so long a paper, on such a subject.
We are under the necessity of refusing R. L. D.-Sonnets to Ingratitude and Miss -,-M.'s Sonnet,-A. 2.-Hero and Leander.
BLAKESMOOR IN HSHIRE.
I do not know a pleasure more less as the marble effigies that kneel affecting than to range at will over and weep around thee. the deserted apartments of some fine Journeying northward lately, I old family mansion. The traces of could not resist going some few miles extinct grandeur admit of a better out of my road, to look upon the passion than envy; and contempla- remains of an old great house with tions on the great and good, whom which I had been impressed in this we fancy in succession to have way in infancy. I was apprized that been its inhabitants, weave for us the owner of it had lately pulled it illusions, incompatible with the bustle down; still I had a vague notion of modern occupancy, and vanities that it could not all have perished, of foolish present aristocracy. The that so much solidity with magnifisame difference of feeling, I think, cence could not have been crushed attends between entering . an all at once into the mere dust and empty and a crowded church. In rubbish which I found it. the latter it is chance but some pre The work of ruin had proceeded sent human frailty-an act of inate with a swift hand indeed, and the tention on the part of some of the demolition of a few weeks had reauditoryor a trait of affectation, duced it to-an antiquity. or worse, vain-glory, on that of the I was astonished at the indistincpreacher — puts us by our best tion of every thing. Where had thoughts, disharmonising the place stood the great gates? What bounded and the occasion. But wouldst thou the court-yard ? Whereabout did the know the beauty of holiness ?--go out-houses commence? a few bricks alone on some week-day, borrowing only lay as representatives of that the keys of good Master Sexton, which was so stately and so spatraverse the cool aisles of some cious. country church-think of the piety Death does not shrink
his huthat has kneeled there—the congre man victim at this rate. The burnt gations, old and young, that have ashes of a man weigh more in their found consolation there the meek proportion. pastor—the docile parishioner—with Had I seen these brick-and-mortar no disturbing emotions, no cross con knaves at their process of destrucflicting comparisons — drink in the tion, at the plucking of every pannel tranquillity of the place, till thou I should have felt the varlets at my thyself become as fixed and motion- heart. I should have cried out to SEPT. 182.
them to spare a plank at least out of bound me to the house, and such the cheerful store-room, in whose my carefulness not to pass its strict hot window-seat I used to sit, and and proper precincts, that the idle read Cowley, with the grass-plat waters lay unexplored for me ; and before, and the hum and flappings not till late in life, curiosity preof that one solitary wasp that ever vailing over elder devotion, I found, haunted it, about me—it is in mine to my astonishment, a pretty brawlears now, as oft as summer returns ing brook had been the Lacus Incog-or a pannel of the yellow room. nitus of my infancy. Variegated
Why, every plank and pannel of views, extensive prospects — and that house for me had magic in it. those at no great distance from the The tapestried bed-rooms-tapestry house-- I was told of such--what were so much better than painting—not they to me, being out the boundaries adorning merely, but peopling the of my Eden ?-Šo far from a wish to wainscots-at which childhood ever roam, I would have drawn, meand anon would steal a look, shifting thought, still closer the fences of my its coverlid (replaced as quickly) to chosen prison ; and have been hemexercise its tender courage in a mo med in by a yet securer cincture of mentary, eye-encounter with those those excluding garden walls. I stern bright visages, staring recipro- could have exclaimed with that garcally-all Ovid on the walls, in co- den-loving poetlours vivider than his descriptions. Bind me, ye woodbines, in your twines ; Actæon in mid sprout, with the Curl me about, ye gadding vines; unappeasable prudery of Diana; and And oh so close your circles lace, the still more provoking, and almost That I may never leave this place : culinary coolness of Dan Phæbus, But, lest your fetters prove too weak, eel-fashion, deliberately divesting of Ere I your silken bondage break, Marsyas.
O brambles, chain me too, Then, that haunted room - in And, courteous briars, nail me through." which old Mrs. Battle died --where I was here as in a lonely temple. into I have crept, but always in the Snug firesides,
the low-built roof day-time, with a passion of fear; -parlours ten feet by ten-frugal and a sneaking curiosity, terror- boards, and all the homeliness of tainted, to hold communication with home-- these were the condition of the past.-How shall they build it up my birth-the wholesome soil which again?
I was planted in. Yet, without imIt was an old deserted place, yet peachment to their tenderest lessons, not so long deserted but that traces I am not sorry to have had glances of of the splendour of past inmates something beyond; and to have taken were everywhere apparent. Its fur- if but a peep, in childhood, at the niture was still standing-even to contrasting accidents of a great forthe tarnished gilt leather battledores, tune. and crumbling feathers of shuttle To have the feeling of gentility, it cocks, in the nursery, which told is not necessary to have been born that children had once played there. gentle. The pride of ancestry may But I was a lonely child, and had be had on cheaper terms than to be the range at will of every apartment, obliged to an importunate race ofknew every nook and corner, won ancestors; and the coat-less antidered and worshipped everywhere. quary, in his unemblazoned cell, re
The solitude of childhood is not volving the long line of a Mowbray's so much the mother of thought, as or De Clifford's pedigree-at those it is the feeder of love, and silence, sounding names may warm himself and admiration. So strange a pas- into as gay a vanity as those who do sion for the place possessed me in inherit them. The claims of birth those years, that, though there lay- are ideal merely: and what herald I shame to say how few roods dis- shall go about to strip me of an idea ? tant from the mansion-half hid by Is it trenchant to their swords ? can trees, what I judged some romantic it be hacked off as a spur can? or lake - such was the spell which torn away like a tarnished garter?
* Marvell, on Appleton House, to the Lord Fairfax.
What, else, were the families of If it were presumption so to spethe great to us? what pleasure culate, the present owners of the should we take in their tedious ge- mansion had least reason to comnealogies, or their capitulatory brass plain. They had long forsaken the monuments? What to us the uninter- old house of their fathers for a newer rupted current of their bloods, if our trifle; and I was left to appropriate own did not answer within us to á to myself what images I could pick cognate and correspondent elevá- up, to raise my fancy, or to soothe tion ?
my vanity. Or wherefore, else, O tattered and I was the true descendant of those diminished 'Scutcheon—that hung old W-s; and not the present faupon the time-worn walls of thy mily of that name, who had fled the princely stairs, BLÀ KESMOOR !—have old waste places. I in childhood so oft stood poring Mine was that gallery of good old upon thy mystic characters–thy em family portraits, which as I have blematic supporters, with their pro- traversed, giving them in fancy my phetic “ Resurgam”-till
, every dreg own family name, one and then of peasantry purging off, I received another-would seem to smile, reachinto myself Very Gentility ?- Thou ing forward from the canvas, to rewert first in my morning eyes; and, cognise the new relationship'; while of nights, hast detained my steps the rest looked grave, as it seemed, from bedward, till it was but a step at the vacancy in their dwelling, and from gazing at thee to dreaming on thoughts of fled posterity. thee.
That Beauty with the cool blue This is the only true gentry by pastoral drapery, and a lamb—that adoption; the veritable change of hung next the great bay windowblood, and not, as empirics have with the bright yellow H-shire fabled, by transfusion.
hair, and eye of watchet hueso like Who it was by dying that had my Alice ! - I am persuaded, she was earned the splendid trophy, I know a true Elia-Mildred Elia, I take not, I inquired not; but its fading it. rags, and colours cobweb-stained, From her, and from my passion told, that its subject was of two cen- for her—for I first learned love from turies back.
a picture-Bridget took the hint of And what if my ancestor at that those pretty whimsical lines, which date was some Damætas — feeding thou mayst see, if haply thou hast flocks, not his own, upon the hills of never seen them, Reader, in the marLincoln—did I in less earnest vindi- gin.* But my Mildred grew not old, cate to myself the family trappings like the imaginary Helen. of this once proud Ægon? — repay
Mine too, BLAKESMOOR, was thy ing by a backward triumph the in- noble Marble Hall, with its mosaic sults he might possibly have heaped pavements, and its Twelve Cæsars in his life-time upon my poor pasto. --stately busts in marble-ranged ral progenitor.
round: of whose countenances, young
* “ High-born Helen, round your dwelling,
These twenty years I've paced in vain :
Hath been to glory in his pain.
Stories of thy cold disdain ;
And I no longer can complain.
Dwelling for ever on a frown;
I perish now you kind are grown.
But for the scorn was in her eye,'