« AnteriorContinuar »
Even I can feel at tales of love or strife, I wonder the Reviews, who make such stir Stamped, as are his, with traits of real life. Oft about rubbish, never mention her? He knows the human heart, (which, by the They might have said, I think, from mere way,
good breeding, Is more than some Psycholigists can say.) Mistress Felicia's works are worth the read. He knows it well; and draws with faithful ing. pp. 18-20.
pen, Not Corsairs, Pedlars, Waggoners, but The first part of thrs poem, we may Men.
remark, is chiefly upon poets, and And then his back-grounds how the fic among these the author's favourite is gures glow
He is a poet-for his glancing eye
Takes in the forms of earth, and air, and
sky: whole. pp. 15-17.
He, still at home where'er he takes his We give, too, his character of our stand, female poets.
Mid Biscay's moantains or Arabia's sand,
Calls by his magic art for prince or peer, Blue stockings I dislike ; yet, on the whole, Moslem or Christian, and they all appear: No Turk,- I hold that woman has a soul, He too can paint, as well as Walter Scott, Which, under proper culture, may pro- The misty valley and the sunless grot; duce
And Byron's sullen muse could scarcely Both flower and fruit, for ornament or use. mount "Tis not my purpose here to talk of those Above thc vengeance of the injured Count: Matrons, or maidens, who excel in prose- But who could draw Florinda sad and Huw More and Edgeworth lavishly dis- fair, pense
Her matchless love, her hope and her de One true religion, and both sterling sense spair! &c. pp. 11, 12. Verse is my theme; and there are very few
In the second part he comes upon Ladies who write it well ;-I know but two. preachers, and here we do not like First stands Joanna Baillie: She may him so well. Yet there is one passage stand
towards the close which is the finest Among the first-class poets of the land, of the whole, and reminds us not unAnd claim her place among those sons of successfully of the better parts of light,
Crabbe. Not as a courtesy, but her's by right. "Twere vain to question why and where so Are all then wrong?-and when the spi long
rit's tried, For centuries slept the Muse of Tragic Must all of every class be setaside ? Song ?
Not som spoke of some, and those a few; Or why, reviving from her death-like rest, Many, I trust, are scriptural and true. She made her mansion in a woman's Many, called Fanatics, are deeply read, breast ?
And while they're warm at heart, are ord Reasoning on points like this is useless 50 points are this is useless
of head : . . . stuff
Many of those who trust in Christ alone We have a tragic pet--that's enough : Have holiness, not merits, of their own; A tragic poet of true English breed, Work as if works were all, yet, humble Whom even after Fletcher we can read.
too, She teems with thought: and yet I own Give the whole praise to him to whom 'tis her' phrase,
due. Harsh and involved, deserves not equal Just once a year-when summer days praise ;
are long, What were her merits, if she only brought When town is empty, and the moors are Fit power of words to match her power of throng
thought? And next-behind indeed—but next, I'd place
deserves well of the republic of letters Felicia Hemans, * second in the race :
While on the subject of female poets, I may remind my readers of a Miss Porden, who
some years ago wrote a curious, but very * " Mrs Hemans is a lady (a young powerful, poem, called the Veils. I hope lady, I believe) of very considerable merit. she has not been discouraged. Her model Her imagination is vigorous, her language was a bad one, and her subject was unin. copious and elegant, her information exe telligible to the great majority of poetical tensive. I have no means of ascertaining readers ;-these errors might be easily care the extent of her fame, but she certainly rected."
Just once a year, I break the chains that First, for the task with social meal and bind
prayer, For nine long months my body and my Our bodies and our spirits we prepare ; mind,
Then through the garden-plot, while still And fly, with eager pleasure, to unbend
the dew In the mild converse of one humbie friend. Gives every leaf a greener, brighter hue ; He was not humble twenty years ago, And by the church-yard elms we take our When side by side we struggled friend and way, foe;
Beneath whose shadow lie the tomb-stones When side by side we tock our first de.
There stands, of transept and of nave beThe boast of Johnians he, and I of Caius : reft, Then, as he lay upon his truckle bed, One narrow aisle, the little that is left, Imaginary mitres graced his head ;
And there the Vicar pauses still to tell,
Anel spread her cloister'd palaces around
Reformed the corrupt church with fire and In that lone vale forgetting and forgot.
steel. And yet be loves it now-for all his care, I ne'er could catch this antiquarian rage, And all the objects of his love, are there : But you may read the wholc in Dugdale's His is yon white-washed house with trees before,
"Tis but a step across the village green, And his the babes that play around the Where the geese paddle in the pools bedoor ;
tween : His is the church, whose high but ruined We lift the latch-and there before our tower
eyes, Is decked with ivy, and each brighter Bed-rid and blind, the Widow Thompson flower ;
lies. And his the flock, who come from vale and That short five minutes' walk across the • hill,
green On Sabbath-days that house of prayer to Sufficed my friend to tell what she had fill.
been : The Dilly stops ; and there expectant Loving and loved she entered upon life, stand
A village beauty and a farmer's wite ; The Vicar and his wife with open hand, And children sprung around, that left no And looks of cordial love, that secin to fears say,
Of kindly succour in declining years. We're glad you've come, and hope you Al promised fair :--but then her husband mean to stay.
gave The evening scarce suffices us to hear His name the credit of a friend to save : On either side the happenings of the year. And when the bill was due, that friend had How Jack my godson, to his Sire's sur Aown, prise,
And left his bail to meet the storm alone : Has gained at Winchester the Latin prize: Markets were dull, and harvest months How the rude Squire has ceased to drink were wet, and swear,
And so poor Farmer Thompson died in And comes to church, and kneels when he debt. is there :
Then though her children bloomed in manHow well the Sunday school succeeds, and ly pride, how
Consumption came, and one by one they The girls all critsey, and the boys all bow: died How rarely 'tis the Gamekeeper can tell All-all were gone ; and she was left beHe found a poacher skulking on the fell: hind How drinking bouts and boxing matches To mourn and suffer,-poor, decrepid, . cease,
blind. And some old saints have died in faith and She knew the very step of him, whose peace.
voice So pass the evening hours ; and, pleased to Had taught her 'mid her sorrows to rehear
joice : The toils and triumphs of a friend so dear, And those wan features, as he took her I go to rest ; but promise to attend
hand, Next morn the parish-progress of my Showed joy that wor!dlings cannot under. friend.
A trust in him who has the power to save Untaught in youth, he led a wandering life, A hope that fearless looks beyond the Till caught by scarlet coat, and drum, and
fife, Then held she converse of her hopes and He sold the liberty he held so dear, fears,
And quitted home and friends without a Befitting Christians in a vale of tears.
tear. Not her's the cant of those, whose vulgar for six campaigns, he followed in the train slang
Of victory, through Portugal and Spain. Is Greek to all who are not of the gang; But cold, and midnight bivouacks, impair. Not her's the lights by pride and passion e d
The frame that ball and bayonet had sparFrom the deep quagmires of a muddy ed ; head:
And he, with wasted limbs and aching Not her's the fool-born jest and stified sigh With wbich philosophers prepare to die- Lay dying there upon that crazy bed. Her talk was lofty-yet 'twas humble
pp. 38-46. too; How much she had to hope, how much to
The vicar's exhortation to this poor do—
youth, we think a little too rough and How little she had done, how much re- vehement. Between it and a cough tomained
gether, he almost receives his deathTo do, before the victory were gained blow, and, instead of trying to soothe To run, to fight, to wrestle, to endure, him, the two clerical Cantabs fairly To make her calling and election sure.
Turned to come away.
This was not very good-natured cerShe, when by care o'erwhelmed, by doubts tainly, but, indeed, our author has no distressed,
notion of poor human nature having Looked to the cross for peace, to Heaven any pretensions to be good; and he for rest;
opens a sad battery upon those who And confidence in him who cannot lie,
are inclined to speak a single word in Had made her patience strong, her courage its favour. In this attack, to be sure, high.
he is very impartial, for he is quite as “ Well," said I, dashing off a single
severe upon himself as on any one “ 'Tis surely good for us to have been
else-and even predicts a melancholy here :
and disgraceful doom as not unlikely Such lively faith, such patient hope to see, to befall him before Christmas, au Does more than tomes of Dutch divinity- apprehension as to which we most sinNot for the world these visits would I miss, cerely pray that he may be mistaken. If all your sick-list cases be like this." We wishi, however, the fatal ides were “ Like this ! I would they were; but those well over, for it is very distressing, in who go
any view, to think, that this ingenious To search the lairs of poverty and woe,
poet should have his mind clouded by Must nerve their hearts, and be prepared
such a crearlful presentiment. “Turto find The body's pain embittered by the mind;
bida TERRET imago.”—What may Or see the reckless sinner. Hinc can die happen before this time twelvemonth, Without a hope, and yet without a sigh; we do not pretend to say, though we Or hoping all in works of human pride, augur the best, if he will only abAs if no Saviour died, nor need have died.” stain froni satire-but we rather think, With that he stopped ; for we had reached lie will get safely past the period of the door
his present alarms, and we hope in Of an old lonely cottage on the moor: net many days hence, to wish him, as There o'er the embers crouched a feeble we now ilo all our readers,-MERRY
CHRISTMAS. With sallow checks, and thin, yet matted
hair. Clay was the flooring, and the walls were A FEW SHORT REMARKS ON THE REclay,
LATION OF CAUSE AND EFFECT. And in tlie window rags obscured the day;
NOTHING certainly can be more
v "Twas old and filthy all--the very air Felt dull, and loaded with miasnia there. arbitrary, than the sequences which In one dark corner stood a crazy bed, With half a broken tester over head; * I tell thee, if I followed nature's call, There lay their only son, and he had been I should be hanged ere Christmas that The first in many a bold and bloody scene. is all.
we observe in nature. Fire is follow- is very true. But it is no matter at ed by heat, ice by cold; but we can what time 1 learn the fact, if I come conceive, with the greatest ease, these to learn it at all. I will the motion sequences to be alternated, heal to be of my hand, my hand moves. Imthe consequence of ice, and cold of mediately I perceive, although I had fire. It is quite conceivable that the no fore-knowledge of the circumstance, whole chain of events should be re- that the motion of my hand would versed, and that every thing should not have been, unless the volition had follow every thing in a manner direct- been. I do not know that the moly opposite to the present order, tion of my hand will follow volition T'here cannot be a doubt, then, that the next minute. But whatever may in the operations of nature we per- happen next minute, my present ceive nothing but sequence, and had knowledge is complete and perfect, we no other source from which we that the motion of my hand was could derive our idea of causation, we connected with any volition in a manshould have no such idea at all. The ner quite peculiar, and unlike any of circumstance that natural sequences the sequences of the material universe. are invariably the same, however in- No small embarrassment seems to geniously maintained, seems to be 10- have been introduced into this subthing at all to the purpose. We can ject from the unfortunate use of the certainly conceive fire to be followed terms necessary connexion. When we by heat through all eternity, without say a thing is necessary, we mean that any more connexion between them, it could not possibly be otherwise. than there is between any two events Now, although there is such a thing the most distinct and separate. as necessary truth, or propositions, the
An attempt has been made to shew, reverse of which is inconceivable and that there is no more connection be- absurd, yet it is by no means so clear tween volition and the consequences that we can call any condition of exista of volition, than between the sequences ence necessary. Whatever is, may be of external nature. But this, we conceived to be otherwise. But, alhumbly conceive, is a mistake. When though we may be unable to say any willing to do a thing, I do it, the per- thing concerning the necessity of any ception of my mind is not merely that condition of existence, we may cere the volition took place, and that the tainly say, with very great distinctthing willed took place, but it is far- ness, things exist in such or such a ther, that the thing willed would not manner. Although we may have no have taken place independently of the grounds for asserting that there is such volition. There is not only a se- a thing as necessary connexion, we quence perceived here, but a con- may yet speak with great decision of nexion. When I see fire, and feel the real or positive connexion. I will to sensation of heat, I perceive merely move my hand, and my hand moves ; the sequence of two different circum- here I perceive that my hand would stances. I believe certainly that if not have moved independently of my there had been no fire, there would volition, as certainly as that my voli, have been no heat, but I do not per- tion took place, or that the motion of ceive this. It is a matter believed, my hand took place. I perceive, not known. The connexion between therefore, that there is a real connexion volition and the consequences of voli- between the two events; but, that tion, is a fact which I know or per- this connexion is necessary, or could ceive as clearly as that the volition not possibly be otherwise, is only to exists, or that the consequent result be affirmed where we speak of an om, exists. Here then, and here alone, nipotent Being, whose will must newe find causation. When having cessarily be followed by whatever he willed to do a thing, I do it, I per- wills. Necessity, indeed, does not ceive that I have power, that my will seem to enter into the idea of causa. is the cause of that event, that the e- tion. Causation is simply the convent is an effect.
ncxion perceived between volition and It is said, indeed, that a priori we the consequences of volition. do not infer effects from volition. I It may very naturally be objected must have moved my hand before I to all this representation, that we are could know that such a motion would in the constant use of applying the be produced by my willing it. This words cause and effect to the establishi
ed sequences in the external world; but they are not its causes; and if it but this will appear to be no objection should be true that the wills of men at all, if we attend to the ground of are, in some respects, influenced and our belief in the regular recurrence of directed by superior will, yet, in as natural events. Although we per- far as they are wills, or exert volition, ceive no connexion between such e- they are free, or, what is the same vents similar to the connexion be- thing, are not effects from a cause. It tween volition and action, yet the re- may be demonstrated, that the Sugularity of their recurrence necessari. preme Will must be tree, or not the ly impresses us with the notion of a effect of any thing, from this circumplan or system in Nature ; and, as a stance, that if it were the effect of plan implies, in the very conception, any thing, it would not be the Sua planning mind, intention and voli- preme Will ; because, in that case, it tion, it is in this way, and in this way must be the effect of another will, alone, that regularity or invariableness which is absurd. Unless, therefore, of sequence suggests the notion of cau- you come to rigid predestination, husation. We cannot, in fact, therefore, man will is free ; and if you come to take a step into creation, without vir predestination, human will is not will. tuaily perceiving, as clearly as we per- In short, freedom, or acting as a cause, ceive any thing else, the existence of not as an effect, enters into the notion mind or Deity; and the belief with of volition, and, to speak otherwise, is which we look forward to the conti- to pervert the meaning of words. nuance of the laws of Nature is, in truth, nothing else but an acknowledgment of our trust in the Divine appointments. Whenever a change
A MONODY ON THE DEATH OF J takes place, our attention is roused;
DEAR FRIEND. we are occupied in tracing out the nature of the process; in every regular
Oh friend belov'd, so dear thy naine, series of events we attend to ihe order
With ev'ry thought it seems to twine,
Still o'er my soul returns to claim, of the sequence; and, as each in its
'S Some fond remembrance, mix'd with thine, order occurs, we regard it as an indi- Nor comes in vain.--With deep regret cation that the next is designed to fol- I mourn thee,-and can ne'er forget, low. The first event being the sign While I recal our life's gay prime, of the cause which is to produce the And progress of succeeding Fears, second, we naturally enough speak of Feeling how firmly fix'd by time, it as if it were the cause itself, al- (Like some fair plant he slowly rears,) though nothing can be plainer, upon Our friendship stood ; and I possest, reflection, than that natural events are of heaven's choice gifts, the first, and best, only signs of each other. Fire is on- A faithful friend. Oh bond rever'd! ly a sign or mark that neat will be Long try'd, long trusted; still the same, presented to us when we move our Which way the vane of fortune veer'd hands towards it. We certainly be- Around the points, of praise, or blame, lieve that heat will follow the percep- Unchang'd amidst each rise, or fall, tion of fire, but we do not percorre Possessing much, or losing all. any connexion whatever between these can love so nurtur'd e'er decay? two existences. We never, then, Ah, no! while memory shall last, really suppose the one to be the cause This solitary heart must pay of the other.
Its sacred tribute to the past. This account of the nature of causa. But feeble were my strains to tell, tion is the more agreeable, that it The pang of nature's last farewell." strikes at once at the root of all that -vexatious dispute on the subject of "The excellent person commemorated liberty and necessity which has so of. in the foregoing monody was a native of ten perplexed the human understand- Cornwall. She departed this life April the ing. If the idea of causation relates 8th 1818, at her family mansion, Bodmerely to the action of will, it is ab. min Priory, in that county, deeply lamentsurd to inquire what is the cause of
ed by her afflicted husband, Raleigh Gi. volition. When you get at volition, who had the happiness of knowing het;
bert, Esq., and sincerely mourned by all you get to the fountain-head of cau. and
and, above all, by the author, after an un
he sation ; motives or ideas of the under- interrupted friendship of more than forty standing inay always precede volition, years,