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been received with a much warmer, more general, and more lasting approbation than perhaps even the most sanguine admirer of the poem could have expected from a work which the author never intended for theatrical representation."—Monthly Review, No. 47, December, 1772, p. 486.
His connection with Lord Holderness, 1754.—H. Wawole's Letters, vol. 1, p. 329.
His litigious conduct to Murray the bookseller.—Choker's Boswcu, vol. 4, p. 152.
His Mustcus to an unnatural strain of poetry, which is that of Lycidas, adds a more unnatural pathos, and has yet the greater fault of making Spenser, Milton, and Chaucer address Pope as one who had excelled them.
A Tavoubitb lyric measure of his consists in couplets of four or five, alternately, but written continuously. Sometimes he begins with the longer, sometimes with the shorter lines. The Ode to a Water Nymph is in a very agreeable metre. The rhymes are quatrain, but the arrangement of the lines is two of four and two of five feet, then two of five and two of four, and so alternately through the poem; the versification being continuous. That to an iEolian harp is in a sweet quatrain of two fours and two fives. He had a good ear for versification, which, however, is not so apparent in blank verse; but certainly he had not a good ear for rhyme, unless a broad provincial pronunciation had corrupted it. I am far from objecting to imperfect rhymes when they are properly disposed; but they offend the ear greatly when it is made to rest upon them, as, for example (Ode x. for Music), employ and sky, in a couplet which closes a stanza wherein there is no rhyme to either of these words.
P. 40. "The larks' meridian ecstasy."
"See our tears in sober shower
O'er this shrine of glory pour."—P. 54.
Ode xiii. Cp. 63, must be to the Duchess of Devonshire.
There is a manliness iu his moral poems —as in the Elegy to a young Nobleman, for example. 93. The movement of his continuous quatrains is always pleasing.
97. An amusing example of what popularity is—Mason felt that Garrick was preferred to him as a poet! which yet he never was, nor could have been.
103. A pleasing acknowledgment that he was too much elated with applause.
105. Epistle to Hurd. Here he relates his deliberate choice of an artificial and gorgeous style—because Shakespeare precluded all hope of excellence in any other form of drama.
112. "hills sublime
Of mountain lineage."
11 is own birthday Sonnets in old age are in a very pleasing and natural strain.
243. "and all that browse,
Or skim or dive, the plain, the air, the Hood."
This is the latest example I remember of an old construction, more artificial than pleasing.
248. A fashion of white palisades tipped with gold and red.
"Gothic now, And now Chinese, now neither, and yet both."
This had passed away before my memory.
248. A curious example of a receipt in verse,—how to mix colours for painting a fence green.
244. His opinion expressed of the manner in which such subjects, in themselves essentially unpoetical, and antipoetical, should be poetically treated.
252. " Alas! ere we can note it in our song,
Comes manhood's feverish summer, chill'd full soon
By cold autumnal care, till wintry age
262. Gray's admiration of Keswick, expressed in verse by Mason.
264." That force of ancient phrase, which speaking, paints;
And is the tiling it sings." 273. His contempt of fountains, "that toss
In rainbow dews their crystal to the sun."
280. A pleasing passage:
"Yes, let me own, To these, or classic deities like these, From very childhood was I prone to pay Harmless idolatry."
The last book of the Garden is in every respect miserably bad. Bad in taste, as recommending sham castles and modern ruins; bad in morals, as endeavouring to serve a political cause by a fictitious story, which, if it had been true, could have nothing to do with the right or wrong of the American war,—and bad in poetry, because the story is in itself absurd. Not the least absurd part is the sudden death of the lady at seeing her betrothed husband, whom she was neither glad nor sorry to see; and the description of the faeies Hippocratica is applied to a person thus dying in health, youth, and beauty.
See in Book I. for his love of painting as well as poetry.
392. An excellent descript ion of the English Boulingrin from the Encyclopedia.
Poetical Recreations, frc. Part I. by Mes. Jane Barker. Part II. by several Gentlemen of the Universities, and others. 1688.
P. 12. A very pretty expression villainously applied:
"From married men wit's current never flows,
But grave and dull as st anding pond he grows; Whilst the other, ftAe a gentle stream does play With this world's pebbles which obstruct his way."
21. " Here plants for health and for delight are met, The cephalic cowslip, cordial violet;
Under the diuretic woodbine grows
As scurvy epithets as were ever applied byfair lady to fine flowers.
24. Pretty lines to a rivulet:
"Yet, gentle stream, thou'rt still the same,
Always going, never gone: Yet dost all constancy disclaim, Wildly dancing to thine own murmuring tuneful song, Old as Time, as Love and Beauty young."
31. Her skill in medicine.
3D. "For I can only shake, but not east off my chain."
Fashion of portraits in her youth:
"Even when I was a child, When in my picture's hand My mother did command There should be drawn a laurel-bough; Lo then my Muse sate by and smiled To hear how some the sentence did oppose, Saying an apple, bird, or rose Were objects which did more befit My childish years and no less childish wit."
41. "their modish wit to me doth shew But as Mi engyscopc1 to view yours through."
101. Some odd anatomical verses. She seems to have studied physic with a view to practise it.
Her most delightful and excellent romance of Secpiua was in the press.
P. 161. Br this dialogue concerning the prohibition of French wines, it appears that barrels were broached in the streets, or rather staved.
212. Bonny Moll and Black Bess, in a serious imitation of Virgil's Eclogues.
1 There is no difficulty in this word, but I have no authority to quote for it at hand.— J. W. W.
250. " Alas! how vain and useless all things prove When enter'd in damn'd Cupid's school To learn his precepts and his rules."
275. James EL
"Who, Noah's lawful heir, Succeeded in the boundless empire of the Flood."
277. Apotheosis of Charles II.
"Safely he cuts the thundering skies, Adorn'd with new imperious joys; Young angels kiss each tender limb, And fondly call him cherubim, His Saviour and his Sire embrace him as he flies!"
The Favourite Village.
P. 5. . "Youth and age
And sexes mingled in the populous soil,
5. " Say, ancient edifice, thyself with
Grown gray, how long upon the hill has
Thy weather-braving tower, and silent mark'd
The human leaf inconstant bud and fall?
The generations of deciduous man,
How often hast thou seen them pa9s away?"
11. —" the slow-marching sabbath, by the
Devoted ill to frivolous excess,
Or dedicated fondly by the grave
To endless exercise of pious toil,
Has here no hurried, and no loitering foot.
Abridged of levity and indisposed
To make salvation slavery, to ynwr.
Till latest midnight o'er the long discourse,
It interdicts not recreation sweet."
16. — " dear village, sometimes let me stand
The ding-dong peal of thy twain bells remote To hear."
20. " What time the preying owl with sleepy wing Swims o'er the corn-field studious."
23. "It shall not grieve me if the gust be free,
And, to withstand its overbearing gale,
26. Bathing .
"suspended thus Upon the bosom of a cooler world."
27. This personification of Ocean as a wolfish monster, though it arises naturally, is carried to an absurd extravagance.
34. The shepherd—
"Accustomed in the rear of his slow flock To creep inert."
35. A very pleasing trait of himself. He used to let the wheatears out of their traps, and leave their price for their ransom.
40. — " or grazing ox
His dewy supper from the savoury herb
53. "Far off resounds the shore-assailing deep,
S A eeping wit'i rude concuss'o he loose beach,
Harshly sequacious of his refluent surge."
57. "Raking with harsh recoil the pebbly steep."
73. "And the scorch'd eyelid intervention asks
Of handkerchief uplifted, doubled news, Hand ill at ease, or tipsey-footed screen."
81. "a vast expanse,
Save where the frowningwoodwithouta leaf Rears its dai k branches on the distant hill,
Or hedge-row, ill-discern'd, with dreary length
Strides o'er the vale encumber'd, or lone church
Stands vested weatherward in snowy pall, Conspicuous half, half not to be discern'd."
89. The robin in winter—
"beneath my chair Sit budge, a feathery bunch."
91. Children, it seems, in his village, wear paper ornaments on their heads and skirts when they go to sing Christmas carols early in the morning.
111. Golden primrose — the only false epithet I have found.
156. A sweet passage about his sister.
158. His own boyhood.
159. The man of war.
177. His contented state of mind. Sir Thomas More.
234. "Poet like,
She could not sleep for thinking, but stole out
To ring the chimes of fancy, undisturb'd, In the still ear of morning."
296. "What is death
To him who meets it with an upright heart? A quiet haven, where his shatter'd bark Harbours secure, till the rough storm is past. Perhaps a passage, overhung with clouds But at its entrance; a few leagues beyond Opening to kinder skies and milder suns, And seas pacific as the soul that seeks them."
Elsewhere Hurdis intimates that he was doubtful whether the soul sleeps after death, or passes into an intermediate state. But how certainly to all appearance might the voyage in Kehama be traced to this passage —if I had read it before that poem was written.
As Hurdis followed Cowper, so poor Romaine Joseph Thorn followed him, aud imitated the worthless Adriano in the not more worthless Lodon and Miranda.
This poor fellow, who was clerk to a Bris
tol merchant, quarrelled with him. After the quarrel he went to the merchant's house, in Park Street, and being admitted, walked up to him and addressed him thus—" Sir, did you ever read Churchill's Epistle to Hogarth?" and without waiting for an answer, "I'll write a severer satire than that upon you, Sir!" Mr. took him by the collar, carried him, for he was about five feet two, to the street door, and dropped him over the steps into the street.
The poor poet got a situation afterwards in a merchant vessel, and died on the coast of Africa, a victim to the climate.
In a catalogue I see " Lyly's Euphues and Lucella, Ephoebus, and Letters rendered into modern English, 1716."
Britain's Remembrancer (G. Wither), canto 2, p. 42. Green and Lily's fashion gone by.
There is in his Euphues occasionally a vulgarity such as in Swift's Polite Conversations; and there are also conceited and vapid discussions like those in Madame Scudery's Romances.
Euphuen, the Anatomy of Wit. Ed. 1607.
To the Gentlemen Readers—" We commonly see the book that at Easter lyeth bound on the stationer's stall, at Christmas to be broken in the haberdasher's shop. It is not strange when as the greatest wonder lasteth but nine days, that a now work should not endure but three months. Gentlemen use books as gentlewomen handle their flowers; who in the morning stick them in their heads, and at night strew them at their heels. Cherries be fulsome when they be thorough ripe, because they be plenty; and books be stale when they be printed, in that they be common."
"In my mind Printers and Tailors are chiefly bound to pray for Gentlemen; the one hath so many fantasies to print, the other such sundry fashions to make, that the pressing-iron of the one is never out of the fire, nor the printing-press of the other at any time lyeth still.
"He that cometh to print because he would be known, is like the fool that cometh into the market because he would be seen."
It seems by his address to the Oxonians as if he had been rusticated for three years.
"B. — he thought himself so apt to all things, that he gave himself almost to nothing but practising of those things commonly which are incident to these sharp wits, — fine phrases, smooth quips, merry taunts, using jesting without mean, and abusing mirth without measure."
"— so rare a wit would in time either breed an intolerable trouble, or bring an incomparable treasure to the commonweal."
"— thy bringing up seemeth to me to be a great blot to the lineage of so noble a brute."
"The greenest beech burneth faster than the driest oak."
"The dry beech kindled at the root never leaveth until it come to the top."
"The Pestilence doth most rifest infect the clearest complection."
"You convince my parents of peevishness in making me a wanton."
"— to the stomach quatted1 with dainties, all delicates seem queasy."
"They that use to steal honey burn hemlock to smoak the bees from their hives."
The wise husbandman—" in the fattest and most fertile ground soweth hemp before wheat, a grain that drieth up the superfluous moisture, and maketh the soil more apt for corn."
"Suspecting that Philantus was corrival with him, and cockmate2 with Lucilla." "Rise rather, Euphues, and take heart
1 Sec Nares' Gloss, in v. It means, of course, satiated, glutted.
* Nabes in v. supposes it to* be a corruption of copesmate, quoting this and the passage referred to below. Hooker used eopesmate more than once.—J. W. W.
at grass (f)3, younger thou shalt never be."
"I now taking heart at grass to see her so gamesome."
"They that begin to pine of a consumption, without delay preserve themselves upon cullisses. He that feeleth his stomach inflamed with meat, cooleth it eftsoons with conserves."
"In that thou cravest my aid, assure thyself I will be thy finger next thy thumb."
"Neither being idle, nor well employed, but playing at cards."
"Though thou have eaten the seeds4 of rocket, which breed incontinency, yet have I chewed the leaf-cress which maintaineth modesty."
"Instead of silks I will wear sackcloth; for owches, and bracelets, leere t and caddis f"s
"I force not Philantus his fury, so I may have Euphues his friendship."
"— pinched Philantus on the parson's side."" (?)
— Glass-worm for glow-worm.7
"— Vulcan—with his pawlt foot."
"I brought thee up like a coakes, and thou hast handled me like a cockscombe."
"Euphues is content to be a craven and cry creake;—though Curio be old huddle and twang. Ipse he"—(?)
"Judging all to be pinglers* that are not coursers."
"What greater infamy than to confer the sharp wit to the making of lewd sonnets to the idolatrous worshipping of their ladies, to the vain delights of fancy, to all
» See Nares in v. Simply a corruption, I suspect, from the French.
4 " The use of rocket stirreth up-bodily lust, especially the seed."—Johnson's Gerarde, p. 248.
* Both probably signify here some coarse kind of twist, or lace. The latter is used by Shakespeare. See Nares in v.
* Ibid, in v. Side. Ben Jonson speaks of " a side sweeping gown." New Inn.
7 Ibid, in v.
'Ibid, in v. " probably a labouring horse." The pingle was the enclosure, or boosy-pasture, close to the homestead.—J. W. W.