Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Pointed each fringed lash; the smeared loam

With tears, as chilly as a dripping well,
She drench'd away :--and still she comb’d, and kept
Sighing all day—and still she kiss'd, and wept.
Then in a silken scarf,—sweet with the dews

Of precious flowers pluck'd in Arabv,
And divine liquids coine with odorous ooze

Through the coid serpent-pipe refreshfully,
She wrapp'd it up ; and for its tomb did choose

A garden-pot, wherein she laid it by,
And cover'd it with mould, and o'er it set

Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wet.' pp. 72–75. The following lines from an ode to a Nightingale, are equally distinguished for harmony and feeling. • O for a beaker full of the warm South,

Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,

And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,

And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs.
The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown :
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;

The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.' p. 108–111. We must close our extracts with the following lively lines to

Fancy.

• () sweet Fancy! let her loose ;

Summer's joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn's red-lipp'd fruitage too,
blushing through the mist and dew,
Cíoys with tasting : What do then ?
Sit thee by the ingle, when
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winter's night ;

When the soundless earth is muffled,
And the caked snow is shuffled
From the ploughboy's heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark conspiracy
To banish Even from her sky.

Thou shalt hear
Distant harvest. carols clear ;
Rustle of the reaped corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn: j
And, in the same moment-hark !
'Tis the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance, behold
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plum'd lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst;
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May ;
And every leaf, and every flower
Pearled with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep
Meagre from its celled sleep ;
And the snake all winter thin
Cast on sunny bank its skin ;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see ;.
Hatching in the hawthorn-tree,
When the hen-bird's wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
When the bee-hive casts its swarm ;
Acorns ripe down-pattering,

While the autumn breezes sing,' pp. 122–125. There is a fragment of a projected Epic, entitled • Hyperion,' on the expulsion of Saturn and the Titanian deities by Jupiter and his younger adherents, of which we cannot advise the completion: For, though there are passages of some torce and grandeur, it is sufficiently obvious, from the specimen before us, that the subject is too far removed from all the sources of human interest, to be successfully treated by any modern author. Mr Keats has unquestionably a very beautiful imagination, and a great familiarity with the finest diction of English poetry; but he must learn not to misuse or misapply these advantages; and neither to waste the good gifts of nature and study on intractable themes, nor to luxuriate too recklessly as such as are more suitable.

Art. XI. Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance. By

John FOSTER. 8vo. pp. 317. London, Holdsworth, 1820.

The subject upon which we are now about to enter, has al

ways appeared to us not only to be in itself of the greatest and most permanent importance of any which we have ever considered, but as that upon which it is most essential that right notions should be entertained by every class of the community. The question is as to the best practical means of Promoting the Education of the body of the People in other words of improving, and in many cases, we might say, creating, the religious, the moral, and intellectual character of the nation. To this it is manifest that every other improvement is necessarily and intrinsically subordinate. Our individual enjoyments and our national prosperity-our freedom and our loyaltyour peace and our plenty-our comforts and our renown-all obviously depend upon the rank which we may be enabled to hold as rational and moral beings; and our eternal as well as our temporal concerns must be mainly affected, in so far as human means are concerned, by the tenor of our early instructions. We most earnestly entreat all our readers, therefore, to favour us with their patient attention, in the exposition we are now to make; and seriously to consider, whether an opportunity has not now arisen, of conferring a greater practical benefit on the country than was ever in its choice before, and whether any man can be excused for withholding his countenance and support from the plans that have now been so nearly matured for that purpose.

The great difficulty arose, as was foreseen from the begin. ning, from the mutual jealousy of the Established Church and the Dissenters; and our apprehensions of misconduct were certainly long directed towards the former. Its chiefs, however, have ultimately made the most liberal concessions; and the Legislature is ready to sanction a scheme, to which we sincerely think no reasonable objection can now be stated. Some of the Dissenters, however, are understood not to be satisfied; and it is from them only that any serious opposition to the scheme is now to be apprehended. We shall consider their objections by and by ;-but, in the outset, we may be permitted to claim for ourselves the credit that is due to the unvarying, fearless, and zealous advocates of religious independence, and entire freedom of conscience and of worship. The members of our own National Establishment are Dissenters from the Church of England; and, in this very controyersy on the subject of education, in all its stages,

ducati Englandional Esco

as well as upon every other question, our readers must be aware that we have uniformly taken the side of the Dissenters, and fought their battles with equal zeal and constancy. We trust, therefore, that our decided and deliberate opinions will have some weight with them, even where they differ from those of some of their less temperate advisers; and think that we may reckon, at all events, upon a candid and favourable consideration of the reasons by which alone we wish to secure their adoption. We shall now proceed, therefore, to detail, as clearly and concisely as possible, the measures to which we have alluded, and the nature and result of the views and inquiries on which they are grounded. We have purposely delayed the consideration of this great subject, till the Plan, in its matured shape, should be brought before Parliament by Mr Brougham. This has now been effected; the plan has been formally introduced and expounded; the Bills in which it is embodied have been read a second time, committed and reported, with the blanks filled up; and the further consideration of them having been adjourned, for the express purpose of allowing the country to consider and to discuss them, we are naturally called upon to exercise the privilege that belongs to us.

The inquiries of the Education Committee have laid the foundation of this plan. Our readers are aware, that Queries were addressed by that body to all the parochial clergy of England and Wales, respecting the state of Education in each parish and chapelry. Their answers were given with an alacrity and fullness, which, both in the Report of the Committee, and in Mr Brougham's observations in the House of Commons, have been largely commended. So ready was their compliance with the requisition of the Committee, that the Chairman states himself to have received between two and three thousand letters in one day. From time to time new questions were proposed, and further information obtained. The defective returns were thus supplied in a great degree, and all obscurities explained. A vast mass of information being thus obtained, it was digested with great diligence and care. The unremitting labour of two years, has now produced the large printed volumes which embody the substance of the information respecting England; a third volume, of smaller size, being nearly ready for delivery, and comprising Scotland and Wales.

The Scotch part of the Inquiry naturally required local assistance; and the General Assembly of our Church, in compliance with the request of the Committee, appointed a committee, at the head of which was Principal Baird, to aid the Investigation by a correspondence with the Scottish clergy, in addition to the

was dige of twon embodyird vola

correspondence carried on by the Committee. The Scotch returns were then digested in the Committee, to which they were communicated by the Reverend Principal, accompanied by his own valuable remarks. It is understood that he also assisted in the work of digesting these returns; although the accuracy of the work rests entirely upon the original documents themselves, which were all transmitted to London.

It is impossible to deny the great value of the work thus completed. As a Statistical document it is in some degree new in its kind; for, instead of mere dry figures, it contains a map of the state of society, and of the moral state of the people. It is a complete chart of the Education of the Island, in all its essential particulars. The construction of it may be shortly described-Each county has a Digest and a Table. The Digest contains the substance of the Parochial returns, arranged under three heads--1st, the particulars relating to endowments for education-2d, those relating to other institutions, or unendowed schor's-o-and, 3d, general observations on the state of the people in respect of education and matters connected with it. There are two other columns added-one giving the names of the Parishes in alphabetical order--the other giving the Population of each. The Table is extracted from the Digest, and consists of as much of it as can be reduced to a strictly tabular or numerical forni. It differs in its construction for England and Walesand for Scotland. The Table for English and Welsh counties, consists of four divisions or great columns-each subdivided into smaller columns. The divisions are, 1. Parishes or Chapelries

—and this is subdivided into three columns; one for the alphabetical list of Parishes, with their Chapelries, another for the Population, and a third for the Poor of each parish and chapelry. 2. Endowments subdivided into three columns; one for the number of the endowments in each ecclesiastical district, another for the number of children educated by each, and a third for the revenue of each. 3. Unendowed Day schools--subdivided into two columns; one for the number of such schools, another for the children educated at each. 4. Unendowed Sunday Schools, subdivided into two columns for the same purposes as the division of Day schools. The Scotch Tables are differently constructed. The first division is the same as in the English Tables, and is subdivided in the same manner. But there are four other divisions-1. Schools supported by Mortifications, that is, gifts in Mortmain-subdivided into three columns for numbers, children, and revenue. 2. Parochial Schools, subdivided in like manner. 3. Unendowed Day Schools-subdivid, ed into four classes, and each class into two columns, one of

« AnteriorContinuar »