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Never was there such a small insignificant libel on the name of Old Nick. To prove that he has horns, he quotes Horace-" Cave!-Parata tollo cornua." He may have deluded himself into a rooted conviction that the knobs on his numskull are horns; but he has only to knock his head against a wall to disenchant his cock neyship out of that audacious dream. Horns hath he none-either in esse or posse; he has been deceived by the shadow of his ears in the New River.
> Proof is patent on the title-page that he has not-as we erroneously said-deluded himself into the above rooted conviction. It is not possible to silence the voice of nature. In vain would he assume the outward bull-the inward ass is triumphant -and the bellow goes off, to his own astonishment, in a bray. Hear him in an extract from what he calls his "Mountain Ramble." "A critic, my friend, in these days, must plunge his probe deeply; let him not, however, be a Zoilus: he may detect spots in the sun, yet still extol its splendour; modest flowers must engage his peculiar attention, but the proud, rank thistle he must root up." O, the thoughtless Donkey! improvident of the future. The "animal that chews the thistle" is privileged to crop it; in doing so, the wisdom of instinct is equal to that of reason; but "to root up the proud, rank thistle," would be as foolish conduct on the part of a cuddy, as it was on that of a Christian to kill the goose for the golden eggs.
Nicholas tells us that " satire is not excluded from the following poem, although it does not form its prominent feature." He might as well have said that the nose does not form the most prominent feature on the face that happens to have none -in which case the most prominent feature is probably the cheeks-or possibly the mouth. It is so with Nicholas. He is all mouth-not bulland-mouth-but mere jaw. We say not so in disparagement of his organ, which is well adapted for his chosen task-" to silence the Cerberus of puffs, to break the molten calves of blind adoration." The one will die beneath his jaws-the other fall into pieces beneath his hoofs. Who may be the Cerberus of puffs? Nicholas
says "the modern Cerberus, fortyfive of whose fifty heads guard the Burlingtonian kingdom." Let them all bark at once, Nicholas will bray them down; but the remedy, we fear, will be more intolerable than the disease. A neighbourhood gains nothing, and may lose much, from the abatement of one nuisance by another; under the tyranny of a new stink, it may sigh in vain for the old engine that could not, even by the threat of an indictment, be induced to consume his own smoke.
"In our language," quoth Nicholas, "we have three great satires." Pope's Dunciad -Gifford's Baviad and Mæviad-Byron's English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. The Dunciad, he tells us, "is distinguished for arch wit, and the powerful, though kindly, castigation of its victims." Our excellent friend must have singular notions of the meaning of "arch" and "kindly." For example, he would esteem it" arch and kindly" in us, were Christopher North, like a second Peter Bell, to take him by the tail, and “ bang his bones” for any given number of hours, by Shrewsbury or any other well-regulated clock, with the Crutch. "Arch and kindly," according to his conceit, is the demeanour of that chosen Russ who knouts the back of the post-bound culprit, till its flesh "falls off in gory flakes,” and with his redhot pincers tears out the nostrils of the nobleman about to be goaded across the steppes into Siberia.
Besides these three great satires, there are, it seems, two small ones, "in our language”-Churchill's Rosciad-which, “ although directed against the stage, (there's a discovery!) approaches in its nature the pale of our school." He, too, it seems, is a Knight of the Thistle. The other "small satire," is called the "Siamese Twins." But Nicholas is somewhat inconsistent in his note upon these paltry performances-for, quoth hethough it is possible he may be sarcastic" A GREAT SATIRE, however, flavouring of literature, as it castigates Captain Hall, &c., not long since appeared-itis called the Siamese Twins." There is something very solemn in this formal announcement of the existence of that ingenious Poem. But we are at a loss to see why a satire should be charac
terised by "flavouring of literature," because it castigates in particular the gallant captain. Nicholas spiritedly avers, that" Mr Bulwer's scourge is a silken thread." But here he falls into a very natural and excusable mistake. He does not discern the obvious distinction between the fineness of a scourge, and the coarseness of the hide on which it may be inflicted. Yet in art and nature they are, he may depend on't, two totally different things. True, that Mr Bulwer's weapon is whipped with silk, but the stem or staple is whalebone; applied to the flank of a "high-mettled racer," the generous steed, flinging up his heels, neighs haughtily, and then scours the course in disdain, like Smolensko or Priam-but on the hurdies of a donkey, 'tis Love's Labour Lost, and the insensate brute obstinately retains his position, illustrative of the motto of his tribe, “The proud rank thistle he must root up."
Nicholas now looks about him from the "pale of our school," and espies what he opines to be a gang of animals in no degree cognate_to himself—for he does not possess Intellect, the Faculty which perceives relations-a gang of asses. are the living Poets and Poetesses. He resolves forthwith to have a shy at them-after the fashion of a lout playing at Roley-poley, and truculently exclaims, "Will no one lash the dunces? THEN, I WILL!" This is At a time when the whole savage. world-Christian and Pagan-is at peace with the Dunces-outleaps old Nicholas from the "pale of our school," and lays about him right and left-not indeed like a bull in a china shop, but like an ass among Staffordshire pottery-and after Act First of the tragico-comic farce, proclaims, in a bray that would have dismounted Balaam, "who flutter'd the Volsces in Corioli? I DID IT."
Nicholas Michell is at a loss what to make of Thomas Campbell. Yet we acknowledge that he bestows appropriate, judicious, and finely discriminating praise, on Gertrude of Wyoming. That poem, in the opinion of Nicholas, displays "Warton's lore"-whether Tom's or Joe's, or both, it is no great matter-for our critic means to eulogise the rich display of classical and antiquarian lore
This great crime does, indeed, stand out in bold relief from the peccadilloes stated in the text-the drawl of one bard, and the roar of another, which, it might be said across the Irish Channel, exhibit the enormity of the silence of the too tacit Thomas in the most glaring colours.
From the Bard of Hope turn we to the Bard of Memory. What saith Nicholas Michell of Samuel Rogers? He makes him the subject of an original moral reflection on Time. "How swiftly time's life-sapping waters flow !
For thou we'rt born just seventy years ago.”
The logic of this "for" is neatly wrapped up, and concealed ingeniously from the public eye. We admit the conclusion-but cannot perceive the source from which it flows in the premises. Adam was created six thousand years ago, and appears a person more in point than Mr Rogers. In one respect, however, perhaps the worthy Banker has the advantage over the unhappy Horticulturist, as an illustration, or argumentum ab homine, of Pollok's Course of Time. For of him Nicholas says what could not be said of our First Parent, without sacrificing the principles of the bill, that he was
"Born, not 'mid haunted dells, or rocks that lean
O'er dashing floods, or mountains far from men,
But on fair Newington's smooth level green.”
We are then presented with a few interesting anecdotes of this elegant poet's childhood, which seems, however, to have differed little from that of ordinary persons who have devoted themselves chiefly to prose.
For which he felt th' unsparing master's lash."
The "unsparing master" must have been an arch and kindly" character. Nicholas then tells us, in reference to Mr Rogers, that genius pines, like an imprisoned eagle," still turning from dull pedants and their books;" a fine simile, conceived in the true spirit of my Lord Castlereagh's celebrated sentiment, that the nation should not stand weeping like a crocodile, "with its hands in its breeches pockets;" and inadequately imitated by a writer in an Edinburgh newspaper, giving an account of the unanimity of the Radical Meeting in our King's Park—that no Tory reptile was there to hiss like a serpent" with his hat held up before his face."
Having recovered from his wounds, and escaped "all the disastrous chances which his youth suffered," the lad Samuel
-"sought, erelong, not Oxford walls, But an academy, where science, grace, Are taught as well"
"He dived 'mid Greek and Latin, Euclid
Then, like a priest to banquet, fell to writing."
"His ode was thunder, dew his Human Life,
Pathetic Jacqueline MADE THEE ALL RAIN.' We should have thought rain more natural after thunder-but Mr Michell ought not thus" to change the drink upon us"-and we are curious to know, Human Life being dew, what gifted individual is alluded to by the personal pronoun in the accusative case 66 thee," as being "all rain." He must be a wet Quaker.
"Lo! Wilson comes! the king of Noctial jokes,
Of late most saltless, tame, and melancholy."
But, in spite of the stupidity of those dullest of all dialogues, Nicholas prays for a long life to the Profes
"Sage Wilson! health to thee! and length of days!"
"Doth Lady Lake' or Rokeby this? 'Tis clear
The first is Cape-wine, and the last small beer."
Now we say that is barely civil. Pray, who is Lady Lake? Mr Campbell's " greatest crime” is, that he hath writ no more;" and the chief enormity laid, in a note, to the charge of Sir Walter, is that" with him a tree is a tree, and a river a river," This appears to be more atrocious, in the eyes of old Nicholas, than Peter Bell's opinion about the yellow primrose, which we have explained in our Flight First to the Lakes. The sole apology we can offer for Sir Walter at present, is a conjectural supposition, that he believes a tree to be a tree, and a river to be a river, on the same high Tory principle that we, Christopher, believe a fool to be a fool, and a Cockney a Cockney.
Nicholas Michell most seriously and solemnly believes that Samuel Taylor Coleridge is no poet.-His "Wallenstein" is a tion," Nic being doubtless a great mere translaGerman scholar- and "Zapolya" and "Remorse" are decided failures." "Christabel" he cannot endure" than which was never thing penned, not excepting Jack the Giantkiller and Tom Thumb, more monstrously absurd." We beg that Nicholas would reconsider that sentence. There is, we fearlessly main
tain, in opposition even to his authority, nothing monstrously absurd in Jack the Giant-killer and Tom Thumb. Let him not suffer the feelings and judgment of his innocent and therefore enlightened infancy, to be overlaid by the nightmares of his, alas! no longer immaculate and therefore obfuscated manhood. True, it is too much the fashion of these supercilious and sophisticated times, to laugh at the orient day-dreams of the yet unbreeched man-child, who is, nathless, the High Priest of Nature, and knows more of her mysteries than he may do when he becomes Bishop of Chichester. Let old Nic, then, become young Nic; let him throw off the man-and-devil, and be once more the angel-and-child; and we offer to lay a gallon of Glenlivet to a saucer of saloop, that, restored to his original capacities and powers, his regenerated mind will see the full effulgence of the glory of those two poems; that
"A settled smile of stern vindictive joy Kindling one moment Nicky's burning cheek,"
will testify the enthusiasm with which he reads the Tale of all those Giants by Jack so righteously slain; that a gush from
"The sacred source of sympathetic tears" will bear witness to the pathos of that pity with which he hangs o'er that other tale, alas! "too tender and too true," of the unterrified Thomas, who, by a heroic death, illustrated that affecting Scriptural image, "flesh is grass.
Nicholas must be the son of an Usher of the Gentleman in Black. He is for horsing all the poets. The son of the schoolmaster waxes savage -the bottom-brusher breaks out in his boy at sight of an unlucky bard mounted for punishment.
"Oh, Coleridge! when at school where Avon flashes,
Hadst thou, if bidden to rhyme, scrawl'd lines so bad,
Thy master would have given thee fifty
Deeming such might beat brains into the
lad; And now a man, such jargon canst thou
And boast it too? The rod shall slay thee quite!"
Inhuman monster! and to dare to use such threats on the eve of the passing of the Reform Bill! Does Nicholas Caligula Nero Domitian Michell imagine that the Mob will permit the March of Intellect to be accelerated by such sanguinary " means and appliances to boot" as these-means that make the flesh of the leanest shudder, and the sinews of the strongest crawl like spiders on their bones, while he, the Epitome of the Four most diabolical of the Twelve Cæsars, murmurs his murderous suggestions in a lisping whisper, as soft as if he were soliciting an assignation with the Hebe of some suburban tea-garden, to have surrendered to his virgin embrace those beauties which have been bandied about, for time immemorial, from Hyde Park Corner to St Paul's?
"And this is Christabel! Oh! shame! oh! shame!
The Mariner is worse, if such can be ; Which, certes, bedlamites might blush to claim:
Where vessels sail without or wind or sea, Birds to be slain, track barks through
thin and thick,
And slimy things with legs-I'm choked -I'm sick!!"
To prevent Nicholas from being choked, the best recipe is also the readiest-let the person next him give him a vigorous thump on the back between the shoulders, till the dust flies from his bottle-green, and the bit of poetry he has been attempt. ing to bolt, out of his orifice will jump like bacon. But what shall we do for the poor fellow, seeing he is so sick? An emetic or a purge-or both? BOTH. Which first? Emetic. What? Ipecacuanha. And what then? Calomel-in such a dose as might pass current in the United States. How do you feel now, Nicholas ? Any easier? Why, you look as lank as a greyhound; you who within these ten minutes were as dumpy as a pug.
Cross-bred curs, it is well known to dog-fanciers, take causeless dislike to particular persons, whom they
see without shewing their teeth, and whom, but for fear, they would bite. It is uniformly the most placid and pleasing persons, at whom the misbegotten miscreants from Hockley in the Hole and Marybone make the mouths we mention; they
crouch on their bellies before the feet, and lay their muzzles on the knees of scamps. Now, without meaning to apply personally this strong illustration to Nicholas, we may remark, that there exists not a more inoffensive man than the author of Christabel; that it has been found so difficult to dislike him, that the most malignant out of pure spite have given up the attempt; and therefore the enigma we propose for solution in the next number of the Halfpenny Magazine is, "Why delighteth Nicholas Michell to insult S. T. Coleridge ?" That he has a diseased and depraved pleasure in doing so, is manifest not only by the disgusting doggerel which he has drivelled above, but by the insolent saliva which he slavers below"Art thou the bard whose brows the laurel wear?
When shall a cap and bells be mounted there ?"
Now, we inform the correspondents of the Penny Magazine, who will be inundating that prosperous periodical with their solutions, that they must not expect to gain the prize by any such vague generalities as the following-that "gentle dulness ever loves a joke;" that stupidity is spiteful; that the obscure "choke and sicken" with envy of the illustrious, beyond the cleansing power of bastinado, ipecacuanha, and calomel; or that Nicholas is a ninny. They must favour us with something more recherche-else we shall have no credit in our charade. But
"He comes! lo! Wordsworth comes! back, sons of men!"
Nicholas seems to have a sad presentiment of Peter Bell and his cudgel.
"Hark! from his manly breast that loud
As rhymed by ear, and metred out by art?
That bright imaginings, and thought profound,
Are plants that flourish most in barren ground?
But worse, immortal Bard! oh, worse than all,
Thy dulness and obscurity we deem ; For if the senses brave sleep's leaden thrall,
The spirit wanders in a wildering dream : We read, we ponder, pause, peruse again— 'Tis too sublime for us, the sons of men !" The penultimate line of this extract is exceedingly picturesque. We see Nicholas striving to escape sleep. "His senses brave sleep's leaden thrall;" but still his face has that absurd expression that Morpheus, even when kept at some distance, contrives to impart to the features of the yawner, by squirting over them a preparation of poppies. His eyes are oysters. The flies make their his mouth being aware of their Sayexits and their entrances, without ings and Doings. He reads the passage for the tenth time comprebending at each perusal but a tithe of the meaning that appeared to appertain to its predecessor, so that he at last masters but the hundredth part of that of which at first he had no idea; he ponders, he perpends, he is observed to shake his head, and with hesitating hand slightly to raise his Caxon, to let the air circulate round" the dome of thought, the palace of the soul;"-he pauses, and looks around the room with a countenance from which the most innocent no-meanings have, on eri