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tion of Black Hassan's death. We do not think the Mussulmau sprawling on the ground, with his head bereaved of its turban, a happy imagination of the poet. And, really, when the Hudibrastic measure of the poetry, and the intermixture of the ludicrous circumstance of the “ beard curling with ire," are considered, coupled with his lordship's playful note, we hope to be pardoned, if we confess that we could not, while reading the passage, keep out of our minds the well-known catastrophe of John Gilpin, and the incident of the hat and wig. Neither did the distribution of the torn fragments of the Emir's robe, among the bushes restore our minds to a becoming gravity. We, have a prejudice against fragments, for which our readers must
The verse which tells us that the slain Hassan lay with his back to earth, need scarcely have informed us that “ his face was towards heaven.” It is some disadvantage to the credit, of this passage, that it puts us in mind of the noble description in Sallust of the prostrate Catiline : “ longe a suis inter hostium cadavera repertus, paululum etiam spirans, ferociamque animi quam habuerat vivus in vultu retinens.” After saying thus much, it will not be fair to withhold the passage from the reader, who will form his own judgment of it.
" With sabre shiver'd to the hilt,
His flowing robe by falchion torn,
That streak'd with dusky red, portend
We do not know where, in any production of a real poet, as we must contend Lord Byron deserves to be called, notwithstanding his Giaour, we have met with a passage more offensive to our ears both in point of sentiment and style, than the picture
of Leila's person. If it is not something very bad, it may possibly be something so superlatively good as to break the bounds of criticism, and soar above the reach of our common minds. It seems to us to contain the very essence of what is worst in the characteristic manner of Mr. Scott and Lord Byron. Let the reader again judge for himself.
“ Her eye's dark charm 'twere vain to tell,
the marble where her feet
And yet we do not mean to deny that there is even in this passage a sprinkling of Lord Byron's better taste. But should all the friends of the noble bard, with the lash uplifted, call upon us to confess, in contradiction to our creed of criticism, that the soul of poetry animated these verses,
* By Alla! we would answer, nay.” That we are admirers of Lord Byron's muse, after what we have said in this article, will perhaps be scarcely believed. And . yet we again declare, that we contemplate his powers with unfeigned respect. We have already written largely on his Childe Harold, and have expatiated with sincere delight on the singular beauties of that
poen). As we are weak enough to be sincere Christians, Lord Byron must allow us to be a little displeased where he speaks contemptuously of our unclassical superstition. For this we deserve his pity rather than his anger.
The character of his Giaour is of a cast which we cannot approve. It was the perverted aim of the moral of the Childe Harold to clothe a disappointed sulky sensualist with the dignity of that misanthropic disgust which minds too exquisitely fastidious in their honourable feelings are liable to contract in this mixed state of good and ill. The Giaour is evidently one of those persons whom modern poetry and the German drama have, under various modifications, so frequently introduced to us—a being, whose tumultuous passions, mixed with a sort of blustering humanity and turbid sentiment, assume the right of trampling upon the rights of others, of breaking the bands of society, and of treating honest men and their wives“ living peaceably in their habitations” as creatures of a lower world, designed for their pastime. This franchised gentleman is thrown upon the shores of Turkey, where, under some disguise, he debauches a lady of the harem of a Turkish emir (it would have been the same to him had it been an honest citizen's wife), and then murders the Moslem, who, it must be owned, well deserved his fate, as far as regards his own merits.
There is a sort of morbid, sentimental hue thrown over the stormy character of the Giaour, which is likely to beget a feeling in which too much of admiration enters, for a reader not well grounded in good principles to be safe under its influence. And, upon the whole, we are of opinion that these heroes and heroines of the new epic are not a whit more respectable than the heroes and heroines of the Beggar's Opera.
We will not part with his lordship without doing him the justice which he may demand at our hands, of exhibiting one of those beautiful passages which are the genuine offspring of his lordship’s genius.
“ If solitude succeed to grief,
It is as if the dead could feel
Whose beak unlocks her bosom's stream,
To still her famish'd nestlings' scream,
Are rapture to the dreary void---
The waste of feelings unemploy'd
We will now conclude this hasty criticism (for such it really is) with respectfully recommending to his lordship a more worthy employment of his mind than the construction of fragments; or, to use the phrase of a great orator, the “ architecture of ruins;" and with urging, as far as we can presume to do it, the duty which his superior endowments have laid upon him, of essaying “ to build the lofty rhyme” with well cemented materials, and on the lasting foundations of truth, religion, and virtue.
Art. VIII.-Memoirs of the private and public Life of William
Penn. By Thomas Clarkson, M.A. 8vo. 2 Vols. Lovdon, 1813.
As, after a storm, earth, air, and water appear to 'teem with new life, and insects rare and marvellous float upon every yun. beam; so, after a revolution, new sects " full of strange phan
YOL, V, NO.IX.
tasies” are sure to crowd the horizon of politics and religion, Such were the consequences by which the reformation was followed, especially in this country, the cradle of freedom 'in opinion and action. All possible licence was given to the fancies of men.
The reins were thrown upon the neck of enthusiasm. Every one thought for himself-almost every thinker became a preacher or publisher and the man who went to bed a quiet cobler, arose the apostle of a new doctrine, the new Luther of some new reform. It was at this prolific period that quakerism descended to earth—descended, not indeed from that empyreal region where reason and scripture hold undisputed sway, but, as we conceive, from some intermediate sphere just enough above the earth to receive all those vapours which are too rare for our denser atmosphere. Its followers, for a time, were men wh), though differing upon other points, were confederated in this one great principle—that“ the divine light which every man has within him is a sufficient rule of faith and conduct.”—A set of men, for instance, called the “ seekers,” from their dissatisfaction with all existing sects, and their search for a better, in many cases settled down into quakers. Such also of the class called the “ranters” as desired to retain the doctrines * without the licentiousness of their party, found an asylum in quakerism. Others connected with the establishment, who looked rather to present than ultimate consequences; who impatiently endured even its mild government and liberal creed; who coveted a religion of passion and tumult rather than of reason and peace leapt also into this new pale. Finally—those who saw and lamented the measure of secularity which too often
creeps those religious institutions in alliance with the state, and who at the same time did not discover the large infusion of good by which this evil is far more than neutralized, flocked to the same standard. The spirits" black, white, and grey” thus mustered, were all bound to one another by the enthusiastic principle above mentioned- -a principle which, however modified, however connected with the doctrine of divine influence, however guarded by the wisdom of philosophers, must always tend to form a religion as wild as the vagrancies of human fancy. If whatever is suggested to the mind is to be taken for inspiration, then, unless the believer becomes, as all reasonable quakers are, inconsistent with himself, adieu to scripture, to reason, to public prosperity, and to domestic peace.
The .excesses, accordingly committed in the early stages of