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Birds in cheerfull notes expressing
Without guilt and without measure.' There are some fine lines on Conscience,' by Sir Edward Sherburne, but they may be found in his works. Chalmers's poets, vol. vi. p. 632. The Domesday Thought, ascribed to Mr. • Flatman, is a happy specimen of the quaint morality so characteristic of the poetry of the age.
Oft when I hear a blustering wind
Go to the dull church-yard, and see
249. The following two poems, one entitled “ The Immortality of Poesie ; to Enry' in imitation of Ovid. Amor. Lib. 1. Eleg. 15, which the Editor believes to be the production of Mr. John Evelyn, son of the celebrated author of the “ Sylva," &c. and the other by Habington, author of “ Castara,” entitled Cupio dissolvi. St. Paule, merit a place in any future Anthology to consist of poems of this period. There is a vast quantity of trash, which has found its way into the complete works of the English poets,' which might well be swept away to make room for the select works of neglected authors, and the fugitive foundlings, who, for want of a parent's name, have been refused admission into the corporate body of poets. Among the neglected poets, old Quarles, with all his absurdities and quiddities, deserves particular attention. The following epitaph, On Ar
« galus and Parthenia,' is supposed to be his.
• His being was in her alone,
That tombs the two is justly one.' pp. 276.
• Wee dance on hills above the wind,
To the loud musick of the sky."
We have judged it allowable to indulge ourselves in these copious extracts from the work before us, as the costly size of the volume will render it in a measure inaccessible to general readers ; and few, perhaps, of its purchasers will be disposed to rake through the whole collection for the sake of the pearls which are mingled with so many beads and so much tinsel. The volume is valuable principally as affording materials to the Editors of future. Specimens' or Anthologia, and as il
lustrating the history of English poetry. With the exception of the pieces we have selected or referred to, and perhaps a few others, the contents of the volume are no farther inte resting than as they are objects of curiosity. In turning over the pages, we imagined ourselves in the venerable pile of sixall, seated before the ancient trunk containing the Aston papers, and the perusal of eaeh uncouth or trite and puerile production conjured up a number of fanciful associations and suppositions, connected with the manners and events of the age in which they were composed. The circuinstance of the colleetion itself is interesting, the more so from the traits of domestie feeling and the references to domestic history, which are scattered through it, and which serve to bring us into contact with the authors themselves. There is a passage in a letter from Mrs, Constance Fowler to her brother Henry Aston, dated 1636, giveŋ in the Preface, which, on this account, is very amusing.
• I haye not receaved yet those copyes of verses you promised me for sending your box to Mr. Henry Thimelby, therefore I beseech you not to forget them, for I have a longe time much longed for them. And indeed I could almost find in my hart to quarrel with you, and to conclude my letter with it ; for I have written to you I know not how often, and beged of you most pittyfully that you would send mee some verses of your owne makeing, and yet you never would, when you know I love them more then can bee expressed. And in one of your letters, rather then you would send any of them to poore me, you writte word you had none, when I am sure you cannot chuse but thinke I know that is impossieble. And therfore pray see how hardly you deale with mee, when I have sent you all the verses that I could gett perpetuly, never omieting the sending of any that I could get that were good ones.
Therfore I de sire you will make an end of the quarrell, with sending mee some as sune as you can; for I assure you they cannot come to one that will more esteme them than your ever most afectionat sister to serve you, Constance F.'
After all that may be said of genius, the permanent interest of poetry-its essential vitality-consists in its being employed, as the inedium of expressing those simple, universal feelings, which secure the sympathy of every age. It is obvious that with the higher objects of poetry, as connected with that fair ideal which awakens the enthusiasm of genius, or with those deep and mysterious feelings which are drawn from the hiddenz gources of the breast only by study and quiet meditation-with any higher object in fact, than the amusement of the hour, the writers of the greater part of these poems had no acquaintance, much less any communion, Or if at times their feelings were Faised to a pitch above their usual tone, it was, probably, more from accident than intellectual effort. Nevertheless, as $** Vol. II. N. S.
pressive of natural and simple emotions and sentiments, and as instrumental in promoting their development and culture, poetry was, even to them, something better than its design, which was mere amusement; and its object was so far answered, and its power to interest rendered so far perpetual, as the writers employed their efforts in the expression of genuine feeling and the touching representation of truth. What redeem the false wit, the puerile conceits, the tame diffuseness, and the lawless licence of the productions of the 17th centuryqualities which are only accidentally interesting, and certainly not imitable by a more polished age-are the artless pathos, or gaiety, or quaint humour, which are their occasional characteristics, and their being generally so true to our common pature,
Art. VII.- 1. Memoirs of a celebrated Literary and Political Character,
from the Resignation of Sir Robert Walpole, in 1742, to the Establishment of Lord Chatham's Second Administration, in 1757; containing Strictures on some of the most distinguished Men of that Time. A New Edition.-8vo. pp. 170. Price 7s.6d. Murray,
1814. 2. An Inquiry concerning the Author of the Letters of Junius, with
reference to the “Memoirs of a celebrated Literary and Political
Character.” 8vo. pp. 114. Price 5s. 6d. Murray, 1814. A VERY considerable proportion of the present readers of
Junius must, to be consistent with their political feelings and opinions, detest the productions of that writer. They must, therefore, be pleased with any circumstance tending to diminish the influence by which they may judge that a part of the community is liable to he still affected and perverted, from so memorable an example of daring and unpunished hostility to what a multitude of excellent preceptors of Filmer's school have been incessantly exhorting mankind unconditionally to revere. To this effect of diminishing the influence, a little has probably been contributed by the recent publication of the enlarged edition. That edition has brought out a large assemblage of the same writer's compositions, many of them so sensibly inferior, and indeed the mass of them, estimated collectively, so inferior, to the prevailing quality of his more splendid labours, as to have effected some slight modification of the impression which he had made by his appearance in the lofty and powerful character of Junius. For we are apt, though the rule may be of very doubtful justice, to depress our estimate of an author as low at least as the average quality of his works; and that average is obviously lowered by a quautity of considerably inferior matter thus brought to he combined with the more admired productions in a general estimate.
In beholding this portion of the works, we seem as if we had been taken round to see the sloping, more accessible, and less forbidding side of an eminence which we had been accustomed to contemplate only on that side on which it is beheld as an awful and impending precipice.
While this mysterious personage loses somewhat of the commanding and over-awing aspect of his talents, by their being displayed in operations not so very much surpassing those of ordinary men, he has been made to confirm every conviction or surmise, which the readers of his letters, as Junius, might have been forced to entertain against the soundness and refinement of his moral principles.
The class of persons we have referred to, as deeming the political influence of his writings to be mischievous, pleased to see him, from the mode of his new appearance, losing somewhat of his power, may very justly be desirous of what would diminish it considerably more,-an absolute identification of his person. No fact is more familiar than that there is a strange power in mystery, which confers an imaginary, and, therefore, excessive magnitude on what it shrouds, and imparts a ghostly significance and preternatural emphasis to the voices heard from its dark and haunted recesses. We may confidently appeal to the strongest admirers of that unknown author, whether, though stimulated by their admiration to the keenest curiosity during the renewed and most active research, they have not felt, if, in any instance, the object so eagerly pursued has appeared on the point of being attained, somewhat of a disposition to wish that the proof might fail, an unwillingness that this one individual, or this other, coming forward in palpable substance, and under a plain, ordinary name, should take the place of the mysterious and formidable shade. They thought that this person, and still that the next, was not of sufficiently commanding character to stand in the magnitude of Junius. But so they would have felt whoever might have been pretended or even proved to be the man. Their reluctance to admit a reality, was a kind of instinctive feeling that no real person could be so commanding an object as the one that imagination had imperfectly beheld behind the veil of mystery.
For ourselves we will confess that, though Junius is fær enough from personating our ideal form of an all-accomplished censor of bad men, and bad times, he has, nevertheless, fixed himself as a being of so commanding aspect in our imagination, and we are, like all our race, so fond of effect, that we are disposed to be content that the secret should still and always defy investigation, as it has bitherto done; and we are indittes