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mon pains afterwards to revise, lest they should be unconnected with his main design. · His Traveller, Deserted Village, Hermit 9) and Retaliation, are the chief foundation of his fame. The Traveller is one of those delightful poems, that allure by! the beauty of their scenery, a refined elegance of sentiment, and a correspondent happiness of expression. In the address to his brother, to whom the poem is inscribed, it is iinpoffible not to be pleased with the untravelled heart, and the happy image of the lengthen. ing chain. The siinile of the rainbow, is equally just as magnificent; and is one of those real beauties in imagery, which have the pow. er of pleasing universally, by being at once obvious to the mind, and at the same time posselling native dignity enough to secure them from that indifference, with which things frer quently contemplated are beheld.
.'. The Traveller fits him down (as he expresses it) on an eminence of the Alps, and from thence takes a view of the several kingdoms that lie around him, not with the contracted eye of a recluse, but with the liberal fpirit of a man who rightly considers and embraces the general blesfings of Providence.
For me your tributary stores combine,
Creation's tenant, all the world is Tnine. . He then inquires, whether superior happiness be the lot of any particular country, but concludes, that, though every man thinks most favorably of his own, nature has, in general,
q) Dieses Gedicht kommt ini Vicar selbst vor, und zwar
im Sten Kap. S. 52. vor,
observed an equality in the distribution of her bounties. The description of the people of Italy is not less just, than that of their country is picturesque and harinonious: but the moralist may object to the conclufion, as unfavourable to the interests of virtue.
Each nobler aim represt by long controul
In happier meanness occupies the inind.
The beauties of the description of the Swiss are so natural and obvious, that no eye can overlook thein. Whether the severity of a Helvetian winter chills the lap of May, when no zephyr fooths the breast of the mountain; whether the hardy Swifs fees his little lot,' the 'lot of all; breasts the keen air, and carols as he goes, drives his ploughshares 'to the steep, or drags the struggling savage into da y; the whole is beautiful. Whether he fits down the monarch of a shed, and furreys his children's looks, that brighten at the blaze, or entertains the pilgrim, whose tale re pays the nightly bed, the whole is still beautiful; but the fimile of the babe is something more; there is a grandeur as well as beauty in the appli. cation of it.
But having found that the rural life of a Swiss has its evils as well as comforts, he turns to France, and describes a people al. most of a different species. He next makes a tranfition to Holland, and from thence proceeds to Britain. The characteristics of the different nations, are just and ingenuous; but
the descriptions are neither full nor perfect. He has contented himself with exhibiting them in those points of view in which they are generally beheld; but the lights are much strengthened by the powers of poetic genius.
The Deserted Village, is a performance of distinguished merit. The general idea it inculcates is this, that commerce, by an enormous introduction of wealth, has augmented the number of the rich, who, by exhausting the provision of the poor, reduce them to the necellity, of emigration. The poem opens with an apostrophe to its subject, with which the imagination may be pleased, but which will noth fully satisfy the „judgment. The village deversions are perhaps insisted on with too much prolixity and amplification. But we are recompensed for this generality and redundance, by the classical and beautiful particularity and conciseness of the context; the dancing pair, the Iwain mistrustless of his Îmutted face, the bashful virgin, etc, The paragraph in general has much inaccuracy, especially a disgusting identity of diction; the word bowers occurs twice, the word sweet thrice, and charms and sport sina gular or plural , · four times. We have also toil remitting, and toil taught to please, succeeding sports, and sports with sweet Tucceflion. The paragraph beginning, Ill fares the land, e t'c. has great merit, the sentiinent is noble, and the exprefSion little inferior. The following one asserts what has been repeatedly denied, that there was a time in England, when every rood of ground inaintained its man. ! Wherever there is property, there must of
necessity be poverty and riches. The apostro. phe to Retirement is beautiful, but fanci. ful; for him who retires into the country to crown a youth of labour with an age of eale, the inine must be explored, the deep tempted, and.
The pale artist ply the sickly trade. . The paragraph beginning, Sweet was the found etc. has uncommon merit. The circumstances it describes are obvious in nature, but never in poetry; and they are described with great force and elegance. The particulars are most happily selected; and they bear one uniform consistent character, that of a sober or serene cheerfulness. The Matron gathering water creffes, is a fine picture. When A uburn is described as florishing, the Tillage preacher is very properly introduced and characterised in a manner which seems almost sunexceptionable, both for sentiment and expreffion. His contentment, hospitality and piety, are pointed out with fufficient particularity, yet without confusion or redundance. The' cople, the torn shrubs, and the garden flower that grows wild, are fine natural strokes.". The good man, attended by his venerating parishioners, and with a kind of dignified complacence, even perinitting the familiarites of their children, is strongly and distinctly represented. The fimiles of a bird teaching her young to fly, and the mountain that rises above the storm, are not easily to be paralleled. The last has been much admired; and is indeed a happy illustration, so far as immaterial objects can be illustrated by material.
The Schoolmaster, though a secondary character, is described with great force and precision. The description of the village ale-house, is drawn with admirable propriety and force. The fine poetical inventory of the furniture, is fully equalled by the character of the guests, and the details of their amuse ments. It is not poetical fiction, but historica truth. But though nothing is invented, fome. thing is suppressed. The rustic's hour of re. laxation is too rarely so innocent; it is too often contaminated with extravagance, anger, and profanity; describing vice and folly, how. ever, will not prevent their existing; and, it' is agreeable to forget for a inoment, the rea. lity of their existence. The rest of the poem consists of a descant on the misapplication of wealth, luxury, and the variety of artificial pleasures, and the miseries of those, who, for want of employment at home, are driven to settle new colonies abroad. Tumultuousi grandeur,' and her rattling chariots, glaring torches, etc. are finely contracted with the distressful situation of a poor prostitas te. There is beauty in the finile of the primrole, and pathos in the mention of the un happy girl laying her head at the door of her betrayer. The detail of the emigration, bea ginning, Do thine sweet Auburn etc., is animated, and in general correctly -drawn. The paragraph, Good Heaven what for. row etc. has many beauties. The heart must be insensible, indeed, which does not feel the force of pathos, in the circumstances of the daughter relinquishing her lover, in order to attend her father; and the mother clasping her thoughtless babes with additional tenderness.