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reflection, his language never degenerates into gaudy common-place;
his lines have all a definite meaning and purpose; whether the reader coincide with them or not, the poems are, true to themselves, free from contradiction. Energy has been called the characteristic of Lord Byron's diction,-precision is certainly the distinguishing character of Wordsworth’s. It is impossible not to be struck with the infinite number of felicitous phrases scattered through the Excursion and the Lyrical Ballads,-phrases that unite individual force with capability of general application. Thus, where he speaks of a forest at the approach of autumn, as
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade.
That sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind. When the spectre of her husband first appears to Laodamia, and he gra.. phically remarks by two words, the transition and its cause, from surprise and fear, to certainty and delight
O terror ! what hath she perceived 1-0 joy!
What doth she look on ? Or compresses in one glorious line a description and illustration of poetry, by calling it
The vision and the faculty divine. When he describes the excitation of spirits produced by a first spring morning
I roamed in the confusion of my heart
Alive to all things and forgetting all.
Quiet as a Nun-breathless with adoration.
Thought was not, in enjoyment it expired. When he calls the cuckoo ' a wandering voice,' &c. speaks of a river 'gliding at his own sweet will,' of the old sea' inspiring reverential fear,– of the glory and the freshness of a dream,'-of the 'sleep that is among the lonely hills,'-—of the stock dove • brooding over his own sweet voice,' — of the deep contentment in the vernal air,-he has expressed what no one acquainted with his words will ever express in any other, because none can be found more exquisitely appropriate to the things described.
But it is time, more than time, to bring these remarks to a close. Some who may have perused them will not scruple to pronounce us bigoted enthusiasts; of the latter title we are proud, the former we entirely disclaim, All Wordsworth's poems are not equally our favourites, there are some with which we are even dissatisfied; but when these make up so fractional a portion of his whole works, when the mass of excellence is excellence so exalted and unalloyed, it does strike us as little short of impertinence to examine such a sun merely to number its specks. On this point, a remark in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads fully expresses our feelings, and we shall therefore quote it. • If an author, by any single composition, has impressed us with respect for his talents, it is useful to consider this as affording a presumption, that, on other occasions where we have been displeased, he, nevertheless, may not have written ill or absurdly; and further, to give him so much credit for this one composition as may induce us to review what has displeased us with more care than we should otherwise have bestowed
Wordsworth, as was remarked at the outset of the last paper, is not popular ; we may go further, and affirm, that in all probability he never will be ;-but we confidently anticipate the arrival of a period, when the merits of this truly great poet will be so universally acknowledged, we do not say appreciated—that people will no more think of ridiculing the Excursion than they would of decrying Paradise Lost.
* BY DR. AKENSIDE.
Until (advancing onward by degrees)
He many a creature did anatomize,
Could tell us if a mite were lean or fat,
With learned, clerkly phrase, he could have shown,
* This admirable sketch has been presented to us by a friend, as a juvenile production of the poet Akeuside. It has never, we are told, appeared in print before. -Ed.
(As green-sick damosels for husbands do ;)
He'd run it o'er and o'er with greedy view,
When he beheld his cabinet thus stored,
There stood a tripod of the Pythian maid;
There gums and amber found beneath the line,
Or all the spangled drops of morning dew,
Or cowled monk lean, feeble, and unfed ;
A scribbling dunce in sacred laurel clad,
X. The wight whose brain the Phantom's power doth fill, On whom she doth with constant care attend, Will for a dreadful giant take a mill, Or a grand palace in a pig-sty find ; (Heaven save me from a sprite so cruel kind) All things with vitiated sight he spies ; Neglects his family, forgets his friend,
Seeks painted trifles and fantastic joys, And eagerly pursues imaginary toys.
STANZAS FOR MUSIC.
In this they call the world of sorrow,
The few that care forgetful leaves us ?
Will clouded brows bring quiet bosoms?
She frowns alike on all above us;
Bring with it music's softest measure ;
In this they call the world of sorrow;
S. R. J.
A CHAPTER ON DUNS.
Sir, remember my bill.-ARBUTHNOT.
A Dun has ever been to me an object of intense interest. From my earliest youth, ab ineunte adolescentia, metaphorical 'hot water' has been my habitual element, in which all the world knows that duns are as plentiful as whales in the Arctic seas, or herrings in the bay of Chesapeake. As I have enjoyed the greatest facilities of observation and experiment on these animals, I may, without vanity, pretend to some acquaintance with their natural history, and think myself well qualified to write a dissertation on them.
Dun? unde derivatur ? Johnson says from dunan (Saxon) to clamour. In this etymology I can by no means coincide. All duns are not vociferous, as I trust I shall be able to demonstrate in the sequel. This Johnson ought to have known from his own experience; but probably he had been assailed by a rattle-dun a little before he came to this word in his dictionary, and so was induced to adopt this suspicious derivation. I reject it, however, from its want of general applicability, and humbly propose two ingenious etymologies of my own. Dun, from dúvapas, possum, because a dun does his best, fait tout son possible to get his money; or, from the adjective expressive of the colours so called. I confess I am strongly prepossessed in favour of the latter conjecture by what Newton says on the subject : his words are- We are not to expect a strong and full white, such as is that of paper ; but some dusky, obscure one, such as might arise from a mixture of light and darkness, or from white and black, that is a dun.' Now this I take to be a complete description of the animal and his habits, as well as of the colour. • We are not to expect a strong and full white' which applies to that part of a dun which, in zoological science, is usually termed the bill. This, as Sir Isaac well observes, is never completely white, but always marked with dark characters, and it often assumes a dusky hue, the result of neglect, or too frequent pecking. What the umquhile master of the mint says of the mixture of white and black expresses the dun to the very life; who always gives us every thing in black and white. In fact, the whole description completely tallies with all we know of the habits and characters of duns in general. The terms • dusky' and ' obscure' express the gloomy looks and tenebrose demeanour of the dun, and the mixture of light and darkness marks the wavering, undecided character, the infirmity of purpose, which we often observe in these beings; a sort of insipid medium between saint and devil ; a composition neither • fish, flesh, nor good red-herring;'—so much for etymology.
The Dun, or Flagitator,' is a genus of the division Adhærentia, class Dammalia, order Boreana; this animal bears some resemblance to the human form, and possesses the faculty of speech, but not that of reason. The generic characters are :-- bill length more or less ; incisors remarkably sharp; claws perfectly retractile, as in the true carnivora, and capable of the most wonderful tenacity; face of great longitudinal extension; sight very acute. Many of the individuals of the different species are furnished with long red tails.
The first species which I shall notice is the Rattle-dun, or Flagitator Clamitans. This is most pestiferous animal, but more noisy and troublesome than really dangerous. It is an inhabitant of all climates; but I