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txt the mere precur- cotoo homely for the polite fastidious. He is to be careful not to get his head bate a matbema- TE

fairly turned, lest he forget his proso alted lesion at the top; ti it. “It's all moonshine,” quoth he; to hold his pen to write verses? Now trawe-i traveller's ei

dy. If he burn his fingers, how is he turh Davj-a natural te « let them say what they will, there's this is a most edifying warning to the imageholar's with Por- t1 I have been of his opinion ever since. probable enough, to be sure, that they it make a dramatic n

whole tribe of artificial poets. It is we to do with ti After all, both Horace, and Vida the should leave what they affect to like unit with the base C

er of poetry in all shapes, and was Ingenia. Inventus sæpe est eui carmina the indhe eyes of poste- is B early dragooned into a sort of sulky re

se doit the principle dari verence for Greek and Latin authors. Cui placeant Musæ, cui șit non læva po.. Day ting to be taught, or ther I was soon favoured with a notion of

tu poper sense of the Dry the legitimate rule of Homer and Vir- Nititur ille tamen frustra et contendit inani

pets seems truly a like gil. Indeed, the first book I ever read Delusus studio

o nalogue

. In all Cha in (willingly,) was Macpherson'strans. To be sure he adds


, the progress is can lation of the Iliad ; and though, since that time, I have softened much in my “ Sæpe tamen cultus frequens et cura do

and gradual inquiry. bra

di pet upon information DiL opinions about this description of “ di

De auteple

. A man of mis vine right," I have ever since that Imperat ingeniis"


, sometimes the period been aware of a cloudy idea but maugre this qualification, the se

dl science much be- of floating about my pericranium, which cret is out. Here lies the rub. If the might have embodied itself in an au

Ingenia” are wanting, the rules are set ne push them. Still to dible query, much like the following. now and then found not to answer.

i nes on in a regularnie "If Horace was at the pains of laying This lurking distrust of the power of

Bar and Tycho Brahe" down a plain receipt for the composi- precept sometimes gives the whole an tion of poetry, how has it happened air truly ludicrous. The young poetia that we have not had a dozen or two cal aspirant is warned in one place not of Homers and Virgils since his time, to venture too near the fires of love with a pretty supply of Horaces, ac- but for what reason few readers would cording, as is his rule in such cases, guess. to the demand ?” This was to me

" Sæpe etenim tectos immitis in ossibus an inexplicable paradox. But a plain

ignes spoken elder friend, to whom, in Versat amor mollesque est intus cura nice a kind of despair, I ventured to pro dallas, pose the difficulty, summarily solved Nec miserum patitur vatum meminisse nec it by the application of an old homely

undæ proverb, which I fear may be a little Castaliæ.” ness of your Æsthetic Magazine, as

a of a .”

o laiko and Newton; is Bu Vartester to Boulton me

Friar Bacon to Sir her. But the Iliad and of

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regolebrated Epics in ad of

to lure heen endived since. ra en maken before to lacqueythe Stand and the Athe

is reversed in toto. In yana of Tristram Shate fi pela marqet diagrams in ilt bite cate of the arts and te


to say,

Iszapare at the bottom, t pakro of table-land," 1 en gi Honk Lewis, Mr 1

, Mr Barry Cornate, and Mr Haynes, in ka, chroken by rower-1 bi tebing originality. If

bare been, as Dr Sou

author of the “ Poetics” which Pope for what they really

do like ;-that is condescended to edite, were too sensi. ble men by far to pretend to lay down

the Muses for “one earthly infallible rules for the creation of a fure's making with such a maxim as

girl. But to insult a poet of bac Poet. Such a generation would be more this—to talk to such a man as Burns, miraculous than that of the maniken for instance, the natural language of in Flim Flams," a book, by the bye, whose passion was poetry, in this style that has not obtained the credit it des serves, -or of the misanthropical mon

- It is enough to make one hate the ster in Frankinstein. If their respec- and canons of criticism, and every

very idea of all schools, and academies, tive works be examined, they will be found to consist of rules, without the laws, which have served only to breed

thing appertaining to those scholastic observance of which, they maintained, rhyming pedants and coxcomus, just all poetry must be imperfect. The as all the webs Penelope spun only fillPoetics and the Epistle to the Pisos are cd Ithaca full of inoths. really no more than this. The title "De Arte Poetica” ought to be render- ten about schools of poetry. We have

A great deal has been said and write ed, “concerning the artificial part of had Byron schools, and Scott schools

, poetry," or, more literally, concernand Lake schools, and Classical schools ing poetical art.”. Vida goes most into and Italian

schools, and Freneh schools, the metaphysics of the matter, and ad- and Frenchified schools, and they have mits in words the inefficiency of his allone peculiarity. It is, that the foundown rules, in certain cases; to wit:

ers are almost the only persons con** Verum non eadem tamen omnibus esse nected with them, whose reputations memento

stand any chance of being of the value

hind that, with a very Beni dhe lounders of an ori

bave lived. The "Imia

petus" have either



tekered after a time, tenk

erik and top-heavy, Helenel belore they al. There is Wilton sailing normous Spanish galleon, nie

, al leaving a luale plonghs the waves

vid rainly ripple about les Wat English blankWalanges that have followed

karlast Thate

son. But who scholar's with Por- the doctrine of innate propensities and

of a." pin's fee” in the eyes of postea is Butler, like a contraband cutter,

rity. if we once admit the principle, daringly dashing over the billows; * that poetry is a thing to be taught, or there is Prior, an elegant yacht; and

an art" in any proper sense of the Dryden, a very fine ship; and Young, in term, the list of poets seems truly a like Rowland Hill's floating Methodist

most paradoxical catalogue. In all Chapel. As for Shakespeare, to whom other arts and sciences, the progress is can we compare him but to the celethat of diligent and gradual inquiry. brated « Vanderdecken, the Flying Information is piled upon information Dutchman," who sails when he pleases - example upon example. A man of miraculously against the wind Now talent or genius, doubtless, sometimes these names are all founders of schools, pushes the limits of science much be- of which their country had not before

yond the extent to which a man of seen the like ; a fact sufficient in itself sa moderate ability can push them. Still to unsettle one's notions of the mechaME upon the whole it goes on in a regular nical nature of poetry. To what this ad gradation. Ptolemy and Tycho Brahe founding of poetical schools," as it

led the way to Galileo and Newton ; is called, really amounts, is another meet the Marquis of Worcester to Boulton matter. E and Watt; and Friar Bacon to Sir If we set about analysing the nature

Humphrey Davy. But the Iliad and of poetical talent, we shall find it to Ma the Æneid were not the mere precur- consist, for the most part, in a union

sors of the other celebrated Epics in ad of two qualities. The prominent chaand id, that have been endited since. racteristics of a poet, are a capability They were not sent before to lacquey the of receiving strong impressions from way for the Epigoniad and the Athe- external things, and a liability to the

naid. The matter is reversed in toto. intense play of the passions. To these # If, after the manner of Tristram Shan- faculties he adds, if it is not inherent

dy, we were to construct diagrams in in their possession, a power of nice inillustration of the state of the arts and tellectual discrimination. He has corsciences, we should have a mathema- rect as well as vivid ideas of the beautical pyramid with Newton at the top; tiful and sublinie in nature, and of a chemical one with Davy—a natural the affecting and passionate in mental history one with Cuvier--a traveller's emotion. Whether the discussion of with Humboldt

are we to do with talents is involved here, I do not know, Shakespeare, if we make a dramatic nor do I much care. Whether the pyramid ? Why turn it with the base character of a man, including in that uppermost, Skakespeare at the bottom, term disposition and talent, is part of and the top a sort of “ table-land," his natural constitution originally, or with the heads of Monk Lewis, Mr the after-work of external circumMaturin, Mr Shiel, Mr Barry Corn- stances, seems to be of little consewall, Mr Knowles, and Mr Haynes, in quence, could it even be certainly a horizontal line, unbroken by tower- known which hypothesis is the true ing talent, or reaching originality. If one. Under each theory the event is we go on to review the many volumes equally uncontrollable. The influence of poetry which bave been, as Dr Sou- of circumstances is admitted to begini they expresses it, “cast upon the wa so early, and to be in itself so inscru. ters," we shall find that, with a very tably minute and complicated, that as few exceptions, the founders of an ori, far as education is concerned, one supginal style only have lived. The“ Imie position is about as unmanageable as tatores, servum pecus” have either the other. Not that I could ever see leaked and foundered after a time, or the slightest probability in the notion else have been so crank and top-heavy, of the constitution of all minds, as to that they capsized before they were natural propensities and capabilities, well launched. There is Milton sailing being, as it were, originally balanced about like a gorgeous Spanish galleon, to a sort of equiponderance. The thing deep in the water, and leaving a lua is nearly inconceivable. That thinking, minous track as he ploughs the waves whether simple perception or reflecof oblivion, which vainly ripple about tion, depends somehow or other upon his huge sides. What English blank the brain, seems to be clear--that the verse epic of those that have followed difference of fibre, in different men, in his wake, is now sea-worthy? There must involve different states of the

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brain, seems unavoidable—that differe subject after him, will become a greatent states of the brain should not ne er and more popular poet. He will do cessarily cause varieties in the strength so because he can delineate more nice. of impressions and the vividness of ly, shadow more deeply, and colour ideas, is surely hard to be imagined. more truly, than his precursor. How Be this as it may, whether early con- many Madonnas were painted before tingencies or original conformation be Raphael's ? or who has ever inquired? the cause, it is sufficient that the mind That the talent of poetry is mainly of a poet must of necessity have been, composed of a capability of vivid im from the beginning, chiefly conversant pression from without, and an inward with those ideas which constitute the susceptibility of mental emotion, is x basis of his poetry. For in what does apparent in the fact, that poets have the art of poetizing consist, but in more frequently been attached to the drawing vivid, and somewhat height- studies of painting and metaphysics, ened, but yet natural pictures of mat- than to that of any other science--muters, which are calculated to produce sic, I believe, not excepted. Salvator pleasing emotions in the mind. It is Rosa was equally eminent in poetry This power of mental painting, this and painting. Some of our modern correctness of delineation, with this painters have written good verses, as warmth of colouring, that is the es- for instance Shee; and some of our sence of poetry. The power of fully poets have been good painters, as for expressing these ideas in words, is the instance Peter Pindar. The present next requisite. The possession of dis- Professor of Moral Philosophy in the crimination in the choice of subjects, University of Edinburgh, is a striking is the next, but far below the other example of the union of poetical with = two in importance. Experience has metaphysical talent - so was his predeshewn, that almost every object which cessor--so is Sir William Drummond life affords is capable of poetical adorn -so is Coleridge-so is Wordsworth by ment-pleasing when depicted, and -So were Beattie and Akenside and naturally connected with reflections so even was Hobbes, the father of of the most interesting description. English metaphysicians, though, to Great poets have not been those who be sure, his translation of Homer is have discovered new and unthoughts said to be none of the most readable of subjects for poetry, but those who of books. have discovered excellence and origi If depth and correctness in the pernality in their powers and style of ception and expression, both of the treating of subjects, in a great degree sensations of external beauty and of familiar. Every poetical theme must, inward emotion, be the mainspring of in fact, be more or less popular, be- the poetical, it is pretty clear, that cause readers must know something of those whon chance or nature has the subject of a picture, to be enabled turned into one favourite channel of to feel and appreciate the merit of the observation from their earliest years, resemblance. To borrow a common are likely to have most of it. The expression, it is because he sees fur- 'inclination to observe, and the talent ther into a mill-stone than the man for observation, generally accompany who picks it,” that a poet is a poet. and assist each other. The having It is because he knows minutely and one, is a proof of the possession of the deeply, what others know generally other. In all human pursuits, we see and superficially, that he is able to what wouders are effected by this earrouse in them sensations which they ly devotion. Hence the almost supercannot awaken for themselves. He stitious notions of genius overcoming remembers what they have forgotten, every obstacle, and treading, with unand fills up for them the blanks of deviating step, the way which nature their imagination, and heightens for points—hence Sir Isaac Newton is rethem the dim colouring of their fan- ported to have said, that any man of cy. He who hits upon a subject com- good ability, who could have paid the pletely new in poetry, will probably same long and undivided attention to become a popular poet, provided he mathematical pursuits that he did, has, even in a slight degree beyond would have produced the same rehis neighbours, the faculty of poetical sults. Though this was only saying, delineation ; but he who, with much in other words, that any one with more of this faculty, takes the same Newton's genius would have been

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Come Newton ; for whether the early tena and so, above all, are Sir Walter Scott's t. Herik deney was the effect of strong percep. attachment to antiquarian pursuits, ite mora sion of the objects of mathematical and to the local superstitions of his

and ok pursuit, or whether it was the effect country. Why are these poets so ur of inscrutable circumstances in early tinged with those various peculiariinted life, and rather the cause than the ef- ties, is the question that immediateer inde feet of the keenness of intellect after- ly presents itself? Because it is only TY IS Awards manifested, still to produce a through these early peculiarities of of vir die similar genius by artificial culture, is thought, that men become poets. Of de about as hopeless upon one supposition that which they have all their lives

s upon the other. It is difficult, how. been ruminating upon, they have ideas poets be ever, not to think that original orga- more vivid than other people's; and ched snization is at the bottom, when we by giving those ideas, with all the

behold so many of those strange be- force of language they can, they write iena- ings, called "men of genius," driven poetry. This is true of more than So through life by one ruling impulse, poets professed. Old Isaac Walton,

with every action tinged by the pre- the sole employment of whose life was vailing prepossession. If it be not in- angling, has, without knowing it, writ.

stinct, it is very like it ; and they who ten a poetical pastoral more natural me it's would be indignant at a comparison than Shenstone or Cunningham, more ery with the marches of the Lemings, or simple than Gesner, and more sincere

the Land-crabs, to which rivers and than Thomson. Nay, some of the zby po pountains are said to be no impedi- books of the old pharmacopolists, es


, may not find it easy to point pecially under the head of " Cordial out the specific difference. Instances Waters," from a habit of observing, of the display of early and decided or imagining, and minutely describing, tendencies towards particular pursuits, the effects of these “ distilments” upare innumerable in the annals of lite- on the nervous system, are as poetical rature

. The boy Opie sketched," with here and there, as any thing in Dr bad desperate charcoal round his darken’d Armstrong. If we look over the exto walls," the forms which existed in his tensive catalogue of English poetry,

young imagination, but which he had we shall find it to be a set of Oddities not the means of giving " a local ha- versified. The poets are a sort of harbitation and a name." "Little Mozart' monious quizzes, and their poems are and Crotch roared to be at the harpsi- tinctured throughout with the partichord, when their fingers had scarcely cularities of disposition—the ideas ari. strength to press down a key; whilst sing from the pursuits of life, nay with Jedediah Buxton appears to bave em- the very diseases of the writers. There ployed all his life in discovering recon-' is no sélection of subject ; what they dite modes of arithmetical calculation, felt keenly and saw strongly, they and probably counted before he knew have made poetry of. A sharp phythe names even of the numerals. Mr siologist might trace out the constitúHogg seems to have been a poet before tion, profession, and usual residence be learned to write--nay to speak in of a poet, from his works only. Lord decently grammatical, not to say po- Byron, who has

travelled, tells about lished language. Burns was something Gondolas, Mantillas, comboloios, Gain the same way; and if we look fure zelle eyes, mosques, and latticed wina ther amongst the works of those poets dows. The head of Mr Wordsworth, of whom most is known, we shall find who lives amongst lakes and mounthèm to be coloured with those singu- tains, is filled with rocks, clouds, leechlarities of disposition, for which they gatherers, pedlars, daffodils, and wawete remarkable through life. Thus ter-lilies. Mr Crabbe, whose clerical Comper's morbid low-spirits tinge, al- functions have made him farailiar with most without an exception, every one vestries, work-houses, and the whole of his compositions. Milton's scholar-' economy of a country parish, in lieu ship and fondness for Italian literature, of the rocks and rills of Mr Wordsare apparent in most of his poems. Worth, has extracted poetry out of the Burms' warm feelings, occasional seri- stony hearts of church-wardens, and ousness, and independent spirit, are the scanty stream of parish charity. equally marked in his works. Só are We have poems about ships and about Lord Byron's sarcastic, melancholy, religion-about steam-engines and hyand splenetic carelessness of the world; draulic presses-about hunting, shouta

a thos: body and soul re

2. like it lasts, enjoy orec

fax, well knows; and, ac- in

kapott or Madeira with me

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possed with an ar- 1

times drowned in a Pacific ocean of of nature, and excite in himself the pasin do, by repeated

et not,--the over

Ich a man, but food

altas born a poet, an

ing, and fishing about war and waltze verses in a tavern three hours after he ing about astronomy and gastrono, could not speak.”

inlucement for tion miem about bees and silk-worms-and If a certain line of subject, or a cer

Tiis merely the une lyn siphilis and spleen, and diseases in ge- tain method of treating or of orna

The e prealarly gifted It i neral about playing at whist and at menting that subject, be not essential

vele meer which it feels il stra chess, and smoking tobacco, and ma- to the poetical, still less is versification. te putery, for the


it king sugar-wine and cider. In fact, Smoothness of versification has, in fact,

norable emotions. kee there is scarcely any human pursuit been attained as fully by those who areas

, I cannot help out that has not been, directly or indirect- have vainly struggled to become poets,

ja t ta be explained the reo ly, introduced into poetry, and the as by those who have really been so. strange judgments in i obliquities and excellences of the hu- If this were not true, where is the sa pens upon the works of by man mind have each had about an tire of Pope's “ Song by a Person of a pet les his critical ne equal share in imparting interest to its Quality,” 'in which there is as much p1929 who is intoxicated po pages. musical “ no meaning," as in the inost zdrade

, loses all nicety In To be a poet, then, is not merely to fashionable air of a modern opera. It the merits of ano- fer possess the art of versifying 'accounts is true, that Dr Johnson and others of battles, or declarations of love, or have even gone so far as to affirm that the one kimi of excite- M descriptions of flowers. It is the art rhyme is essential to the perfection of of making of a subject what no one English poetry,—and they may be az eber. This truth, that else ean ;-of treating an old friend af- right. It may be essential to its com- ikazidas personage

, the

р ter a new and high fashion. In short, pleteness, though not to its existence; it is the art of being a clever fellow; -and so in this sense are reading and is, who think to crown 51 and, being as it is, poetry can never writing. It needs not the subtlety of be stopped by a lack of subject, nor a Scriblerus--who insisted that he could not be re, are sure to get it poet ever made or unmade by the vo- conceive the abstract idea of a Lord bepantas, by some means or lubility or laziness of a university pro. Mayor, divested of his gown, chain, fessor. It is possible enough 10 ima, and gilt coach-to imagine a poet with- *alization for the beaugine, that the want of an exciting out the accomplishments of reading, glass of wine, may have rendered abor. writing, or even speaking: He might zive many a sonnet, and its presence possess ideas, without the power of vivified many an anacreontie: - that a communicating them. He might look high-flown ode may bave been some- deeply into the beauties and harınonies water-gruel, and an elegy or an epic play of fancy and the whirl of passion, gram in a Red Sea of Julep, or * a and yet “ voice be none.” One of Mediterranean of Brewis.”—But that those anomalous cherubim, which con. future Murrays and Blackwoods shall sist of a head and wings only, would ever want customers for lack of ca- be a type of him. What are sounds, nous of criticism" Tilly Psally, Sir ar words, or lines, or stanzas, but John!” So little of the mechanical is modes of expressing that which exist admitted by poets themselves to enter ed before them, and independently of into the composition of poetry, that them? The minds of Homer and of most of them have professed to be, as Milton were probably very similar, it were, only semi-voluntary agents though the manner in which they in the matter. Thomson could only have expressed their ideas is totally write in the spring. Pope used to dissimilar? The Greek and Latin cria keep a servant up all night, to be tics, who doated upon the hexameters ready with pen, ink, paper, and a of “the blind Mæonides,” would have light, that the “ afflatus” might not recoiled in consternation from the be lost ; and we have the present Lau- blank-verse or rhyme of the Englishreate bargaining that he is only to man. Paradise Lost; or Il l'enseroso, write court odes when he will-mean- " would have made Quintilian stare ing when he can. It should seem, and gasp.” The mental figures of the too, that this wayward faculty remains, poet are eternal, unchangeable, and when less complex, but less deeply adapted to all time ;-the rhythmical rooted, propensities of the mind are adjuncts are capricious, fading, and found to be impracticable. Thus, the changeable. Pope re-yersified Donne, last rational act of Swift, was the which only proves, that Donne's ver, composition of the “ Legion Club;" sification was no part of Doune. Had Smart scrawled sublime stanzas on the Pope given him a new coat for his old walls of his cell; and “it is told of one, it would have been much tlie the late Dr King, that he used to write saine thing.

they are and subject he has i

ont his yearning arose ! * Planet of blond," like that es relatioaships in roman. There it has worked itself as

was into a permanent

mton is there. It has Blisan, and, as all passions

ndize to its liking. A vriend is not a mere topic of

om, -the mere men


xelines gate such suleticion, (that is, to iny present in the course whic

last pointed out to me Bland it out till latu na bakl spur on Pegasus a beat him ietch ne leht weight, and do 1 al blow him, ever.

tahlim rather startly

up for 1


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