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vading us continue, I trust to God it will be defeated, with heavy loss and disgrace to them; the disappointment, and the pacific wishes of that nation at large, may then induce its tyrants to offer reasonable terms of conciliation, and peace, which, if we had a wiser ministry, might yet be ours ;-but Mr Pitt will then cry aloud to pursue our good fortune ;-will tell us that it is reserved for England to restore the balance of Europe, and the majority of the nation will believe in him again, as they believed in him heretofore—will deem it disaffection to their country, and arrant jacobinisn, when the voice of wisdom shall again protest against the arrogant, the ruinous pretence—shall once more exclaim, “ O calumniated crusaders ! how rational and moderate, in comparison, were your objects! O! tame and feeble Cervantes, with what a timid pencil and faint colours hast thou drawn the portrait of a disordered imagination!”
Thus will our devoted country pursue with avidity the sanguine track of its own destruction, and those only will be to be pitied, whose better sense disavowed the measures so visibly pregnant with mischief and ruin.
These are my prophecies, and I have only to wish and pray that a different fate may await them, to that which has accomplished, to their last letter, those predicted consequences of persisting in the war after the desertion of Prussia and Spain. Our Pitt-devoted city derided them, as it now derides my present auguries. You will conclude it deems me democratic. I hear so—but not one of those who so calumniate me, more abhors the democratic system, and the tyrannies of France, than myself, and more deplores the subjugation of Europe to their demoniac influence. I cannot, however, forget the folly and madness on the part of the now oppressed, which gave to France the power of oppressing ;- but no more on this hopeless theme.
Mr Saville, gratified by your kind mention of him, desires his compliments—politically he is with the insane,---but his heart is good, and his health better than it was last winter.
I read Mrs Robinson's volume of verses through, without perceiving a ray of genius. The abovementioned Review, of stupid decision, attributes to her a poetic little gem of very fine water, addressed to the snow-drop. I hardly know how to believe it the progeny of a pen which I had found so languid, so mere a composer of lady-like verses. Adieu.
Rev. H. F. CARY.
Lichfield, March 4, 1798. LISTER has given me your Epitaph on Mason*. The leading thought is ingenious, and expressed with clearness, brevity, and classic elegance; but forgive me if I acknowledge that, while it appears happy as an epigram, I think the Muses, being a part of Pagan mythology, should not be introduced on a tombstone ;—that no authority can sanction their admittance—that our machinery,
Epitaph on the Reverend WILLIAM Mason, by the Reverend
H. F. CARY.
O'er the sad shrine, to Mason's relics dear,
in that line of composition, should be confined to personifying the talents and the virtues.
I return your Coleridge, and have purchased one myself. It would disgrace a poetic reader not to have him on their shelves. His ideas are bold, beautiful, and original. He is no cold copyist-Nature is the exhaustless volume he unclasps. In his style, perhaps, simplicity some times degenerates into a too studied homeliness of phrase; and he does not, in his blank verse, float the pause so gracefully as he might. From the latitude I have heard attributed to bis morals, it surprised me to find his writings so deeply tinged with religious enthusiasm. Either he is a methodist, or an hypocrite. I hope it is the former His poem, entitled Religious Musings, thrilled me with horror. I tremble lest his prognostics there should be all in all accomplished. Good God! how that poem makes one shudder at the blasphemy of sheltering the externiinating spirit with which we have pursued this desperate war, under the pretence of defending Christianity! Christianity was not attacked in these realms. If atheism and deism might blot it from the continent, nothing bụt war, whose events are always uncertain, could endanger it in these dominions, whose situation is insular, and whose navy is so powerful.
Coleridge's Ode on the departing Year, which, reading in the newspapers, I had disliked as turgid and obscure, is so much changed in this volume, as to impress me with a conviction of its being one of the grandest odes in our language. Such odes are the proudest, noblest boast of poetry, after the epics of Homer and Milton, and the dramas of Shakespeare. But, to return to the Ode on the departing Year. In this edition, its ideas are become luminous, as they were bold, and it has received very fine additions. So will it ever be, when true genius devotes it powers to correcting at leisure its hasty and crude
essays. Some four years since, Mr Coleridge's friend, Kennedy, gave me C.'s Monody on Chatterton in manuscript. On comparing it with that
in in this collection, I have there also found great extension and improvement. In this monody, there is a picturesque half-line taken from my Elegy on Captain Cook,
“ Loud she laments, and long the nymph shall stray, With wild unequal step, round Cook's * morait.”
* Morai, the monument for the dead in Otaheite.-S. + Cook's Elegy.-S.