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The giant-killing Jack again bespake him:
They haste to bed, and sweet sleep falls upon them.'-p. 277-279,
Another fragment, composed in the same sportive temper, but of a very different character, may probably have suggested originally that manner of writing which, after Whistlecraft had set the tune, has been followed by so many imitators. Guy of Warwick is the hero, and the fragment begins thus :
In those rare days, when Æthelstan did reign,
Fat were his limbs, but firm-they call'd him Guy;
"When scarce thirteen, his prowess burst to light,
His playmates spake his name with wild affright,
The book-learn'd monarch of the stinging birch,
And true thay swore; for fierce in manhood's prime,
That highly-lauded band who spent their time
Of errant knights Sir Guy became the pride;
And spitted too, like geese, full many an infidel.'-pp. 265, 266.
In these pieces that playful character is displayed which rendered Dr. Sayers one of the most delightful of companions. No man was ever better qualified to embellish and enjoy society: his manners were singularly pleasing, his countenance animated and yet gentle, his voice sweet, his eye mirthful, his mind richly stored with wit as well as knowledge at command, so that whether the subject of conversation were light or serious, he was alike able to instruct and to amuse; passing from grave to gay, or from gay to grave, with an ease and gracefulness peculiar to himself. At different times he had inherited from various relations enough to place him in what, for a single man, was affluence. It might have been happier for him if this had come earlier, so as to have saved him from what surely is not to be called single blessedness; or if he had had no such probable contingencies in view, so that he must have engaged in active life: in that case, his days might possibly have been prolonged. If he had had more duties to perform, more calls for exertion, more to occupy and rouse him, he would have had more enjoyment than he found from having his whole time at his own absolute disposal. After all the vacillations of his youth, there was an opportunity of taking a determinate course in life, when his religious opinions settled in a conscientious and fixed conformity with the Church of England. The rise and growth of that change is related in an interesting manner by Mr. Taylor. He was present during the last illness of Mrs. Sayers, when Moina was read to her from the manuscript. These lines occurred :
Thou unseen power, when deep despair surrounds us,
The passage was immediately applied by the mother, and not by her alone, to that recovery of her son from a state of despondence which had been witnessed not long before at Keswick; she sobbed aloud at the thoughts and feelings which were thus induced; the emotion was partaken both by her son and his friend it was the last time these three persons ever met, and the circumstance left a deep impression upon Sayers: indeed, a memorandum relating to it was found among his papers. If,' says Mr. Taylor, religion is so natural to man, that even in a work of fiction the theopathetic affections must be ascribed to the rudest barbarian, it is indeed a revelation from heaven. Some such conviction I think was flashing across him, and he adopted it as a kind of engagement to a dying mother, thenceforth unremittingly to cultivate piety, and on his part never to unfit himself for their meeting again.'
From that time Sayers ceased to discuss, as he had formerly done, the fundamental doctrines of faith. He began to regard, with merited and increasing aversion, a philosophy as injurious to the hopes as it is destructive to the happiness of man, false in itself, and fatal in its consequences; and he betook himself to the study of the English divines, in whose works sounder philosophy, truer wisdom, stronger reasoning, and more enlarged views of all the momentous concerns of human life are to be found, than in any other language, or in any other class of writers. There he found arguments which convinced his judgement, and truth which satisfied his heart. It is only to be wished that he had then shaken off a constitutional disposition to inaction, and entered into sacred orders, for which he was not more eminently qualified by his learning and his powers of mind, than by habitual piety and constant benevolence. But he was contented to float down the stream of years, amusing himself sometimes with architectural and antiquarian pursuits, with minute historical inquiries, with correcting and re-correcting his poems and essays, and re-considering his corrections,—sometimes, but rarely, with composing occasional verses, and sometimes with sending a paper to the Quarterly Review. The only thing in which he was active, was in doing good. Nothing of pith and moment was executed or undertaken; and in this easy course of life he reached the age of fifty, when his constitution began sensibly to fail. It had been weakened by the indulgence of inactive habits; no medical care could avert a paralytic stroke, which for some time was foreseen, and after its occurrence he lingered three years in a declining and hopeless state, the wreck of what he had formerly been. His latter months were grievously afflicted with hypochondriasis: the form which this disease assumed in him was an excessive anxiety about the future condition of his soul. He, so much superior in every Christian virtue, not merely to the average bulk of mankind, but to most of the excellently wise and good, was prepared to approach the throne of grace, but with trembling hope and fearful humility.'' He died August 16, 1817, bequeathing several sums to charitable uses, his books to the library belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Norwich, and his papers to his true and constant friend, Mr. Taylor, from whom in life he had never been divided.
A good portrait, from a picture by Opie, is prefixed to his collective works; it is one of Opie's happiest likenesses. There is a monument to his memory in Norwich cathedral, where he was interred. Mr. Hudson Gurney wished to have had the honour of erecting it, but this was a privilege upon which his nearest kinsman, Mr. Sayers, insisted as his own right. If learning, genius, intellect,' says his affectionate biographer, are to confer immortality on earth, it is his; if virtue, faith, suffering are to confer it in heaven, it is his also.
ART. IX.-1. Histoire de la Regénération de la Grèce, comprenant le Précis des Evènemens depuis 1740 jusqu'en 1824. Par F.-C.-H.-L. Pouqueville, ancien Consul-Général de France auprès d'Ali Pacha, &c. &c. &c. 4 tom. Paris. 1824. 2. The Greek Bubble. London. 1826.
3. Vindication of Henry D. Sedgwick, against certain Charges made by the Honourable Jonas Platt, together with some Statements and Inquiries intended to elicit the Reasons of the Award in the case of the Greek Frigates. New York. 1826.
R EGENERATION de la Grèce !!! We may as well rest satisfied with three notes of admiration; for the founts of all the printers in Europe would not supply materials to express typographical wonder adequate to the emotions which the title of M. Pouqueville's ponderous tomes would now produce. Yet we must do that eminent Philhellene the justice of quoting one passage from his book :
'Christians, hastening from the West at the voice of misfortune, came to dry the tears of Etolians and Acarnanians. They brought to them the assistance of that beneficent clergy of England, Switzerland, and Germany, whose ambition it was, from the commencement of the holy revolt of the Greeks against the Vicar or Caliph of Mahomet, to take the title of Philhellenes, name become synonymous with that of friends of the unfortunate, and consolers of the martyrs of The Most High.
'High-born dames-for the magnanimous heart of the women of old Europe and the Christian world will for ever be on the side of the Greeks-had joined to this abundant contributions :—would that I were permitted to publish their names! Men, as commendable for their religious feelings as their intelligence, presented themselves in their turn, to instruct the Greeks in the great art of public administration, which is a secret to those only who wish that private views should prevail over public interests. All were prepared for such honourable functions by the study of the Greek language; and only asked the privilege of supporting themselves at their own expense in the employment which they solicited!'
So far we venture to translate-but the rest must be given in the original :
'O Providence! la Grèce et l'Amérique, asservies au commencement du quinzième siècle, se retrouvent au commencement du dixneuvième en présence de leurs dévastateurs!
Pour moi, satisfait d'avoir fait connaître les souffrances des Hellènes, leurs mémorables actions, et la barbarie des Turcs, au monde occupé des événemens de l'Orient, je me croirai assez récompensé si j'obtiens un jour des fils de Dorus, un rameau de l'olivier aux belles couronnes, qui ceignit le front d'Hérodote aux fêtes d'Olympie. Je borne ici ma carrière et mes voeux!-et toi, Muse sévère de l'Histoire,
chaste sœur d'Apollon, daigne protéger mon ouvrage, et reçois pour jamais mes adieux.'--Régénération de la Grèce, tome iv. p. 469.
Nothing can be more glorious; but, according to good old theatrical custom, farce should always follow tragedy, and we beg leave to give, as a pendant to the above, an extract from the second piece of poetry on Greece, which we have named at the head of our Article:
'Roused by the sound of liberty and scrip,
And prudent rats escaped from Athens' crumbling cause.-
Heave, Hellas, heave the sigh! but, Hebrew hearts, be glad!
'Impartial body! safely may you boast
A claim for gratitude from either host;
For while your voice was all for Greece, your works,
As great your skill-forgive the flattering strain-
'O when the bubble burst, 'twere sweet to mark