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sion of a water-drinker to the joys of wine and the lighthearted folly which it inspires—and numbers of smaller poems and ballads, which to the superficial observer may seem only like woodland springs, but in which he who ponders intently will discern the breakings forth of an undercurrent of thought and feeling which is silently flowing beneath him. We trust, however, we have written or rather quoted enough to induce such of our readers as hitherto have despised the poet on the faith of base or ignorant criticism to read him for themselves, especially as by the recent appearance of the Excursion in octavo, and the arrangement of the minor poems in four small volumes, the whole of his poetical works are placed within their reach. If he has little popularity with the multitude, he is rewarded by the intense veneration and love of the finest spirits of the age. Not only Coleridge, Lloyd, Southey, Wilson, and Lamb— with whom his name has been usually connected—but almost all the living poets have paid eloquent homage to his genius. He is loved by Montgomery, Cornwall, and Rogers—revered by the author of Waverley—ridiculed and pillaged by Lord Byron! Jeffrey, if he begins an article on his greatest work with the pithy sentence "this will never do" glows even while he criticizes, and before he closes, though he came like Balaam to curse, like him " blesses altogether." Innumerable essays, sermons, speeches, poems—even of those who profess to despise him—are tinged by his fancy and adorned by his expressions. And there are no small number of young hearts, which have not only been enriched but renovated by his poetry—which he has expanded, purified, and exalted— and to which he has given the means of high communion with the good and the pure throughout the universe. These, equal at least in number to the original lovers of Shakspeare or of Milton, will transmit his fame to kindred spirits, and whether it shall receive or be denied the honour of fashion, it will ever be cherished by the purest of earthly minds, and connected with the most majestic of nature's scenery.
Too many of our living poets have seemed to take pride in building their fame on the sands. They have chosen for their subjects the diseases of the heart—the sad anomalies of humanity—the turbulent and guilty passions which are but for a season. Their renown, therefore, must necessarily decline as the species advances. Instead of tracing out the lineaments of the image of God indelibly impressed on the soul, they have painted the deformities which may obscure them for awhile but can never utterly destroy them. Vice, which is the accident of our nature, has been their theme instead of those affections which are its ground-work and essence. "Yet a little space, and that which men call evil is no more!" Yet a little space, and those wild emotions— those horrid deeds—those strange aberrations of the soul— on which some gifted bards have delighted to dwell, will fade away like the phantoms of a feverish dream. Then will poetry, like that of Wordsworth, which even now is the harbinger of a serener day, be felt and loved and held in undying honour. The genius of a poet who has chosen this high and pure career, too, will proceed in every stage of being, seeing that " it is a thing immortal as himself," and that it was ever inspired by affections which cannot die. The poet even in brighter worlds will feel, with inconceivable delight, the connexion between his earthly and celestial being —live along the golden lines of sentiment and thought back to the most delicious moments of his contemplations here— and rejoice in the recognition of those joys of which he had tastes and intimations on earth. Then shall he see the inmost soul of his poetry disclosed—grasp as assured realities the gorgeous visions of his infancy—feel " the burden of the mystery of all this unimaginable world," which were lightened to him here dissolved away—see the prophetic workings of his imagination realized—exult while "pain and anguish and the wormy grave," which here were to him " shapes of a dream," are utterly banished from the view—and listen to the fall chorus of that universal harmony whose first notes he here delighted to awaken!
REVIEW OF "NORTH'S LIFE OF LORD
This old piece of legal biography, which has been lately republished, is one of the most delightful books in the world. Its charm does not consist in any marvellous incidents of Lord Guilford's life, or any peculiar interest attaching to his character, but in the unequalled naivete of the writer—in the singular felicity with which he has thrown himself into his subject—and in his vivid delineations of all the great lawyers of his time. He was a younger brother of the Lord Keeper, to whose affection he was largely indebted, and from whom he appears to have been scarcely ever divided. His work, in nice minuteness of detail, and living picture of motive, almost equals the auto-biographies of Benevento CeUini, Rousseau, and Cibber. He seems to be almost as intensely conscious of all his brother's actions, and the movements of his mind, as they were of their own. All his ideas of human greatness and excellence appear taken from the man whom he celebrates. There never was a more liberal or gentle prostration of the spirit. He was evidently the most humane, the most kindly, and the most single-hearted, of flatterers. There is a beauty in his very cringing, beyond the independence of many. It is the most gentleman-like submission, the most graceful resignation of self, of which we have ever read. Hence, there is nothing of the vanity of authorship—no attempt to display his own powers— throughout the work. He never comes forward in the first person, except as a witness. Indeed, he usually speaks of himself as of another, as though he had half lost his personal
consciousness in the contemplation of his idol's virtues. The following passage, towards the conclusion, where he recounts the favours of Lord Guilford to a younger brother, and at last, in the fullness of his heart, discloses, by a little quotation, that he is speaking of himself—this breaking from his usual modest narration into the only personal feeling he seems to have cherished—is beautifully characteristic of the spirit which he brought to his work.
"But I ought to come nearer home, and take an account of his benevolences to his paternal relations. His youngest brother (the honourable Roger North) was designed, by his father, for the civil law, as they call that professed at Doctors' Commons, upon a specious fancy to have a son of each faculty or employ used in England. But his lordship dissuaded him, and advised rather to have him put to the common law; for the other profession provided but for a few, and those not wonderful well; whereas, the common law was more certain, and, in that way, he himself might bring him forwards, and assist him. And so it was determined. His lordship procured for him a petit chamber, which cost his father £60, and there he was settled with a very scanty allowance; to which his lordship made a timely addition of his own money: more than all this, he took him almost constantly out with him to company and entertainments, and always paid his scot; and, when he was attorney general, let him into partnership in one of the offices under him; and when his lordship was treasurer, and his brother called to the bar, a perquisite chamber, worth £150 fell; and that he gave to his brother for a practising chamber, and took in lieu only that which he had used for his studies. When his lordship was chief justice, he gave him the countenance of practising under him, at nisi prius; and all the while his lordship was a house-keeper, his brother and servant were of his family at all meals. When the Temple was burnt, he fitted up a little room and study in his chambers in Serjeant's Inn, for his brother to manage his small affairs of law in, and lodged him in his house till the Temple was built, and he might securely lodge there. And his lordship was pleased with a back door in his own study, by which he could go in and out to his brother, to discourse of incidents; which way of life delighted his lordship exceedingly. And, what was more extraordinary, he went with his lordship in his coach constantly, to, and from, the courts of nisi prius, at Guildhall and Westminster. And, after his lordship had the great seal, his brother's practice (being then made of the king's counsel, and coming within the bar) increased exceedingly, and, in about three years' time he acquired the better part he afterwards was possessed of. At that time, his lordship took his brother into his family, and a coach and servants assigned him out of his equipages; and all at rack and manger, requiring only £200 a year; which was a trifle, as the world went then. And it may truly be said, that this brother was a shadow to him, as if they had grown together. And, to show his lordship's tenderness, I add this instance of fact. Once he seemed more than ordinarily disposed to pensiveness, even to a degree of melancholy. His lordship never left pumping, till he found out the cause of it; and that was a reflection what should become of him, if he should lose this good brother, and be left alone to himself: the thought of which he could scarce bear; for he had no opinion of his own strength, to work his way through the world with tolerable success. Upon this his lordship, to set his brother's mind at ease, sold him an annuity of £200 a year, at an easy rate, upon condition to re-purchase it, at the same rate, when he was worth £5000. And this was all done accordingly
"O et presidium et dulce decua meum."
We will now conduct our readers through Lord Guilford's life—introducing as many of the nice peculiarities of his historian as our limits will allow—and will then give them one or two of the portraits with which the work is enriched—and add a word on the changes which have taken place in the legal profession, since the time when the originals "held the noisy tenour of their way" through its gradations.
The Hon. Francis North, afterwards Baron Guilford, was the third son of Dudley, Lord North, Baron of Kirtling, who deserved the filial duty of his children, by the veneration which he manifested towards his own father, beyond even