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A Monastic Ode.--Specimen of American Morals.
A MONASTIC ODE.
Wilt thou, a gallant vet'ran, yield, [Written at a sequestered seat under some oaks, And, still unconquer'd, quit the field ?
Enamour'd of monastic ease, in a natural wilderness, about the beginning of the late war.]
Say, dost thou pant for shades like these ? ,
Is it a time to seek repose,
When all around insulting foes,
A furious, rash, impetuous throng,
Eager for combat, rush along,
Their banners raise, with hideous cry,
And truth, and God himself, defy?
Not through the silence of the groves,
Which pensive meditation loves;
But through fierce conflicts and alarms,
The din of war, the clang of arms,
And all the terrors of the fight,
The Christian seeks the realms of light.
Foremost amidst th' ensanguin’d food,
(His sacred vestments dipt in blood,)
On thee the Saviour bends his eyes, [The same, in English, by the Author.]
“My fellow-soldier, hail !” he cries, Hail, Solitude ! how sweet thy shade,
Consign'd to thee, by his command, For holy contemplation made!
The sword of Truth adorns thy band : Far from the world, no more I see
He bids thee wield it on the plain ; That stage of sin and vanity.
Bids thee bis own great cause maintain; While nations rage, my ravish'd sight And, after one laborious day, I lift to realms of peace and light;
To endless glory points the way. And hear celestial voices sing
Brighton, Sept. 29, 1792.
G. H. G. The praise of their immortal King. Here would I sit, to peace consign’d, And leave a troubled world behind ;
Specimen of American Morals. Till angels waft me hence, to rest
TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL In Paradise among the blest ;
Sir, Liverpool, July 6th, 1819. Sept. 20, 1792.
I extract the following specimen of
American barbarity and impiety from [The foregoing verses having been Fearon's “Sketches of America,” in sent to a friend, then at Brighton; the his account of New Orleans ; at which following reply to them, in the same place, he also states, “the markets, Latin and English measure, was re- shops, theatre, circus, and public ballceived by return of the post.]
rooms, are open on the Sabbath day.”
"ON SUNDAY the 9th inst. will be Otiumque efflagitandi,
represented in the place where FireHostium dum turmæ ingentes,
works are generally exhibited, near Improbè superbientes Acriter fideles premunt,
the Circus, an extraordinary fight of
The place where
the animals will fight is a rotunda, of Non per sylvas, sed per castra, Nobis iter est ad astra
160 feet in circumference, with a railTe, Supremus Dux salutis
ing of 17 feet in þeight, and a circular (Vestibus cruore imbutis)
gallery well-conditioned and strong, Advocat commilitonem,
inspected by the Mayor, and Survey-
attacked and subdued by six of the Brevem pugnam ; licet duram,
strongest dogs of the country. Monstrat gloriam futuram.
2d Fight. -Six bull-dogs against a [In English, by the same.] Canadian bear. Alas! in what inglorious strains
3d Fight.—A beautiful tiger against My once heroic friend complains !
a black bear.
« 4th Fight.—Twelve dogs against a | law, which he practised for a considerstrong and furious Opeloussas bull. able number of years, in various emi
“If the tiger is not vanquished in the nent stations, till he was appointed fight with the bear, he will be sent president of the high college of justice alone against the last bull; and if the in the Russian province of Livonia. latter conquers all his enemies, several Here he wrote the greater number of pieces of fire-works will be placed his dramatic works, as well as his on his back, which will produce a very miscellaneous compositions in the deentertaining amusement.
partment of the belles lettres. His “In the circus will be placed two numerous performances are the more manikins, which, notwithstanding the surprising, as his leisure-time, till efforts of the bulls to throw them down, lately, must have been remarkably will rise again, whereby the animals short, on account of the multiplicity will get furious.
and importance of his other avocations, “ Admittance: grown persons, one which required the whole of his attendollar; children, half price.
tion while he held the distinguished office before-mentioned. Fortunately,
however, for the Muses, and particuBiographical Sketch of Kotzebue. larly those of the German stage, he
met with a number of invidious oppoTO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL nents in Livonia, who magnified every
trifling foible of his private conduct Liverpool, 5th June, 1819.
into a crime of the first magnitude,
and persecuted him with such unreHaving, in your Imperial Magazine of lenting malignity, that he thought proApril 30th, given an account of the per to retire from his splendid office of death of M. de Kotzebue, I transmit state, and to devote the remainder of you the following Biographical Sketch his life to the service of a most grateful of his early life, written in the year public. Hence he betook himself en1798.
tirely to literary pursuits, and, having
left the Russian dominions, he repair“ As a dramatic writer, Kotzebue ed to the court of Vienna, where he stands almost unrivalled among the readily obtained the appointment of Germans. He is a native of Weimar, “ Dramatist to the Imperial Theatre.” in Saxony, a small but highly-polished It is unnecessary to detail here the city, which has frequently been called complicated intrigues carried on under “ Paris in miniature.” Here he culti- | the late empress of Russia in every vated an early acquaintance with the province of her extensive empire ; and Muses, by his unremitting attention to the frequent persecutions which fothe dramatic performances of that reigners promoted to office sustained place, then in eminent repute, on ac- from the semi-barbarous natives. Let count of the refined taste and correct it suffice to observe, that they too often judgment of the actors and audience. succeeded in their nefarious designs Kotzebue's decided predilection for against those aliens, whom they hated the drama, in theory as well as prac- both on account of their superior tatice, is obvious, from several passages lents, and their abhorrence of Russian alluding to this subject in his own sloth and drunkenness. Kotzebue was works. Yet it is certain that he never one of the many objects of persecution condescended to perform on a public in Russia, although his moral characstage ; and that all his attempts as an ter was unexceptionable. actor were confined to private theatres, “ The merits and demerits of this established among select parties of writer, in the wild field of romance, as literary friends. Thus he obtained the well as of the drama, are but imperdouble advantage of indulging himself fectly known in this country, as only a in his favourite amusement, and at the few of his productions have been transsame time of performing dramatic lated into the English language. And, pieces of his own composition, and from the metamorphosed state in which deciding on their merits in a contract- German translations generally appear ed circle of candid discerning cri- before the English public, it is not an tics, before he ventured to present easy matter to ascertain the due and them to the public.
relative merits of either author or trans“ Kotzebue was educated for the lator. Kotzebue has published, besides
541 Biographical Sketch of Kotzebue.- Power of Conscience. 542 a great variety of romances and novels, art, and developed, for the most part, about thirty dramatic pieces of various in a most unexpected and successful merit. Among the latter we find, manner. His system of morals, how“Menschenhass and Reue,” or, “ Mis- ever, as exhibited in his dramatic anthropy and Repentance;" “ The compositions, does not seem free from Negro Slave ;” and “The Indians in censure, for it certainly is too great a England:” which three are indeed the sacrifice made of virtue, when characmost popular of his performances. The ters of vicious habits are represented first of these has been translated with as having attained their end, and some success in this country, (though finished their immoral career in triin a very mutilated condition,) under umph, merely because some fortunate the title of “ The Stranger,” where it accident turned the scale in their fahas, during a great part of last season,
If the remark which has freattracted crowded audiences to Drury- quently been made in our reviews, as lane theatre. The other two pieces, well as newspapers, be just, that all. namely,“ The Negro Slaves,” and “The German productions of the dramatic Indians in England,” have likewise kind “ abound in sentiment and reamet with translators, though the latter soning;” and if these are objectionable of them is not yet published; nor is it qualities of a performance which is to likely that any other of his dramatic be subjected to a popular tribunal, there compositions will ever be brought on is little or no danger to be apprehendthe English stage. This may be partly ed, that the English stage will be inunascribed to the great difference sub- dated with Gerinan plays. sisting between the national taste and “With respect to the transactions in manners of the English and Germans, Kotzebue's life, a few circumstances and partly to a certain peculiarity in only have transpired to public notice. the writings of Kotzebue, which cha- It is known, that in his youth he was a racterizes and distinguishes his pro- favourite pupil of the late professor ductions from those of all other modern Musæus, of Weimar, under whose writers. His knowledge of the human care and tuition he was educated ; that heart and its secret meanders is un- he left the Russian dominions chiefly questionably great: he has not only on account of a work, called “ The made the prevailing manners, oddities, Life of Count Benjowsky," written and vices of the age, but also man him- by himself, which contained many priself, as influenced by a variety of ar-vate anecdotes relative to the cruelties dent passions, the object of his mi- practised by order of the late empress nutest research. Few writers have of Russia ; and that, soon after his ever attained to his excellence in deli- arrival at Vienna, he was appointed neating whimsical and impassioned Imperial dramatist, in which situation, characters: and in scenes drawn from at present, his merits and talents meet private and domestic life, our poet with that reward, and degree of public eminently excels his contemporary esteem, which he so amply deserves." rivals, both in the unaffected delicacy of the sentiments he conveys, and the freedom and precision with which he ON THE POWER OF CONSCIENCE, AND introduces them. His language, though generally correct and dignified, is occasionally tinctured with an ambiguous
By a Lady. mode of expression, and his dialogue “ Severe decrees may keep our tongues in awe, sometimes degenerates into a whining But to our thoughts—whatedict can give law?” tone. But this is not so much the
DRYDEN fault of an individual, as of the deprav- When we reflect upon the pleasures of ed taste of his countrymen. This sin, which can be but for a season, and false taste, however, may be mani- the vast disproportion of that punishfested in different ways: in England ment which must be its consequence, the constant visitors of our theatres we can hardly suppose it possible, that well know, that equivocal phrases or a creature endowed with perceptive sentiments, such as do not too grossly faculties should, for the sake of preoffend the delicate ear of females, are sent enjoyment, hazard eternal misery not unfrequently more applauded than and wretchedness. But that there are the most refined moral doctrines. such persons, and that their number Kotzebue’s plans are formed with great is not circumscribed, daily experience
THE INTIMATE CONNEXION BETWEEN
too sadly evinces; who alike disdain can! and how impressively does it the aid of reason, and the forcible ap- caution us against arrogance and prepeal of conscience.
sumption ! confirming us in the convicWith the most beneficent design did tion, that the performance of the most the great Author of our existence im- imposing of all moral duties must neiplant a never-failing monitor in the ther be accompanied by vain boasting, human breast, whose approving power, or self-applauding ostentation. The act or condemning influence, becomes at of smiting his breast, when he felt the once an admonisher and friend. The weight of his transgressions, the Sayoung, the artless, and the inexperienced, viour of mankind informs us, gave evimay all with security rely upon its in-dence that the penitent Publican was fluence; and if they follow its dictates, justified rather than the proud Pharithey will rarely be led astray. Pas- see, in the eyes of his Creator: shall sions (say the libertine and the licen- frailty, then, presume to boast of those tious) would never have been implant- acts of kindness, which may have been ed in the human bosom, if sin could be serviceable to its fellow-creatures? attached to the gratification of them However trifling these acts may have by a God of mercy, who evidently been, they invariably carry their restudies his creatures' happiness.-Wil- ward along with them; for conscience, fully vain casuists, and deep designing that never-failing friendly monitor, immisleaders, can yé find sentiments like parts to the mind those self-approving these throughout the whole of the sa- sensations, which may justly be termcred writings? Are we not there inva- ed the reward of benevolence. riably told, that man is prone to evil ; Compassion towards our fellow-creaand that even his very thoughts must be tures is as strongly inculcated by the controlled ?
great Teacher of Christianity, as graIf we were to die like the beasts titude and piety towards the Creator of which perish, and with life terminated the Universe; and the alarming denunevery species of existence, then indeed ciation against those who are deficient there might be some justifiable reason in the practice of benevolence cannot for the practice of present enjoyment; be too deeply impressed upon our but as the very construction of our hearts :-“ I was an hungered, and ye frame, the improving elevation of our gave me no meat; thirsty, and ye gave faculties, and the dictates of religion, me no drink; naked, and ye clothed proclaim a superior state to this, shall me not; sick and in prison, and ye we, for the sake of present enjoyment, visited me not.” And when the apforfeit all pretensions to future happi- palled sinner tremblingly inquired ness?
when these circumstances had happened? When we reflect upon the shortness the Saviour of mankind answered, of this life, when compared with eter- “Inasmuch as yet did it not to the least nity, of how little consequence does it of these my brethren, ye did it not unto appear, whether passed in misery or happiness; not that I mean to infer, Though to feed the hungry and that we are expected to become indif- clothe the naked, taken in a literal ferent to our situation, or entirely supe- sense, can only be performed by a rior to those trials we may be destined small portion of individuals, yet, in to experience ; for I only wish to cau- the sublime and figurative style of the tion those who may be exposed to sacred Writings, more is frequently them, against sinking under afflicting meant than is actually expressed; and circumstances, and to remind them, we are not to suppose that our Saviour that the sacred Scriptures assure us, intended to condemn those persons, that God has prepared such enjoy- whose situation in life prevented the ments for “ them that love him, as sur-display of beneficence. Though we pass man's understanding."
may neither be able to clothe the indiOf what nature those enjoyments gent, nor feed the hungry, from the
the inspired Writers have not in- want of means to do it, yet if we canformed us; yet sufficient has been told not render them some trifling assistto instruct us in the path of duty, and ance, at any rate to teach us to walk humbly with our power of displaying sympathy, and
we possess the God. What an admirable lesson of performing acts of kindness. Where humility is displayed in the contrast much has been given, much will be between the Pharisee and the Publi- | required from us; and we are repeat
On the Power of Conscience.
edly told in that sacred volume, where ticular pleasure in it. For the honour every pious and moral duty is so strik- of womankind, however, I will hope, ingly inculcated, that even a cup of that this is merely an assertion, unsubcold water, if bestowed with unfeigned stantiated by positive evidence; and in charity, shall not go unrewarded. justice to my sex, I must avow, that I
Lazarus and Dives, the Priest, the have seen many instances to the actual Levite, and the good Samaritan, are contrariety of it. There are, I am ready all recorded as impressive examples; to allow, many frivolous females, in and if a sparrow falls not to the whose mind there is such a vacuum ground without the knowledge of its of ideas, that they appear delighted Creator, can we for a moment suppose whilst they listen to any little tittlethat He is unacquainted with our most tattling subject; and who, from the secret aetions ?
desire of having something new to imI leave you a new commandment, part to their acquaintance, repeat, that ye love one another ;" said that ex- with a degree of certainty, what has alted Being, who sacrificed his life to merely been conjectural.- Persons of evince his affection and procure our this description do not act from a masalvation. And shall we presume to licious propensity, but from the desire call ourselves his disciples, and become of proving entertaining to their assoindifferent to the happiness of our fel- ciates, whilst others derive equal satislow-creatures ? It is not, however, by faction from confiding to their intithe performance of our individual duty mates what they term a secret, with the that we must expect to obtain the ap- trite precaution, that it must not even probation of our God; or indulge the be hinted; though perhaps the very hope of receiving that crown of glory, same secret has been imparted to every which he has promised to them who individual acquaintance. obey his laws. If whilst we feed the Characters of this description are hungry, or clothe the naked, we forget little aware of the misery they may prothe hand which has poured down riches duce in society; and still less so, of upon us; or if in our hearts we say, the breach they make in the performthis is Babylon, which my power and ance of their moral duties; and how my authority built up; beneficence, in- repeatedly are we warned against this stead of classing as a virtue, is con- too prevailing practice by the wise verted into arrogance and presumption. king of Israel! No man was ever so If, on the other hand, we gratefully completely acquainted with the varyacknowledge the goodness of the Al- ing imperfections of human nature, as mighty, in abundantly supplying us the sagacious son of David; and how with those comforts of which thousands repeatedly does he caution us, in his of our fellow-creatures are in want, extensive writings, to keep a guard yet at the same time take advantage of upon our lips ! the unsuspicious, and increase our Frailty,” says one of our admired own wealth at the expense of their theatrical writers, “ thy name is Wofortunes,
we may be convinced that man.” Yet if the frailties to which neither benevolence nor gratitude will be those of each sex are prone, were fairly of any avail to us, at the great day of calculated, I am of opinion, the charge retribution; for we must do justice, as might be extended to human nature : well as love mercy, before we can pro- and with this liability to err, instead of perly be said to walk humbly with our blazing forth, ought we not to conceal,
the failings of each other? In a reTo love mercy, is, in other terms, to ligious point of view, this mode of view the imperfections of human na-conduct becomes an actual duty. Can ture in the most favourable point of we love each other, and derive pleaperception; and never to behold the sure from the exposure of imperfecmote in the eye of another, until the tion? What a lesson did the Saviour beam which obscures our own has been of mankind hold up for our imitation, obliterated. There are failir to which when he said, “ Let him throw the we are prone, that, in a certain degree, first stone whose conscience accuses him might be considered as peculiarly at- of no sin!” tached to my own sex; and the eager- As every human being, except the ness with which they too often listen to hardened and impenitent, must sensia tale of detraction, may have given bly feel the force of this monitor withrise to the assertion, that they take par- ! in, in the strongest manner, I would No. 6.--- VOL 1.