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appeared to me, when favoured with an inspection of his papers, unanswerable. The Doctor's widow liberally presented his valuable MS. to the Bath Literary Institution; but it is greatly to be wished that some spirited publisher could be found to revive this singular subject of inquiry, and undertake to put the volumes to press.
It is impossible to think of frauds, successful or otherwise, in the world of letters, without recalling to memory the name of Thomas Chatterton. Not because he wrote the poems ascribed (by himself), to Rowley the Priest; but because, in the opinion of many, he neither did write, nor could have written, them. Not to mention other eminent men who thought thus, Johnson, who weighed whatever he wrote or spoke on controverted points, said, that if Chatterton had anything to do with these poems, he must have had great help from some other hand. But no hint of the existence of a coadjutor has ever reached the public; and had there been such, it is next to certain that the disclosure of his participation would have been made long ago. Mr. Mathias, so distinguished as the author of the “ Pursuits of Literature," and other celebrated productions, totally rejected the notion that Chatterton was the writer of the poems assigned to Rowley, by the unhappy youth, at a time when to have proved them his own would not only have rescued him from famine, but have made his fortune.
It struck Dr. Sherwen, Mr. Mathias, &c, as it
must do any unprejudiced reader, as perfectly absurd to imagine, that Chatterton, towards the close of his brief and calamitous career of life, should, in his own name, write verses, tainted with vulgarity of thought, and marks of ignorance of the ordinary laws of composition ; indicating, indeed, little more than the ambitious scribbling of a halfeducated boy: yet previously, and when barely thirteen years old, assuming the character of practised poet of former days, sustain that character by the sweetest variety of fanciful conceptions, enrich his pages with the purest melodies of poesy, with every charm that language can give to verse, with a profusion of antique knowledge, deep historical research, accurate acquaintance with the manners, the peculiar religious ceremonies, and the obsolete dialect of ages long gone by; and enlist among the believers in the originality of these (asserted) forgeries, several of the ablest and best informed men of his time!
Part II. Canto i. line 571 :
“ Where e'er you tread, your foot shall set
The primrose and the violet :
Part III. Canto ii. line 173:
“ For loyalty is still the same,
Whether it win or lose the game;
These, and a few more passages,
if thrown in by Butler to form a happy contrast with the general ribaldry and rubbish of his poem.
Part III. Canto ii. line 503:
“ Feel pangs and aches of state times.”
This line proves that the plural aches, by us pronounced aiks, was, down to Butler's day, a dissyllable, and called aitches; and that Kemble was classically correct in reciting the passage in the Tempest as he did, resolutely; and as he was censured by the ignorant for doing. He well knew the general purity and beauty of Shakspeare's verse, and that
This, as reported, was the defence made by Demosthenes, when accused of having run away in battle ;
Ανήρ ο φεύγων πάλιν μαχησεται.
The couplet in Hudibras, of which the above is part, is perpetually confounded by professed quoters, with one not in any of Butler's works, but in the published poems of Sir John Mennes, a clerk in the Admiralty, in the time of Charles II.
“ He who fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day," &c.
may be an instance of accidental resemblance in Mennes and Butler : such petty larceny as has been suspected, was beneath either of the parties ; both knew the Greek dictum, and may have been influenced by it.
Part III. Canto iii. line 547 :
“ He that complies against his will,
Is of his own opinion still."
This couplet is generally recited, by those who do not comprehend the force of words, and forget that Butler did, as if written
“He that 's convinced against his will."
To be “ convinced” against one's will, without change of opinion, is the language of absurdity; yet, considerable bets have been won and lost on the subject of this quotation.
THE DYING REBEL.
In the last scene of Act 3rd of Henry VIII. Cardinal Wolsey says :
0, Cromwell, Cromwell,
Abounding, as Shakspeare does, in proofs of his possessing a thorough knowledge of human nature, the above passage might be supposed an instance in point, were it not that the sentiment and words were actually those of the fallen Cardinal. That they are strictly in nature, I am enabled to show by relating a singular scene, to which I was myself witness, on an occasion which presented itself, just at the close of the last century.
The utmost vigilance had been employed by the Irish government to discover, secure, and bring to justice all the leaders in the rebellion of 1798, they being very fairly deemed the most decidedly and perniciously criminal members of the insurgent party. Having due notice and an accurate description of his person, the government emissaries seized a man of the name of H
when on board of a vessel about to leave the harbour of Dublin, and brought their prisoner to the garrison town of Galway, that he might be there identified ; being originally from that part of the country, and known throughout the neighbourhood. He was speedily recognized, and sworn to by many, as a chieftain of much influence and activity at the period of the French invasion, and even had in his pocket, when taken, the commission of a captain in the French army, signed by