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wyby poetical as art can make her objects. Mr. Bowles imitation of Milton's style, as burlesque as the “Splendid wili, merhaps, tell me that this is because they resemble Shilling." These two writers (for Cowper is no poet! the prand natural article of sound in heaven, and simile come into comparison in one great work-the translation upon earth-thunder. I shall be told triumphantly, that of Homer. Now, with all the great, and manifest, and Milion made sad work with his artillery, when he armed manifold, and reproved, and acknowledged, and unconhas movils therewithal. He did so; and this artificial ob- troverted faults of Pope's translation, and all the scholar jer! mist have had much of the sublime to attract his ship, and pains, and time, and trouble, and blank verse airn mo for such a conflict. He has made an absurd use of the other, who can ever read Cowper? and who wil soft; but the absurdity consists not in using cannon against ever lay down Pope, unless for the original ? Pope's was Iloilo els of God, but any material weapon. The thun- "not Homer, it was Spondanus ;" but Cowper's is not Jerof ihe clouds would have been as ridiculous and vain Homer, either, it is not even Cowper. As a child I first Bibe hands of the devils, as the “ villanous saltpetre:" | read Pope's Homer with a rapture which no subsequent time angels were as impervious to the one as to the other. work could ever afford; and children are not the worst The thunderbolts became sublime in the hands of the Al- judges of their own language. As a boy I read Homer mighiv, not as such, but because he deigns to use them as in the original, as we have all done, some of ris by force, a means of repelling the rebel spirits ; but no one can at- and a few by favour ; under which descriptior I come is tribute their defeat to this grand piece of natural electri- nothing to the purpose, it is enough that I re.d him. As cuy: the Almighty willed, and they fell; his word would a man I have tried to read Cowper's versio, and I found have been enough; and Milton is as absurd (and in facy it impossible. Has any human reader oves succeeded ? Bruidsphemous) in putting material lightnings into the hands And now that we have heard the Catholic reproached of the Godhead as in giving him hands at all.
with envy, duplicity, licentiousness, avarice-what was The artillery of the demons was but the first step of the Calvinist? He attempted the most atrocious of his mistake, the thunder the next, and it is a step lower. crimes in the Christian code, viz. suicide—and why? I would have been fit for Jove, but not for Jehovah. Because he was to be exainined whether he was fit for The subject altogether was essentially unpoetical ; he an office which he seems to wish to have made a sine. has made more of it than another could, but it is beyond cure. His connexion with Mrs. Unwin was pure enough som and all men.
for the old lady was devout, and he was deranged; but In a portion of his reply, Mr. Bowles asserts that why then is the infirm and then elderly Pope 10 be rePope “ envied Phillips" because he quizzed his pastorals proved for his connexion with Martha Blount? Cowper in the Guardian, in that inost admirable model of irony, was the almoner of Mrs. Throgmorton; but Pope's charihis paper on the subject. If there was any thing envi- ties were his own, and they were noble and extensive, far able about Phillips, it could hardly be his pastorals. beyond his fortune's warrant. Pope was the tolerant yet They wer: despicable, and Pope expressed his contempt. steady adherent of the most bigoted of sects; and CowIf Mr. Fitzgerald published a volume of sonnets, or a per the most bigoted and despondent sectary that ever “Spirit of Discovery,” or a “Missionary,” and Mr. anticipated damnation to himself or others. Is this harsh ? Bowls wrote in any periodical journal an ironical paper I know it is, and I do not assert it as my opinion of Cowupon them, would this be "envy ?" The authors of the per personally, but to show what might be said, with just * Rejrcied Addresses" have ridiculed the sixteen or twenty as great an appearance of truth and candour, as all the
tirse living poets” of the day; but do they "envy” them? olium which has been accumulated upon Pope in similar " Envy writhes, it don laugh. The authors of the speculations. Cowper was a good man, and lived at a * Rejected Addresses." may despise some, but they can fortunate time for his works. hardiv "envy” any of the persons whom they have para Mr. Bowles, apparently not relying entirely upon his died; and Pope could have no more envied Phillips than own arguments, has, in person or by proxy, brought for he did Welsted, or Theobalds, or Smedly, or any other ward the names of Southey and Moore. Mr. Southey given hero of the Dunciad. He could not have envied "agrees entirely with Mr. Bowles in his invariable prinhim, even had he himself not been the greatest poet of ciples of poetry.” The least that Mr. Bowles can do iz
Did Mr. Ings " eniy” Mr. Phillips, when he return is to approve the "invariable principles of Mr asked him, “ how came your Pyrrhus to drive oxen, and Southey." I should have thought that the word "invari say, I am goaded on by love ?" This question silenced poor Phillips ; but it no more proceeded from “envy"
" Thy needles, once a shining store, Than did Pope's ridicule. Did he envy Swift ? Did he
For my sake restless heretofore, unvy Bolingbroke? Did he envy Gay the unparalleled
Now rust disused, and shine no more, success of his “ Beggars' Opera ?" We may be answered
My Mary," that these were his friends—truc; but does friendship Crefer Mr. Bowles to the stanza, and ask if these three lines about " noe
contain a simple, household, “indoor," artificial, and ordinary image. prevent envy? Study the first woman you meet with, dles' are not worth all the boasted twndeling atxut trees, so triumphantly or the first scribbler, let Mr. Bow les himself (whom I am noted? and set in fact what do they convey? A homely collection acquit fully of such an odious quality) study some of hemming of shirts, and the mending of bureechesbut will any one deny his own poetical intimates: the most envious man I his nurse? The trash of trees reminds me of a sing of Sheridan's. ever heard of is a poet, and a high one ; besides it is an Soon after the “Rejected Address" scene, in 1812, 1 met Sheridan. Tu
the course of dinner, he said, "Lonli yron, did you know that among universal passion. Goldsmith envied not only the pup- the writers of addresses wa Whitbread himself?" I answered by an pets for their dancing, and broke his shins in the attempt inquiry or what sort of ar address te hand made. - Orthine," replied at rivary, but was seriously angry because two pretty * A phanix!! Well, how dil he describe it?" " like a poulterer," women received more attention than he did. This is answered Sheridan: "it was green, and yellow, and red, and Alue: he
did not let us off for a single festher.'' And just such as his poulterer? muy ; but where does Pope show a sign of the passion ? account of a phenix, is Cowper's stick picker's detail of a wood, with An that case, Dryden envied the hero of his Mac Fleck-a!! its petty minutix of this, that, and the other.
One inore portical instance of the power of art, and even its supe Mr. Bowles compares, when and where he can, riority over nature, in poetry, and I have done :-thie trust of Antinousi Tope with Cowper, (the same Cowper whom, in his Is there any thing in wature like this marble, excepting the Ver...? Can eintion of Pope, he laughs at for his attachment to an creation of perfect benuts? Bue the poetry of this fuust is in no respect oid wornan, Mrs. Unwin: search and you will find it; I for what is there in common with moral madre and the male minives of remember the passage, though not the page ;) in parii- Adrian? The very execution is not ia'ual, but supernatural, ar cular hie re-quotes Cowper's Duich delineation of a wood, rather super artikoin!, for naivure has never done so much.
Away, then, with this cant abort unture am "invariable principles Jrawn up like a seedsman's cataingre,* with an affected of powtry!" A great artist will make a block of stone as sublime as a
mountain, and a good poet can imue a pack of carls with more petry
than inhabits the forests of America. It is the business and the prod • I will submit 10 Mr. Bowien 's own judgment a passage from another of a poet to give the lie to the proverb, and sometimes to make a sild porn .. Cowo's, to be compared with the sume writer's Sylvan Sam- pure out of a sing's ear; ;" and to conclude with another homels PTO . the ,
verb, "a good workinan will not find fault with his tools."
the head also.''
able" might have stuck in Southey's throat, like Macbeth's say this than I would assert in the mosque, (once St. * Amen!" I am sure it did in mine, and I am not the Sophia's,) that Socrates was a greater man ihan Maholeast consistent of the two, at least as a voter. Moore met. But if I say that he is very near them, it is no (a tu Brule !) also approves, and a Mr. J. Scott. There more than has been asserted of Burns, who is supposed is a letter also of two lines from a gentleman in asterisks,
" To nival all but Shakspeare's name below." who, it seems, is a poet of " the highest rank”—who can thes be ? not my friend, Sir Walter, surely. Campbell it I say nothing against this opinion. But of what "order can't be ; Rogers it won't be.
according to the poetical aristocracy, are Burns's poems ?
These are his opus magnum, * Tam O'Shanter," a tale , "You have hit the nail in the head, and **** (Pope, 1 presume) on the “Cotter's Saturday Night," a descriptive sketch; I remain, yours, sectionately.
some others in the same style ; the rest are songs. So (Four Asterisks.)
much for the rank of his productions ; the rank of Burns And in asterisks let him remain. Whoever this person
is the very first of his art. Of Pope I have expressed may be, he deserves, for such a judginent of Midas, that my opinion elsewhere, as also of the effect which the * the nail" which Mr. Bowles has hit in the head should present attempts al poetry have had upon our literature. be driven through his own ears; I am sure that they are
If any great national or natural convulsion could or should
overwhelm your country, in such sort as to sweep Great long enough. The attention of the poetical populace of the present that, after all the most living of human things, a dead
Britain from the kingdoms of the earth, and leave only day to obtain an ostracism against Pope is as easily accounted for as the Athenian's shell against Aristides; language, to be studied and read, and imitated, by the they are tired of hearing him always called “ the Just. wise of future and far generations upon foreign shores, They are also fighting for life ; for if he maintains his if your literature should become the learning of mankind, station, they will reach their own falling. They have divested of party cabals, temporary fashions, and nationa! raised a mosque by the side of a Grecian temple of the pride and prejudice ; an Englishman, anxious that the purest architecture ; and, more barbarous than the bar- posterity of strangers should know that there had been barians from whose practice I have borrowed the figure, for the preservation of Shakspeare and Milton; but the
such a thing as a British Epic and Tragedy, might wish they are not contented with their own grotesque edifice, unless they destroy the prior and purely beautiful fabric surviving world would snatch Pope from the wreck, and which preceded, and which shames them and theirs for let the rest sink with the people. He is the moral poet ever and ever. I shall be told that amongst those I have of all civilization, and, as such, let us hope that he will been (or it may be still am) conspicuous—true, and I one day be the national poet of mankind. He is the only am ashamed of it. I have been among the builders of poet that never shocks; the only poet whose faultlessness this Babel, attended by a confusion of tongues, but never
has been made his reproach. Cast your eye over his among the envious destroyers of the classic temple of productions ; consider their extent, and contemplate theu our predecessor. I have loved and honoured the fame variety :-pastoral
, passion, mock-heroic, translation, saand name of that illustrious and unrivalled man, far tire, ethics,—all excellent, and often perfect. If his great more than my own paltry renown, and the trashy gin-him even in their diluted translation ? But I have made
charm be his melody, how comes it that foreigners adore gle of the crowd of “schools” and upstarts, who pretend this letter too long. Give my compliments to Mr. Bowles. to rival, or even surpass him. Sooner than a single leaf should be torn from his laurel, it were better that all
Yours ever, rery truly,
BYRON. which these men, and I, as one of their set, have ever
To J. Murray, Esq. written, should " Line trunks, clothe spice, or, Autlering in a row,
Post scriptum.-Long as this letter has grown, I find
it necessary to append a postscript,-if possible, a short There are those who will believe this, and those who a sordid money-getting passion;" but he adds “ if I had
Mr. Bowles denies that he has accused Pope of will not. You, sir, know how far I am sincere, and whether my opinioit, not only in the short work intended ever done so, I should be glad to find any testimony that
might show me he was not so.' for publication, and in private letters which can never find to his heart's content in Spence and elsewhere.
may be published, has or has not been the same. I look upon this as the declining age of English poetry; no
First, there is Martha Blount, who, Mr. Bowles charitregard for others, no selfish feeling, can prevent me from ably says, “ probably thought he did not save enough for seeing this, and expressing the truth. There can be no her words are in Pope's favour. Then there is Alder
her as legalee.” Whatever she thought upon this point, worse sign for the taste of the times than the depreciation of Pope. It would be better to receive for proof cold answer to Halifax, when he proposed a pension ; his
man Barber-see Spence's Anecdotes. There is Pope's Mr. Cobbet's rough but strong attack upon Shakspeare and Milton, than to allow this smooth and “candid” behaviour to Craggs and to Addison upon like occasions :
and his own two linesundermining of the reputation of the most perfect of our poets and the purest of our moralists. Of his power in the passions, in description, in the mock-heroic, I leave
Indlebled to no prince or peer alive-" others to descant. I iake him on his strong ground, as written when princes would have been proud to pension an ethical poet: in the former none excel, in the mock- and peers to promote him, and when the whole army of heroic and the ethical none equal him ; and, in my mind, dunces were in array against him, and would have been the latter is the highest of all poetry, because it does but too happy to deprive him of this boast of indepen. that in verse, which the greatest of men have wished to dence. But there is something a little more serious in accomplish in prose. If the essence of poetry must be Mr. Bowles's declaration, that he “ vould have spoken" a lie, throw it to the dogs, or banish it from your republic, of his “poble generosity to the outcast, Richard Savage, as Plato would have done. He who can reconcile poetry and o! her instances of a compassionate ant. generous with truth and wisdom, is the only true "poet" in its real heart,“ had they occurred to his recollection when he wrcte.' sense ; "the maker," " the creator"--why must this mean What! is it come to this? Does Mr. Bowles sit down the “ liar," the "feigner," " the tale-teller ?" A man may to write a minute and laboured life and edition of a great make and create better things than these.
poet? Does he anatomize his character, moral and I shall not presume to say that Pope is as high a poeterical? Does he present us with his faults and with his as Shakspeare and Milion, though his enemy, Warton, foibles ? Does he sneer at his feelings, and doubt of his places him sinmediately under then. I would no more sincerity ? Does he unfold his vanity and duplicity ? and
Befringe the rails of Bedlam or Soho 1"
** And, thanks to Homer, since I live and thrive.
.hen omit the good qualities which might, in part, have as unpleasant, as could well be pronounced. In the re " covered this multitude of sins ?" and then plead that view of “ The fall of Jerusalem,” it is stated that I " they did not occur to his recollection?” Is this the frame have devoted “my powers, etc. to the worst parts of of mind and of memory with which the illustrious dead manicheism,” which being interpreted, means thai I are to be reproached? If Mr. Bowles, who must have worship the devil. Now, I have neither wrillen a reply, liad access to all the ineans of refreshing his memory, nor complained 10 Gifford. I believe that I observed in did nou recollect these facis, he is unfit for his task; bui a letter to you, that I thought "that the critic might if he did recollect, and omit them, I know not what he have praised Milman without finding it necessary to is fit for, but I know what would be fit for him. Is the abuse me;" but I did not add at the same time, or soon plea of " not recollecting" such prominent facts to be after, (a propos, of the note in the book of travels,) that admiiled ? Mr. Bowles has been at a public school, I would not, if it were even in my power, have a single and, as I have been publicly educated also, I can sym-line cancelled on my account in that nor in any other pathize with his predilection. When we were in the publication ?-Of course, I reserve to myself the privio ihird form even, bad wo pleaded on the Monday morning, lege of response when necessary. Mr. Bowies serms that we had not brought up the Saturday's exercise be in a whimsical state about ine article on Spence. You cause "we had forgotten it," what would have been the know very well that I am not in your contidence, nor in reply? And is an excuse, which would not be pardoned that of the conductor of the journal. The moment I 10 a schoolboy, to pass current in a matter which so saw that article, I was morally certain that I knew the nearly concerns the fame of the first poet of his age, if author “ by his style." You will tell me that I do r:04 no! of his country? If Mr. Bowles so readily forgets know him: that is all as it should be: keep the secret, the virtues of others, why complain so grievously that so shall I, though no one has ever intrusted it to me. others have a better memory for his own faults? They He is not the person whom Mr. Bowles denouncrs. are but the faults of an author ; while the virtues he Mr. Bowles's extreme sensibility reminds me of a cirumitted from his catalogue are essential to the justice cumstance which occurred on board of a frigate, in due to a man.
which I was a passenger and guest of the captain's for Mr. Bowles appears, indeed, to be susceptible beyond a considerable time. The surgeon on board, a very the privilege of authorship. There is a plaintive dedi- gentlemanly young man, and remarkably ablo in his cation to Mr. Gifford, in which he is made responsible profession, wore a wig. Upon this ornament he was for all the articles of the Quarterly. Mr. Southey, il extremely tenacious. As naval jests are sometimes a seems, " the most able and eloquent writer in that Re- little rough, his brother-officers made occasional allu. view," approves of Mr. Bowles's publication. Now, it sions to this delicale appendage to the doctor's person. Beems to me the more impartial, that notwithstanding One day a young lieutenant, in the course of a facerious that the great writer of the Quarterly entertains opinions discussion, said, “Suppose, now, doctor, I should take opposite to the able article on Spence, nevertheless that off
"Sir," replied the doctor, " I shall talk essay was permitted to appear. Is a review to be de- no longer with you ; you grow scurrilous." He would voted to the opinions of any one man ? Must it not not even admit so near an approach as to the hat which vary according to circumstances, and according to the protected it. In like manner, if any body approaches subjects to be criticised ? I fear that writers must lake Mr. Bowles's laurels, even in his outside capacity of an the sweets and bitters of tho public journals as they editor, “they grow scurrilous." You say that you are occur, and an author of sw long a standing as Mr. about to prepare an edition of Pope; you cannot do Bowles might havo become accustomed to such inci- better for your own credit as a publisher, nor for the redents; he might be angry, but not astonished. I have demption of Pope from Mr. Bowles, and of the public been reviewed in the Quarterly almost as often as Mr. taste from rapid degeneracy. Howles, and have had as pleasant things said, and some!
Note 1. Page 291.
Virgil; once Dryden, and since Walter Scott; now Cor. l'he Italians, with the most poetical language, and the neille, and now Racine ; now Crebillon, now Voltaire most fastidious taste in Europe, possess now five great a century. Not fifty years ago the Italians neglected
The Homerists and Virgilians in France disputed for hall poets, they say, Danie, Petrarch, Ariosto, l'asso, and Dante-Bettinelli reproved Monti for reading "that bar, lastly Alfieri.
barian ;' at present they adore him. Shakspeare and or these there is one ranked with the others for his Milton have had their rise, and they will have their de. Sonnets, and troo for compositions which belong to no cline. Already they have more than once tluctuated, as :lass at all? Where is Dante? His poem is not an epic; must be the case with all the dramatists and poets of a Then what is it? He himself calls it a “divine comedy;" living language. This does not depend upon their meriis, and why? This is more than all his Thousand commen. but upon the ordinary vicissitudes of human opinione tators have been able to explain. Ariosto's is not an epic Schlegel and Madame de Stael have endeavoured aiso to poem; and if poets are to be classe, according to the reduce poetry to two systems, classical and romantic. genus of their poetry, where is he to be placed ? or these The effect is only beginning. Hire, Tasso and Alfieri only come within Aristotle'a ar.
Note 2. Page 293. ringement, and Mr. Bowles's class.book. But the whole isition is false. Poets are classed by the power of their
I shall not presume to say that Pope is as high a poet ertornance, and not according to its rank in a gradus
. as Shakspeare and Milton, though his enemy, Warton, In the contrary case, the forgotten epic poets of all coun. places him immediately under them. (ries would rank above Petrarch, Dante, Ariosto, Burns, If the opinions cited by Mr. Bowles, of Dr. Johnson Gray, Dryden, and the highest names of various countries. against Pope, are to be taken as decisive authority, they Mr. Bowles's lille of " invariable principles of poetry," will also hold good against Gray, Milton, Swift, Thomson, is, perhaps the most arrogant ever prefixed to a volume. and Dryden: in that case what becomes of Gray's poetica So far are the principles of poetry from being "invaria. and Milton's moral character? even of Milton's poetica. ble,” that they never were nor ever will be seuled. These character, or, indeed, of English poetry in general? so “principles" mean nothing more than the predilections Johnson strips many a leaf from every laurel. Stil 2f a particular age; and every age has its own, and a Johnson's is the finest critical work extani, and can never different from its predecessor. It is now Homer and now be read without instruction and delight
OBSERVATIONS UPON “OBSERVATIONS.'
A SECOND LETTER TO JOHN MURRAY, ESQ.
THE REV. W. L. BOWLES'S STRICTURES
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF POPE
Ravenna, March 25, 1821. Mr. Bowles declares, that "he will not enter into a Dear Sir,
particular examination of the pamphlet," which by a In the further “ Observations" of Mr. Bowles, in re- misnomer is called “ Gilchrist's Answer to Bowles, joinder 10 the charges brought against his edition of when it should have been called “Gilchrist's Abuse of Pope, it is to be regretted that he has lost his temper. Bowles." On this error in the baptism of Mr. GilWhatever the language of his antagonists may have been, christ's pamphlet, it may be observed, that an answer I fear that his replies have afforded more pleasure to may be abusive and yet no less an answer, though inthem than to the public. That Mr. Bowles should not disputably a temperate ope might be the beiter of the be pleased is natural, whether right or wrong ; but a two; but if abuse is to cancel all pretensions to reply, temperate defence would have answered his purpose in what becomes of Mr. Bowles's answers 10 Mr. Gil the former case-and, in the latter, no desence, how- christ? ever violent, can tend to any thing but his discomfiture. Mr. Bowles continues :-" But as Mr. Gilchrist do. I have read over this third pamphlet, which you have rides my peculiar sensitiveness to criticism, before I show been so obliging as to send me, and shall venture a few how destitute of truth is this representation, I will here observations, in addition to those upon the previous con- explicitly declare the only grounds, &c. &c. &c.-Mr. troversy.
Bowles's sensibility in denying his " sensitiveness 10 Mr. Bowles sets out with repeating his “confirmed criticism” proves perhaps too much. But if he has conviction," that " what he said of the moral part of been so charged, and truly--what then? There is no Pope's character was, generally speaking, true; and moral turpitude in such acuteness of feeling: it has that the principles of poetical criticism which he has laid been, and may be, combined with many good and great down are invariable and invulnerable,” &c. ; and that he qualities. Is Mr. Bow.es a poet, or is he not? If he is the more persuaded of this by the “exaggerations of be, he must, from his very essence, be sensitive to critibis opponents." This is all very well, and highly na- cism ; and even if he be not, he need not be ashamed of tural and sincere. Nobody ever expected that either Mr. the common repugnance to being attacked. All that is Bowles or any other author, would be convinced of hu- to be wished is, that lie had considered how disagreeable man fallibility in their own persons. But it is nothing a thing it is, before he assailed the greatest moral poet to the purpose-for it is not what Mr. Bowles thinks, of any age, or in any language. but what is to be thought of Pope, that is the question. Pope himself “ sleeps well,”-nothing can touch It is what he has asserted or insinuated against a name him further; but those who love the honour of their which is the patrimony of posterity, that is to be tried ; country, the perfection of her literature, the glory of her and Mr. Bowles, as a party, can be no judge. The language-are not to be expected to permit an atom of more he is persuaded, the better for himself, if it give his dust to be stirred in his tomb, or a leaf to be stripped him any pleasure; but he can only persuade others by from the laurel which grows over it. the proofs brought out in his defence.
Mr. Bowles assigns several reasons why and when After these prefatory remarks of " conviction," &c. " an author is justified in appealing to every upright Mr. Bowles proceeds to Mr. Gilchrist; whom he charges and honourable mind in the kingdom.” If Mr. Bowles with " slang" and "slander," besides a small subsidiary limits the perusal of his defence to the " upright and indictment of "abuse, ignorance, malice," and so forth. honourable” only, I greatly fear that it will not be exMr. Gilchrist has, indeed, shown some anger ; but it tensively circulated. I should rather hope that somo is an honest indignation, which rises up in defence of of the downright and dishonest will read and be conche illustrious dead. It is a generous rage which in- verted, or convicted. But the whole of his reasoning is terposes between our ashes and their disturbers. There here superfluous," an author is justified in appeals appears also to have been some slight personal pro- ing," &c. when and why he pleases. Let him make vocation. Mr. Gilchrist, with a chivalrous disdain of out a tolerable case, and few of his readers will quarrel the fury of an incensed poet, put his name to a letter with his motives. avowing the production of a former essay in defence of Mr. Bowles “ will now plainly set before the literary Pope, and consequently of an attack upon Mr. Bowles. public all the circuinstances which have led to his name Mr. Bowles appears to be angry with Mr. Gilchrist for and Mr. Gilchrist's being brought together," &c. four reasons :-firstly, because he wrote an article in Courtesy requires, in speaking of others and ourselves, “ The London Magazine ;" secondly, because he after- that we should place the name of the former first-and wards avowed it; thirdly, because he was the author of not “ Ego et Rex meus.” Mr. Bowles should have a still more extended article in “ The Quarterly Re- written" Mr. Gilchrist's name and his." view ;" and, fourthly, because he was not the author This point he wishes “particularly to address to of the said Quarterly article, and had the audacity to those most respectable characters, who have the direction disown it-for no earihly reason but because he had NOT and management of the periodical critical press." T'hal written it.
the press may be, in some instances, conducted by rem racter."
speable characters is probable enough; but if they are boundless wealth, has nothing to require apology; bir so, there is no occasion to tell them of it; and if they even if it had, such a reproach was not very gracious are not, it is a base adulation. In either case, it looks on the part of a clergyman, nor graceful on that of a like a kind of flattery, by which those gentry are not gentleman. The allusion to “ Christian criticism" is very likely to be softened ; since it would be difficult to not particularly happy, especially where Mr. Gilchrist is find iwo passages in fifieen pages more at variance, accused of having " set the first example of this mode in than Mr. Bowles's prose at the beginning of this Europe.” What Pagan criticism may have been we painphlet, and his verse at the end of it. In page 4. know but little; the names of Zoilus and Aristarchus he speaks of "those most respectable characters who survive, and the works of Aristotle, Longinus, and have the direction, &c. of the periodical press," and in Quintilian: but of “ Christian criticism" we have page 10. we find
already had some specimens in the works of Philel.
phus, Poggius, Scaliger, Millon, Salmasius, the Crus" Ye dark inquisitors, a monk-like band, Who o'er some shrinking victim-author stand,
canli (versus Tasso,) the French Academy (against the A solemn, secret, and rindictive brood,
Cid,) and the antagonists of Voltaire and of Pope-10 Only terrihc in your cowl and hood."
say nothing of some articles in most of the reviews, And so on—10" bloody law" and "red scourges," with since their earliest institution in the person of their other similar phrases, which may not be altogether respectable and still prolific parent, " The Monthly." agreeable to the above-mentioned “most respectable Why, then, is Mr. Gilchrist to be singled out “as characters." Mr. Bowles goes on, “ I concluded my having set the first example ?" A sole page of Milton observations in the last Pamphleteer with feelings not or Salmasius contains more abuse-rank, rancorous, unkind lowards Mr. Gilchrist, or fit should be nor] unleavened abuse--than all that can be raked forth "to the author of the re iew of Spence, be he whom he from the whole works of many recent critics. There might."-" I was in hopes, as I have aiways been ready are some, indeed, who still keep up the good old custom ; to admit any errors I might have been led into, or pre- but fewer English than foreign. It is a pity that judice I might have entertained, that even Mr. Gilchrist Mr. Bowles cannot witness soine of the Italian contromight be disposed to a more amicable mode of discussing versies, or become the subject of one. He would then what I had advanced in regard 10 Pope's moral cha- look upon Mr. Gilchrist as a panegyrist. * As Major Sturgeon observes, “ There never
To me it
appears of no very great consequence whewas a set of more amicable officers—with the exception ther Martha Blount was or was not Pope's mistress, of a boxing-bout beiween Captain Shears and the though I could have wished him a better. She appears Colonel."
to have been a cold-hearted, interested, ignorant, disA page and a half-nay only a page before–Mr. agreeable woman, upon whom the tenderness of Pope's Bowles re-affirms his conviction, that is what he has heart in the desolation of his latter days was cast away, said of Pope's moral character is (generally speaking) not knowing whither to turn, as he drew towards his true, and that his " poetical principles are invariable premature old age, childless and lonely, like the needle and invulnerable.” He has also published three pam- which, approaching within a certain distance of the pole, phlets,-ay, four of the same tenour,-and yet, with this becomes helpless and useless, and, ceasing to trembie, declaration and these declamations staring him and his rusts. She seems to have been so totally unworthy of adversaries in the face, he speaks of his " readiness to tenderness, that it is an additional proof of the kindness admit errors or to abandon prejudices !!!" His use of of Pope's heart to have been able to love such a being the word “amicable” reminds me of the Irish Institu- Bill we must love something. I agree with Mr. B. that rion (which I have somewhere heard or read of) called she “could at no time have regarded Pope personally the “ Friendly Society," where the president' always with attachment,” because she was incapable of attachcarried pistols in his pocket, so that when one amicable ment; but I deny that Pope could not be regarded with gentleman knocked down another, the difference might personal attachment by a worthier woman. It is not be adjusted on the spot, at the harmonious distance of probable, indeed, that a woman would have fallen in love twelve paces.
with him as he walked along the Mall, or in a box at But Mr. Bowles " has sinco read a publication by the opera, nor from a balcony, nor in a ball-room; but nim (Mr. Gilchrist) containing such vulgar slander, in society he seems to have been as amiable as unassumaffecting private life and character,"' &c. &c.; and Mr. Jing, and, with the greatest disadvantages of figure, his Cilchrist has also had the advantage of reading a pub- head and face were remarkably handsome, especially his lication by Mr. Bowles sufficiently imbued with per- eyes. He was adored by his friends-friends of the 801ality ; for one of the first and principal topics of most opposite dispositions, ages, and talents—by the reproach is that he is a grocer, that he has a "pipe in old and wayward Wyclierley, by the cynical Swift, tho his mouth, ledger-book, green canisters, dingy shop-boy, rough Atterbury, the gentle Spence, the stern attorneyhalf a hogshead of brown treacle," &c. Nay, the same bishop Warburton, the virtuous Berkeley, and tho delicate raillery is upon the very title-page. When
"cankered Bolingbroke.” Bolingbroke wept over hiin controversy has once commenced upon this footing, as like a child; and Spence's description of his last moDr. Johnson said to Dr. Percy, “Sir, there is an end of ments is at least as edifying as the more ostentatious politeness-we are to be as rude as we please—Sir, account of the deathbed of Addison. The soldier Peteryou said that I was short-sighted.” As a man's pro-borough and the poet Gay, the witty Congreve and the fession is generally no more in his own power than his laughing Rowe, the eccentric Cromwell and the steady person—both having been made out for him—it is Bathurst, were all his intimates. The man who could hard that he should be reproached with either, and still conciliate so many men of the most opposite description, more that an honest calling should be made a reproach. not one of whom but was a remarkable or a celebrated If there is any thing more honourable to Mr. Gilchrist character, might well have pretended to all the attach. than another it is, that being engaged in commerce he ment which a reasonable man would desire of an amiable has had the taste, and found the leisure, to become so woman. able a proficient in the higher literature of his own and Pope, in fact, wherever he got it, appears to have other countries. Mr. Bowles. who will be proud to understood the sex well. Bolingbroke," a judge of the own Glover, Chatterton, Burns, and Bloomfield for his subject,” says Warton, thought his “Epistle on the beers, should hardly have quarrelled with Mr. Gilchrist Characters of Women" his “masterpiece.” And even fx his critic. Mr. Gilchrist's station, however, which with respect to the grosser passion, which takes occamight conduct him ic the highest civic honours, and to siunally the name of “ romantic,” accordingly as the