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vigour and interest, admits not of dis That, like a silvery crape, was spread pute; still they have many of his wild Round Skiddaw's
dim and distant head.' and softer beauties; and if they fail
_ What time, or where to be read and admired, we shall not on that account think the better of the Did she pass, that maid with the heavenly
brow, taste of the age.
With her look so sweet, and her eyes so fair, With regard to the former of these And her graceful step, and her angel air, poems, we have often heard, from And the eagle-plume on her dark brown hair, what may be deemed good authority, That pass’d from my bower e'en now ?' a very curious anecdote, which we shall give merely as such, without Although it fell as faint and shy vouching for the truth of it. When As bashful maiden's half-formed sigh,
When she thinks her lover near.' the article entitled The Inferno of Altisidora,' appeared in the Edinburgh
And light they fell, as when earth receives, Annual Register for 1809, it will be In morn of frost, the withered leaves remembered, that the last fragment That drop when no winds blow.' contained in that singular production, is the beginning of the romance of Or if 'twas but an airy thing, Triermain. Report says, that the Such as fantastic slumbers bring, fragment was not meant to be un imi- Framed from the rainbow's varying dyes, tation of Scott but of Coleridge ; and Or fading tints of western skies. that for this purpose the author bor These, it will be seen, are not exrowed both the name of the hero and actly Coleridge, but they are precisely the scene from the then unpublished such an imitation of Coleridge as, we poem of Christabelle; and further - conceive, another poet of our acquaintthat so few had ever seen the manu ance would write: on that ground, script of that poem, that_amongst we are inclined to give some credit to these few the author of Triermain the anecdote here related, and from it could not be mistaken. Be that as we leave our readers to guess, as we it may, it is well known, that on the have done, who is the author of the appearance of this fragment in the poems in question. Annual Register, it was universally It may be argued by the capricious, taken for an imitation of Walter Scott, and those of slow-motioned souls, that and never once of Coleridge. The au- this proves nothing; but we assure thor perceiving this, and that the poem them it proves all that we intend or was well received, instantly set about desire to have proved; for we think drawing it out into a regular and the present mode of endeavouring to finished work; for shortly after, it puzzle people's brains about the auwas announced in the papers, and con thors of every work that appears extinued to be so for three long years; tremely amusing. It has likewise a the author, as may be supposed, have very beneficial and delightful conseing, during that period, his hands oc quence, in as much as it makes many casionally occupied with heavier metal. persons to be regarded as great auIn 1813 the poem was at last pro- thors, and looked up to as extraordi. duced, avowedly and manifestly as an nary characters, who otherwise would imitation of Mr Scott; and it may never have been distinguished in the easily be observed, that from the 27th slightest degree from their fellows, page onward, it becomes much more We shall only say, once for all, that decidedly like the manner of that whenever we are admitted behind the poet than it is in the preceding part curtain, we shall never blab the secrets which was published in the Register, of the green-room, for we think there and which undoubtedly does bear some is neither honour nor discretion in so similarity to Coleridge in the poetry, doing ; but when things are left for and more especially in the rythm,-as, us to guess at, we may sometimes
blunder on facts that will astonish
these mist-enveloped authors, as well • Harpers must lull him to his rest,
as their unfathomable printer, who we With the slow tunes he loves the best, Till sleep sink down upon his breast,
think may soon adopt for a sign-board Like the dew on a summer hill.'
or motto, Mr Murray's very appro
priate and often-repeated postscript• It was the dawn of an autumn day,
it No admittance behind the scenes, The sun was struggling with frost-fog gray, And, at all events, if we should some.
times mistake, it will only be produc- will shew how extremely it is like to tive of a little more amusement in the the manner of Scott. discussion of the literary capabilities A professed imitator will not, we of some new individuals, with their presume, value himself much on his styles and manners, even down to the pretensions to originality, else we might composition of a law paper.
perhaps give the author some offence We cannot give long extracts from by remarking, that the demeanour of every work which we propose to no Harold in the fane of St Cuthbert, tice, but we have no hesitation in too like that of Wat o' the Cleuch saying, that the poem of Harold is in Jedburgh abbey, to be viewed as throughout easy and flowing; never purely incidental ; and it is not a little tame, and often exhibits great spirit. singular, that he should have judged But it is apparent that the author had it meet to borrow from another imitano plan in going on, farther than the tor, who, in that style and instance, very affected and unnatural one, now so decidedly his inferior. rendered trite by repetition, of making We shall only add, that Harold the his hero wed his page, who turns out Dauntless is a fit and reputable comto be a lady in disguise. All the rest panion to Triermain. The poetry is of the poem seems to run on at mere more equal, and has more of nature random. The introduction begins and human character; yet when duly with the following stanzas.
perused and reflected on, it scarcely “There is a mood of mind we all have known, leaves on the mind, perhaps, so disOn drowsy eve, or dark and low'ring day, tinct and powerful an impression. When the tired spirits lose their sprightly tone,
Armata. A Fragment. London, Mure And nought can chace the lingering hours
ray, 1817. pp. 210. away,
It is a remarkable fact, that no crisis Dull on our soul falls Fancy's dazzling ray,
of our political existence, during the And. Wisdom holds his steadier torch in vain, Obscured the painting seems, mistuned the
last half-century, has called forth so
few of our pamphleteer speculators on lay, Nor dare we of our listless load complain,
statistics as the present;-when the For who for sympathy may seek that cannot unexampled difficulties which have optell of pain !
pressed our agriculture, our manufacEnnui !-or, as our mothers call'd thee, tures, and our commerce,-difficulties Spleen!
from whose operation no one amongst To thee we owe full many a rare device ; us has been exempt, and whose extent Thine is the sheaf of painted cards, I ween, no one amongst us can define, present The rolling billiard-ball, the rattling dice,
so wide a field to our soi-disant philoThe turning lathefor framing gimcrack nicę; sophers and statesmen. Whether this The amateur's blotch'd pallet thou may’st silence be owing to a want of ability,
claim, Retort and airpump, threatening frogs and
or a want of inclination to encounter a mice,
subject of such magnitude, it is not now (Murders disguised by philosophic name,) our business to determine. Two plans, And much of trifling grave, and much of however, have been brought forward, buxom game.
which we are assured will relieve us Then of the books to catch thy drowsy glance from all our embarrassments. Major Compiled, what bard the catalogue may quote! Cartwright prescribes for us universal Plays, poems, novels, never read but once;
suffrage and annual parliaments, while But not of such the tale fair Edgeworth wrote,
a distinguished member of the LegisThat bears thy name, and is thine antidote ; And not of such the strain my Thomson sung, pectation, that our farmers and our
lature is not less sanguine in his exDelicious dreams inspiring by his note, What time to Indolence his harp he strung ;
manufactures will find a remedy for Oh! might my lay be rank'd that happier all their distresses in—the plains of list among !”
South America ! The subject having The dry humour, and sort of half been thus neglected, it was with not Spenserian cast of these, as well as less pleasure than surprise, that on all the other introductory stanzas in reading the tract before us, we found the poem, we think excellent, and that the author,-whoever he be-descarcely outdone by any thing of the velopes in a masterly manner the causes kind that we know of; and there are which have brought us into our prefew parts, taken separately, that have sent alarming situation, and explains not something attractive to the lover the measures which, he thinks, ought to of natural poetry, while any one page be adopted to work out our deliverance.
It will be doubtless, he asked, how space in the political world during the it is that such subjects should be treat- last thirty years; and although in the ed of under the title of ARMATA ? second edition of Armata, which is and it is therefore necessary that we now before us, the author does not should inform our readers that ARMA avow himself, yet, as it is a work which Ta is the name of a country placed by even the eminent person alluded to the author in an imaginary world ; in might be proud to acknowledge, and as depicting which country, he gives a it speaks the same sentiments, which most eloquent and animated descrip- he has always maintained, we are intion of the policy of Great Britain, clined to give credit to the rumour tracing the history of her distresses which has named him the author of from the beginning of the contest with this spirited and able performance. America downwards, through the revolutionary war with France to the Stories for Children; selected from present day. How far it was neces the History of England, from the sary to resort to a new world, in order Conquest to the Revolution. 18mo. to find a vehicle for the conveyance of pp. 186. 1817. Second edition, Lon. his ideas on the distresses of Great don, Murray. Britain, may be matter of doubt; but PARTIAL as we confess ourselves to be that as it may, the author has disa be to the pleasing recollections of our played, in the investigation of the early years, we must admit that the question, deep knowledge of the sub- little folks of this generation have ject, and has discussed it in a style of many advantages which we did not brilliant eloquence, tempered, how. enjoy. The juvenile library of our ever, with a degree of moderation, too day was of limited extent; and though seldom witnessed in works on the amply furnished with Mother Bunch, political topics of the present day. The &c. it could not boast of the admirfollowing character of Mr Fox, is a able productions of a Mrs Barbauld, a fair specimen of the author's powers Miss Edgeworth, and a number of of writing.
other eminent writers who have not
disdained the humble, but most useful, “ My confidence in this opinion is the task of teaching “ the young idea how more unshaken, from the recollection that I held it at the very time, in common with
to shoot.”. The manner in which a man whom, to have known as I did, these meritorious authors have comwould have repaid all the toils and perils bined instruction with entertainment, you have undergone. I look upon you, in we consider as one of the great imdeed, as a benighted traveller, to have been provements of modern times. Hiscast upon our shores after this great light tory is now rendered “as attractive were set.--Never was a being gifted with an
as a fairy tale," and our little masunderstanding so perfect, nor aided by a perception which suffered nothing to escape the characters of real life as their pre
ters and misses may be as familiar with from its dominion. He was never known to omit any thing which in the slightest de- decessors were with Blue Beard and gree could affect the matter to be considered, Little Red Riding Hood. nor to confound things at all distinguish. We have been particularly gratified able, however apparently the same; and with the little book which has given his conclusions were always so luminous and rise to these reflections. The author convincing, that you might as firmly de- has expressed so shortly, and so well, pend upon them as when substances in na the reasons which led him to compose ture lie before you in the palpable forms assigned to them from the foundation of the charming stories for his own family, world. Such were his qualifications for the and induced him to favour the worlá office of a statesman ; and his profound with them, that we think our readers knowledge, always under the guidance of the will be pleased to see them in his own sublime simplicity of his heart, softening, words. without unnerving the giant strength of his · Every person has, I suppose, felt the intellect, gave a character to his eloquence difficulty of paying the contribution of stories which I shall not attempt to describe, know which children are so anxious to levy. I ing nothing by which it may be compared." happen to have one little girl whose curipp. 86–88.
osity and shrewdness have frequently emIt has been said, and we believe led to inquiries which it was not easy to
barrassed me; I have found that fictions without having been contradicted, that satisfy, and that supernatural fictions (such this work is the production of a very as fairy tales) vitiated the young taste, and eloquent and distinguished member of disgusted it from its more substantial nourthe Legislature, who has filled a large ishment, while the fictions of common life,
such as histories of Jenny and Tommy, “ At last the king thought it best to go of dolls and tops) though very useful as and meet the mob, and hear what they had lessons, had not enough of the marvellous to say. So he went with the lord mayor, to arrest the attention to the degree neces and a few other lords and gentlemen, to a sary for amusement. These considerations place called Smithfield, where the mob were led me to tell my little girl the following encamped as if they had been an army. stories, which I found to amuse her in a very When Wat Tyler, who was their chief high degree, without having any of the dis- leader, saw the young king coming, he ad advantages which result from relations mere vanced to meet him, and then they began ly fictitious. My principal object was not to talk and dispute together; but at length to instruct but to amuse, and I therefore did Wat Tyler was so insolent to the king, that not attempt any think like a course of his. his conduct was not to be borne ; and al. tory; but as I have, in general, adhered to though it was in sight of his own army, the historical fact, and departed from it only lord mayor of London had the courage to (when history was doubtful or silent) in fa- strike him down with his mace, and then the vour of some popular prejudices, whatever other gentlemen put Wat Tyler immediatelasting impression may be made on the ly to death. young mind, will be, on the whole, consist. “ The rioters seeing Wat Tyler, their ent with truth, and conducive to its further leader, fall, prepared to revenge themselves and more substantial improvement.' on the king and his party; and the whole,
even the king himself, would undoubtedly As a specimen of the happy manner have been murdered on the spot, but that in which our author unites the utmost Richard, young as he was, saved them all elegance of language, with that sim- by his own courage; for when he saw the plicity which adapts itself to the ten- mob so furious, instead of seeming frightderest_years, we select his story of ened, he rode up to them alone, and said Wat Tyler :
to them, in a good-humoured manner,
• What is the matter my good people ? Are WAT TYLER.
you angry that you have lost your leader ? Richard II. born 1366.Died 1399. I am your king, and I will be your leader Reigned 22 years.
myself.' “ There are often great riots in England,
“ The mob was astonished and overwhich are sometimes very dangerous, for awed by the king's courage, and they imwhen mobs assemble nobody knows what mediately obeyed him, and followed him such a great crowd of foolish ignorant peo
out into the fields; for the king was glad ple may do; but one time, about four hun to get them out of the city, where they were dred years ago, there happened the most committing all manner of mischief. dangerous riots that ever were known, for “ When he had them in the fields, he all the country people armed themselves had such a strong guard of his own soldiers with clubs, and staves, and scythes, and that he was no longer afraid of the rioters. pitchforks, and they rose in such great num
So he commanded them all to disband, and bers, that they drove away all the king's go quietly to their own houses ; which acsoldiers, and got possession of the city of cordingly they immediately did, and not a London.
life was lost after the death of Wat Tyler, “ The chief leaders of this mob were not who very well deserved his fate for his regentlemen nor soldiers, but common peas- bellion against the king, and for all the ants and tradesmen, who were called after mischief and murders that his rebellion had the names of their trades, Wat Tyler, Hob occasioned.” Carter, and Tom Miller ; and as these fellows could neither read nor write, and were
We rather think this story may be poor ignorant wretches, they took a great read with advantage at present by childhatred to all gentlemen, and every body who ren of a larger growth-as we certainly could read and write, and they put some of did not expect that Wat Tyler would them to death; and the whole city was kept have been held up as a patriot even to a for several days in the greatest confusion and danger, and all quiet honest people have not room for further extracts.
Spafields mob. We regret that we were afraid for their lives. “ The king at this time was called Rich
“ The Murder in the Tower,” in parard, not Cæur de Lion,-but another king ticular, is very affectingly told. But Richard, who was called Richard the Second. the specimen we have already quoted He was the grandson of Edward the Third ; will render it quite superfluous for us but he was neither so wise nor so fortunate to say one word more in praise of this as his grandfather, who was a great king. excellent little work, which we have Richard was very young, not more than
no doubt will soon form a part of seventeen years old, and it is not surprising that he hardly knew how to stop the pro every juvenile library; and we can ceedings of this riotous mob; for his sol
assure the distinguished author, from diers were driven away, many of his minis
our own experience, that these stories ters were put to death, and the rest of them have been as “ successful in other fawere forced to fly.
milies as they have been in his own.”
The Edinburgh Review. No 54. ficient, and inconsistent with their
laws are considered to be also insut, 1. Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto avowed purposes, as they allow of tranthe Third, and The Prisoner of Chillon, sactions substantially usurious. The and other Poems. By LORD Byron. penalties imposed upon all who assist In this article the Reviewers do not suitors in courts of justice, with the confine themselves altogether to these means of enforcing their rights, stitwo publications, but the Corsair be- pulating for a certain premium, which ing the last work of Lord Byron of the law of England denominates maine which they had given a particular ac tenance and champerty, are reprobated count, they introduce their examina as the growth of a barbarous age; and tion of the present works by notices of a very strong case is extracted from Mr Lara, The Siege of Corinth, and other Bentham's treatise, to show the ruinintermediate pieces. This Third Canto ous consequences of this law to needy of Childe Harold, the Reviewers are suitors. The repeal of the usury laws, persuaded, will not be pronounced in- however, is held to be imprudent at ferior to either of the former; and they this particular crisis, as “ all persons think that it will probably be ranked now owing money would inevitably above them by those who have been have their creditors coming upon them most delighted with the whole. Of for payment.” It is to be wished the The Prisoner of Chillon they speak in Reviewer had taken into consideration the language of praise ; but the rest of the effects which this repeal might the poems are said to be less amiable, produce upon the terms of loans to and most of them, the Reviewers fear, government, and upon the price of have a personal and not very charit- the public funds.-- The Protest qable application.
gainst Law Taxes is highly extol2. A Letter to the Roman Catholic led. The privilege of sueing in fore Priests of Ireland, on the expediency of ma pauperis is shewn to be of little reviving the Canonical mode of electing value. Stamps on law proceedings are Bishops by Dean and Chapter, &c. By censured ; and the vulgar argument, C. 0.-There is no further notice of that such taxes operate as a check to the book or its author. It is a disserta- litigation, is said to be “ triumphantly tion on the Catholic question, in which refuted” by Mr Bentham. the Keviewer endeavours to shew that 4. Wesentliche Betrachtungen oder no securities whatever should be re Geschichte des Krieges Zwischen den quired from the Catholics as the con Osmanen und Russen in den Jahren dition of their emancipation.
1768 bis 1774, von RESMI ACHMED 3. Defence of Usury: showing the EFENDI, aus dem Türkischen übersetzt impolicy of the present legal restraints und durch Anmerkungen erlärdert von on the term of pecuniary bargains, in HEINRICH FRIEDRICH Von Diez.Letters to a Friend. To which is added, This book is a history of the war bea Letter to Adam Smith, Esq. LL.D. tween Russian and the Ottoman Porte, on the discouragements opposed by the in the years 1768–1774, originally above restraints to the progress of in- written in Turkish by Resmi Achmed ventive industry. The third edition : Efendi, and translated into German by to which is also added, second edition, M. Von Diez. The Reviewer has cona Protest aguinst Law Taxes. By trived, by the playfulness and pleasanJEREMY BENTHAM, Esq. of Lincoln's try of his style, to render this short Inn.-In this article the Reviewer bee article very amusing. The work ite, gins with examining the reasons that self, he says, is dull enough in all conhave been urged in defence of the science, but it is a literary curiosity. usury laws, and finds that they pro 5. National Difficulties practically duce none of the good which they pre- explained, and Remedies proposed as tend to have in view ; and then pro- certain, speedy, and effectual, for the ceeds to point out the mischiefs which relief of all our present embarrassments. they create in all directions. These The questions proposed for discus-, Vol. I.