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ON THE JEALOUSY AND THE SPLEEN
“ It is michin-malico, and means mischief."--HAMLET.
I was sorry to find the other day, on coming to Vevey, and looking into some English books at a library there, that Mr. Moore had taken an opportunity, in his “Rhymes on the Road," of abusing Madame Warens, Rousseau, and men of genius in general. It's an ill bird, as the proverb says. This appears to me, I confess, to .
, be pick-thank work, as needless as it is ill-timed, and, considering from whom it comes, particularly unpleasant. In conclusion, he thanks God with the Levite, that she is not one of those," and would rather be any thing, a worm, the meanest thing that crawls, than numbered among those who give light and law to the world by an excess of fancy and intellect *. Perhaps Posterity may take him at his word, and no more trace be found of his “Rhymes” upon the onward tide of time than of
* 66 Out on the craft-I'd rather be
One of those hinds that round me tread, With just enough of sense to see
The noon-day sun that 's o'er my head,
" the snow-falls in the river,
A moment white, then melts for ever!" It might be some increasing consciousness of the frail tenure by which he holds his rank among the great heirs of Fame, that urged our Bard to pawn his reversion of immortality for an indulgent smile of patrician approbation, as he raised his puny arm against “ the mighty dead,” to lower by a flourish of his pen the aristocracy of letters nearer to the level of the aristocracy of rank-two ideas that keep up a perpetual seesaw in Mr. Moore's mind like buckets in a well, and to which he is always ready to lend a helping hand, according as he is likely to be hoisted up, or in danger of being let down with either of them. The mode in which our author proposes to correct the extravagance of public opinion, and qualify the interest' taken in such persons as Rousseau and Madame de Warens, is singular enough, and savours of the late un
Than thus with high-built genius curs'd,
That hath no heart for its foundation,
RHYMES ON THE ROAD.
lucky bias of his mind:- it is by referring us
" And doubtless 'mong the grave and good
This is one way of reversing the judgment of posterity, and setting aside the ex-post-facto evidence of taste and genius. So, after all that's come and gone yet,”-after the anxious doubts and misgivings of his mind as to his own destiny-after all the pains he took to form himself in solitude and obscurity-after the slow dawn of his faculties, and their final explosion, that like an eruption of another Vesuvius, dazzling all men with its light, and leaving the burning lava behind it, shook public opinion, and overturned a kingdom - after having been “the gaze and shew of the time”-after having been read by all classes, criticised, condemned, admired in every corner of Europe --- after bequeathing a name that at the end of half a century is never repeated but with emotion as ano