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Our very greatest wits have not been men of a gay or vivacious disposition. Of Butler's private history nothing remains but the record of his miseries, and Swift was never known to smile. Men of saturuine tempers find a refuge in the ridiculous when their ininds are sore and wearied with the conflict of life; and perhaps, if such were to examine the periods of their mental operations, they would find they had started the most ludicrous ideas in bitterness of spirit. At those times the mind is very highly, though painfully excited, and, if it be naturally strong, its impressions of every kind being aggravated, the relief which it has the power of throwing in by means of ludicrous associations will share the force of its other impulses, and acquire more from the contrast with them. The will of Chatterton may be alleged as a strong evidence of this condition of the mind; and indeed his whole character, his long fits of moroseness, and his bursts of levity are equally in point. Mr. Moore's wit is here such as we should have looked for from his general turn of mind, pleasant and harmless, neither powerful nor
There is a sort of apology made for irregularities of verse, as required to adapt the measures to the music. This is quite unnecessary. If the novelty and variety of the cadences; the proper, though unusual, regard to quantity as well as accent; if the ease, lightness and grace of the versification are to be attributed to the attention given to the music they were to accompany, these effects assuredly require no apology. We are disposed to believe that, as far as quantity is concerned, much has been suggested by the music. The perception of rhythmical cadence is a pleasure often enjoyed by those who have not an ear otherwise musical; yet we have no doubt that such an ear is a great assistance to writers of irregular verse, whose faculty of inventing new, as well as of imitating old modulations, is an important part of their powers; and it is only by this assistance, we apprehend, that the effects of quantity will be fully appreciated. Few English verses are to be found of the same author, whicb, read with attention to quantity, are so musical, and without it, would be so much the contrary, as the following stanzas.
• I'd mourn the hopes that leave me,
If thy smiles had left me too;
when friends deceive me,
With heart so warm, and eyes so bright,
'Tis not in fate to harın me,
While fate leaves thy love to me;
Unless joy be shared with thee;
Were worth a long, an endless year
My own love, my only dear! Two more follow, of which the latter seems only added lest any of Mr. Moore's pieces should escape the metaphor which always lies in readiness to seize apon them. We may also recommend to him, adverting to the words in italics, to consult the vox stellarum' of bis ingenious namesake the Philomath. We repeat that we know of few English verses in which quantity is made of equal avail; an example of those few may be taken from a translation by Sir W. Jones ; in the same measure, we believe, as the original Persian.
* Boy, bid the liquid ruby flow,
Regard not what the zealots say;
A bower so sweet as Moselay.' Here the spirit of the versification depends, first, upon the quantity given to the antepenult syllable of each line, which syllable is never, but in the fifth line, terminated by a mute consonant; and secondly upon the accent of the second syllable; and the versification would have been improved, if that syllable had never been terminated by a semi-vowel : for it is always to be observed, that accent without quantity is best aided by mutes, and that quantity (which, in English at least, always implies accent) is best without them, mutes serving to acuminate the accent, vowels to stretch the quantity. While gazing on the moon's light (p. 56.) is another good example of this kind of melody. Indeed versification is a point in which it seems impossible for Mr. Moore to get wrong. Like the toy which was the admiration of our childhood, let him Aling his verse, however carelessly, into what attitude he will, it never fails to light upon its feet. All these songs are so well known, that we wish to be sparing in our extracts. We give the following in the author's peculiar manner.
• Oh! had we some bright little isle of our own
Where the sun loves to pause,
With so fond a delay,
Where simply to feel that we breathe, that we live,
With affection as free
To our decline as the bowers,
Living always on flowers;
And our death come on holy and calm as the night!' (p. 115.) All these things are brought so pleasantly together, we are quite sorry to inform the author that nature has divided them. In the only climates where there is summer all the year, and no, fall of the leaf, the nights, when moonless, are extremely dark, the sun sets early, and with all expedition ; and in those at least in which we have resided, and we believe in all others, the bees find it too hot to live with any sort of comfort, and consequently are not to be seen. These are things, however, which do exist somewhere in the world, though rather lawlessly aggregated. There are others in Mr. Moore's poetry which we are quite at a loss where to look for. * Whispered balm, and spoken sunshine' is nonsensical, not metaphorical language. It is astonishing what a great variety of purposes the word light may be applied to besides performing the ordinary service in the way of eyes, looks, hope, glory, &c.; we have the light of love, the light of beauty, of mind, of features, of memory, of song, of smiles, of bliss, &c. There is the sunshine of love, and the moonlight of friendship; but the most extraordinary light of all is an unseen light' (p. 29.) of the softer sex : an unseen light one would have thought tantamount to darkness"; but this, nevertheless, 'guides the poet's way’ as well as if he had it continually in his eye!
'Has sorrow thy young days shaded' is beautifully simple, with the exception of the Wicklow gold mines, which seem out of place. The address to the gentle harp' too much resembles some of the addresses of the court of Common Council; like that worshipful body, the author cannot be contented either with war or peace, and there is only one thought which might not have been engendered in Bishopsgate without. The Fortune Teller' is a bad attempt at roguery, the worst of all failures. We are happy, however, to acknowledge the author's great amendment in point of purity. He no longer exhibits the charms of the Teian in Doric nakeduessεκδυων χιτωνα Δωριαζει. We have heard objections of this kind made to the Irish Melodies, and much regret that the least ground for them should ever have been given. Mr. Moore, considering the thousands of young ladies who would lose half their valuable
time in warbling his melodies, should have taken especial care that they came by no other loss. There is however very little which could be offensive to the most feminine delicacy, and that is so enveloped as perhaps frequently to escape observation; to which we shall not expose it by any further allusion; though well aware that certain of our brethren have inade a point of substantiating every charge of this kind by producing the obnoxious passage; as if it were merely for the satisfaction of saying, 'Only look! what a dirty thing we have here! This author's irregularities were not those of a reprobate heart, and we have been happy to see the end of them. Within the last few years there have been two striking examples of persons of considerable literary ability living unreclaimed, and dying as, we fear, they deserved. He who mispent so large a portion of considerable talents, and of a long life, in endeavouring to bring into ridicule a pattern of private virtue in the most eminent public station, terminated that life, long after the decay of his genius, in such obscurity that his death was scarcely heard of. It is difficult to conceive a condition of life more miserable than his was as it approached its close. His talents, whilst ių their vigour, were of a kind to procure for him much of the homage and flatteries of spcial life. He outlived them all, the talents and their rewards. He passed his latter years in solitude and extreme penury, aged, atheistical, and blind. He lived a life of jovial profligacy, and died deserted. This is an old story; but it ought to be repeated as often as actual examples afford a chance of benefit to a class of minds generally too stubborn or too volatile to receive it. The other instance to which we have alluded is of a more recent date; so recent that we shall not speak of it farther, though it might perhaps be safely concluded that men of this' cast leave no friends behind them to be wounded by any descanting on their demerits.,
We have dwelt more upon Mr. Moore's faults than upon his beauties, because it is impossible that the latter should escape the reader's observation; which is by no means the case with the faults; since it is necessary to strip them of a great deal of finery, before their original deformity can be discerned. None, however, can be more sensible to his merits than are Nor, are we at all disposed to regret, that in the great variety of poets which we possess, there is one, who is not always sensible, and not often profound. We are of opinion that the fame of the author will ultimately rest upon his productions in this style of writing; because, however great his merit in others, this is the style in which he has never been exceeded, and in which it is highly probable he never will be. An author who has a manner of writing peculiar to himself is not likely to be rivalled at any period very remote from that in which his efforts are made, from that, in fact, wherein existed the state of
society and character of intellect, which suggested his sentiments and manner of conveying them. Mr. Moore, we therefore conceive, will never have a rival, unless, which all experience teaches uś to distrust, another age should immediately succeed to this equally redundant in talent, and in talent similarly directed. There is an obvious reason for this having never happened.
When a certain measure of excellence has been attained, in poetry for instance, of that excellence the men of the highest talent have the strongest perception; and such men, comprehending fully and at once, and before they have tried their own strength, the difficulty of the endeavour, disdain to take wing, where they have little hope of being foremost in the flight. In the meantime the middling and the dull, who see nothing in the models which they imitate, but the sort of material out of which they were hewo), are working away with vast satisfaction to themselves, and quite unconscious, all the while, that they are not doing wonderful things. The fire of great minds is directed to objects which have not already been placed in the fullest light; while that of little minds is smoking and smouldering on, as usual, to the great annoyance of the neighbourhood.
Why the caricatures were placed at the beginning of the Numbers, we cannot imagine; unless, indeed, it be an unjustifiable design of the publishers to ridicule the author's efforts at every step, by exhibiting figures and faces more ruefully hideous than, we hope, nature ever bestowed upon indignant bards and despairing lovers.
Art. VII.-The Use and Abuse of Party-Feeling in Matters of
Religion considered, in Eight Sermons, preached before the University of Oxford, in the Year 1822, at the Lecture founded by the late Rev. John Bampton, M. A. Canon of Salisbury. By Richard Whateley, M. A. Fellow of Oriel College.
WHEN the nameless author of the Whole Duty of Man called
into action the powers of his vigorous understanding, his various learning, and his lively imagination, for the purpose of setting forth · The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety,' he allotted a large portion of his book to the Mischiefs arising from Disputes.' Christian piety had, in those times, been indeed deeply injured by the wild fanaticism which preceded the Restoration, and the unblushing profligacy which followed it. We do not think that in these days we have any reason to consider Christian piety. as on the decline, though we have abundant cause to wish, and to labour. for its increase; but we certainly are of opinion, that among the. obstacles to its increase, a distinguished place may still be assigned to the “ Mischiefs arising from Disputes. Religious. con-.