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and walked over to Stamford at night, to send it by the post to Mr. Hanson, a printer at Market Deeping.' Mr. Hanson had seen some of these poems in manuscript; and it is due to him to say that he was the first who expressed a favourable opinion. of their merits, and thus induced Clare to venture upon this formidable measure. This prospectus was accordingly published, together with the following Address,' which we give as a sort of literary curiosity.
The public are requested to observe, that the TRIFLES humbly offered for their candid perusal, can lay no claim to eloquence of poetical composition, (whoever thinks so will be deceived,) the greater part of them being juvenile productions, and those of a later date offsprings of those leisure intervals which the short remittance from hard and manual labour sparingly afforded to compose them. It is hoped that the humble situation which distinguishes their author will be some excuse in their favour, and serve to make an atonement for the many inaccuracies and imperfections that will be found in them. The least touch from the iron hand of criticism is able to crush them to nothing. May they be allowed to live their little day, and give satisfaction to those who may choose to honour them with a perusal, they will gain the end for which they were designed, and their author's wishes will be gratified.'
Booksellers, whether metropolitan or provincial, are, it has been said, rarely deficient in shrewdness. The proposals fell into the hands of one of the fraternity in Stamford, and suggested to him the probability of the publication affording a profitable speculation. No time was lost in visiting Helpstone; and, for the immediate deposite of a few pounds to meet his present need, and the expectation of receiving a few more at a distant period, Clare was content to abandon his subscription and to part from the volume before us. The original chapman soon transferred his bargain to the actual publishers, by whom the poems have been given to the world in a manner creditable to themselves, and liberal, we have reason to believe, as to the author.
Looking back upon what we have written, we find we have not accomplished our intention of interspersing with our narrative such extracts as might convey a general character of Clare's poetry, we have used only such as assorted with the accidents of the poet's life, and the tone of them has necessarily been somewhat gloomy. The volume, however, offers abundant proofs of the author's possessing a cheerful disposition, a mind delighting in the charms of natural scenery, and a heart not to be subdued by the frowns of fortune; though the advantages which he might have derived from these endowments have been checked by the sad realities which hourly reminded him of his unpromising con
dition. Misery herself cannot, however, keep incessant watch over her victims; and it must have been in a happy interval of abstraction from troublesome feelings that Clare composed 'the Summer morning,' the result, we believe, of a sabbath-day walk; the lively pictures of rural occupation being introduced from the recollections of yesterday, and the anticipations of the morrow. We have only room for a few stanzas of this little poem, which is and graceful, possessing the true features of descriptive poetry, in which every object is distinct and appropriate.
The cocks have now the morn foretold,
The sleepy rustic sloomy goes;
And every floweret's silken top,
Stoops, bowing with a diamond drop.
The red round sun advances higher,
Is gilding sweet the village-spire.
To entertain our wish'd delay,-
The wakening charms of early day!
While glittering dew the ground illumes,
Their moisture shrinks in sweet perfumes;
And hear the skylark whistling nigh,
It will have appeared, in some measure, from our specimens, that Clare is rather the creature of feeling than of fancy. He looks ⚫ abroad with the eye of a poet, and with the minuteness of a naturalist, but the intelligence which he gains is always referred to the heart; it is thus that the falling leaves become admonishers
and friends, the idlest weed has its resemblance in his own lowly lot, and the opening primrose of spring suggests the promise that his own long winter of neglect and obscurity will yet be succeeded by a summer's sun of happier fortune. The volume, we believe, scarcely contains a poem in which this process is not adopted; nor one in which imagination is excited without some corresponding tone of tenderness, or morality. When the discouraging circumstances under which the bulk of it was composed are considered, it is really astonishing that so few examples should be found of querulousness and impatience, none of envy or depair.
The humble origin of Clare may suggest a comparison with Burns and Bloomfield, which a closer examination will scarcely warrant. Burns was, indeed, as he expresses it, 'born to the plough,' but when in his riper years he held the plough, it was rather as a master than as a menial. He was neither destitute nor uneducated. Secure from poverty, supported by his kindred, and surrounded by grand and exciting scenery, his lot was lofty and his advantages numerous compared with those of the youth before us. There is almost as little resemblance in their minds. To the pointed wit, the bitter sarcasm, the acute discrimination of character, and the powerful pathos of Burns, Clare cannot make pretension; but he has much of his tender feeling in his serious poetry, and an animation, a vivacity, and a delicacy in describing rural scenery, which the mountain bard has not often surpassed. In all the circumstances of his life, the author of the 'Farmer's Boy' was far more fortunate than Clare. Though his father was dead, Bloomfield had brothers who were always at his side to cheer and sustain him, while an early residence in the metropolis contributed largely to the extension of his knowledge. To want and poverty he was ever a stranger. Clare never knew a brother; it was his fortune to continue till his twenty-fifth year without education, without hearing the voice of a friend, constrained to follow the most laborious and revolting occupations to obtain the bare necessaries of life. The poetical compositions of the two have few points of contact. The Farmer's Boy' is the result of careful observations made on the occupations and habits, with few references to the passions of rural life. Clare writes frequently from the same suggestions; but his subject is always enlivened by picturesque and minute description of the landscape around him, and deepened, as we have said, with a powerful reference to emotions within. The one is descriptive, the other contemplative.
A friend of Clare has expressed a doubt of his capacity for the composition of a long poem :-we have no wish that he should make the experiment; but we have an earnest desire that he should be repectable and happy; that he should support a fair name in
poetry, and that his condition in life should be ameliorated. It is with this feeling that we counsel-that we entreat him to continue something of his present occupations ;-to attach himself to a few in the sincerity of whose friendship he can confide, and to suffer no temptations of the idle and the dissolute to seduce him from the quiet scenes of his youth-scenes so congenial to his taste,-to the hollow and heartless society of cities; to the haunts of men who would court and flatter him while his name was new, and who, when they had contributed to distract his attention and impair his health, would cast him off unceremoniously to seek some other novelty. Of his again encountering the difficulties and privations he lately experienced, there is no danger. Report speaks of honourable and noble friends already secured with the aid of these, the cultivation of his own excellent talents, and a meck but firm reliance on that GOOD POWER by whom these were bestowed, he may, without presumption, anticipate a rich reward in the future for the evils endured in the morning of his life.
ART. IX. 1. De l'Angleterre. Par Monsieur Rubichon. Vol. I.
2. De l'Angleterre. Par Monsieur Rubichon. Vol. II. 1819.
OF all the materials for book-making, it might be thought that those collected in travelling were the most easily obtained. Let a person of plain good sense, improved by a liberal education, and with an unprejudiced mind, set out to ramble over any tract of country inhabited by human creatures; and the probability seems to be, that he will return home with such a store of observations as shall not fail to be instructive and beneficial, and to add to the common stock of truth by which alone the progress of mankind can be made certain.
But, when we consider that those qualities, though far removed from the highest endowment of intellect, are by no means so frequently met with as might be supposed, and that the majority of travellers have a different end in view from the study and observation of men, it will be less surprising that so little real advantage has accrued from their strictures upon the characters of the nations among whom they have resided.
The most important end of travel, however, that to which all other considerations should converge, is to acquire a knowledge of human beings, and of the modes and institutions by which they have been rendered wiser, happier, and better. Unfortunately, it is not in those parts of the world in which men and their institutions are the most worthy of observation, that they
have met with the greatest attention, and it is more common for the explorers of Asia, Africa, or the South Seas, to give a picture of manners, customs, and characters, than for those who visit the countries of Europe, to bestow upon them the labour and investigation to which so high a degree of culture has entitled them.
One of the causes which very much diminishes the value of travels in general, is the rapidity with which their authors (though they may be very sensible men, and very conversant with mankind at home) judge of habits and manners that are new to them. The effect of novelty upon the mind is always to produce emotion, to raise it out of the tranquil condition, in which alone sound judgment can be exercised, and to place it in a state of excitement, approaching to enthusiasm. Whether this enthusiasm tends to raise or depreciate in our estimation the object which is new to us, depends upon a variety of circumstances; but upon none so much as its relation to our own habits and dispositions; to those causes which have produced our prejudices. To form a just estimate how far the descriptions of a traveller are exact, we should, in some measure, be acquainted with the state of his mind; in order that we may be enabled to supply the deficiencies, and to lop off the redundancies of his praise or censure.
We meant, at first, to treat somewhat fully on this point; and indeed its importance, at a period when the mania of travelling is epidemic among us, and the country is annually drained of nearly eight millions sterling by British absentees, would justify our enlarging upon the subject--but opportunities will occur for returning to it with advantage. We shall therefore content ourselves with adding here, that we shall neither regret this extraordinary emigration; nor think these eight millions sterling during a few years, unhappily expended, if our countrymen return home loaded with the spoils of wholesome travel, and enriched with the kindly fruit of observation and enlarged virtue.
The press, in every part of Europe, has teemed of late with publications upon England and France. But the art of observing nations and their characters has been so long suspended, that it is, in some measure, lost. They who travel now are the children of those who travelled before the interruption. Every thing is new to them, except their own fire-sides. Other ideas too have filled the chasm which the sword had opened in European civilization. Other passions have agitated the minds of men. No two nations exist, who have not waged war with each other; who have not mixed their banners in fight, alternately friends and foes. To the want of peaceful communication, have been joined the babit of suspicion and the instability of every social