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tion not easily attainable by others. And yet, with the ciples, that they are superficial, and that they neither form exception of a few interesting personal anecdotes of his the character, nor give consistency to the actions. In great commander, his book contains nothing that we did proof of this, we call to witness their inadequacy to guide not already know from other sources, not to say that it aright their most distinguished votaries in the late whirl contains much that is now generally known to be incor- of Europe's affairs. How often were the dauntless, the rect. The truth is, that as a personal narrative—as a chivalrous, deserted in the hour of need by these unsubpicture of the adventures and feelings of the Colonel of stantial supporters, and left to “ turn, and turn, and turn the Tenth--the Marquess's work would have been inte again,” until their names became a mockery, and their resting ;—it is the sketch of a frank, fearless, buoyant, faith a by-word ? Surely all men who attempt to direct and not over-intellectual soldier. But the wisdom of the the principles of others, should first have established a friend to whom its author intrusted the assortment and steady line of conduct for themselves. An opposite course polishing of his papers, has prefixed a sketch of the poli- may dazzle for a moment; but it never can obtain the tical intrigues which gave rise to the war, and has com- lasting approbation of the truly wise. municated to the production the pretensions of a regular We return to Colonel Napier's book as a military hishistory. Weighed in this balance it is found sadly want tory. Viewed in this light, it will be found possessed of ing. In one point of view, however, it is important, as the high attributes of sedulous and extensive investigashowing the feeling which prevailed, even in high quarters, tion, strict impartiality, and thorough mastery of the subin Sir John Moore's army. The Marquess of Londonderry ject. The author has studied attentively, and with sucserved under that general in his disastrous advance into cess, the tactical principles of the great leaders of his time. Spain. We need not now enter into any defence of the re- He has sought for materials on every hand. Comparing treat to Corunna. That Soult, Wellington, and Napoleon his own experience with the narratives of others, and alhave joined in praise of it, is sufficient; and if, in addition lowing his extensive store of facts and theories mutually to this, any one wish to judge for himself, let him read to correct each other, he has succeeded in making even Colonel Napier's masterly demonstration of the circum- what books have taught him a vital and integral part of stances and situation of the army, and the conduct of its his own knowledge. He has thus been enabled to convey leader. We advert to this melancholy part of our his- to us more clear and distinct notions of the particular actory, not for the sake of adding our feeble tribute to the tions, and of their bearings on each other, than any author memory of a great and long-misrepresented man ; but we know. He uniformly speaks out freely and fearlesswith the view of expressing the pain it gives us to see ly, exposing, on all occasions, weakness and incapacity, the Marquess of Londonderry, long after the propriety of or defending, with all the generous ardour of a soldier
, his General's conduct has been established, and the im- those great men whose actions have been misrepresented propriety of the conduct of those officers who sought to by faction or ignorance. Finally, by constantly compashake his plans by their murmurings—long after the ring what was executed with what was projected, and hero has sealed his devotion to his country by a martyr's pointing out the causes of failure, he has succeeded in death-giving way to petty feelings of resentment at the making his work not merely a history, but one of the remembrance of some rebukes which Moore had found most instructive treatises on the art of war that has been it necessary to bestow upon him.
published. He has only to proceed as he has begun, and Colonel Napier's is a work of a different and much his book, when completed, will be one of which the counhigher class. It is strictly a military history, although try may be justly proud—one which will go far to place in a war like that which was carried on in the Penin- the intellectual character of our army on that just footing sula, where the political cause was continually giving a in which it ought to be held both at home and abroad. colour to the feelings of the inhabitants, it is impossi- Did space and time permit, we would fain indulge in ,ble to avoid touching occasionally on political matters. a few general remarks on the subject of the works which We find it necessary, therefore, to advert, in the first we have been criticising. When the Spaniards first arose place, to the political dogmas which our author has occa- with word and deed against the foreign oppressor, there sionally broached. We do this because it gives us an op- was a sympathy awakened for them throughout Europe, portunity of expressing our opinion of a political sect wbich made their actions be regarded with an almost suwhich has lately become rather numerous, especially upon perstitious reverence. Men looked towards Spain after the Continent and among military men. We premise, the fashion of somnambulists, who, with their wide inexthat our remarks apply to this sect in a body, and are not pressive eyes resting on surrounding objects, see nothing in the most distant degree personal to Colonel Napier. but their own thick-coming fancies. In those days, Spain,
The creed of these men is, as it were, a florilegium of according to the general estimation, was a land of chivalthe most specious opinions maintained by the different ry, of romance, of devoted patriotism. It is a sad thought, political sects of our times. With the Jacobin, they wor- that things so fair in show—when seen in prospectiveship intellect alone-the man of talent, according to them, seldom bear to be looked back upon. It is like viewing being always entitled to take the lead, independent of all some scenic illusion from behind,- it is like sailing over other considerations. With the loyalist, they are much some unruffled lake towards the setting sun, and beholdswayed by the remembrance of ancient and hereditary ing reflected before us all the gayest hues of eventide, then glories; and, at the same time, they incline to take the turning round and finding the fairy path over which we government which they find in power, and make the most have passed one sad dull mass of water. Yet the history of it. With the sceptic, they admire religion, but only is not without its charm to those who can forget the gay as a pretty useful feeling, and their support of it is very dreams of the past, and find a pleasure in contemplating apt to assume the air of patronage. Now, taken indivi- the severer beauties of truth. They will see in the Spadually, there is not one of these principles inconsistent niards, a nation which, excluded from intercourse with with the purity and honesty of the mind that entertains the rest of Europe, had reached the period when age s!iit. Our objection is, that however good in themselves, perinduces stiffness and weakness, and yet were still in each rests upon convictions and modes of belief incompa-infantine ignorance-a nation in which incipient dotage tible with the existence of the others. Their adoption, was linked with the unabated enthusiasm and inexperitherefore, cannot be considered as the result of careful re- ence of youth-a nation which, when called upon to comflection and sound conviction. They have been assumed bat the evils of life, was found to live in a world of its owu rather as pleasing objects, whereon the feelings and ima- imaginings, and to form its conduct upon them— nation, gination may repose as a dress which sits lightly and in short, which seems to have been prophetically typified gracefully on a gallant youth, because it is thought to in- in his hero by Cervantes. They will see this land of dicate a liberality of spirit, which gives the finishing grace dreamers called upon to support the sacred cause of nato the warrior's self-devotion. We object to these prin- tional independence against a power essentially practical
and of this world ; and which, to the clearest and most / unfavourable to the pursuit of truth, the circumstances extended apprehension of the realities of life, added a in which enquiry is a duty, the prejudices adverse to enlightning rapidity in the execution of its plans. They quiry, the influence of the institutions and practices of will see the Spaniards themselves obliged, by their weak- society, and the feelings with which the results of enness and ignorance, to stand by inactive, while the battle quiry ought to be communicated and received. To this for their liberty is fought on their own plains and moun- | portion of the work, the only objection we are inclined to tains between two mightier and more equal powers; or, make is, that the writer does not seem to be sufficiently at the best, embarrassing their allies by their petulant and aware of the fact, that, in the present state of society, it senseless pretence of assistance. Lastly, they will see all is absolutely necessary, for its harmony and well-being, that human intelligence and bravery can effect displayed that a very great part of the population be contented to on either side in the contest. In the contemplation of the take for granted the conclusions to which other men have mighty game—of the now grotesque, now deeply affecting come ; for, were all to indulge in investigations of their circumstances under which it was played—and in the feel own, a thousand crude and contradictory notions would ings and characters evolved during its progress, the student inevitably take possession of half-educated minds. It is, of this war's history will find subjects for reflection, eleva- of course, to be regretted, that so few are placed in cirting, strengthening, and instructing his mind, and far cumstances favourable to enquiry ; but it is better to submore than compensating for the loss of those airy visions mit to a bad state of things, than to make it worse, by an which they banish from his imagination.
injudicious attempt to make it better.— The second Essay,
which is on the Progress of Knowledge, pleases us exceedEssays on the Pursuit of Truth, on the Progress of Knowo- ingly. It is in the form of a dialogue ; and, though the ledge, and on the Fundamental Principle of all Evidence those of Southey, yet, for the precision of its style, and
views it takes are in many respects very different from and Expectation. By the Author of Essays “ On the the varied nature of its illustrations, it would do no disFormation and Publication of Opinions.” London. credit to that gentleman ; while, for soundness of thinkR. Hunter. 1829. 8vo. Pp. 302.
ing, and accuracy of conclusion, we are rather inclined to The author of this work is evidently a Deist, or, at think that it is entitled to the palm.— The third and last least, one who, for the sake of argument, is willing to Essay is perhaps the ablest of the whole. It is upon the rest contented with Deism. When, therefore, we say that much-disputed subject of Causation, and the Principles of we have perused his book with pleasure, we shall, of Evidence. Its drift, however, though never distinctly stated, course, be understood as referring to the intellectual acu- obviously is to show that it is impossible to prove a miracle, men which its contents display, and not to any accord- or any thing involving a deviation from the uniform sucance upon our part with the peculiar tenets to which the cession of causes and effects. The argument is very inwriter is attached. This is a distinction which every geniously managed, but it is not conclusive ; and for this man of independent mind ought to be able to make. It reason : We are perfectly willing to grant the whole of is true, no doubt, that we cannot help being delighted our author's premises ;-we grant that there could be no with that author most whose views upon philosophical such thing as evidence at all, without a uniformity of and metaphysical subjects chiefly coincide with our own; cause and effect, and that, were we to confine ourselves but it would surely argue much weakness, and tend to solely to the world in which we live, no testimony of a throw suspicion on the soundness of our own modes of third person or persons would be sufficient to convince us thinking, were we to turn away with disgust from the that in any one case this uniformity had been departed arguments of those whom circumstances had irresistibly from, it being more likely that the witnesses themselves impelled to opposite conclusions. Though Dr Beattie, should have been deceived, than that nature should have and Reid, and Dugald Stewart, were able men, it does contradicted itself. But then our author should have renot, therefore, follow that Hobbes, and Priestly, and collected that he professes to be a Deist, by which is meant, Hume, were not able men also. All discussion upon the that, from certain effects, apparent to all, he cannot help phenomena of mind is like a combat at chess ; the skil- believing in the existence of an unseen cause—external to ful looker-on derives most satisfaction from the play of this world, and independent of it. Now, it must be from the victor; but if his antagonist contest the game well, this great first cause that all effects spring ; and surely, there is no reason why he should not take an interest in if this first cause be a being of intelligence, he may reguhim also. In one point of view, it is to us all one what late the effects as to him seems good. We therefore here side may be espoused, or what opinions may be promul- make one step, namely, that this great Being has it in his gated, by any candidate on the field of intellectual gladia- power, in any individual instance, to decree a deviation torship. We are of course anxious that truth should be from the usual uniformity of cause and effect. The Deist ultimately successful; but error is the very foundation cannot maintain that there is any absolute and blind neupon which truth builds her temple, and unless a mass cessity for the uniformity which prevails. The only other of error had been previously overturned, no one could question therefore is, Whether, for wise purposes, this say in what truth consisted. Besides, error is many- Being may not see proper to ordain such deviation; and tongued and hydra-headed,—is strong, and arrogant, and whether, its possibility being allowed, there is any evipositive ; and it will not do to turn away from it with dence sufficient to convince us that it has been ordained. contempt, or to try to crush it by the strong hand of Our author argues truly, that in all common cases, howpower. It must, if possible, be pulled up by the roots, ever numerous and respectable the persons may be who rather than merely trampled on or cut down. To do bear witness to such deviation having occurred, the great this requires patience, and dexterity, and forbearance. principle of the uniformity of causation, upon which all Nay, there is often much to admire about error : it is belief is founded, would militate effectually against our like a flourishing weed, which, though its juice be poison, giving credit to their testimony, because a combination of is, nevertheless, fair to the sight, and pleasant to the circumstances is much more likely to affect buman testismell. There is, we suspect, some poison in the work mony—which is the result of complex causes—than it is before us, yet is it mixed up with much nutritious and to distort any of the common sequences of cause and effect wholesome food.
in the natural world, which are simple, and may easily The volume contains three Essays, each of which is be verified at any time by experiment. But may not subdivided into
parts or chapters. The first Essay is on cases be conceived where, under the agency of a Supreme the Pursuit of Truth, and on the Duty of Enquiry. The Being, the ordinary sequence of cause and effect is, at a subject is somewhat trite; but it is handled well, and in particular time and place, altered or suspended in the maa bold and liberal spirit. The author, we think, has terial world, in order to give a new impulse and direction stated fairly and truly the state of mind favourable and to the moral world? One great argument against ghosts is, that their reported appearance very rarely seems to be such future opinions may be, I think it substantially cor. followed by any practical or beneficial result; and certain rect. I will grant you, therefore, that it is prudent in a ly if we were informed that ice did not melt when thrown man to suppress any opinions flagrantly hostile to popular into the fire, or that the mercury of a barometer stood at prejudice; but it is not, you will allow, high-minded; if it
escape our contempt, it is not a species of conduct to raise the height of 30 inches in the exhausted receiver of an
the glow of enthusiastic admiration, to 'dilate our strong air-pump, we should be justified in disbelieving so cause conception with kindling majesty, and to elevate us, for å less a deviation from the ordinary laws of the material time at least, above the dead level of our nature. The poe: world. But if we had any reason whatever to think it says,probable or possible that the very framer of these laws • Give me the line that ploughs its stately course, chose to suspend them in these individual instances, in Like the proud swan, conquering the stream by force;' order to impress certain great truths upon our mind, then and I confess my admiration will always follow him who it does not seem inconsistent with the constitution of our boldly breasts the current of popular prejudice, forcing his nature to receive, as sufficient, testimony which would not way by his native energy. Nor can I help thinking, that otherwise have been satisfactory. If we suppose that such a man, if he combined undeviating coolness, moderathe deviation has really happened, we can account for it; tion, integrity, and simplicity of mind, with great intellectbut if we deny it, there is no manner in which we can
ual powers, would, in the end, extort the forbearance at explain the strange alteration that has taken place in the least of the host of enemies who would rush to the encounter
from the instinct of fear. minds of those men who attest the fact. We have not put
“ A. Such conduct would undoubtedly excite the admirathis matter perhaps in so clear a light as we could wish, tion of a few, but it would be the destruction of the happibut we are unwilling to expatiate upon the subject. ness of the individual, unless he were singularly constituted.
We have already said that, on the whole, we look upon It is a fearful thing for any man to encounter the execrathis work as one of very considerable talent, and we re- tion, or even the tacit condemnation, of the society in which commend it to the attentive perusal of that small propor- be lives. And moreover, it is questionable whether, suption of the reading public of the present day who are in- posing even his sentiments to be true, he would promote the terested in the study of mind and in the discovery of phi- of thoughts to be received with effect, the minds of the com
cause by such a bold and reckless course. For any system losophical truth. As a fair specimen of the author's manly munity must be in a state of preparation for it. If promul. and vigorous style, we present our readers with the fol- gated too early, it is cast back into obscurity by the offended lowing extract upon the propriety of publishing or con- prejudices of society, or becomes a prominent object, against cealing one's opinions, whatever these may be. It is from which they are perpetually exasperating themselves. It is the second Essay, the dialogue on the Progress of Know- a light-house amidst the breakers. The genius of a Smeaton
in philosophy would be required to erect an intellectual ledge :
"N. Every one must be struck with the discordance of structure of this kind, capable at once of giving intense light tone between the sentiments of our literature, of our public be assailed. A premature disclosure of any doctrine, you
and withstanding the moral turbulence by which it would debates, of our formal documents, on the one hand, and those may rest assured, retards its ultimate reception. In fact, as heard in private society, and exhibited in the common habits forbearance to utter all that a man thinks is a species of of life, on the other. The same individual, who has been continence necessary throughout the whole progress of cispeaking to the popular prejudices of the day in public, will vilisation; at every step the commanding minds of the age often let you see, by a sneer or a jest, or, at all events, by being in one state, and the feelings and opinions of the main reality been playing the actor, and duping his audience. jority in another directly hostile to it."
--Pp. 161-7. Hence our literature does not present us with the actual
Before concluding, we beg particularly to allude to the sentiments entertained. There is nothing like general sin- Chapter on Necessity, in which the author states what cerity in the profession of opinions. The intellect of the we conceive to be the only sound and rational view of that age is cowed.
much-agitated subject. « B. A great part of what appears to be insincerity, may perhaps be ascribed to a want of the power to perceive logical inconsistencies, and some part to the habit of thought-Poems Written in the Leisure Hours of a Journeymar lessly expressing in private society opinions not seriously entertained. It has been remarked, by an able writer, that Dioclesian. A Dramatic Poem. By Thomas Double
Mason. Inverness. 1829. Pp. 268. were we to know what was said of us in our absence, we could seldom gather the real opinions of the speakers :- day. London, Hurst, Chance, & Co. 1829. Pp. 110. . There are so many things said from the mere wantonness of the moment, or from a desire to comply with the tone of
We class these books together, because they both cone the company; so many from the impulse of passion, or the tain poetry, and for no other reason that we know of. ambition to be brilliant ; so many idle exaggerations, which We shall speak of the first, first. the heart, in a moment of sobriety, would disavow, that fre- The day has gone by when a literary mechanic used to quently the person concerned would learn any thing sooner be regarded as a phenomenon. Considering, indeed, the than the opinions entertained of him, and torment himself , as wide diffusion of a certain superficial sort of knowledge
, injuries of the deepest dye, with things injudicious, perhaps the wonder rather
is, that we do not see more persons in and censurable, but which were the mere sallies of thought the inferior walks of life seized with the cacoethes scribendi
. ness levity." A similar observation might be made with regard One of the great characteristics of the present age is
, that cial or the listless hour, when the mind relaxes from the all terror of coming before the public has died away, and, tension of steady thought, which would be disowned when like the breaking up of the feudal system, or the destructhe intellect had collected all its forces, and was calmly and tion of the old noblesse at the French Revolution, hunsolemnly looking at the whole bearings of the subject. Be- dreds have rushed into those literary circles formerly so sides, it'it were not so, I think you judge the matter too ri- select and exclusive, and the aristocracy of letters has been gidly. Actual simulation of opinions I will not defend ; swept off by the torrent. Things may be carried to but surely there is a species of dissimulation, or (not to use a word with which unfavourable associations are connected)
tremes in both ways.
A literary coterie may be too jeaof suppression, which, far from being culpable, may be pru- lous and scrupulous, and may shut themselves in within
a high barrier, over which genius may in vain attempt to think I have heard you assert, that if any man were now climb, and, discouraged by repeated failures, may ultito promulgate the moral and political opinions (could they mately sink into obscurity and neglect. Or, on the combe known) which will generally prevail at the end of two trary, every barrier may be overturned, the deference due hundred years from this time, he would be hooted from 80
to the patres conscripti may be entirely done away with, room for so immense a change as it supposes, but, on your Parnassian hill, or indulging in vulgar pic-nic parties by
a rabble rout may be seen carelessly wandering over the own grounds, a prudent reserve is commendable. but, without pretending
to form a conjecture as to what domain ; and, in short, in the very spirit of lawlese den “ N. The sentiment was expressed, perhaps, too broadly; the Castalian wave, as if these were their own hereditary
mocracy, mongrels of every sort may rush in " where he excused in consideration of the very sensible prose and angels fear to tread.” In times past, when, at rare inter- very respectable poetry which he writes. The following vals, a man of genius, though of lowly birth and imper- stanzas, for instance, may be read with pleasure many fect education, knocked modestly at the gate of the temple, hundred miles beyond the boundaries of Cromarty : there was no reason why he should not be instantly wel
ON SEEING A SUN-DIAL IN A CHURCHYARD. comed in; but in times present, when all sorts of little ragged boys have reading and spelling whipped into them, it is
“ Grey dial-stone, I fain would know
What motive placed thee here, necessary to be more chary of our hospitality; for a smat
Where darkly opes the frequent grave, tering of knowledge is a terrible breeder of vanity, and it
And rests the frequent bier. will not do to allow everybody who has acquired a cer- Ah! bootless creeps the dusky shade tain command of bis mother tongue, and who boasts a Slow o'er the figured plain; tolerable liveliness of fancy, to suppose that he is therefore
When mortal life has pass'd away, able to instruct and astonish mankind. It must be very
Time counts bis hours in vain. evident, on a moment's reflection, that, before the same facilities were held out for the acquisition of knowledge,
“ As sweep the clouds o'er ocean's breast
When shrieks the wintry wind, it could only be the miens divinior that prompted the pea
So doubtful thoughts, grey dial-stone, sant or the mechanic to seek after it; but now the order Come sweeping o'er my mind : is inverted, a certain degree of knowledge is forced upon I think of what could place thee here, every one, and the consequence of its acquisition is too Of those beneath thee laid, often a belief in the mind of the person acquiring it, that
And ponder if thou wert not raised he possesses extraordinary powers. A hundred years ago,
In mockery o'er the dead. or less, this belief might have been fairly entertained, be
“Nay! man, when on life's stage they fret, cause he must resolutely have encountered, and perseve
May mock his fellow-men; ringly overcome, many difficulties to reach his object, and
Forsooth, their soberest pranks afford there must have been a secret principle within him, urging Rare food for mock'ry then : him on to outstrip his compeers; but do not let him in- But ah! when past their brief sojourn, dulge any such notion now, or be ignorant of the change
When Heaven's dread doom is said, which has gradually been extending itself throughout all
Beats there a human heart could pour the ramifications of society. We verily believe, that every
Light mockeries o'er the dead ? second man in Scotland could, at this moment, write a
“ The fiend unblest, who still to harm book upon some subject or other, either in prose or verse; Directs his felon power, and though every one of these books would have entitled May ope the book of grace to him its author to reputation a century ago, it would not now
Whose day of grace is o'er; entitle him to any thing but an acknowledgment that he
But sure the man has never lived possessed a degree of information similar to what almost
In any age or clime,
Could raise, in mockery o'er the dead, every body else possessed. The praise bestowed upon any
The stone that measures time. achievement, whether physical or intellectual, should always be in proportion to the difficulty of its accomplish- “ Grey dial-stone, I fain would know
Were a second Robert Burns to spring up now, What motive placed thee here, he would not be entitled to so much praise as the first Where sadness heaves the frequent sigh, Robert Burns, because he would not have the same diffi- And drops the frequent tear. culties to contend with. We do not say, be it observed,
Like the carver, plain, grey dial-stone, that the present age is more likely to produce a Robert
Grief's weary mourners be;
Dark sorrow metes out time to them, Burns, for its spirit is rather that of smoothness and su
Dark shade marks time on thee. perficiality ; but this we say, that smoothness and superficiality being so prevalent, we are not to be expected, at “ Yes! sure 'twas wise to place thee here, every step we take, to fall down and worship them.
To catch the eye of him These remarks apply generally to the numerous works
To wbom earth's brightest gauds appear we have recently had occasion to see by weavers, spin
Worthless, and dull, and dim.
We think of time, when time has fled ; Ders, masons, shopkeepers, and others; but they do not
The friend our tears deplore, apply particularly to the poems of the Journeyman Mason
The God our light, proud hearts deny, now before us. It would be unfair to single him out as an
Our grief-worn hearts adore. example of his whole class, and hang him up in terrotem, without any previous warning. So far from doing “ Grey stone, o'er thee the lazy night this, we have no hesitation in saying that our Journey
Passes untold, away; man Mason has abilities, which it is his duty to cultivate
Nor is it thine at noon to teach to the utmost.
When fails the solar ray.
In death's dark night, grey dial-stone,
Nor are we less pleased with the following poem, which master minds who can soar much above the crowd ; but
we have slightly abridged, although the whole of it poswe expect, nay, we are sure, that he may make himself
sesses much merit : respected, and even looked up to in his own circle, and to a certain extent beyond his own circle ; and if we consi
ODE TO MY MITHER TONGUE. der the matter properly, this is the whole that any ra- « I lo'e the tones in mine ear that rung tional man need ever think of arriving at. There can
In the days when care was unkend to me; be only one king in England, and there can be only ten Ay, I lo'e thee weel, my mither tongue, or twelve in all Europe, but there may be innumerable Though gloom the sons o' lear at thee. petty chiefs, greatly beloved and admired by their own
Ev'n now though little skill'd to sing, clans and tribes. This reflection, we suspect, is all we
I've rax'd me down my simple lyre; can offer to console better men than even Journeymen
0! while I sweep ilk sounding string,
Nymph o' my inither tongue, inspire! Masons. Our present Mason, however, is a man not to be despised. He makes, perhaps, rather too much på- " I lo'e thee weel, my mither tongue, rade about his being a Journeyman Mason, but this may Au' a' thy tales, or sad or wild;
Right early to my heart they clung,
more readily, perhaps, than any thing else. A vigorous Right soon my darkening thoughts beguiled
and highly poetical mind is not contented with the power Ay, aft to tby sangs o' a langsyne day,
of saying something sweet and pretty upon any thing. It That tell of the bluidy fight sublime, * I've listen'd, till died the present away,
makes for itself subjects, and gives to each subject a uniAn' return'd the deeds o' departed time.
ty and completeness by the mode in which it treats it.
We doubt that a man of first-rate genius would write “ An'gloom the sons o' lear at thee?
a long poem in heroic verse, which he would entitle An' art thou reckon'd poor an' mean?
“ The Patriot,” or that he would write an “ Ode to Ah! could I tell as weel's I see,
Mrs —" or an “ Ode to William.” There is someOf a' thou art, an' a' thou'st been !
thing vague and unmeaning in these titles, which implies In thee has sung th' enraptured bard
something vague in the thoughts of the writer. We seHis triumphs over pain and care ; In courts an' camps thy voice was heard
riously recommend all young poets to be sure that they Aft heard within the house o' prayer.
have something worth writing about before they begin to
write at all. “ In thee whan came proud England's might, Wi'its steel to dismay and its gold to seduce,
The Dramatic Poem of “ Dioclesian” will not detain Blazed the bright soul o' the Wallace wight,
us long. There is a good deal of power in it, and, as a And the patriot thoughts o' the noble Bruce.
whole, it inspires us with considerable respect for the Thine were the rousing strains that breathed
author, Mr Thomas Doubleday, whom we suppose to be Frae the warrior-bard ere closed the tray;
a gentleman and a scholar. Thine whan victory his temples wreathed,
His besetting sins are, obThe sang that arose o'er the prostrate fae.
scurity and mannerism, which often render his sublimity
scarcely intelligible. The last days of Dioclesian—the “ An' loftier still, the enraptured saint,
mighty Pagan, who fell down from his high elevation Whan the life o' time was glimmering awa', before the genius of Christianity-afford a good theme for Joyful o' heart, though feeble and faint,
poetry; and though Mr Doubleday has not exactly treated Tauld in thee o' the glories he saw
it in the manner we could have wished, he has done O'the visions bright o' a coming life,
enough to convince us that there is in him both vigorous O’angels that joy o'er the closing grave,
thought and lofty feeling. We subjoin one short extract, An' o' Him that bore turmoil an' strife, The children o’ death to succour and save.
-a part of one of Dioclesian's soliloquies in his tower at
Salona : “ An'aft, whan the bluid-hounds track'd the heath,
Hath hurried to decline; and, as with dread,
Sunk in the Adriatic, that lay smiling
And trembling like a bride. And now the clouds, To sever ilk link o' the papal chain,
Reft of the beam, and the unstable winds, Thunder'd the ire o' that champion bauld,
'Gin rage contentious strife, and in their war Whom threat'nings and dangers assail'd in vain.
Blot the dim hills and distant glimmering sea :
All now is night_all, save th' eternal stars, “ Ah, mither tongue ! in days o' yore,
The better part of night-and nought is heard
But the wild voices of the winds, and clouds
Brushing the mountain tops, and giant towers, An' him wha tauld o' Southron wrang
That emulate the mountains. Cow'd by the might o' Scottish men ;
(He pauses.), Gloom ! still, gloom ! Him o' the Mount and the gleesome sang,
gaze into th' abyss—and from beneath And him the pride o' the Hawthornden.
The vap'rous darkness thickens-as it rose
From some Lernæan Fen; heavy and dank; « Of bards were thine in latter days
Flagging on lurid wing.
(He walks about disturbed.) Mort darkness ?-yea; Right bauld and slee were Fergie's lays,
Night is, to-night, distemper'd and apace,
The swarthy monarch frowns ! The restless blasts But wha without a tear can name
Are voiced in sympathy-the starry sky
Grows darker. O'er its glittering fields, behold
The phalanx of the many-winged clouds
Is making swift aggression. They move on;
Food for Oblivion's unsubstantial maw? observe to be a very common one among the less distin- Whose breath is not his own, or outcast vile
Trod out of life-nay, being ; as the slave guished votaries of Apollo. Finding themselves in a sort Condemn'd for insufficient food to whine of vague poetical mood, and imagining that “the fit is on Still at another's gate; and basely share them,” they wander forth into the fields, or shut them- | With the gorged hound, that, grudging, hoarsely bays selves up in their room, and determine to write something At such companionship? If this shall be, -it is all one what. Accordingly, they commence with Then all is baseless, and yon burning stars the first subject that presents itself, and having set down
But motes that swim before the sightless eye; without any ultimate end or aim their first train of Beings of negation ; inorganic; void;
Born of the night; and, like their parent, only ideas, they either break off suddenly without coming to Shadow-sprung shadows. any point, or, finding that their poetical vein is not exhausted, they continue to write on in a rambling and de- believe Mr Doubleday has not been before the pubsultory manner, till they weary both themselves and lic till now. We shall be glad to meet with him again soon, their readers. Now, these persons are not aware that and shall then be able to point out more accurately what the choice of a subject, and the conception of the proper rank he is entitled to hold, and likely to attain. mode of treating it, point out the man of true genius