« السابقةمتابعة »
from Dover-cliffs. Observe, en passant, how accurately Shakspeare observes Lord Kames' “ rule" though he had never read his « Elements of Criticism."
King Lear, Act 4, sc. 6. This, Sir, is what I should call imagery; and I believe you will yourself readily acknowledge, that it is infinitely more poetical than Crabbe's description, in which there is no image presented to the imagination but the tide coming and going, and coming and going, and consequently almost as monotonous as the sea itself, without a ship, boat, or any other adjunct.
But you have not yet done with the sea and the ships : you quote another passage from Lord Byron himself, but for what purpose it is doubtful whether any person can tell but yourself. Your object was to disprove his Lordship's argument, when he says, that no “painter ever painted the sea only without the addition of a ship, boat, wreck, or some such adjunct." And in order to disprove the assertion, you quote the following description of the sea from “ Childe Harold,” in which the imagery is highly and poetically enriched with ships, breezes, sails, masts, spires, bows, convoys, swans, sailors, waves, prows, &c. This indeed you might have justly called a description that “might rival the greatest poet that ever lived."
He that has sail'd upon the dark blue sea,
So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow. Who can be so profoundly dull as not to perceive, that this passage glows with all the life and animation of poetry ; and that it derives this animation from the picturesque imagery of the poet ?
And yet you deny itto be more poetical than if the sea was described without a ship, boat, or any other adjunct : these, you say, make it only more picturesque, but not more poetical. Pray can you seriously talk thus after the following notice prefixed to your reply? “ It would be important for the reader to keep in mind one plain distinction in reading what is here offered.' Whatever is picturesque is so far poetical, but all that is poetical does not require to be picturesque.” If then, Sir, whatever is picturesque be also poetical, how is it that a picturesque description of the sea does not render it more poetical than it is already; and how is it that this picturesque description of Lord Byron's is not more poetical than if it had been totally destitute of all imagery ?
But the elements of discord have not yet ceased ; you add proposition to proposition only to fill up the measure of your absurdity. You tell us that Pope's descriptive poems will always appear defective to a lover of nature," because from infirmities and from physical causes, he was particularly deficient in his picturesque descriptions; and yet, mirabile dictu, you maintain that Lord Byron's description of the sea is not rendered more poetical by its being picturesque. Lord Byron's poetry then gains nothing by his having that « attentive eye and familiarity with external nature,” the want of which is the only cause you ascribe for Pope's failure in descriptive poetry;
I will here, Sir, take leave of you, nor pursue you farther through the wilderness of argument that characterises your Reply to Lord Byron. I have, in the first place, proved the fallacy of your theory ;-I have proved that there is not a poetical object in the works of nature or of art; I have proved that the objects which you call poetical, have no poetry in description, abstracted from the manner in which they are associated by the poet; and that where the manner is not poetical, the description will be prosaic, however thickly it may be sown with your poetical images, and that consequently, in all cases, it is the manner alone that constitutes “poetical pre-eminence." If I have proved these points clearly and satisfactorily, it follows, that your Reply to Lord Byron must be sophistical, in proportion as it is specious ; for where the fundamental principles of a theory are erroneous, it is obvious that it can be defended only by torture of expression, ambiguity of meaning, or that speciousness of argument which enrobes error in the vestments of truth, and conceals its fallacies by the lights and shades of an ingenious dialectic. To prove that this is the character of your Defence, I have given a specimen of the mode of reasoning which you have adopted in your Reply, first to Mr, Campbell, and afterwards to Lord Byron. His Lordship commenced his strictures on your “ invariable principles,” by a defence of Mr. Campbell's “ Ship of the Line,” which you say “ totally failed as described by himself,” and as defended by his Lordship; but though you imagine you have proved your proposition, to use your own expression, “to the right and to the left,” and blown away” his Lordship’s argument to the winds,” the public will have little difficulty in perceiving, by what masterly evolutions and involutions of argument you have justified your boast.
RETURN TO NATURE;
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF AN EXPERIMENT MADE DURING -THE
LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS IN THE AUTHOR'S FAMILY.
Man, only man, Creation's Lord confess'd,
SPENCER'S YEAR OF SORROW.
BY JOHN FRANK NEWTON, Esq.
[Concluded from No. XXXIX.]
The fallacy which, whether advisedly or not, is carried on by the faculty, resembles what took place in this country three or four hundred years ago, when all England was Roman Catholic in its religious faith. As a man then retired with his confessor to receive from him such absolutions and promises as we have since discovered the priest had no divine commission to dispense; so now, the physician is resorted to for consolations of another kind, which, God knows, it is as little in the good man's power to realise. These wretched deceits will probably at some future day be regarded in the same light.
It would be an almost endless task to repeat the just sarcasms that have been printed, from Garth to Gregory, on the arrogant pretensions, or rather the legitimate practice of the learned in physic. I have for them neither room nor inclination; but so deep an impression must they, I conceive, have left on the minds of those who have had the amusement of perusing them, that the professors of medicine, as of magic, ought in their modesty to excuse it, if, after a long experience and exposure of the impotence of their respective arts, the thinking part of mankind should no longer consider such proficients as holding, like the Fates, the threads of life and death in their unhallowed hands. Great reason there is indeed to suspect, and I willingly state it in justice to the faculty, that many among them, whose judgment has been much looked up to, have had no very sanguine faith in the power of medicine. It would scarcely be going too far to assert, that there never lived any physician of high repute who was not a sceptic in