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descend to posterity: for our parts, conceive himself reading a Heathen we conceive that literary is the most Mythology divested of its grosser dangerous of all prophecy, but fancies; and it is on this principle where the united voice of the public that we object to such subjects being concurs with the unanimous judg- made the foundations of lyric or even ment of the learned, there can be of epic poetry. They being the pious little risk in predicting the immor- representations of the scriptures, if tality of the bard, and Mr. Moore not on a level, at least in too close has long been destined in the opi. an association with the machinery of nions of the European literati, as Homer and the mythology of the well as by every lover of the Muse, ancients; and create in the unwary to occupy a principal compartment and sceptical reflections highly danin the Temple of Fame, and to shine gerous to the sublime truths of our as one of the first of the modern poets Divine Revelations. There is, howof the lyre. It would be superfluous at ever another objectionwhich has been present to enter into any analysis of urged against Mr. Moore's selecting Mr. Moore's writings, or to discuss this remarkable passage of Scripture the characteristic features of his as the subject of his poem; it has genius; these have been already been thought dangerous to excite the pourtrayed with ability and are ap- public attention to such a passage at preciated by the public, but we may all. Mr. Moore himself appears to be indulged in the pleasure of repeat- have had some misgivings upon this ing, that no lyric writer of the mo- point, but for our parts we can not derns can equal Mr. Moore in bril. conceive that the objection is valid liancy of imagination, in harmony or even worthy of serious attention; of rhythm, or in melody and all that at all events, the decision of the relates to the structure of verse.* question lies in a very narrow com
When it was announced that Mr. pass. The passage is either a pocryMoore was writing, a poem on the phal or it is not; if it be apocryphal, Loves of the Angels, we must con it is no part of our religion, and fess that we were amongst those who may be sclected for poetry, in comregretted that he had selected such mon with any passage from history a theme, for, although the subject is or from any other source; if it be highly susceptible of those beauties pot apocryphal, it is a part of Diof the imagination which Mr. Moore vine Revelation, and the error of the can so peculiarly give, it is totally poet would be not in selecting, but incapable of pathos, or of being in treating it irreverently; an error adapted to the highest order of poetic from which Mr. Moore's good sense composition to which alone a writer of would have preserved him. We Mr. Moore's genius ought to devote hardly need observe that the pashis Muse. Angels may be objects sage must from its very nature be of pious contemplation, but it is not spurious or apocryphal, and we are in our nature to hold any sympathy inclined to agree with those who with them; and an author, who se view it as a fragment of the barbalects such a subject for a poem, is rous religion existing in the time of constrained to divest his Angels of Moses, and which, by some unfortheir heavenly attributes, or at least tunate chance or error, was origin(like Milton and others) to degrade ally interpolated into the Book of them by ascribing to them human Genesis, (Chap. vi.) and whence it passions, and to represent them act was copied into the book of Enoch. ing after the manner of mortals. To leave, however, a point of no We believe there is no man, however consequence but to the schools; we intelligent, who, by a mere change may observe that Mr. Moore neyer of names, might not read pages or writes upon any subject without even books of the Paradise Lost, and previously investigating it with
The whole of the poem is founded upon the well known passage in the Bonk of Enoch, (Chap. vii. Sect. 2.) “ It happened after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them elegant and beautiful, and when the Angels, the sons of heaven beheld them, they became enamoured of them." Eur. Mag. March 1823.
more of learning than poets gene- sion to the extreme region of the rally possess, and with more of in- East, dustry than poets generally choose to exert. Thus, in the present work, Where Nature knows not night's delay, he gives evident proofs of his having But springs to meet her bridegroom, diligently canvassed the writings of
Upon the threshold of the skies. commentators and of the primitive Christians, and Mr. Moore appears But this messenger on his passage to have the faculty of almost intui.
our earth a beautiful tively penetrating into the most com
nymph and becomes enamoured. plex subjects, and of arriving as in- The fair Lea, however, is always tuitively at the conclusion of the wrapt in heavenly visions and condeepest controversies; and his notes tinues immaculate. At length the to this poem are a fine specimen of angel, returning from a mortal feast, the facility with which an elegant in the fervour of passion reveals to scholar and a man of genius can se
her the word, the passport into healect what is beautiful, or discover what is ridiculous even in the pon- mortal ears he is bereft of his beatic
ven, on the pronouncing of which to derous writings of the fathers.
attributes, his wings become powerThe poem is divided into three less; Lea assumes the word, and is Cantos, in which the three Angels transported into heaven, leaving the tell their own Loves; the first Canto angel's hopes and desires without being preceded by a few stanzas in- fruition. Some of the poetry of this troducing the characters and sub- stanza is so extremely beautiful as ject, and representing
to compensate for the defect in the One evening in that time of blooni,
story. The description of the nymph On a hill's side, where hung the ray
bathing, in the first and second Of sunset sleeping in perfume,
stanzas, and the angel's fervour in the Three poble youths conversing lay.
last fatal scene are both exquisitely
written, and we have read few lines Of Heaven they spoke, and, still more
more beautiful than the following oft,
commencement of a stanza in p. 21. Of the bright eyes that charm'd them thence;
Oh, but to see that bead reclipe Till, yielding gradual to the soft
Á minute on this trembling arm, And balmy evening's iofluence
And those mild eyes look up to mine The silent breathing of the flowers
Without a dread, a thought of harm! The melting light that beam'd above, As on their first, fond, erring hours,
These alone form a subject for an arEach told the story of his love, The history of that hour unblest,
tist, although they are bereft of much When, like a bird from its high nest
of their beauty in our pages by standWon down by fascinating eyes, ing without the context, and disFor Woman's smile he lost the skies. jointed from the rest of the scene.
The second Canto is by far the This stanza, although far from finest, and is replete with the most the best, and by no means a speci fervid and glowing poetry: It opens men of the beauties of the poem, is with a beautiful description of the yet a very fair specimen of the struc Creation of Eve, and of the Angels ture of the versification, and of the of Heaven having been summoned ricbness of imagery and of metaphor to witness this first of woman spring. which pervades the poem.
ing into life and existence. One of Of the three Cantos, we decidedly these attendant Angels subsequently like the first less than either of the is enamoured of a female, and the others. The angel is less heavenly description of the object of his love, in his attributes, indeed, the mortal in page 49, is extremely beautiful, whom he loves is the more angelic and contains several happy metabeing of the too; there is moreover phors, particularly that" of a young much objection to inebriation being tree in vernal flower." made the means of this angel's ca - The Angel first influences the attastrophe, and finally the catastrophe tachment of the object of his affecitself is liable to be turned into ridi- tions by his power over her dreams, cule. The angel is sent on a mis- and the delirium of their mutual
passion is painted with great earn cations of baste in lines having trisylestness, and many of the metapho- lables where synonymous dissyllarical expressions give surprising bles would have improved the quanstrength to the description. At tity. We do not either like the frelength the Angel is induced by the quent termination of a line by a short persuasions of the female to reveal monosyllable ending with a mute; himself in his heavenly light and such monosyllables, for instance, as splendour, and she is instantly con yet, not, spot, got, met, set, cup, up, sumed in his arms. We need not &c. &c.; or the termination of a say that this catastrophe is so simi. stanza by short monosyllables endlar to the story of Jupiter and Se ing with a liquid and a mute, as mele in the third metamorphosis as sent, went, &c. &c. There are a few to displcase the classic reader and to metaphors which appear to us inapappear a plagiarism. The whole propriate and inelegant, such as a Canto has a powerful effect on the female face compared to a sun-flower feelings, and until this apparent in page 8, and expressions equally plagiarism from Ovid, the reader careless, such as that of an angel enjoys uninterrupted delight. stealing “ one side-long look," in
We are aware that there are many the same page. A few lines are repersons of taste who will prefer the markably faulty, such as last Canto to the second, and to which indeed it stands in beautiful The despotism that, from that hour, contrast. After the strong, and even tumultuous feelings excited by the
and some allusions amount to the second Canto, with its tragical con
ridiculous, such as Lucifer's knockclusion, the soft chaste love, the
ing out a third of the stars with his milder attachment and happier con
tail, an idea truly extravagant and stancy of the third Angel Zaraph childish; and approximating the and his Nama, are as the most de
figure of an angel of Scripture to a lightful balm to the senses. Taking
cerberus or mermaid. away the angelic character of Za
Such instances as the above are raph, this Canto of itself would form
however of infrequent occurrence, a beautiful pastoral. The introduc
and are too trifling to derogate from tion to it is remarkably happy, and
the merits of so splendid a poem, we close the book with but one re
A poem which must give unfeigned gret, that this Canto should be so delight to every reader of taste and much shorter than either of the genius'; a poem which would add others.
lustre to the brightest name in EngWhatever defects there may be in
lish literature. this poem, they arise solely from the subject; but we must do the author German Popular Stories. Collected the justice to acknowledge, that he by M. M. Grimm, from oral trahas displayed the greatest genius in dition. London, 1823. 12mo. pp. rendering the subject attractive, and 240. in overcoming nearly all the difficulties it presented to its adaptation If the claim to the composition of to the general taste and to the pur
fables and of stories of ghosts, giants, poses of poetry.
dwarfs, fairies, and witches, could Many of the stanzas are in Mr. be an object of much national pride, Moore's best style, and display a we believe every nation in Europe melody and a fluency of versification, might enter a protest against the which have been seldom equalled and collection in the present volume never surpassed by any writer in this being published under the title of or in any language.
German stories. Many of such nurThe poem is not without its minor sery tales, such for instance as. Tom defects, but these relate so exclu- Thumb, Jack the Giant Killer, and sively to particles, and are so over- Whittington and his Cat, have for whelmed by the general beauty of centuries been common
to every the piece, that it would be the pro- country in Europe, and to those vince of hypocriticism rather than countries in Asia with which we of criticism to expatiate upon them are sufficiently well acquainted to or even to point them out. 'We may ascertain a fact of so trifling, a briefly state that there are a few indi. nature. It is in vain, at this dise
tance of time, to attempt to ascer heads under the bed clothes in our tain in what country of ancient Eu- younger days, we may be indulged rope or of Asia a particular nursery in the perversity of our nature, and tale had its origin; and to assert, allowed to cast one longing, linas many critics do, that because gering look upon that class of juveJack the Giant-Killer was formerly nile story which now seems fading a tale common both to England and from a thing of current use into one Germany, it must have been im- of record, or almost of antiquarian ported into this country by the research. We have no doubt that Saxons, is just as unsatisfactory as some twenty years bence, a Christthe assertion that Rowena imparted mas Carol, or Goody Two-Shoes it to Hengist and Horsa, or that will be a literary curiosity. Ceur de Lion communicated it to The work before us is of his German companions in the Cru- highly amusing description; it sades. · Most of such tales have pro consists of three species of stories, bably originated in all countries stories in which beasts are the acwithout any inter-communication tors, stories where man is the proupon the subject. The idea of gi- minent agent, and Jastly, tales of ants and dwarfs would most proba- the Rossicrucian description, in bly occur to every barbarous people, which the interest is derived from and thạt idea once acquired, such fairies and from enchantment. stories as Jack the Giant-Killer and Most of these latter tales appear to Tom Thumb seem but a necessary. us to want the gorgeous colouring, consequence. It is a question of of the Fairy Tales which delighted much greater importance whether our boyhood, wbere the scenes were such tales are injurious, or innocent laid in the sunny climes of the east, as books of amusement to children; and Mr. Tabart's collection of such and although we hold as absurd Fairy Tales will at least rival the Rousseau's idea, that a fable can per- present volume in that class of its manently affect a child's morals, or contents. Of the stories in the book create in him any, lasting confusion before us many are interesting, and between truth and falsehold; we they are generally well told, preáre yet of opinion that all stories, serving the homely simplicity adaptthe interest of which is derived ed to a child's capacity and taste. from terror or gloom, should be The moral of these tales is generally excluded from our younger studies; good; we say generally, for in some and unless ridicule and laughter can few instances, such as in the story be excited by stories of ghosts, of the Golden Bird, it is so mixed witches, and fairies, they should with what is equivocal, or even bad, never be allowed to form part of that a child might imbibe from it the juvenile library. The practical an admiration of successful roguery; good sense and sound morality of whilst in many of the tales, such for Miss Edgworth's writings for chil- instance as “Hans in Luck," and the dren, combined with her tact for “ Travelling Musicians," the moral amusing, have justly thrown the must be imperceptible to a child, books of our younger attachment and would require much of mamma's into disrepute. We wish a similar elucidation to make him conceive observation would apply to the that there was any at all. The voworks now in circulation among the lame however, as a whole, has our poor. Here the old tales of nursery approbation, and it forms a very fiction have given way to absurd useful and amusing addition to a and pernicious stories of German child's book-case, and we doubt not romance, and the moral ballad of that the fire-side and evening table " Death and the Fair Lady,” and of many a family circle have been the simple pathos of “Fair Rosa- enlivened by it, during this season mond," or of the “ Children in the when the weather congregates us Wood,” has yielded to religious round the social hearth, and comtracts or to indecent ribaldry. Hav. pelseven the most fashionable adults ing confessed the superior utility of to enjoy the charm of participating such works as · Miss Edgworth's in the amusements of infantine inover those tales of ghosts and fairies, nocence and simplicity. The work which used to make us 'hide oor is embellished by twelve excellent
etchings, in which that eminent at. ture of the Philomathic Society, we tist Mr. Craikshanks has displayed may be allowed to caution the memhis abilities as an engraver, as well bers of such institutions from sufferas his unique talent for grotesque ing their partial admiration of each and hamourous conception; a talent other to stimulate to the publication specifically different, but equal in of that, which, although really credegree to that of the late Mr. Gil- ditable to their debating room, ray.
may yet be unworthy of forming an octavo volume for the public.
These “ Outlines of Character," as Outlines of Character. By a Mem- the productions of a private gentle
ber of the Philomathic Institu man for a private society, are retion. London, 8vo. pp. 306. spectable ; but they fall under our
cognizance in their pretensions to So much of good sense, of virtue, the notice of the public at large. It and even of magnanimity, are said is hardly fair in us to observe upon to be necessary to a candid confes- any thing in the author's preface, sion of ignorance, that really a very as he tells us that it is addressed to wise man may be a pretender to ig- those to whom, in our opinion, the notance from motives of vanity. outlines themselves ought to have We however must claim for out- been confined" a select few." selves the credit of the first species The writer however challenges seof confession when we ayow our ig- verer criticisms, by informing us norance of the pretensions of the that he is a professional gentleman, Philomathic Society, and our unac, of course he is of the loquacious and quaintance with the name of the litigious profession of the law, as author of the volume now before he further informs us that the lead us. We do not mean to cast any ing object of the essays was to prosneer upon the writer, and still less mote and provoke discussion. upon the society of which his title We should judge the author to be page so pompously announces him young, and better acquainted with a member. Such associations are the current literature of the day, bighly commendable, and their esta- than with the standards of English blishment ought to be promoted by composition; for, although his caevery editor or director of the pub- dences are often good and his style lie press. They wean men from is fluent, yet it is loose and fredissipation, debanch and senseless quently inaccurate, with the youthrevelry; they create a taste for the ful meretriciousness of reiteration arts which chasten life, they diffase and of redundant epithets. These a love of science, and beget the epithets are often badly selected ; invaluable habit of making men re, and when they are numerous and sort to intellection for pastime and immediately sequent, they are someamusement. Associations for one times tedious from being synonycommon object of intellectual plea. mous, and often absurd from besure at once quicken the faculties, ing contradictory. ' It is difficult to and create generous and kindly feel- write upon 'such subjects as “ The ings; and although politics and re-English Character," "The Gentlevelation may, as the author states, be man," " The Poet,". " The Orator," wisely excluded from debate, these the Literary Character," &c. withimportant subjects must necessarily out committing plagiarism and debe indirectly benefitted by the im- sconding to common place, and provement of intellect incidental to these ditħculties the author has by such societies. It is only from the no means overcome. We are bound collision of intellect that liberal no- in justice to observe that these tions and enlarged views can pro- faults which we have pointed out ceed, and where, as in country relate to the individual work before towns, communications of thought us, rather than to the character of are limited, the inhabitants, even if the author's mind, who it appears studious, are less enlightened upon possesses taste and knowledge, and politics and religion than their bre. who has produced an indifferent ihren of larger cities. Having thus work only, we conceive, from his given our cordial praise to the na falling into the error of the present