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would be evidently disconcerted if for her sake on the lady, whoever he did not sit by her, desired Ellen she was, that sat on the other side to go next him, as he, of course, of him, and she felt glad when the sat by the lady whom he had handed ladies retired, that she might go to down stairs, and she tried to be her own room, and relieve her full happy. But Charles did not, as he heart by weeping. used to do at R-, turn his back (To be concluded in our next.)
THE FEATURES THAT CAPTIVATE IN POETRY. Often as the subject of Poetry has that sublimity in the visible world andergone disquisition, we do not depends on greatness or immensity know that any writing ever met our alone; and yet we argue that none eyes, in which its composition is as can be shewn among the objects of it were chymically analized, and its nature, possessing the property or different component parts exposed attribute of greatness, which does and laid bare to the view. It shall not raise great and lofty ideas in the be our study, therefore, to point out mind. The theories of other rhetorithose regular parts which naturally cians throw no greater light upon go to the structure of Poetry, and the subject. Longinus, in general a which present in themselves the man of great observation, sadly conmeans, by possessing which, a man founds its component parts ; as, may aspire to the dignified character amongst the five springs* he assigns of a poet.
As the requisites which to it, be includes two which stand are in our contemplation are such entirely independent of it, and which as are decidedly of the first order, are plainly definitions of rhetoric iu and have the greatest share in the general. These are a splendid elointerest excited in the mind, we cution and a magnificient composithink the title is not inappropriate tion, which he appends to the other which we have chosen for them--of sources, thus described, a happy the Features which captivate in boldness in the powers of perception, Poetry.
an impetuosity conceived and halfWe have ever considered the great inspired feeling, and a peculiar use ingredients of Poetry to resolve of figures, themselves into these three distinct To form our own opinion we heads :-Sublimity, Simplicity, and should say, that sublimity in the Elegance. Beauty is the effect of the visible world depends, not on the whole; Genius is the parent of all, immensity of the object alone, but Each of the three comprises, re. on the assistance which it meets in spectively, two parts, conception and the ignorance of the human mind, or, expression; and these must never to speak more soothingly, in the inbe divided. It is our intention to capacity of the mind to comprehend, consider each head in its order. embrace or unravel it. When, thereAnd first we turn to sublimity, fore, we averred that there was no because this is certainly the highest vast object in nature which did not qualification of verse, and the greatest awaken sublime thoughts in the soul, test of a poet's genius; for though it was equivalent to our saying that it is not necessary in every species there was none of those objects of verse, yet the species which does really great, which the intellect of not require it is one of inferior order man could wholly comprehend. Thus, to that which calls for it.
in a clear night, we cast our eyes up As to sublimity, the writers on to the vault of Heayen, and behold rhetoric, and on the dispositions of it studded with numberless surethe human mind, are at variance balanced and well-arranged stars of about the definition to be given of different magnitudes, and “differit. Dr. Blair utterly rejects the idea ing in glory," and our minds are
* nnyal., De Sublim, $8.
filled with amazement. But could was distended; we admired and we, but for a moment, imagine that wondered, and were distressed, and the whole was the effect of art, that ultimately wept. Others in comthe sky was but a mere constructed pany with us were similarly affected. machine, and that the stars were It occurred to us as very strange merely studs of silver placed in it, that such a spectacle should excite our astonishment would cease. But
our tears, and we pondered over it, no—the span of the arch is too broad
young as we were, for several hours. to be inspected by the eye at one At last we concluded in referring it view; and considering, as we do, to sublimity, and explained it thus : that the things which we call stars that the mind, amazed at the sight are so many worlds, suspended by of such grandeur, such power, and infinite wisdom, in an inconceivable such awful preparations, and reflectmanner, with continual revolutions, ing what great things they may and that it is only owing to their perform, is lost in wonder as to the prodigious distance that they ap extent to which they may be effecpear so small to us, our wonder tive; it traces their progress to a rises into admiration, and our minds certain height, but its prospect is are conscious of sublimity. It is the then bounded ; and it is the feeling same with the contemplation of a of restraint imposed upon the exstupendous mountain, or of the cursions of our souls which excites ocean: it is the consciousness of the agitation of the breast, and the our own littleness, compared with effusion of tears. If this be a new the wonders of nature, and weighed theory, let it at least have the benein the balance with the other great fit of deliberate consideration. works which flow from the Creator's It remains but to trace this effect, hand, which adds to the effect pro- produced by objects amenable to the duced. It is the littleness of man senses, onward, to the operation of which strikes us, and makes us feel such as consist in sentiment; that is, surprised that, we so little and they the sentiment conveyed in particular so great, he should bestow his at allusions, or forms of words : etertention upon us also.
nity, infinity, omnipotence, ubiquiA reflecting person walking upon ty, immensity of size, immensity of the beach of the sea is thoroughly spare, are all objects which involve awake to this feeling. Ocean is sublimity; and these, if tried by the an object calculated to call up the standard which I have proposed, most tremendous ideas. He is fa will all be found to confirm its bled to be a sovereign, turbulent, legitimacy. Hence also may be resistless, and loud; his bounds are perceived the judicious choice which Do where visible, his waves are in- Milton made, when he attached himnumerable, and the force of his bil- self to objects and things, which lows is, but in part, obvious to the cannot be divested of the sublimity, view. We will add another instance which, in their nature, they carry from our own experience. We well with them. remember, while we were yet very Of this sublimity, when worked young, beholding a regiment of up into composition, be it prose or horse, a detachment of the bussars, poetry, we will adduce a few specienter our native town; the cou mens, and the first shall be from riers, at some distance, preceded; Thomson, in the exclamation with the trumpeters and buglemen, four which he opens his ode to the mea-breast, brought up the van, blow- mory of Sir Isaac Newton; an effort ing loud notes of war; the band of genius alone sufficient, though also, mounted on chargers, followed, he had written no more, to insure making concert with the trumpeters: him immortality. then came the commanding officers a-breast, men of noble port and
Shall the great soul of Newton quit manly appearance: last came the
this earth body of men, riding erect, with To join his kindred stars, and every swords drawn, magnificently equip
muse, ped, on steeds nobly caparisoned. Astonish'd into silence, shun the weight As the horses paced and the martial of honours due to his illustrious name? strain resounded, our soul within its But what can man."
We shall select theʼnext quotation and depends not on art or study, from Cowper, the philanthropic for any attempts here at adventitibard, who has interwoven into his ous excellence sit unbecoming and instructive lines all the beauties that unnatural on the individuals in adorn the poet. 'Tis where it would whom they originate. A learned perhaps little be expected, in a and venerable writer expresses the didactic treatise on conversation. following sentiments respecting sim
plicity." In all the sciences, in “Well-wbat are ages and the lapse of every valuable profession, in the
time, Mark'd against truths, as lasting as
common intercourse of life, and let
me add, even in the sublimest subsublime ? Can length of years on God himself jects, simplicity is that which, above exact,
every thing else, touches and deOr make that fiction, whicb was once
lights; without it, indeed, all else a fact?
is feeble and unaffecting. Where Nor marble and recording brass decay, simplicity is wanting men may be And like the graver's mem'ry, pass
dazzled for a moment. More splenaway;
dour will strike them at first, but The works of man inherit, as is just, on reflection they will soon discoTheir author's frailty, and return to ver that splendour itself, like every dust.
other idol, is nothing. On the Bat truth divine for ever stands secure, other hand where simplicity, the Its head is guarded, as its base is sure.
sister of truth, appears, the attracFix'd in the rolling flood of endless
tion is eternal. years, The pillar of th' eternal plan appears,
The species of pleasure excited it The raving storm and dashing wave
the breast by simplicity is not such defies,
as overpowers, or astonishes, or Built by that architect, who built the
subdues, but is in its nature gentle skies."
and mild ; lively, indeed, but ever
moderate; and is best expressed by We have here sublimity of con the epithet of cheerful. Indeed, ception and sublimity of expression simplicity in external objects, and together, embodied' towards the cheerfulness in the emotions of the conclusion in a most noble and soul, hold the same places; they masterly figure.
are analogous, and answer correctly But if we speak of sublimity in to each other. conception, none has yet appeared We are inclined to think simpliin the circle of poetry superior to city the most important constituent that which Lord Byron has disclos in poetry, for its presence is neces. ed to the world in a late produc- sary where that of the others nay tion ; the thought of the carnivo- be dispensed with. It is admissible rous and rapacious vultures, recede into sublime and into elegant writing from the glance of the human ings, and is indeed essential to the eye in Mazeppa, though his body purity and effect of both. An ode lay exhausted and powerless an easy may be deserving of admiration prey:
without sublimity, or without fine Were we asked to concentrate the finishing ; but it cannot be good if poets of our own country most re it want simplicity. Simplicity is markable for sublimity of thought the garment in which all writings and expression, they would be should be arrayed ; sublimity is a pretty nearly the following. Mil- sumptuons robe only occasionally ton, beyond question, occupies the required. first place among the poets, aucient We have sometimes seen a child or modern, who have adorned Eng- engaged in the expression of enlish poesy. Lord Byron makes his dearments to its nurse, and have claim the next, and half disputes also read numerous admired diathe palm. We should award the logues of love, a comparison besucceeding places to Thomson, tween which has only served to show Burns, and Cowper.
the inferiority of the latter to the We come now to speak of simpli- impassioned strains of infancy. city as a characteristic in poetry; The words in which a child gives one which must be entirely inborn, utterance to its affection, as it re
peats the frequent kiss, are"I do person speaking in a sort of pastoso love you;" and to dilate on these ral, by Mr. Henry Mackenzie, introwere to destroy their effect. Dr. duced in the “ Man of Feeling," and Johnson informs us, and our own entitled “ Laviuia,”asks with simplijudgment confirms his decision, that city, how it comes to pass that the the much admired and brilliant face of all nature is changed since lament of Milton, entitled Lycidas, his misfortunes commenced. is, in this view, inferior to the strains of sorrow which Cowley de
When I walk'd in the pride of the votes to the memory of his compa
dawn, nion Hervey; for we know not
Methought all the region look'd what meaning to attach to the ac,
Has sweetness forsaken the lawn, count of Milton, a book-learned
For methinks I grow sad at the writer, and his friend, an illustri.
sight? ous member of the church, driving a-field together, tending their flocks When I stood by the stream I have on the plains, and penning them up
thought at the approach of evening.
There was mirth in the gurgling soft The most frequent and exquisite sound; specimens of simplicity are to be But now 'tis a sorrowful note, found in the compositions of Burns ; And the banks are all gloomy around. unhappy Burns, whom we could cite as a specimen of all the three This is a very natural representaornaments. No better idea can be tion of the feelings of a person unconveyed to one, to whom it is ne der such a state of depression. cessary to describe simplicity, than Well may Scotland make her boast by pointing out to him the song of of having given birth to bards who “ Auld lang syne." How beautiful excelled in the first and distinand natural is the circumstance of guishing features of a poet. calling to recollection, that he and But when we speak of simplicity, his companion had gone about the it were injustice to the manes of banks, and pulled the daisies; and the unknown bard not to introduce that (so like children, with no other. to notice a piece of former times, care to distract their minds) they the author of which has slided into had paddled in the brook' from the current of oblivion, but which it breakfast tu dinner time. The will be a merit in any publication “Banks o'Doon” may well be placed to be the medium of restoring. It side by side with this song. The was on an occasion when we had hapless and deserted lover, in an ex ascended into the uppermost story quisite strain of nature, appeals to of our habitation, and with the the flowery banks, how they can so avidity of a Vampyre were devour. unfeelingly bloom, and the little ing the musty records and various birds how they can find in their collected manuscripts which had hearts to chant, when she is 80 been left there by the former inhaweary full of care. Then the bitants, the virtuosi of their age, succeeding burst “ thou'lt break. when a corner of this paper met my heart, thoa little bird,” follow our eye; and we exulted in the oped by the reason, that it reminds portunity of exercising our critical her of joys gone never to return, judgment, and determining the meis a stroke that cannot be exalted. rit and beauty concealed under this
In a strain somewhat similar, the humble garb. The song ran thus:
But once again,—but once again,
These lips a mother's kisses felt;
The tale a heart of stone would melt.
(O God! o God! that sight to see),
And gave a parting kiss to me.
With naught below my heart to cheer ;
Nor kin nor kind to wipe the tear.
I eat the bread of charity;
There is no kiss, alas, for me. It is on the last four lines of the discernment. We maintain this to fifth verse, ending
be as simple, natural, pathetic and “ O God! that you may never know,
touching a sentiment, and clothed How wild a kiss she gave to me,”
in as unaffected diction, as any to
be found in the elegies of the most that we will repose our judgment, admired poets. The speaker expawilling here to take our stand, and to tiates not on the particular feeling rest on this our reputation for critical existing in his mother or himself,