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nor seen any of its inhabitants. Ledyard has written out a vocabulary of several words, representing the same things in the two languages. In a large portion of these words there is no difference, and in others the difference is slight. Mr Samuel Lee of Cambridge, England, has lately constructed a Grammar and Vocabulary of the New Zealand language, aided by the manuscript papers of the missionaries, and by the chiefs who resided in England. It is particularly remarkable of this language, as well as of the Tonga and Malayan, of which Grammars have been made, that it has no declension of nouns nor conjugation of verbs. In nouns, the purposes of declension are answered by particles and prepositions; and in verbs, the distinctions of person, tense, and mode, are determined by adverbs, pronouns, and other parts of speech. From this feature of the language it follows, that the words, arranged in the order of syntax, are not affected in their forms or terminations by the influence of any other words; they are placed in a natural order, and their meaning is ascertained, not from any alteration in the words themselves, either by suffixes, prefixes, or changes of termination. The language is easily acquired, abounding in the vowel sounds, and harmonious to the ear.
The plan, upon which the missionaries have established themselves in New Zealand, promises ultimately to be of essential service to the natives. Their numbers are composed of teachers, and practical artificers and agriculturalists. This is the true mode of diffusing the knowledge and benefits of a pure religion ; savages must be civilized before they can be christians, and civilization is a slow process, which can be carried on only by the force of example, and by repeated efforts to make the untutored savage feel by actual observation and experience, that the means of his enjoyments will be multiplied in proportion as he abandons his old habits, adopts the arts of peace and refinement, and yields to the spirit of moral and religious culture. Great is the praise due to those persons, who are willing, for the attainment of so noble and benevolent an object, to sacrifice what mankind usually consider the choicest blessings of life, the sweets of home, the ties of friendship, the security of a well ordered society, and take up their residence in an island on the opposite side of the globe, amidst tribes of wild and restless can
nibals, whose delight is the destruction of their own species, and who kill and devour one another, without even a sense of the iniquity of a deed so horrible and shocking to humanity. The moral courage, the selfdenial, and singleness of purpose, which induce men to resign all the comforts, that the world in its happiest regions can bestow, and deliberately resolve to pass their days in these abodes of darkness, and danger, and privation, are enough to enlist the sympathy of the benevolent heart, to excite a deep interest in their welfare, and inspire an earnest wish, that they may have the consolation of success in the work of piety and goodness to which they are devoted.
The recent accounts are not very favorable ; a gloom has been thrown over their prospects by the wars, which raged with more than usual violence after Shunghie's return. These turbulent times seemed to communicate a greater degree of fierceness to the character of the natives; they were less respectful to the missionaries, breaking into their yards and houses, and stealing, or forcibly seizing, whatsoever came in
The missionaries complained to Shunghie, but he offered no redress; he turned them off with a broad laugh, saying, that such was the custom of his country. In truth, hé shunned them after his return, and evidently regarded them with no friendly eye.
He told them in plain terms, that they had deceived him in affirming that king George would not allow them to sell muskets, for he had seen king George, and ascertained that he had given no such orders. But notwithstanding this coolness on Shunghie's part, he kept up an outside show of friendship, occasionally breakfasted with them, and permitted them as before to instruct the children and cultivate the lands. At the date of their last letters they had reason to hope, that a few weeks would change the face of things, and that they should be able to live among the natives without serious molestation, and prosecute their labors with encouraging success.
ART. XX.-The Miscellaneous Poems of William WORDS
4 vols. 12mo. London, 1820. If we have unworthily neglected this original and admirable poet, we have but followed the example of our countrymen, and done our part toward the general wrong, which his merits have suffered. With the exception of the Lyrical Ballads, which were printed many years ago, if we remember rightly, at Philadelphia, and which are not now to be bought, not a single work of Wordsworth has been republished in this country. We have republished Moore and Campbell to their last song, and Byron to his last scrap. Hogg, Rogers, Brown, Milman, Montgomery, Bernard Barton, Barry Cornwall, Leigh Hunt, and a host more of minors, have covered our booksellers' counters, and been spread abroad throughout our land; but he, who has done more than any living writer to restore to poetry the language of feeling, nature, and truth, remains unread, unsought for, and almost unknown.
The principal causes of this neglect we apprehend to be, the incapacity of the common mass of readers to appreciate many of the most refined beauties of the poet ; the defects into which he has betrayed himself; and the influence of the severe and unjust criticisms on his poems, which have appeared in that popular work, the Edinburgh Review.
We readily allow, that if a poet wishes to be read, he must write so as to be understood ; and if he persists in being unintelligible, he must inevitably pass away into oblivion. But the remark is applicable only to intrinsic obscurity and nonsense, and not to that depth of feeling, which common hearts cannot fathom, and that 'heaven of invention' to which common minds cannot ascend. These are characteristics, which must necessarily mark all great poets, who must yet possess other excellences or attractions, more level with the standard of ordinary apprehensions, before they can become popular. Now it so happens, that Wordsworth's high and peculiar beauties stand alone and separate, receiving but small support from those auxiliaries, which secure a ready fame. They are accompanied by no winning tale, full of
interest and incident, no romantic legend, no wild and fitful story of passion, revenge, and death; they follow the pathway of no restless and gloomy wanderer, they are linked with the fortunes of no border chieftain or desperate outlaw; but are breathed out in lonely musings by the side of mountain streams, or in the bosom of solemn groves, or over some humble flower ; they are spoken in the passing night-wind, the voice of the desert ocean, or the simple answer of a peasant's child. These are sounds, which, though listened to by many with enthusiastic delight, are heard but carelessly, if heard at all, by the generality of readers. They are rich things, which the world cannot value ; and being our poet's only treasures, the world deems him poor. It has no sympathy with his grand abstractions, his poetical dreams, his
reverend watching of each still report,
That Nature utters from her rural shrine ; and as he has little else to offer to its sympathy, it is no wonder, perhaps, that the fellowship between them has been small. This circumstance alone sufficiently accounts for his unpopularity ; and will probably prevent him, at least for a long time to come, from being received into general favor.
His striking defects have stood in the way of his just reputation. We
We say his striking defects, because we really think them great and obvious. We have no intention of setting him up on the weak and narrow pedestal of our own partialities, as a golden image of perfection and worship; we mean not to pronounce his unqualified panegyric; we desire to render him, according to our ability, and our unbiassed conceptions of his merit, his due honor ; and we are sensible that we shall rather defeat than subserve this aim, by pertinaciously defending his manifest errors. Among these errors, we should say that the principal, and fundamental one, is the extreme to which he carries his system or theory with regard to the offices and language of poetry. The system itself is true and beautiful, as we hope presently to show; but its own master has abused it. He is often puerile when he intends to be simple ; and his tenderness sometimes degenerates into weakness. He is right in believing that the
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feelings, imaginations, reasonings, occupations, and habits of those in humble life are proper subjects for poetry; but he is wrong in compelling poetry to repeat their commonplace ideas, and seriously investigate their ordinary household arrangements and domestic implements; and particularly wrong in making her blow a trumpet before every shepherd's door, and swell out into a vast importance those circumstances, which, if discussed at all, should have been treated with a brevity and indifference suited to their station. Then too he gravely uses many words and phrases, to which custom has annexed low and comic associations. It is no defence against this charge, to say that these associations are unjust and arbitrary, and that the words should be rescued from their company and dominion; the words have taken their place, and it is proper that a definite place should be assigned to them ; they are stamped, and must pass for their coined value. It is as fit that there should be epithets exclusively employed to designate mean objects and ideas, as that others should constantly represent those which are lofty, affecting, and sub
and it is out of the power of the greatest genius to drag forth the former from their destined rank, and set them, with any show of justice or decency, among the latter. You might as well put the sutler of a camp at the head of the army, and declare that he had as good a right there as the general, and looked as well. It is but fair, however, that we should here allow the poet an opportunity of speaking for himself on this point, in an extract from one of his prefaces; especially as his confessions are so candid, and his defence so ingenious.
'I am sensible,' says he, 'that my associations must have sometimes been particular instead of general, and that, consequently, giving to things a false importance, sometimes, from diseased impulses, I may have written upon unworthy subjects ; but I am less apprehensive on this account, than that my language may frequently have suffered from those arbitrary connexions of feelings and ideas with particular words and phrases, from which no man can altogether protect himself. Hence I have no doubt, that in some instances, feelings, even of the ludicrous, may be given to my readers by expressions which appeared to me tender and pathetic. Such faulty expressions, were I convinced they were faulty at present, and that they must necessarily continue to be so, I would willingly take all reasonable pains to correct. But it is dangerous