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powerful and brilliant intelligences across the same region, is free and glorious still, and no invasion of the orbit of that glittering leader of the day.
The true doctrine is, that imitation cannot be laid to the poet's charge, but where there is an adoption of defect. Servility is the soul of imitation. It must be laid in the indictment that the author has been excited to the commission of absurdity by the instigation of some potential evil spirit that has made the offence prevalent over his feebler love of common sense. To convict him on the statute, proof must be brought not of excellence, but of error. Parnassus will throw out the bill, alleging that a writer has been guilty of Byronism, on no more substantive charge, than that he has force of expression and depth of thought-that his imagination is vivid, or his sensibility exciteable. To secure a conviction, it must be proved that he has a propensity to laud and magnify the bolder vices; to select for his heroes compounds of the desperate aud the malignant; and to feel his triumph in making the ruffians of the earth estimate their talents by their profligacy. The same induction may lead us to the imitators of the other prominent writers; but, in all cases, the conclusion is irresistible, that, as imitation is a literary crime, and as excellence is not criminal, deficiency must be the object of the charge. The imitator must imitate to the extent of losing his judgment-he must be so bowed down before his Pope, that he cannot recover his posture, but must continue in a perpetual osculation of the pontific toe. He must swear that my Lord Peter's loaf contains the essence of bread, mutton, beer, and all other nutriments and condiments. He must gradually acquire the inverted taste that loves the worst as well as, or better than the best of the enslaver's attributes ;-not merely worship the jewels on his Sultan's cap, but lick up the dust shaken from his slippers.
If he has Childe Harold on his table, and reads it at breakfast, he must sleep with Don Juan under his pillow, and make it the matter of his dreams.
The nobler genius will turn away from this prone idolatry, both because he cannot stoop, and because, if he could, he disdains to stoop. He will not insolently reject the inventions of other men when they can assist him in the common object of all the greater minds-the delight and instruction of his species. If on the height to which he had climbed by the vigour of his natural powers, he finds the wings which had been invented by some powerful wanderer through the brilliant realm that lies above the reach of ordinary mankind, he would not fling himself wingless upon the air. The noble invention would be turned to a purpose worthy of its nobleness, and some unconquered portion of the new region would be brought within the common dominion of the mind. The perfection of poetry consists in the problem, "to express the greatest number of thoughts in the smallest number of words." Condensation is power. The finest poetic mind is the most fertile of thought;-the most vivid poetic expression is the most compressed. Prolixity is in poetry what expansion is in physics, the waste, the scattering away into an invisibility and feebleness, the mighty agency that wants only compression to move, or perhaps disrupt the frame of the world. But these truths are as old as Homer, or as man. Lord Byron has failed in dramatic writing, the first in dignity, by the want of this compression. The bonds of rhyme seem essential to his vigour. Blank-verse suffers him to wander away into endless diffusion. He is thus still below the summit of poetry, and must be so until he shall have produced a drama capable of standing beside those of the elder glorious time of England.
NOTWITHSTANDING of our having given this month an extra sheet, we find that we shall be obliged to put Asmodeus again into the chest, to satisfy our numerous, kind, and ever-valued Correspondents. In fact, we are compelled to have recourse to this expedient, not only to satisfy Correspondents, but Patrons. Our worthy Subscribers, on binding up our ninth volume, stared with astonishment on seeing us not at all so jolly as we were wont to be. All our attempts to convince these excellent characters, that five Numbers never can be equal to six, have been quite ineffectual. In order to please all our Friends, whether Correspondents or Patrons, we shall indulge them with another extra Number, to crown their Christmas jollities, and Nos. LVIII. and LIX. will therefore appear together on the 31st of December.
In the meantime, although our Devil is one of the most impartial extant, and we have no doubt will give as much satisfaction as on the Coronation occasion, we feel ourselves constrained to say a few words to all whom they may concern:
What an abominable hand Dr P*** writes! Here we have been half an hour trying to decypher half a page of compliments to us. Why, if a ram-cat dipt his paw in an ink-bottle, and dabbled it over a page, it would be more Christian writing. We were horror-struck when we came to this passage, "▲ is a chamber-pot," but on more close inspection, it turned out to be "A is a charming poet;" and in the end he describes us as being what we, to our amazement, thought was Grand Lama, &c. but which in reality is " Grande lumen Scotia." What a sad thing this would be in the hands of a careless compositor. Indeed, most of our regular correspondents write awfully. Tickler is almost unreadable. We have a mind to give fac-similes of them all, and strike terror into the hearts of the writing-master population of the empire.
P. Q. (Manchester) R. S. (Norfolk) J. P. (Liskeard,) and many more alphabet men, are under consideration.
The first detachment of our Irishmen burst in on us this morning. What a kind-hearted people they are,-and what pretty modes they have of expressing their kindness! For instance, J. N. M. writes us to say, that "Our image shall remain deeply engraved on the marrow of his heart until the last moment of eternity!" How tender! and how true!
Our Sligo friend is too droll,-indeed we think Sligo men are in general most facetious. We know a president of a scientific society from that bonny town; and, good heavens, what a funny man he is!
Doctor U****** writes us from Limerick, that the dysentery raging there is much abated, principally in consequence of the good people there taking considerably to reading us. We have no doubt of the fact, though the trum
pery men of the faculty here may dispute it. But let them look to Galen, and: then deny it if they dare. It gives us great pleasure to hear of the increasing health of that respectable brick-town.
"De arte Punnandi per Johannen Dominum Norburiensem, Libri duo," we are afraid is a hoax.
The Rev. T. Kennedy, T.C., Dublin, has had good reason to be surprised at a notice of his edition of Homer, which appeared in one of our late numbers. This, we have ascertained, was a hoax played upon us, and cannot haver affected Mr Kennedy in the opinion of any one who knows him.
We shall not publish the letter just received from Sappho the younger, of Blowbladder Street. It is too truculent. The people recommended for chastisement deserve it—but we must mix mercy now and then with our justice. True it is, that forty stripes save one, is infinitely too good for such poachers on the domains of tragedy as Haynes, Cornwall, Knowles, Dillon, &c.; but, gentle reader, we leave it to you, if the following verses do not breathe rather too wicked a spirit, against poor men in this unfortunate situation, to be inserted in our kind and benignant pages:
"Why do you slumber, Christopher the mighty,
Brutal and beastly!
There's B**** C*******, alias Molly P*****,
Haynes has no conscience, though he wrote about it,
Just for his Drama.
(We skip thirty-seven verses.)
Tear 'em, don't spare 'em, into pieces share 'em ;
Skiver and slay 'em.
Merciful Heaven, here's a bloody-minded poetess. She mistakes us much. We would not forfeit the character of benevolence which makes us so universally beloved, with such unchristian punishment.
The Noble Lord's letter, relative to Anastasius, has just been received, and is under consideration. We had no idea that we travelled so rapidly beyond the Appennines. But what has become of our promised poetical packet?
Months ago we ought to have acknowleged the communication from our repected friend at John-a-Groat's, "Upon the Present State of Jeffrey's Edinburgh Review." But really that old concern is now a sickening subject; and, judicious as are our friend's remarks, he, as well as our million of readers in both hemispheres, must rather wish to see our pages filled with such good
things as "Mrs Ogle of Balbogle,” than with the exposure of the antiquated sophistry and unpatriotic effusions of the Blue and Yellow.
Our fair friends in East-Lothian may expect another slice of "The Widow's Cow" at Christmas.
The elegant poem, "Bombazeen," from Aimwell, is too personal for our columns. It may do for the Morning Chronicle.
Mr Brougham will see that we have lost no time in inserting " The Man in the Bell." He can best explain the true meaning of this most mysterious and appalling narrative.
We received Mr Alfred Beauchamp's polite note, for which we beg to offer him our best thanks. We rejoice to see he is doing so well, and wish him all manner of success.
"December Tales,"—" The Greek and French Tragedians,”- Regulus to the Roman Senate," and several others, (by Correspondents from whom we hope frequently to hear) are in the chest.
A song beginning " Divinest of all earthly maids"-we have hardly patience with. Does the writer imagine we can cram our columns with stuff of this description? It would do very well for the ancient woman of the High Street; but to give it to us, is the coolest insolence imaginable.
We have a letter from Baillie Nicol Jarvie of Glasgow, detailing a very mysterious and delicate transaction in the West Country. We are at present too merciful to publish it; but let the parties beware, or perhaps the benevolent fit may pass.
A very polite note from W. Wastle-the contents of which we must keep private.
"Parson Gobble of Kidderminster ;" a spirited sketch, but too strong to be inserted without proper verification. We shall write to our Kidderminster agent about it.
East India mail arrived,-Several parcels for us. Our good friend at Calcutta writes in great spirits. Our last October number had just arrived, and he is quite gratified at the flattering account of our sale in the Hour's Tête a Tête. He sends us what he calls "jottings" of our progress in the Eastern World; and really we conceive we are doing an immensity of good by our increasing diffusion. We have a great mind to manufacture an article out of Mr ****'s hints, under the title of " Progress of Civilization in Hindostan.”
Our respected Correspondent at Yeovil will see we have availed ourselves of his communication. We hope to have the honour of hearing from him frequently.
While we return a thousand thanks to "Carril," we regret we cannot give a place to his communications.
WORKS PREPARING FOR PUBLICATION.
Mr T. C. Hansard, printer, will shortly publish in one volume 4to. Typographia; an Historical Sketch of the Origin and Progress of the Art of Printing; with details of the latest improvements, and practical directions for the mode of conducting the various branches of the Art, including the process of Stereotyping and of Lithogra=phic Printing.
Mr Robert Bloomfield, author of the Farmer's Boy, announces a new work under title of the May-day of the Muses.
Tales of the Drama, by Miss Macauley, founded on the most popular acting plays. Mr Peter Nicholson's System of pure and mixed Mathematics for the use of schools.
Dr Leach will speedily publish a Synopsis of British Mollusca; being an arrangement of bivalve and univalve shells, according to the animals inhabiting them, intended as an introduction to the study of conchology. Illustrated with Plates.
Mr M. Cary, of Philadelphia, intends to publish, in the ensuing spring, a new edition, revised, improved and enlarged, of Vindicia Hiberniæ, or Ireland Vindicated. Berkeley Anecdotes: or Abstracts and Extracts of Smyth's Lives of the Berkeleys, illustrative of ancient manners, and of the Constitution, with a copious History of Berkeley Castle. By J. T. Fosbroke, M. A. author of British Monachism.
Mr Goörres, the author of some poetical works, is about to produce a new publication, entitled Europe, and the Revolution.
An Apology for the Freedom of the Press. By Rev. Robert Hall, A. M. of Leicester.
A new Metrical version of the Psalms of David. By the Rev. Basil Wood.
A Treatise on the Practice of Elocution, and on the Cure of Impediments of the speech. By Mr G. R. Clarke.
A third volume of the Tour of Africa. By Miss Hutten.
A new and improved Edition of Mr Henry Siddons's Translation of Engel on Gesture and Action.
The Wit's Red Book; or Calendar of Gaiety for 1822.
Dr John Mason Good will speedily publish The Study of Medicine, comprising its Physiology, Pathology and Practice, in four vols. 8vo.
Mr Savage's second volume on Decorative Printing.
Shortly will be published, a new and improved edition of the Rev. David Williams' Laws relative to the Clergy, including Instructions to Candidates for Holy Orders.
In the Press, Cicero de Officiis de Amicitiâ et de Senectute, printed in 48mo. with diamond type. By Corrall. Uniform with Horace and Virgil, recently published. Memoirs of the Court of King James the First, by Lucy Aikin.
An Abridgment of a Voyage to Madagascar, by the Abbé Rochon, containing a description of that Island, its Manners, Customs, &c. with a Portrait of Prince Ra tafia. By Thomas Toune.
On the 1st of January will be published, Part I. of a Technical Repository of Practical Information, on subjects connect. ed with the present daily improvements and new discoveries in the useful arts. By Mr Gill, many years Member of the Committee of Mechanics, of the Society of Arts in the Adelphi, assisted by mechanical friends.
Speedily will be published, the Glories of the Messiah; a Poem, in four cantos. By the Rev. Robert Moffat.
Miss Edgeworth will soon publish Frank, a sequel to her History on the Early Lessons.
Biblical Fragments. By Mrs Schimmel, pennineh, author of the Narrative of the Demolition of Port Royal.
A Treatise on Cancer; in which will be detailed, a mild constitutional method of treatment for the alleviation and cure of this distressing malady. By W. Farr, author of a Treatise on Scrophula.
Original Tales of my Landlord's School, embellished with Engravings. By W. Gardner.
The third Edition of Rolle's Trader's Safeguard.
The Universal Traveller; containing an Abstract of the Chief Books of Travels in all ages. With one hundred Engravings.
A third edition of the Rev. T. Broadhurst's Advice to Young Ladies, on the Improvement of their Minds.
In the press, a General Index to the First Fifty Volumes of the Monthly Ma gazine.
Travels in the Interior of Africa, by William Burchall, Esq.
The Beauties of Ireland. By Mr J. R. Brewer, embellished with Engravings by Storer, after original drawings by Petrie of Dublin.
A new volume of the Annual Obituary. In quarto, a General History of wines; containing a Topographical Account of all the principal modern wines, and a chronological History of the Wines used in England.
The Weald of Sussex, a Poem; by E, Hitchener.