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"Pursue the triumph and partake the gale," whilst the founders and benefactors of the Minster are practically forgotten.
These incendiaries, in short, are as well known as Ephesus or York; but not one of us can tell, without humming and hawing, who it was that rebuilt the Ephesian wonder of the world, or that repaired the time-honoured Minster. Equally in literature, not the weight of service done, or the power exerted, is sometimes considered chiefly-either of these must be very conspicuous before it will be considered at all-but the splendour, or the notoriety, or the absurdity, or even the scandalousness of the circumstances* surrounding the author.
on the other hand, it is but justice to say, that, if | viz., the temple of Ephesus, protesting, with tears written with three times less ability, lawn-sleeves in his eyes, that he had no other way of getting would not have given them buoyancy, but, on the himself a name, has got it in spite of us all. contrary, they would have sunk the bishop irre- He's booked for a ride down all history, whether coverably; whilst the curate, favoured by obscu- you and I like it or not. Every pocket dictionary rity, would have survived for another chance. knows that Erostratus was that scamp. So of So again, and indeed, more than so, as to poetry. Martin, the man that parboiled, or par-roasted Lord Carlisle, of the last generation, wrote tole- York Minster some ten or twelve years back; rable verses. They were better than Lord Rosthat fellow will float down to posterity with the common's, which, for 150 years, the judicious pub- annals of the glorious cathedral: he will lic has allowed the booksellers to incorporate, along with other refuse of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, into the costly collections of the "British Poets." And really, if you will insist on odious comparisons, they were not so very much below the verses of an amiable prime minister known to us all. Yet, because they wanted vital stamina, not only they fell, but, in falling, they caused the earl to reel much more than any commoner would have done. Now, on the other hand, a kinsman of Lord Carlisle, viz., Lord Byron, because he brought real genius and power to the effort, found a vast auxiliary advantage in a peerage and a very ancient descent. On these double wings he soared into a region of public interest, far higher than ever he would have reached by poetic power alone. Not only all his rubbishwhich in quantity is great-passed for jewels, but also what are incontestably jewels have been, and will be, valued at a far higher rate than if they had been raised from less aristocratic mines. So fatal for mediocrity, so gracious for real power, is any adventitious distinction from birth, station, or circumstances of brilliant notoriety. In reality, the public, our never-sufficiently-to-be-respected mother, is the most unutterable sycophant that ever the clouds dropped their rheum upon. She is always ready for jacobinical scoffs at a man for being a lord, if he happens to fail; she is always ready for toadying a lord, if he happens to make a hit. Ah, dear sycophantic old lady, I kiss your sycophantic hands, and wish heartily that I were a duke for your sake!
It would be a mistake to fancy that this tendency to confound real merit and its accidents of position is at all peculiar to us or to our age. Dr. Sacheverell, by embarking his small capital of talent on the spring-tide of a furious political collision, brought back an ampler return for his little investment than ever did Wickliffe or Luther. Such was his popularity in the heart of love and the heart of hatred, that he would have been assassinated by the Whigs, on his triumphal progresses through England, had he not been canonised by the Tories. He was a dead man if he had not been suddenly gilt and lacquered as an idol. Neither is the case peculiar at all to England. Ronge, the ci-devant Romish priest (whose name pronounce as you would the English word wrong, supposing that it had for a second syllable the final a of "sopha," i. e., Wronguh), has been found a wrong-headed man by all parties, and in a venial degree is, perhaps, a stupid man ; but he moves about with more eclat by far than the ablest man in Germany. And, in days of old, the man that burned down a miracle of beauty,
Schlosser must have benefited in some such adventitious way before he ever could have risen to his German celebrity. What was it that raised him to his momentary distinction? Was it something very wicked that he did, or something very brilliant that he said? I should rather conjecture that it must have been something inconceivably absurd which he proposed. Any one of the three achievements stands good in Germany for a reputation. But, however it were that Mr. Schlosser first gained his reputation, mark what now follows. On the wings of this equivocal reputation he flies abroad to Paris and London. There he thrives, not by any approving experience or knowledge of his works, but through blind faith in his original German public. And back he flies afterwards to Germany, as if carrying with him new and independent testimonies to his merit, and from two nations that are directly concerned in his violent judgments; whereas (which is the simple truth) he carries back a careless reverberation of his first German character, from those who have far too much to read for declining aid from vicarious criticism when it will spare that effort to themselves. Thus it is that German critics become audacious and libellous. Kohl, Von Raumer, Dr. Carus, physician to the King of Saxony, by means of introductory letters floating them into circles far above any they had seen in homely Germany, are qualified by our own negligence and indulgence for mounting a European tribunal, from which they pronounce malicious edicts against ourselves. Sentinels present arms to Von Raumer at Windsor, because he rides in a
* Even Pope, with all his natural and reasonable interest in aristocratic society, could not shut his eyes to the fact that a jest in his mouth became twice a jest in a lord's. But still he failed to perceive what I am here contending for, that if the jest happened to miss fire, through would be far worse for the lord than the commoner. the misfortune of bursting its barrel, the consequences There is, you see, a blind sort of compensation.
carriage of Queen Adelaide's; and Von Raumer immediately conceives himself the Chancellor of all Christendom, keeper of the conscience to universal Europe, upon all questions of art, manners, politics, or any conceivable intellectual relations of England. Schlosser meditates the same
But have I any right to quote Schlosser's words from an English translation? I do so only because this happens to be at hand, and the German not. German books are still rare in this country, though more (by 1,000 to 1) than they were thirty years ago. But I have a full right to rely on the English of Mr. Davison. "I hold in my hand," as gentlemen so often say at public meetings, "a certificate from Herr Schlosser, that to quote Mr. Davison is to quote him." The English translation is one which Mr. Schlosser " durchgelesen hat, und für deren genauigkeit und richtigkeit er bürgt [has read through, and for the accuracy and propriety of which he pledges himself]. Mr. Schlosser was so anxious for the spiritual welfare of us poor islanders, that he not only read it through, but he has even aufmerksam durchgelesen it [read it through wide awake] und geprüft [and carefully examined it]; nay, he has done all this in company with the translator. "Oh ye Athenians! how hard do I labour to earn your applause!" And, as the result of such herculean labours, a second time he makes himself surety for its precision; er bürgt also dafür, wie für seine eigne arbeit" [he guarantees it accordingly as he would his own workmanship]. Were it not for this unlimited certificate, I should have sent for the book to Germany. As it is, I need not wait; and all complaints on this score I defy, above all from Herr Schlosser.*
In dealing with an author so desultory as Mr. Schlosser, the critic has a right to an extra allow ance of desultoriness for his own share; so excuse me, reader, for rushing at once in medias res.
*Mr. Schlosser, who speaks English, who has read rather too much English for any good that he has turned it to, and who ought to have a keen eye for the English version of his own book, after so much reading and study of it, has, however, overlooked several manifest errors.
Of Swift, Mr. Schlosser selects for notice three works-the "Drapier's Letters," "Gulliver's Travels," and the "Tale of a Tub." With respect to the first, as it is a necessity of Mr. S. to be for ever wrong in his substratum of facts, he adopts the old erroneous account of Wood's contract as to the copper coinage, and of the imaginary wrong which it inflicted on Ireland. Of all Swift's villainies for the sake of popularity, and still more for the sake of wielding this popularity vindictively, none is so scandalous as this. In any new life of Swift the case must be stated de novo. Even Sir Walter Scott is not impartial; and for the same reason as now forces me to blink it, viz., the difficulty of presenting the details in a readable shape. "Gulliver's Travels" Schlosser strangely considers "spun out to an intolerable extent." Many evil things might be said of Gulliver; but not this. The captain is anything but tedious. And, indeed, it becomes a question of mere mensuration, that can be settled in a moment. A year or two since I had in my hands a pocket edition, comprehending all the four parts of the worthy skipper's adventures within a single volume of 420 pages. Some part of the space was also wasted on notes, often very idle. Now the 1st part contains two separate voyages (Lilliput and Blefuscu), the 2d, one, the 3d, five, and the 4th, one; so that, in all, this active navigator, who has enriched geography, I hope, with something of a higher quality than your old muffs that thought much of doubling Cape Horn, here gives us nine great discoveries, far more surprising than the pretended discoveries of Sinbad (which are known to be fabulous), averaging, quam proximè, forty-seven small 16mo pages each. Oh you unconscionable German, built round in your own country with circumvallations of impregnable 4tos, oftentimes dark and dull as Avernus-that you will have the face to describe dear excellent Captain Lemuel Gulliver of Redriff, and subsequently of Newark, that "darling of children and men," as tedious. It is exactly because he is not tedious, because he does not shoot into German foliosity, that Schlosser finds him "intolerable.” words originally applied by the poet to the robin I have justly transferred to Gulliver's use the red-breast, for it is remarkable that Gulliver and the Arabian Nights are amongst the few books where children and men find themselves meeting and jostling each other. This was the case from its first publication, just one hundred and twenty years since. "It was received," says Dr. Johnson, "with such avidity, that the price of the first edition was raised before the second could be
I do not mean to tax Mr. Davison with general inaccuracy. On the contrary, he seems wary, and in most cases successful as a dealer with the peculiarities of the German. But several cases of error I detect without needing the original: they tell their own story. And one of these I here notice, not only for its own importance, but out of love to Schlosser, and by way of nailing his guarantee to the counter-not altogether as a bad shilling, but as a light one. At p. 5 of Vol. 2, in a foot-note, which is speaking of Kant, we read of his attempt to introduce the notion of negative greatness into Philosophy. Negative greatness! What strange bird may that be? Is it the ornithorynchus peradorus? Mr. Schlosser was not wide awake there. The reference is evidently to Kant's essay upon the advan-made-it was read by the high and the low, the tages of introducing into philosophy the algebraic idea of negative quantities. It is one of Kant's grandest gleams into hidden truth. Were it only for the merits of this most masterly essay in reconstituting the algebraic meaning of a negative quantity [so generally misunderstood as a negation of quantity, and which even Sir Isaac Newton misconstrued as regarded its metaphysics], great would have been the service rendered to logic by Kant. But there is a greater. From this little brochure I am satisfied was derived originally the German regeneration of the Dynamic philosophy, its expansion through the idea of polarity, indifference, &c. Oh, Mr. Schlosser, you had not geprüft p. 5 of vol. 2. You skipped the notes.
learned and the illiterate. Criticism was lost in wonder." Now, on the contrary, Schlosser wonders not at all, but simply criticises; which we could bear, if the criticism were even ingenious. Whereas, he utterly misunderstands Swift, and is a malicious calumniator of the captain who, luckily, roaming in Sherwood, and thinking, often with a sigh, of his little nurse,* Glumdalelitch, wou
*"Little nurse:"-the word Glumdalelitch, in
trouble himself slightly about what Heidelberg | the destiny of man, or the relations of man to
God. Anger, therefore, Swift might feel, and he felt it to the end of his most wretched life; but what reasonable ground had a man of sense for astonishment-that a princess, who (according to her knowledge) was sincerely pious, should decline to place such a man upon an Episcopal throne? This argues, beyond a doubt, that Swift was in that state of constitutional irreligion, irre
might say in the next century. There is but one example on our earth of a novel received with such indiscriminate applause as "Gulliver;" and that was "Don Quixote." Many have been welcomed joyfully by a class-these two by a people. Now, could that have happened had it been characterised by dulness? Of all faults, it could least have had that. As to the "Tale of a Tub," Schlosser is in such Cimmerian vapours,ligion from a vulgar temperament, which imputes that no system of bellows could blow open a shaft or tube through which he might gain a glimpse of the English truth and daylight. It is useless talking to such a man on such a subject. I consign him to the attentions of some patriotic Irishman.
to everybody else its own plebeian feelings. People differed, he fancied, not by more and less religion, but by more and less dissimulation. And, therefore, it seemed to him scandalous that a princess, who must, of course, in her heart regard (in common with himself) all mysteries as solemn
Trinity," for instance, that he viewed as the password, which the knowing ones gave in answer to the challenge of the sentinel; but, as soon as it had obtained admission for the party within the gates of the camp, it was rightly dismissed to oblivion or to laughter. No case so much illustrates Swift's essential irreligion; since, if he had shared in ordinary human feelings on such subjects, not only he could not have been surprised at his own exclusion from the bench of bishops, after such ribaldries, but originally he would have abstained from them as inevitable bars to clerical promotion, even upon principles of public decorum.
Schlosser, however, is right in a graver reflec-masques and mummeries, should pretend, in a tion which he makes upon the prevailing philo- case of downright serious business, to pump up, sophy of Swift, viz., that "all his views were out of old dry conventional hoaxes, any solid obdirected towards what was immediately beneficial,jection to a man of his shining merit. which is the characteristic of savages." This is undeniable. The meanness of Swift's nature, and his rigid incapacity for dealing with the grandeurs of the human spirit, with religion, with poetry, or even with science, when it rose above the mercenary practical, is absolutely appalling. His own yahoo is not a more abominable onesided degradation of humanity, than is he himself under this aspect. And, perhaps, it places this incapacity of his in its strongest light, when we recur to the fact of his astonishment at a religious princess refusing to confer a bishoprick upon one that had treated the Trinity, and all the profoundest mysteries of Christianity, not with mere scepticism, or casual sneer, but with set pompous merriment and farcical buffoonery. This dignitary of the church, Dean of the most conspicuous cathedral in Ireland, had, in full canonicals, made himself into a regular mountebank, for the sake of giving fuller effect, by the force of contrast, to the silliest of jests directed against all that was most inalienable from Christianity. Ridiculing such things, could he, in any just sense, be thought a Christian? But, as Schlosser justly remarks, even ridiculing the peculiarities of Luther and Calvin as he did ridicule them, Swift could not be thought other than constitutionally incapable of religion. Even a Pagan philosopher, if made to understand the case, would be incapable of scoffing at any form, natural or casual, simple or distorted, which might be assumed by the most solemn of problems-problems that rest with the weight of worlds upon the human spirit
“Fix'd fate, free-will, fore-knowledge absolute.” Brobdingnagian, absolutely means little nurse, and nothing else. It may seem odd that the captain should call any nurse of Brobdingnag, however kind to him, by such an epithet as little; and the reader may fancy that Sherwood forest had put it into his head, where Robin Hood always called his right hand man "Little John," not although, but expressly because John stood seven feet high in his stockings. But the truth is that Glumdalclitch was little; and literally so she was only nine years old, and (says the captain,) little of her age," being barely forty feet high. She had time to grow certainly, but as she had so much to do before she could overtake other women, it is probable that she would turn out what, in Westmoreland, they call a little stiffenger-very little, if at all, higher than a common English church steeple.
As to the style of Swift, Mr. Schlosser shows himself without sensibility in his objections, as the often hackneyed English reader shows himself without philosophic knowledge of style in his applause. Schlosser thinks the style of Gulliver "somewhat dull." This shows Schlosser's presumption in speaking upon a point where he wanted, 1st, original delicacy of tact; and, 2dly, familiar knowledge of English. Gulliver's style is purposely touched slightly with that dulness of circumstantiality which besets the excellent, but "somewhat dull" race of men-old sea captains. Yet it wears only an aërial tint of dulness; the felicity of this colouring in Swift's management is, that it never goes the length of wearying, but only of giving a comic air of downright Wapping and Rotherhithe verisimilitude. All men grow dull, and ought to be dull, that live under a solemn sense of eternal danger, one inch only of plank (often worm-caten) between themselves and the grave; and, also, that see for ever one wilderness of waters-sublime, but (like the wilderness on shore) monotonous. All sublime people, being monotonous, have a tendency to be dull, and sublime things also. Milton and Eschylus, the sublimest of men, are crossed at times by a shade of dulness. It is their weak side. But as to a sea captain, a regular nor'-nor'-wester, and sou’-sou’easter, he ought to be kicked out of the room if he is not dull. It is not "ship-shape," or barely
* See his bitter letters to Lady Suffolk,
"Religio Medici," and his “Urn-burial," or to Jercmy Taylor's inaugural sections of his "Holy Living and Dying," do you know what would have happened? Are you aware what sort of ridiculous figure your poor bald Jonathan would have cut? About the same that would be cut by a forlorn scullion or waiter from a greasy eating-house at Rotterdam, if suddenly called away in vision to act as seneschal to the festival of Belshazzar the king, before a thousand of his lords.
tolerable, that he should be otherwise. Yet, after passages that I will select in Sir Thomas Brown's all, considering what I have stated about Captain Gulliver's nine voyages crowding into one pocket volume, he cannot really have much abused his professional licence for being dull. Indeed, one has to look out an excuse for his being so little dull; which excuse is found in the fact that he had studied three years at a learned university. Captain Gulliver, though a sailor, I would have you to know, was a gownsman of Cambridge: so says Swift, who knew more about the Captain than anybody now-a-days. Cantabs are all horsemen, ergo, Gulliver was fit for any thing, from the wooden shoon of Cambridge up to the Horse Marines.
Now, on the other hand, you, common-place reader, that (as an old tradition) believe Swift's style to be a model of excellence, hereafter I shall say a word to you, drawn from deeper principles. At present I content myself with these three propositions, which overthrow if you can :—
1. That the merit, which justly you ascribe to Swift, is vernacularity; he never forgets his mother-tongue in exotic forms, unless we may call Irish exotic; for Hibernicisms he certainly has. This merit, however, is exhibited-not, as you fancy, in a graceful artlessness, but in a coarse inartificiality. To be artless, and to be inartificial, are very different things; as different as being natural and being gross; as different as being simple and being homely.
Schlosser, after saying any thing right and true (and he really did say the true thing about Swift's essential irreligion), usually becomes exhausted, like a boa-constrictor after eating his half-yearly dinner. The boa gathers himself up, it is to be hoped for a long fit of dyspepsy, in which the horns and hoofs that he has swallowed may chance to avenge the poor goat that owned them. Schlosser, on the other hand, retires into a corner, for the purpose of obstinately talking nonsense, until the gong sounds again for a slight refection of sense. Accordingly he likens Swift, before he has done with him, to whom? I might safely allow the reader three years for guessing, if the greatest of wagers were depending between us. He likens him to Kotzebue, in the first place. How faithful the resemblance! How exactly Swift reminds you of Count Benyowski in Siberia, and of Mrs. Haller moping her eyes in the "Stranger!" One really is puzzled to say, according to the negro's logic, whether Mrs. Haller is more like the Dean of St Patrick's, or the Dean more like Mrs. Haller. Anyhow, the likeness is prodigious, if it is not quite reciprocal. The other terminus of the comparison is Wieland. Now there is some shadow of a resemblance there. For Wieland had a touch of the comico-cynical in his nature; and it is notorious that he was
2. That whatever, meantime, be the particular sort of excellence, or the value of the excellence, in the style of Swift, he had it in common with multitudes beside of that age. De Foe wrote a style for all the world the same as to kind and degree of excellence, only pure from Hibernicisms. So did every honest skipper [Dampier was something more] who had occasion to record his voyages in this world of storms. So did many a hun-often called the German Voltaire, which argues dred of religious writers. And what wonder should there be in this, when the main qualification for such a style was plain good sense, natural feeling, unpretendingness, some little scholarly practice in putting together the clockwork of sentences, so as to avoid mechanical awkwardness of construction, but above all the advantage of a sub-gay, musical romance of Sir Huon and his enject, such in its nature as instinctively to reject ornament, lest it should draw off attention from itself? Such subjects are common; but grand impassioned subjects insist upon a different treatment; and there it is that the true difficulties of style commence.
3. [Which partly is suggested by the last remark.] That nearly all the blockheads with whom I have at any time had the pleasure of conversing upon the subject of style (and pardon me for saying that men of the most sense are apt, upon two subjects, viz., poetry and style, to talk most like blockheads), have invariably regarded Swift's style not as if relatively good [i. e. given a proper subject], but as if absolutely good-good unconditionally, no matter what the subject. Now, my friend, suppose the case, that the Dean had been required to write a pendant for Sir Walter Raleigh's immortal apostrophe to Death, or to many
some tiger-monkey grin that traversed his features at intervals. Wieland's malice, however, was far more playful and genial than Swift's; something of this is shown in his romance of “ Idris,' and oftentimes in his prose. But what the world knows Wieland by is his "Oberon." Now in this
chanted horn, with its gleams of voluptuousness, is there a possibility that any suggestion of a scowling face like Swift's should cross the festal scenes?
From Swift the scene changes to Addison and Steele. Steele is of less importance; for, though a man of greater intellectual activity than Ad
Activity."-It is some sign of this, as well as of the more thoroughly English taste in literature which distinguished Steele, that hardly twice throughout the" Spectator" is Shakspere quoted or alluded to by Addison. Even these quotations he had from the theatre, or the breath of popular talk. Generally, if you see a line from Shakspere, it is safe to bet largely that the paper is Steele's; sometimes, indeed, of casual contributors; but, almost to a certainty, not a paper of Addison's. Another mark of Steele's superiority in vigour of intellect is, that much oftener in him than in other contributors strong thoughts came forward; harsh and disproportioned, perhaps, to the case, and never harmoniously developed with the genial grace of Addison, but original, and pregnant with promise and suggestion.
dison, he had far less of genius. So I turn him out, as one would turn out upon a heath a ram that had missed his way into one's tulip preserve; requesting him to fight for himself against Schlosser, or others that may molest him. But, so far as concerns Addison, I am happy to support the character of Schlosser for consistency, by assuring the reader that, of all the monstrosities uttered by any man upon Addison, and of all the monstrosities uttered by Schlosser upon any man, a thing which he says about Addison is the worst. But this I reserve for a climax at the end. Schlosser really puts his best leg foremost at starting, and one thinks he's going to mend; for he catches a truth, viz., the following-that all the brilliances of the Queen Anne period (which so many inconsiderate people have called the Augustan age of our literature) "point to this-that the reading public wished to be entertained, not roused to think; to be gently moved, not deeply excited." Undoubtedly what strikes a man in Addison, or will strike him when indicated, is the coyness and timidity, almost the girlish shame, which he betrays in the presence of all the elementary majesties belonging to impassioned or idealised nature. Like one bred in crowded cities, when first left alone in forests or amongst mountains, he is frightened at their silence, their solitude, their magnitude of form, or their frowning glooms. It has been remarked by others that Addison and his companions never rise to the idea of addressing the "nation" or the "people;" it is always the "town." Even their audience was conceived of by them under a limited form. Yet for this they had some excuse in the state of facts. A man would like at this moment to assume that Europe and Asia were listening to him; and as some few copies of his book do really go to Paris and Naples, some to Calcutta, there is a sort of legal fiction that such an assumption is steadily taking root. Yet, unhappily, that ugly barrier of languages interferes. Schamyl, the Circassian chief, though much of a savage, is not so wanting in taste and discernment as to be backward in reading any book of yours or mine. Doubtless he yearns to read it. But then, you see, that infernal Tehirkass language steps between our book, the darling, and him, the discerning reader. Now, just such a barrier existed for the Spectator in the travelling arrangements of England. The very few old heavies that had begun to creep along three or four main roads, depended so much on wind and weather, their chances of foundering were so uncalculated, their periods of revolution were so cometary and uncertain, that no body of scientific observations had yet been collected to warrant a prudent man in risking a heavy bale of goods; and, on the whole, even for York, Norwich, or Winchester, a consignment of" Specs" was not quite a safe spec. Still, I could have told the Spectator v ho was anxious to make money, where he might have been sure of a distant sale, though returns would have been slow, viz., at Oxford and Cambridge. We know from Milton that old Hobson delivered his parcels pretty regularly
eighty years before 1710. And, one generation before that, it is plain, by the interesting (though somewhat Jacobinical) letters of Joseph Mede, the commenter on the Apocalypse, that news and politics of one kind or other (and scandal of every kind) found out for themselves a sort of contraband lungs to breathe through between London and Cambridge; not quite so regular in their systole and diastole as the tides of ebb and flood, but better than nothing. If you consigned a packet into the proper hands on the 1st of May, as sure as death" (to speak Scotticè) it would be delivered within sixty miles of the capital before midsummer. Still there were delays; and these forced a man into carving his world out of London. That excuses the word town. Inexcusable, however, were many other forms of expression in those days, which argued cowardly feelings. One would like to see a searching investigation into the state of society in Anne's days-its extreme artificiality, its sheepish reserve upon all the impassioned grandeurs, its shameless outrages upon all the decencies of human nature. Certain it is, that Addison (because everybody) was in that meanest of conditions which blushes at any expression of sympathy with the lovely, the noble, or the impassioned. The wretches were ashamed of their own nature, and perhaps with reason; for in their own denaturalised hearts they read only a degraded nature. Addison, in particular, shrank from every bold and every profound expression as from an offence against good taste. He durst not for his life have used the word "passion" except in the vulgar sense of an angry paroxysm. He durst as soon have danced a hornpipe on the top of the "monument" as have talked of a "rapturous emotion." What would he have said? Why," sentiments that were of a nature to prove agreeable after an unusual rate." In their odious verses, the creatures of that age talk of love as something that "burns” them. You suppose at first that they are discoursing of tallow candles, though you cannot imagine by what impertinence they address you, that are no tallow-chandler, upon such painful subjects. And, when they apostrophise the woman of their heart (for you are to understand that they pretend to such an organ), they beseech her to "ease their pain." Can human meanness descend lower? As if the man, being ill from pleurisy, therefore had a right to take a lady for one of the dressers in an hospital, whose duty it would be to fix a burgundy-pitch plaster between his shoulders. Ah, the monsters! Then to read of their Phillises, and Strephons, and Chloes, and Corydons- names that, by their very non-reality amongst names of flesh and blood, proclaim the fantasticalness of the life with which they are poetically connected - it throws me into such convulsions of rage, that I move to the window, and (without thinking what I am about) throw it up, calling, "Police! police!" What's
"Letters of Joseph Mede," published more than twenty years ago by Sir Henry Ellis.