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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 “Religio Medici,”and his “Urn-burial,” or to JercGulliver's nine voyages crowding into one pocket my Taylor's inaugural sections of his “Holy Lirvolume, he cannot really have much abused his ing and Dying," do you know what would have happrofessional licence for being dull. Indeed, one pened? Are you aware what sort of ridiculous figure has to look out an excuse for his being so little your poor bald Jonathan would have cut? About dull; which excuse is found in the fact that he the same that would be cut by a forlorn scullion had studied three years at a learned university. or waiter from a greasy eating-house at RotterCaptain Gulliver, though a sailor, I would have dam, if suddenly called away in vision to act as you to know, was a gownsman of Cambridge: so seneschal to the festival of Belshazzar the king, says Swift, who knew more about the Captain before a thousand of his lords. than anybody now-a-days. Cantabs are all Schlosser, after saying any thing right and horsemen, ergo, Gulliver was fit for any thing, true (and he really did say the true thing about from the wooden shoon of Cambridge up to the Swift's essential irreligion), usually becomes exHorse Marines.
hausted, like a boa-constrictor after eating his Now, on the other hand, you, common-place half-yearly dinner. The boa gathers himself up, reader, that (as an old tradition) believe Swift's it is to be hoped for a long fit of dyspepsy, in style to be a model of excellence, hereafter I shall which the horns and hoofs that he has swallowed say a word to you, drawn from deeper principles. may chance to avenge the poor goat that owned At present I content myself with these three pro- them. Schlosser, on the other hand, retires into positions, which overthrow if you can :
a corner, for the purpose of obstinately talking 1. That the merit, which justly you ascribe to nonsense, until the gong sounds again for a slight Swift, is vernacularity; he never forgets his refection of sense. Accordingly he likens Swift, mother-tongue in exotic forms, unless we may call before he has done with him, to whom? I might Irish exotic ; for Hibernicisms he certainly has. safely allow the reader three years for guessing, This merit, however, is exhibited--not, as you if the greatest of wagers were depending between fancy, in a graceful artlessness, but in a coarse us. He likens him to Kotzebue, in the first place. inartificiality. To be artless, and to be inartifi- How faithful the resemblance !
Ilow exactly cial, are very different things; as different as being Swift reminds you of Count Benyowski in Sinatural and being gross ; as different as being beria, and of Mrs. Haller moping her eyes in simple and being homely.
the “Stranger !" One really is puzzled to say, ac2. That whatever, meantime, be the particular cording to the negro's logic, whether Mrs. Haller sort of excellence, or the value of the excellence, is more like the Dean of St Patrick's, or the in the style of Swift, he had it in common with Dean more like Drs. Haller. Anyhow, the likemultitudes beside of that age. De Foe wrote a ness is prodigious, if it is not quite reciprocal. style for all the world the same as to kind and The other terminus of the comparison is Wieland. degree of excellence, only pure from Hibernicisms. Now there is some shadow of a resemblance there. So did every honest skipper [Dampier was some- For Wieland had a touch of the comico-cynical thing more] who had occasion to record his voy- in his nature ; and it is notorious that he was ages in this world of storms. So did many a hun- often called the German Voltaire, which argues dred of religious writers. And what wonder some tiger-monkey grin that traversed his feashould there be in this, when the main qualifica- tures at intervals. Wieland's malice, however, was tion for such a style was plain good sense, natu- far more playful and genial than Swift's; someral feeling, unpretendingness, some little scholarly thing of this is shown in his romance of “ Idris,” practice in putting together the clockwork of sen- and oftentimes in his prose. But what the world tences, so as to avoid mechanical awkwardness of knows Wieland by is his “ Oberon,” Now in this 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 chanted horn, with its gleams of voluptuousness, ornament, lest it should draw off attention from is there a possibility that any suggestion of a itself? Such subjects are common; but grand scowling face like Swift's should cross the festal impassioned subjects insist upon a different treat- scenes? ment; and there it is that the true difficulties of style commence.
From Swift the scene changes to Addison and 3. (Which partly is suggested by the last re- Steele. Steele is of less importance ; for, though mark.] That nearly all the blockheads with whom a man of greater intellectual activity * than AdI have at any time had the pleasure of conversing
* “ Activity.”—It is some sign of this, as well as of the upon the subject of style (and pardon me for say- more thoronghly English taste in literature which dising that men of the most sense are apt, upon two tivguished Steele, that hardly twice throughout the“ Specsubjects, viz., poetry and style, to talk most like tator” is Shakspere quoted or alluded to by Addison. Even
these quotations he had from the theatre, or the breath of poblockheads), have invariably regarded Swift's pular talk. Generally, if you see a line from Shakspere, it style not as if relatively good [i. e. given a proper is safe to bet largely that the paper is Steele's; sometimes, subject], but as if absolutely good-good uncon- indeed, of casual contributors; but, almost to a certainty, ditionally, no matter what the subject. Now, my riority in vigour of intellect is, that much oftener in him friend, suppose the case, that the Dean had been than in other contributors strong thoughts came forward ; required to write a pendant for Sir Walter Ra- harsh and disproportioned, perhaps, to the case, and never
harmoniously developed with the genial grace of Addison, leigh's immortal apostrophe to Death, or to many l but origival, and pregnant with promise and
dison, he had far less of genius. So I turn him eighty years before 1710. And, one generation out, as one would turn out upon a heath a before that, it is plain, by the interesting (though rain that had missed his way into one's tulip somewhat Jacobinical) letters* of Joseph Mede, preserve; requesting him to fight for himself the commenter on the Apocalypse, that news and against Schlosser, or others that may mo-politics of one kind or other (and scandal of every lest him. But, so far as concerns Addison, I kind) found out for themselves a sort of contraann happy to support the character of Schlosser band lungs to breathe through between London for consisteney, by assuring the reader that, of and Cambridge ; not quite so regular in their all the monstrosities uttered by any man upon systole and diastole as the tides of ebb and flood, Addison, and of all the monstrosities uttered but better than nothing. If you consigned a by Schlosser upon any man, a thing which he packet into the proper hands on the 1st of says about Addison is the worst. But this I re- May, “as sure as death” (to speak Scotticè) it serve for a climax at the end. Schlosser really would be delivered within sixty miles of the pats his best leg foremost at starting, and one capital before midsummer. Still there were thinks he's going to mend; for he catches a truth, delays; and these forced a man into carving his viz., the following—that all the brilliances of the world out of London. That excuses the word Queen Anne period (which so many inconsiderate town. Inexcusable, however, were many other people have called the Augustan age of our lite- forms of expression in those days, which argued rature) “point to this—that the reading public cowardly feelings.
One would like to see wished to be entertained, not roused to think ; searching investigation into the state of society to be gently moved, not deeply excited.” Un in Anne's days — its extreme artificiality, its doubtedly what strikes a man in Addison, or will sheepish reserve upon all the impassioned granstrike him when indicated, is the coyness and deurs, its shameless outrages upon all the detimidity, alnıost the girlish shame, which he be- cencies of human nature. Certain it is, that trays in the presence of all the elementary majes- Addison (because everybody) was in that meanest ties belonging to impassioned or idealised nature. of conditions which blushes at any expression of Like one bred in crowded cities, when first left sympathy with the lovely, the noble, or the imalone in forests or amongst mountains, he is fright- passioned. The wretches were ashamed of their ened at their silence, their solitude, their magni- own nature, and perhaps with reason ; for in tude of form, or their frowning glooms. It has their own denaturalised hearts they read only a been remarked by others that Addison and his degraded nature. Addison, in particular, shrank companions rever rise to the idea of addressing from every bold and every profound expression the “ nation” or the “people ;" it is always the as from an offence against good taste. He durst “town.” Even their audience was conceived of not for his life have used the word “passion” by them under a limited form. Yet for this they had except in the vulgar sense of an angry paroxysm. some excuse in the state of facts. A man would like Ile durst as soon have danced a hornpipe on the at this moment to assume that Europe and Asia top of the “monument” as have talked of a were listening to him ; and as some few copies of “rapturous emotion." What would he have his book do really go to Paris and Naples, some said? Why,“ sentiments that were of a nature to ('alcutta, there is a sort of legal fiction that to prove agreeable after an unusual rate." In such an assumption is steadily taking root. Yet, their odious verses, the creatures of that age talk unhappily, that ugly barrier of languages inter- of love as something that “ burns” them. You feres. Schamyl, the Circassian chief, though suppose at first that they are discoursing of talmuch of a savage, is not so wanting in taste and low candles, though you cannot imagine by what discerninent as to be backward in reading any impertinence they address you, that are no talbook of yours or mine. Doubtless he yearns to low-chandler, upon such painful subjects. And, read it. But then, you see, that infernal Tchir- when they apostrophise the woman of their kass language steps between our book, the dar- heart (for you are to understand that they preling, and him, the discerning reader. Now, just tend to such an organ), they beseech her to “ such a barrier existed for the Spectator in the their pain." Can human meanness descend travelling arrangements of England. The very lower ? As if the man, being ill from pleurisy, few old heavies that had begun to creep along therefore had a right to take a lady for one of the three or four main roads, depended so much on dressers in an hospital, whose duty it would be to wind and weather, their chances of foundering fix a burgundy-pitch plaster between his shoulwere so uncalculated, their periods of revolution ders. Ah, the monsters! Then to read of their were so cometary and uncertain, that no body of Phillises, and Strephons, and Chloes, and Coryscientific observations had yet teen collected to dons — names that, by their very non-reality warrant a prudent man in risking a heavy bale amongst names of flesh and blood, proclaim of goods; and, on the whole, even for York, the fantasticalness of the life with which they Norwich, or Winchester, a consignmentof“Specs" | are poetically connected it throws me into was not quite a safe spec. Still, I could have told such convulsions of rage, that I move to the winthe Spectator v: ho was anxious to make money, dow, and (without thinking what I am about) where he might have been sure of a distant sale, throw it up, calling, “ Police ! police!” What's though returns would have been slow, viz., at Oxford and Cambridge. We know from Milton that
“ Letters of Joseph Mede,” published more than old Llobson delivered his parcels pretty regularly I twenty years ago by Sir Henry Ellis.
that for? What can the police do in the busi- , forms of life and fleshy realities (as in dramatic ness? Why, certainly nothing. What I meant works), but not when it combined with elder in my dream was, perhaps [but one forgets what forms of eternal abstractions. Hence, he did not one meant upon recovering one's temper), that read, and did not like Shakspere ; the music the police should take Strephon and Corydon was here too rapid and lite-like : but he sympainto custody, whom I fancied at the other end of thised profoundly with the solemn cathedral the room. And really the justifiable fury, that chaunting of Milton. An appeal to his sympaarises upon recalling such abominable attempts thies which exacted quick changes in those sympaat bucolic sentiment in such abominable language, thies he could not meet, but a more stationary key sometimes transports me into a luxurious vision of solemnity he could. Indeed, this difference is sinking back through 130 years, in which I see illustrated daily. A long list can be cited of pasAddison, Phillips, both John and Ambrose, sages in Sbakspere, which have been solemnly deTickell, Fickell, Budgell, and Cudgell, with many nounced by many eminent men (all blockheads) as others beside, all cudgelled in a round robin, none ridiculous : and if a man does find a passage in a claiming precedency of another, none able to tragedy that displeases him, it is sure to seem ludishrink from his own dividend, until a voice seems crous: witness the indecent exposures of themto recall me to milder thoughts by saying, “ But selves made by Voltaire, La Harpe, and many surely, my friend, you never could wish to see billions beside of bilious people. Whereas, of all Addison cudgelled? Let Strephon and Corydon the shameful people (equally billions, and not less be cudgelled without end, if the police can show bilious) that have presumed to quarrel with Milany warrant for doing it. But Addison was a ton, not one has thought him ludicrous, but only man of great genius." True, he was so. I re- dull and somnolent. In “Lear” and in “ Hamlet," collect it suddenly, and will back out of any as in a human face agitated by passion, are many angry things that I have been misled into saying things that tremble on the brink of the ludicrous by Schlosser, who, by-the-bye, was riglit, after all, to an observer endowed with small range of symfor a wonder. But now I will turn my whole pathy or intellect. But no man ever found the fury in vengeance upon Schlosser. And, looking starry heavens ludicrous, though many find them round for a stone to throw at him, I observe this. dull, and prefer a near view of a brandy flask. Addison could not be so entirely careless of ex- So in the solemn wheelings of the Miltonic moveciting the public to think and feel, as Schlosser ment, Addison could find a sincere delight. But pretends, when he took so much pains to inocu- the sublimities of earthly misery and of human late that public with a sense of the Miltonic frenzy were for him a book sealed. Beside all grandeur. The “ Paradise Lost” had then been which, Milton renewed the types of Grecian published barely forty years, which was nothing beauty as to form, whilst Shakspere, without in an age without reviews; the editions were designing at all to contradict these types, did so, still scanty; and though no Addison could even in effect, by his fidelity to a new nature, radiating tually promote, for the instant he quickened, the from a Gothic centre. circulation. If I recollect, Tonson's accurate re- In the midst, however, of much just feeling, vision of the text followed immediately upon Ad- which one could only wish a little deeper, in the dison's papers.
And it is certain that Addisont | Addisonian papers on “ Paradise Lost,” there are must have diffused the knowledge of Milton upon some gross blunders of criticism, as there are in the continent, from signs that soon followed. Dr. Johnson, and from the self-same cause-an But does not this prove that I myself have been understanding suddenly palsied from defective pasin the wrong as well as Schlosser ? No: that's sion. A feeble capacity of passion must, upon a impossible. Schlosser’s always in the wrong; question of passion, constitute a feeble range of but it's the next thing to an impossibility that I intellect. But, after all, the worst thing uttered should be detected in an error : philosophically by Addison in these papers is, not against Milton, speaking, it is supposed to involve a contradiction. but meant to be complimentary. Towards en“But surely I said the very same thing as Schlos- hancing the splendour of the great poem, he tells ser by assenting to what he said.” Maybe I did : us that it is a Grecian palace as to amplitude, but then I have time to make a distinction, be- symmetry, and architectural skill ; but being in cause my article is not yet finished ; we are only the English language, it is to be regarded as if at page 6 or 7; whereas Schlosser can't make built in brick ; whereas, had it been so happy as any distinction now, because his book's printed ; to be written in Greck, then it would have been and his list of errata (which is shocking, though a palace built in Parian marble. Indeed! that's he does not confess to the thousandth part) is smart_" that's handsome, I calculate.” Yet, actually published. My distinction is—that, before a man undertakes to sell his mother though Addison generally hated the impas- tongue, as old pewter trucked against gold, he sioned, and shrank from it as from a fearful should be quite sure of his own metallurgic skill ; thing, yet this was when it combined with because else, the gold may happen to be copper,
and the pewter to be silver. Are you quite sure, + It is an idea of many people, and erroneously sanctioned by Wordsworth, that Lord Somers gave a powerful my Addison, that you have understood the powers lift to the “ Paradise Lost." Ile was a subscriber to the of this language which you toss away so lightly, sixth edition, the first that had plates; but this was some as an old tea-kettle? Is it a ruled case that you years before the Revolution of 1088, and when he was have exhausted its resources ? Nobody doubts simply Mr Somers, a barrister, with no effectual power of patronage.
your grace in a certain line of composition, but ite
is only one line among many, and it is far from mistake was at length discovered, and communi.
his satires, epistles, or “Lutrin,” except by bookNo. 4. Then came a fellow, whose name was sellers' hacks; and that no such version ever took either not on his title page, or I have forgotten the slightest root amongst ourselves, from Addiit, that pronounced the poem to be laudable, and son’s day to this very summer of 1817. Boileau full of good materials ; but still he could have was essentially, and in two senses, viz., both as wished that the materials had been put together to mind and as to influence, un homme borné. in a more workmanlike manner ; which kind office Addison's “ Blenheim” is poor enough ; one he set about himself. He made a general clear- might think it a translation from some German ance of all lumber : the expression of every original of those times. Gottsched's aunt, or thought he entirely re-cast : and he fitted up the Bodmer's wet-nurse, might have written it; but still metre with beautiful patent rhymes ; not, I be- no fibs even as to “Blenheim." His “enemies" did lieve, out of any consideration for Dr. Johnson's not say this thing against “Blenheim” “aloud,"nor comfort, but on principles of mere abstract de his friends that thing against it “softly.” And cency : as it was, the poem seemed naked, and why? Because at that time (1701–5) he had yet was not ashamed. There went No. 5. Him made no particular enemies, nor any particular succeeded a droller fellow than any of the rest. A French bookseller had caused a prose French wrath, in au amusing way, at some bookseller's hack who,
*“ Milton, Mr. John :"-Dr. Johnson expressed his translation to be made of the “ Paradise Lost," when employed to make an index, introduced Milton's without particularly noticing its English origin,
name among the Ms, under the civil title of_" Milton,
Mr. Johp." or at least not in the title page. Our friend, + "Louis Baboon":-As people read nothing in these No. 6, getting hold of this as an original French bays that is more than forty-eight hours old, I am daily adromance, translated it back into English prose,
monished that allusions the most obvious to anything in the
rear of our own time, needs explanation. Louis Baboon is as a satisfactory novel for the season. His little Swift's jesting name for Louis Bourbon, i.e., Louis XIV.
friends; unless by friends you mean his Whig by their public acts, we really thought they had.” patrons, and by enemies his tailor and co. And, accordingly, as the popular anecdoto tells
As to “Cato,”Schlosser, as usual, wanders in the us, a Tory leader, Lord Bolingbroke, sent for shadow of ancient night. The English “people,” | Booth who performed Cato, and presented him it seems, so “extravagantly applauded” this (populo spectante) with fifty guineas “for defendwretched drama, that you might suppose them to ing so well the cause of the people against a perhave «
altogether changed their nature," and to petual dictator.” In which words, observe, Lord have forgotten Shakspere. That man must have Bolingbroke at once asserted the cause of his own forgotten Shakspere, indeed, and from rumollisse- party, and launched a sarcasm against a great ment of the brain, who could admire “Cato.” “But,” | individual opponent, viz., Marlborough. Now, says Schlosser, ‘it was only a 'fashion;' and the Mr. Schlosser, I have mended your harness; all English soon repented.” The English could not right ahead; so drive on once more. repent of a crime which they had never committed. But, oh Castor and Pollux, whither--in what Cato was not popular for a moment, nor tolerated direction is it, that the man is driving us ? Posifor a moment, upon any literary ground, or as a tively, Schlosser, you must stop and let me get work of art. It was an apple of temptation and out. I'll go no further with such a drunken strife thrown by the goddess of faction between coachiman. Many another absurd thing I was going two infuriated parties. “Cato,"coming from a man to have noticed, such as his utter perversion of without Parliamentary connexions, would have what Mandeville said about Addison (viz., by dropped lifeless to the ground. The Whigs have suppressing one word, and misapprehending all always affected a special love and favour for popu- the rest). Such, again, as his point-blank mislar counsels : they have never ceased to give statement of Addison's infirmity in his official themselves the best of characters as regards public character, which was not that “he could not prefreedom. The Tories, as contradistinguished to pare despatches in a good style," but diametrically the Jacobites, knowing that without their aid, the the opposite case- that he insisted too much on Revolution could not have been carried, most style, to the serious retardation of public business. justly contended that the national liberties had But all these things are as nothing to what been at least as much indebted to themselves. Schlosser says elsewhere. He actually describes When, therefore, the Whigs put forth their man Addison, on the whole, as a “du!l prosaist,” and Cato to mouth specches about liberty, as exclu- the patron of pedantry! Addison, the man of all sively their pet, and about patriotism and all that ever lived most hostile even to what was good that sort of thing, saying insultingly to the Tories, in pedantry, to its tendencies towards the profound “How do you like that? Does that sting ?" | in erudition and the non-popular ; Addison, the
Sting, indeed!" replied the Tories ; “not at champion of all that is easy, natural, superficial, all ; it's quite refreshing to us, that the Whigs a pedant and a master of pedantry! Get down, have not utterly disowned such sentiments, which, Schlosser, this moment; or let me get out.
( To be concluded in next Number.)
THE TORTURED BOOR.
BY DAVID VEDDER.
(From the German.)
But when I came, the bird was flown,
They both had to the greenwood gone,
And there they flirted all alone;
Now only think of thai!
Impelld by mingled rage and love
For this false-hearted woman,.
I sought that burly traitor Ilans,
And met him on the common,
My ribbon round his hat!
With heart and hand we to it went,
Like bloodhounds struggling on the bent;
He thrash'd me to my beart's content,
Now only think of that!
Heart-sick, and lame, I limp'd within,
A month, and haply more ;
At length I ventured forth, and found
Myself at Gretschen's door;
When, stealthy as a cat,
I peep'd, and saw the clownish knave
Kneel down, and kiss her hand-the slave!
I wish'd myself in mother's grave;
Now only think of that!
Ah ! faithless Gretchen ! think upon
The bliss we both enjoy'd,
Ere Hans, the bound's foot won your heart,
And all my hopes destroy'd
By his malicious chat;
A long farewell—I'll poisou take,
Or drown myself in yonder lake,
Or twist a balter round my neck:
At least I'll think of that!