« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Literary and Political Journal.
JULY TO DECEMBER.
WILLIAM CURRY, JUN. AND COMPANY,
Tuis is one of those books which of the injustice of the existing law of it is wholly impossible for any work copyright in these countries, and the professing to give an account of our way in which it most affects works of the passing literature to ornit noticing. It greatest merit, (while the right of the is, in every respect, one of the most author, terminating at the end of twentyinteresting books which we have ever eight years after publicatio, necessahappened to read, and, from the va- rily tends to increase the price of the riety of its contents, one of the most book during the interval,) no one who difficult to review. There has been has given any consideration to the subabout the announcement of it some- ject can, we should think, entertain a thing which we do not perfectly under- doubt. The fashionable novels of the stand. Several of the reviews have, season, which in a few weeks are not before the publication of the book, worth the price of the paper on which given considerable extracts froin it; they are printed, are in no way affected and, with all our wishes to give the by the law, nor would they. if the copyearliest accounts which we can of such right was to terminate at the end of books as we think sufficiently interest- one year, instead of twenty-eicht. That ing to engage our own atiention or a state of the law which bears with that of our readers, here are two of exclusive hardslip on the authors of the most amusing voluines in the lan. books of permanent value should reguage, of which, owing to the mode of main unremedied is certainly unjust : publication, our readers will have al- but, of anything so chimerical as the ready read in the newspapers and re- hope of securing a copyright through views such considerable portions, that America orover the Continent, (though, we are led to give a much less detailed of course, publishers in America or account of the work than we could at France may give something for coall wish, as we are already anticipated pirs of the sheets as they are printed, by notices of the book in the Edinburgh, or such other assistance as may secure Quarterly, and Westminster Reviews; all to the particular house priority of pubof which reviewed the book before its lication-we think there never can be publication. We have heard that the anything like a fair chance. delay in issuing the book after it had Of our modern poets Coleridge is, been not only printed but reviewed, in every respect, the most original. In has arisen from a wish to make his very earliest writinys-in the love. arrangements that would secure the poems, &c. which are the first works of advantage of copyright in America. every poet, are the germs of the pecu
* Specimens of the Table-Talk of the late S. T. Coleridge, Esq. 2 vols. small 8vo. London, 1835.
liar powers which bore such rich fruit
a school-boy poem, which in his after life. We transcribe in was among the first verses he ever evidence of this from the Sibylline wrote.
Of this poem Mr. Coleridge bas of promise such as the early verses of said, “I scarcely know wbat title I Pope and Cowley gave ; but it is as the should prefix to it. By Imaginary effort of the “ marvellous boy” to image Time, I meant the state of a school to himself the world within—to shape boy's mind, when on his return to into phantoms--to wreathe with flowers school, he projects his being in his day and crown with haloes the floating and dreams, and lives in his hulydays six perishable dreams which with millions months hence, and this I contrasted and willions pass away and are forgotwith real time." Think of a school ten; wbich, while the very facts imperboy already engaged in giving lan- sonated have past, and are for ever guage such as this to such thoughts ! passing, more or less dimly before the Think of his embodying in such per- mind of every one that lives, can sonification his owii consciousness with difficulty be brought into such already finding in the notions of time, distinct consciousness, as to be made but forms and moods of his own mind- intelligible the understanding. already making outward an visible It is this power of giving a poetical pictures of the invisible workings of life—nay, permanence, and such his inward nature-think then of the immortality as man's language can simplicity and power and perfect confer on mere abstractions, that is to beauty of the language--less exquisite us the wonderful thing in those early no doubt, but scarcely less true than verses--the lively imagery delights us, that of his last verses, written after a but the notion of translating into life of study-not one word, which is any imagery thoughts, shapeless as not in ther English---not one word of the dust of the desert, is to us the which is not such as Mr. Coleridge thing of wonder. We feel convinced might have written in the last year of that the longer the image is dwelt upon his life. The versification, though not the more perfect will it appear." Is complex, or of any varied power, is there not more than metaphor in the rich and musical, and wins the ear on language which describes the poet as a through the whole stanza ; but think creator ? of the picture itself, seen in the morn It is said that as old age comes ing light of a young poet's imagina- on, the feelings and images which had tion
occupied the affections of our youth return, and we have known parents
urged themselves to domestic piety, This far outstript the other;
by this consideration, as the strongYeterer runs she with recerted face, And looks and listens for the boy behind;
est of all appeals to a parent's For he, alus! is blind!
heart-we have heard it urged upon
them, that though the world may Had this been a picture from actual win your child, yet if life be prolonged phænomenal life, the lines would have for him, a time will come in the ordibeen pleasing-would have been a dawn nary progress of nature, in which the
A sister and a brother!
remembrances of his youth are sure which is described in this his first poem, to reappear vividly, in which the mind seems to have recurred, and to have seems to live again in the recollection of re-awakened a poetry which is in some its earliest boy hood—and all that had sort the echo of these earliest feelings. intervened of bustle and anxiety, and the struggles, in which the good of a speedy release. Is it not strange
“ I am dying, but without expectation seed seems to be trodden down and that very recently by-gone images, and destroyed, being almost forgotten, the old man thinks alone of his youth-of mind, like breezes blown from the spice
scenes of early life, have stolen into my the friends of his youth;-and when islands of Youth and flope—those two that time comes, and those recollec- realities of this phantom world! I do tivas return—with what ettect,-it was
not add Love,- for what is Love but urged-with what effect will not the so Youth and Hope embracing, and so seen lemn and tender images of the dead as one? I say realities; for reality is a come back upon the old man's heart- thing of degrees, from the Iliad to a his father's voice in prayer—the voice dream; za jag mövce iz Alos ioti. Yet that has been still for perhaps half a in a strict sense, reality is not predicable century-which could it be heard at all of aught below Heaven. Es enim again on earth, no other heart or ear in calis, Pater noster, qui tu vere es !" could recognize. As you love your Hooker wished to live to finish his Ecclechildren, such the resistless siastical Polity ;--so I own I wish life and language of the affectionate appeal, strength had been spared to me to comas you love your children, let them plete my Philosophy. For, as God see that you love your God; if they hears me, the originating, continuing, fall, if they disappoint all your
and sustaining wish and design in my hopes and all your wishes – despair heart was to exalt the glory of his name; not; and the preacher again dwelt upon and, which is the same thing in other the existence of this second spring in words, to promote the improvement of
mankind. But visum aliter Deo, and man's life, and the irresistible effects whicli early recollections of good
his will be done."— Table Talk, Vol. 2, would then bring with them. are reminded of this by the circum Of that later poetry we transcribe stance that the volumes before us some passages of great beauty—“ The show, how, in the very last years of Garden of Boccaccio” has all the Mr. Coleridge's life, the state of mind, warmth of Dryden's happiest style :
We page 311.
O bliss of blissful hours !
Poetical Works, Aldine Edition, Vol. 2.