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like a consul in the garments of may easily believe, that the most triumph; and his demeanour gave beautiful thoughts would have been evidence of an uncontroled spirit, produced on so enthnsiastick a suboriginating in the consciousness of ject. We might have had from unlimited erudition, and of a high bards of purity and poetry odes place in the august temple of equal to “ the dove" of Anacreon, English hierarchy. But Drayton, and sonnets superiour to “ the though not a leviathan in literature, laurel" of Petrarch. Gastrell will was a charming poet in the natural hereafter receive no mercy from age of English verse, when Chau: the lovers of Shakespeare, and he cer was read ; when Spenser was will and ought to be a mark for honoured ; when Shakespeare liv. the archers, a fit subject for the ed ; and when Sidney played at keenest shafts of the satyrist. The tournament and told the tales of Ar: classical traveller visits the Tuscadia. Burton has highly praised culan villa of Cicero, and no longer him, and the learned Selden has finds a record or tradition of the written notes on the Polyolbion. spreading plane tree, in the cool I am afraid, that we do not ponder shade of which Crassus and Anenough on the poetick pages of tonius discoursed « de oratore.” English bards, who wrote curious. In like manner, when the pilgrim ly, but most pleasantly, when Eng- and poet, after a revolution of more land was young in letters. We do than eighteen hundred years, shall not drink at the fountain, where inquire for the garden of Shake the water is purest ; we do not speare, though he will find no vesclimb to the top of the tree, where tige and hear no curious tale of the fruit is the fairest ; we do not the mulberry tree, yet his righascend to the summit of the hill, teous indignation will rejoice at the where the prospect is widest and reflection, that perpetual shame the air most sweet ; but our indo- rests on the name of Gastrell, who lence makes us grovel below ; we unfeelingly destroyed in full luxu. gather a few fruits, which are riance the hallowed object of Shakeshrivelled ; and we suck in tainted speare's cultivation. No peace water, which had corrupted in its shall rest on his tomb. No one course, and gives no nourishment. shall boast a lineage from the Goth.
Whenever, in coming years, the SHAKESPEARE'S MULBERRY TREE. jubilee of Shakespeare shall be kept
One Gastrell cut down the mul- with pageantry and pomp, with berry tree, which Shakespeare revelry and song on the banks of planted in his own garden at Strata the Avon, the names of those, who ford. This was profanation inlove the poet, shall be received deed. The legends of the Cathowith welcome and greeting, but lick church tell wonderful stories no blessing of pleasant rememabout bits of the coffin of Jon brance shall descend on the memory seph of Arimathea, and the house of Gastrell, and his name shall not of the Virgin Mary at Loret- mar the feast-time and merry holta. What miracles might not the iday of poetry and her worshippers. chips of the mulberry tree have performed on the devout minds of LOVE AND CHIVALRY. the worshippers of Shakespeare ! I never believed in the existe Such is the power of association, ence of a golden age, when shepthat, in very flexible fancies, we herds piped under trees, and when
Vol. III. No. 2. I
love was as pure as the water of sale ; when love is prostituted to the brook ; but I have sometimes venality ; when the awful obliga. imagined, in the reverie of ro- tions of the matrimonial rite, mu. mance, that I should like to have tually given and received in the lived in the feudal ages, when all presence of a christian minister the men were brave, and all the and assembly, are nothing but lewomen were chaste.” The tiines galizations of wrong and indentures of Arthur and the knights, of Char- of infamy. Oh, it is a miserable lemagne and the peers, of the Vir- age. There was a time, when the ginQueen,with her flower of chival. armour of a hero was the record ry, have delighted my mind, and of his greatness, and the pledge of entranced my imagination. Love his success in gaining the hallowand courage then gave kisses of ed heart of the baron's daughter. union, and every baron of virtue If the helmet waved with the white might then fight for a lady of love feather of conquest and constan. Escutcheons, blazoned with the cy; if the shield was sculptured heraldry of honour and purity, and by the order of the sovereign with on the saine brass-glittering shield the atchievements of honourable were seen, and in curious courte- war, the knight never sued in vain ; sy, doves, the emblems of love, and if the heart of the female did not lions, the pictures of bravery. acknowledge another knight, not The virgins of the imperial court brighter in arms, not purer in af
for their beauty, and beyond the er, because fortunately he was first. praise of poetry for their virtue. This was noble, high minded, and The gallant knights and proud no- full of generosity. But in these bility were famous for their deeds degenerated days of miserable of conquest in defence of honour pelf, men and women change their and the ladies. In the time of minds about love and marriage, as chivalry, purity was the glory of about houses and carriages. The the women, and beauty was the first never buy a wife, and the secsister of purity. Then was the ond never entrar a husband, till period of real love, then there was wealth is accumulated into coffers, a true language to tell the concep- or till lust riots within, and calls tions of congenial souls ; but gen- aloud for revelry. I am not meltlemen and peers exist no longer, ancholy or mad. I look on the and where are the damsels of the world with pleasure, and on my castle, where are the fair ladies of past days with joyfulness, but I the court ? In the room of chival- cannot cry huzza to a state of sory, there is interestedness, there ciety, where wealth in matrimony is falsehood, baseness, infamy. is the first, and the second, and the When a man now talks love to a third requisite. When a man" has girl, he is thinking of her land and made a good match," he is to be her gold ; he now seeks to grase, pitied, for his years will be miserher wealth, or gratify his lust. But able; when a girl is well settled," the men are not solely to blame. she is doomed to sorrow, for her The women are not pure ; they heart knows no companion. Oh, are not lovely ; they have affecta- that the days are gone, which were tion of sentiment, and they have hallowed by the purity of the virfalseness of heart. It is a misera- gins of Lowerstein, and brightenble age, when contracts of mar- ed with the glory of the barons of riage are deeds of bargain and Hohenzollern.
FOR THE ANTHOLOGY.
PARALLEL BETWEEN COWPER AND BURNS.
(From the Censura Literaria for November, 1805.) THE genius of Burns was more thing with a poet's eye, and clothsublime, than that of Cowper. ed it with a poet's tints. Both excelled in the familiar : but The hearts and tempers of get the latter was by nature as these bards seem to have been well as education more gentle, cast in moulds equally distinct : more easy, and delicate : he had while Cowper shrunk from diffialso more of tenuity, while Burns culties and was palsied with danwas more concise, more bold, and gers, we can conceive Burns at energetick. They buth also a- times riding with delight in the bounded in humour, which pos- whirlwind, performing prodigies sessed the same characteristicks of heroism, and foremost in the in each ; one mild, serene, and career of a glorious death. We smiling ; the other daring and can almost suppose in his athletick powerful, full of fire and imagery. form and daring countenance, had The poems of one fill the heart he lived in times of barbarism, and the fancy with the soft plea. and been tempted by hard necessures of domestick privacy, with sity to forego his principles, such the calm and innocent occupations an one as we behold at the head of rural solitude, the pensive mus- of a banditti in the savage scenery ings of the moralist, and the chas- of Salvator Rosa, gilding the tised indignation of pure and sim- crimes of violence and depredaple virtue : the poems of the oth- tion by acts of valour and geneer breathe by turns Grief, Love, rosity! In Cowper, on the contraJoy, Melancholy, Despair, and ry, we view a man only fitted for Terrour ; plunge us in the vortex the most refined state of society, of passion, and hurry us away on and for the bowers of peace and the wings of unrestrained and un- security. directed fancy.
There is a relative claim to suCowper could paint the scenery "periority on the side of Burns, on of Nature and the simple emo which I cannot lay so much stress' tions of the heart with exquisite as many are inclined to do. I simplicity and truth. Burns could mean his want of education, while array the morning, the noon, and the other enjoyed all the discipline the evening in new colours ; could and all the advantages of a great add new graces to female beauty, publick school. If the addiction and new tenderness to the voice to the Muses, and the attainment of love. In every situation in of poetical excellence were nothwhich he was placed, his mind ing more than an accidental appliseized upon the most striking cir- cation of general talents to a parcumstances, and combining them ticular species of intellectual oc. anew, and dressing them with all cupation, how happens it that athe fairy trappings of his imagin- mong the vast numbers educated ation, he produced visions, such at Westminster, or Eton, or Winas none but“ poets dream.” chester, or Harrow, among whom Wherever he went, in whatever there must be very many of very he was employed, he saw every high natural endowments, and
where day after day, and year blights of this kind the early site after year, they are habituated to uation of Burns protected him. poetical composition by every ar. The heaths and mountains of tifice of emulation, and every ad- Scotland, among which he lived, vantage of precept and example, braced his nerves with vigour, and so few should attain the rank of cherished the bold and striking genuine poets, while Burns in a colours of his mind. claybuilt hovel, amid the labours But it seems to me vain and idle of the plough and the fail, under to speculate upon education and the anxiety of procuring his daily outward circumstances, as the bread, with little instruction and causes or promoters of poetical few books, and surrounded only genius. It is the inspiring breath by the humblest society, felt an of Nature alone, which gives the irresistible impulse to poetry, powers of the genuine bard, and which surmounted every obstacle, creates a ruling propensity, and a and reached a felicity of expres- peculiar cast of character, which sion, a force of sentiment, and a will rise above every impediment, richness of imagery scarce ever but can be substituted by neither rivalled by an union of ability, art nor labour. To write melli, education, practice, and laborious fluous verses in language, which effort ? Thinking therefore that may seem to the eye and the ear poetical talent is a bent impressed adorned with both imagery and by the hand of Nature, I cannot elegance, may be a faculty neither give the greatest weight to subse- unattainable, nor even uncommon. quent artificial circumstances ; But to give that soul, that predombut yet I must admit that in the inance of thought, that illuminatcase of Burns they were so unfa- ed tone of a living spirit, which vourable, that no common natural spring in so inexplicable a mangenius could have overcome them. ner from the chords of the real
On the contrary, there were lyre, is beyond the reach of mere some points in the history of human arrangement, without the Burns more propitious to the bold- innate and very rare gift of the er features of poetry, than in that Muse. That gift has regard of Cowper. He wrote in the sea. neither to rank, station, nor richson of youth, when all the passions es. It shone over the cradles of were at their height ; his life was Surry, and Buckhurst, amid the less uniform, and his station was splendour of palaces, and the lus. more likely to encourage energy tre of coronets ; it shone over and enthusiasm, than the more those of Milton, and Cowley, and polished and more insipid ranks, Dryden, and Gray, and Collins, to which the other belonged. In amid scenes of frugal and unosthe circles of fashion, fire and im- tentatious competence and medipetuosity are deemed vulgar; and ocrity ; it shone over that of with the roughnesses of the hu- Burns, in the thatched hovel, the man character all its force is too chill abode of comfortless penury often smoothed away. An early and humble labour. intercourse with the upper mobil- If there be any who doubt ity is too apt to damp all the gen. whether, in the exercise of this erous emotions, and make one gift, Burns contributed to his own ashamed of romantick hopes happiness, let them hear the testi, and sublime conceptions. From mony of himself. “ Poesy,” says he to Dr. Moore, “ was still a is endured in such a cause, is dear darling walk for my mind ; but it to him ; and the hope that his was only indulged in according to memory will live, and the pictures the humour of the hour. I had of his mind be cherished when his usually half a dozen, or more bones are mouldering in the dust, pieces on hand ; I took up one or is a counterpoise to more than other as it suited the momentary ordinary sufferings ! tone of the mind, ard dismissed I do not mean to encourage the the work as it bordered on fatigue. idea, that the imprudences, and My passions, when once lighted much less the immoralities, of up, raged like so many devils, till Burns, were absolutely inseparathey got vent in rhyme, and then ble from the brilliance of his talthe conning over my verses, like a ents, or the sensibilities of his spell, soothed all into quiet !” In heart. I am not justifying, I only truth, without regard to happiness, attempt to plead for them, in miti. or misery, the impulse of the true gation of the harsh and narrow poet towards his occupation is censures of malignity and envy. generally irresistible, even to the I call on those of dull heads and neglect of all, to which prudence sour tempers to judge with can. and self-interest imperiously dic- dour and mercy, to respect human tate his attention. Thus placed frailties, more especially when rein the conflict of opposite attrac- deemed by accompanying virtues, tions, he too often falls a victim to and to enter not into the garden of the compunctions of mental re- Fancy with implements too coarse, gret, and the actual stripes of lest in the attempt to destroy the worldly adversity. But the die weeds, they pluck up also all the is cast ; even the misery, which flowers.
FOR THE ANTHOLOGY.
Can heavenly minds such high resentment show? DRYDEN. ONE might imagine, that the ets, there are no diviners in ethunavoidable calamities of life would icks, that can prognosticate the sufficiently exercise our philoso: inelinations of the soul. Tempers, phy, without unnecessarily adven: touched by the same spark, ex, turing into experiments of pa- plode into a variety of directions, tience ; that mankind would pre- and you may as readily assign a fer the improvement of their plea- pathway to the hurricane in the sures to the advancement of their wilderness, as regulate the conse, pains ; that there would be more quences resulting from a principle, pupils of the garden of Epicurus, Since the apostacy of our par, than disciples of the tub of Dio: ents, and the entailment of their genes. But hourly experience punishment, it has been the busi, confirms the uncertainty of calcu- ness of the theologian and moralist lations in morals ; and though to alleviate the severities of our al. the politician may prophecy from lotment. Precepts have accord. incidents the motion of empires, ingly been poured forth on the and the astronomer determine by conduct of life, till their sources phenomena the visitations of com- are dry, and the efforts of the mode