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to see how many immortal productions them. Those who will not stoop to have, within a few months, been ga- the baseness of the modern fashion are thered to the Poems of Blackmore and too often discouraged. Those who do the novels of Mrs. Behn; how many stoop to it are always degraded. “ profound views of human nature," We have of late observed with great and “exquisite delineations of fashion- pleasure some symptoms which lead us able manners,” and “vernal, and sunny, to hope that respectable literary men and refreshing thoughts,” and “high of all parties are beginning to be impaimaginings," and "young breathings,” tient of this insufferable nuisance. And and" embodyings,” and “pinings," we purpose to do what in us lies for the and “minglings with the beauty of the abating of it. We do not think that we universe,” and “harmonies which dis- can more usefully assist in this good work solve the soul in a passionate sense of than by showing our honest countrymen loveliness and divinity,” the world has what that sort of poetry is which puffing contrived to forget. The names of the can drive through eleven editions, and books and of the writers are buried how easily any bellman might, if a in as deep an oblivion as the name of bellman would stoop to the necessary the builder of Stonehenge. Some of|degree of meanness, become a “masterthe well puffed fashionable novels of spirit of the age.” We have no enmity eighteen hundred and twenty-nine hold to Mr. Robert Montgomery. We know the pastry of eighteen hundred and nothing whatever about him, except thirty; and others, which are now ex- what we have learned from his books, tolled in language almost too high- and from the portrait prefixed to one flown for the merits of Don Quixote, of them, in which he appears to be will, we have no doubt, line the trunks doing his very best to look like a man of eighteen hundred and thirty-one. of genius and sensibility, though with But, though we have no apprehensions less success than his strenuous exerthat puffing will ever confer permanent tions deserve. We select him, because reputation on the undeserving, we still his works have received more enthusithink its influence most pernicious. astic praise, and have deserved more Men of real merit will, if they perse- unmixed contempt, than any which, as vere, at last reach the station to which far as our knowledge extends, have they are entitled, and intruders will be appeared within the last three or four ejected with contempt and derision. years. His writing bears the same reBut it is no small evil that the avenues lation to poetry which a Turkey carpet to fame should
blocked up by a bears to a picture. There are colours swarm of noisy, pushing, elbowing pre- in the Turkey carpet out of which a tenders, who, though they will not picture might be made. There are ultimately be able to make good their words in Mr. Montgomery's writing own entrance, hinder, in the mean which, when disposed in certain orders time, those who have a right to enter. and combinations, have made, and will All who will not disgrace themselves by again make, good poetry. But, as joining in the unseemly scuffle must ex- they now stand, they seem to be put pect to be at first hustled and shouldered together on principle in such a manner back. Some men of talents, accord- as to give no image of any thing " in ingly, turn away in dejection from pur- the heavens above, or in the earth besuits in which success appears to bear neath, or in the waters under the earth." no proportion to desert. Others em:
The poem on the Omnipresence of ploy in self-defence the means by which the Deity commences with a descripcompetitors, far inferior to themselves, tion of the creation, in which we can appear for a time to obtain a decided find only one thought which has the advantage. There are few who have least pretension to ingenuity, and that sufficient confidence in their own powers one thought is stolen from Dryden, and and sufficient elevation of mind to wait marred in the stealing : with secure and contemptuous patience, while dunce after dunce presses before
"Last, softly beautiful, as music's close, Angelic woman into being
The all-pervading influence of the And, while Creation stagger'd at his uod,
Mock the dread presence of the mighty Supreme Being is then described in a
God! few tolerable lines borrowed from Pope, We hear Him in the wind-heaved ocean's and a great many intolerable lines of
roar, Mr. Robert Montgomery's own. The Hurling her billowy crags upon the shore;
We hear Him in the riot of the blast, following may stand as a specimen : And shake, while rush the raving whirl
winds past!” "But who could trace Thine unrestricted course,
If Mr. Robert Montgomery's genius Though Fancy follow'd with immortal were not far too free and aspiring to There's not a blossom fondled by the be shackled by the rules of syntax, we breeze,
should suppose that it is at the nod of There's not a fruit that beautifies thetrees, the Atheist that creation staggers. But There's not a particle in sea or air, But nature owns thy plastic influence
Mr. Robert Montgomery's readers must there!
take such grammar as they can get, With fearful gaze, still be it mine to see and be thankful. How all is fills and vivified by Thee; Upon thy mirror, earth's majestic view,
A few more lines bring us to another
Sir To paint Thy Presence, and to feel it too.” instance of unprofitable theft.
Walter Scott has these lines in the The last two lines contain an excel- Lord of the Isles : lent specimen of Mr. Robert Montgo
“ The dew that on the violet lies, mery's Turkey carpet style of writing.
Mocks the dark lustre of thine eyes." The majestic view of earth is the mir- This is pretty taken separately, and, ror of God's presence; and on this mirror Mr. Robert Montgomery paints things of good writers, much prettier
as is always the case with the good God's presence. The use of a mirror, in its place than can even be conceived we submit, is not to be painted upon.
by those who see it only detached from A few more lines, as bad as those
the context. Now for Mr. Montwhich we have quoted, bring us to one
gomery : of the most amusing instances of literary pilfering which we remember. It “And the bright dew-bead on the bramble
lies, might be of use to plagiarists to know, Like liquid rapture upon beauty's eyes.” as a general rule, that what they steal
The comparison of a violet, bright is, to employ a phrase common in ad- with the dew, to a woman's eyes, is as vertisements, of no use to any but the perfect as a comparison can be. Sir right owner. We never fell in, how- Walter's lines are part of a song adever, with any plunderer who so little dressed to a woman at daybreak, when understood how to turn his booty to the violets are bathed in dew; and the good account as Mr. Montgomery comparison is therefore peculiarly naLord Byron, in a passage which every tural and graceful. Dew on a brambody knows by heart, has said, address- ble is no more like a woman's eyes ing the sea,
than dew anywhere else. There is a Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure very pretty Eastern tale of which the brow."
fate of plagiarists often reminds us. Mr. Robert Montgomery very coolly ap- The slave of a magician saw his master propriates the image and reproduces wave his wand, and heard him give the stolen goods in the following form: orders to the spirits who arose at the
The slave stole the wand, "And thou, vast Ocean, on whose awful face summons.
Time's iron feet can print no ruin-trace." and waved it himself in the air ; but So may such ill-got gains ever prosper! used the left hand for that purpose.
he had not observed that his master The effect which the Ocean pro- The spirits thus irregularly summoned duces on Atheists is then described in the following lofty lines :
tore the thief to pieces instead of obey
ing his orders. There are very few "Oh! never did the dark-sould ATHEIST who can safely venture to conjure with
stand, And watch the breakers boiling on the the rod of Sir Walter ; and Mr. Robert strand,
Montgomery is not one of them.
Mr. Campbell, in one of his most |“ Yes! pause and think, within one leeting
hour, pleasing pieces, has this line,
How vast a universe obeys Thy power ; " The sentinel stars set their watch in the
Unseen, but i'elt, Thine interfused contrul sky."
Works in each' atom, and pervades the
whole; The thought is good, and has a very Expands the blossom, and erects the tree, striking propriety where Mr. Campbell Conducts each vapour, and commands has placed it, in the mouth of a soldier
Beains in each ray, bids whirlwinds be telling his dream. But, though, Shak- unfurld, speare assures us that “every true
Unrols the thunder, and upheaves a
world!” man's apparel fits your thief,” it is by no means the case, as we have already No field-preacher surely ever carried seen, that every true poet's similitude his irreverent familiarity so far as to fits your plagiarist. Let us see how bid the Supreme Being stop and think Mr. Robert Montgomery uses the on the importance of the interests image :
which are under his care. The gro
tesque indecency of such an address “ Ye quenchless stars ! so eloquently bright, throws into shade the subordinate ab
Untroubled sentries of the shadowy night, While half the world is lapp'd in downy surdities of the passage, the unfurling dreams,
of whirlwinds, the unrolling of thunder, And round the lattice croep your midnight and
the upheaving of worlds. beams, How sweet to gaze upon your placid eyes,
Then comes a curious specimen of In lambent beauty looking from the skies." our poet's English : .
Certainly the ideas of eloquence, of " Yet not alone created realms engage untroubled repose, of placid eyes, on Thy faultless wisdom, grand, primova) the lambent beauty on which it is
For all the thronging woes to life allied sweet to gaze, harmonize admirably Thy mercy tempers, and Thy cares pro with the idea of a sentry.
vide," We would not be understood, how- We should be glad to know what the ever, to say, that Mr. Robert Mont- word “For” means here. If it is a gomery cannot make similitudes for preposition, it makes nonsense of the himself
. A very few lines further on, words,“ Thy mercy tempers.” If it is we find one which has every mark of an adverb, it makes nonsense of the originality, and on which, we will be words, “ Thy cares provide." bound, none of the poets whom he has
These beauties we have taken, alplundered will ever think of making most at random, from the first part of reprisals :
the poem. The second part is a series * The soul, aspiring, pants its source to of descriptions of various events, a mount,
battle, a murder, an execution, a mar. As streams meander level with their riage, a funeral, and so forth. Mr.
Robert Montgomery terminates each We take this to be, on the whole, the of these descriptions by assuring us worst similitude in the world. In the that the Deity was present at the bat. first place, no stream meanders, or tle, murder, execution, marriage, or can possibly meander, level with its funeral in question. And this propofount. In the next place, if streams did sition, which might be safely predicated meander level with their founts, no of every event that ever happened or two motions can be less like each other ever will happen, forms the only link than that of meandering level and that which connects these descriptions with of mounting upwards.
the subject or with each other. We have then an apostrophe to the How the descriptions are executed Deity, couched in terms which, in any our readers are probably by this time writer who dealt in meanings, we able to conjecture. The battle is made should call profane, but to which we up of the battles of all ages and nasuppose Mr. Robert Montgomery at- tions: “ red-mouthed cannons, uproartaches no idea whatever.
ing to the clouds,” and “hands grasp
ing firm the glittering shield.” The | lion," and the want of heaven-lampe, only military operations of which this to beam their holy ligh:." We have a part of the poem reminds us, are those description of a convicted felon, stolen which reduced the Abbey of Quedlin- from that incomparable passage in burgh to submission, the Templar with Crabbe's Borough, which has made his cross, the Austrian and Prussian many a rough and cynical reader cry grenadiers in full uniform, and Curtius like a child. We can, however, conand Dentatus with their battering-ram. scientiously declare that persons of the We ought not to pass unnoticed the most excitable sensibility may safely slain war-horse, who will no more venture upon Mr. Robert Montgomery's " Roll his red eye, and rally for the fight;" | version. Then we have the “poor,
mindless, pale-faced maniac boy," who or the slain warrior who, while “ lying
" Rolls his vacant eye, on his bleeding breast,” contrives to
To greet the glowing fancies of tho sky." * stare ghastly and grimly on the skies.” As to this last exploit, we can
What are the glowing fancies of the only say, as Dante did on a similar sky? And what is the meaning of occasion,
the two lines which almost immediately
follow ? "Forse per forza gia di' parlasia Si stravolse cosi alcun del tutto:
A soulless thing, a spirit of the woods, Ma io nol vidi, nè credo che sia."
He loves to commune with the fields and The tempest is thus described :
How can a soulless thing be a spirit ? *But lo! around the marsh’lling clouds Then comes a panegyric on the Sun
unite, Like thick battalions halting for the fight; day. A baptism follows; after that a The sun sinks back, the tempest spirits marriage : and we then proceed, in
due course, to the visitation of the Fierce through the air and Autter on the sick, and the burial of the dead.
doen. Till from their caverns rush the maniac Often as Death has been personified, blasts,
Mr. Montgomery has found something Tear the loose sails, and split the creaking masts,
new to say about him. And the lash'd billows, rolling in a train, "O Death! thou dreadless vanquisher of Bear their white heads, and race along earth, the main !”
The Elements shrank blasted at thy birth! What, we should like to know, is
Careering round the world like tempest
wind, the difference between the two opera- Martyrs before, and victims strew'd be tions which Mr. Robert Montgomery hind; 50 accurately distinguishes from each Ages on ages cannot grapple thee, other, the fierce sweeping of the tem
Dragging the world into eternity!" pest-spirits through the air, and the If there be any one line in this passage rushing of the maniac blasts from their about which we are more in the dark caverns ? And why does the former than about the rest, it is the fourth. operation end exactly when the latter what the difference may be between commences ?
the victims and the martyrs, and why We cannot stop over each of Mr. the martyrs are to lie before Death, Robert Montgomery's descriptions and the victims behind him, are to us We have a shipwrecked sailor, who great mysteries. "visions a viewless temple in the air;"
We now come to the third part, of & marderer who stands on a heath, which we may say with honest Cassio, * with ashy lips, in cold convulsion Why, this is a more excellent song spread ;” a pious man, to whom, as he than the other.” Mr. Robert Montlies in bed at night,
gomery is very severe on the infidels, "The panorama of past life appears,
and undertakes to prove, that, as he Warms his pure mind, and melts it into elegantly expresses it, tears;"
“One great Enchanter helm'd the harmoni. a traveller, who loses his way, owing
ous whole." to the thickness of the cloud-batta - What an enchanter has to do with
helming, or what a helm has to do with When blood and blasphemy doiled her
land, harmony, he does not explain. He
And fierce Rebellion shook her savage proceeds with his argument thus:
hand." * And dare men dream that dismal Chance / Whether Rebellion shakes her own
has framed All that the eye perceives, or tongue has hand, shakes the hand of Memory, or named ;
shakes the hand of France, or what any The spacious world, and all its wonders, one of these three metaphors would
born Designless, self-created, and forlorn;
mean, we know no more than we know Like to the flashing bubbles on a stream, what is the sense of the following pasFire from the cloud, or phantom in a sage: dream?"
“Let the foul orgies of infuriate crime We should be sorry to stake our faith
Picture the raging havoces that time, in a higher Power on Mr. Robert Mont- When leagued Rebellion march'd to kindle gomery's logic. He informs us that
Fright in her rear, and Murder in her van. lightning is designless and self-created.
And thou, sweet flower of Austria, slaugbIf he can believe this, we cannot con- ter'd Queen, ceive why he may not believe that the Who dropp'd no tear upon the dreadful
scene, whole universe is designless and self
When gush'd the life-blood from thine created. A few lines before, he tells angel form, us that it is the Deity who bids “ thun- And martyr'd beauty perish'd in the
storm, der rattle from the skiey deep.” His
Once worshipp'd paragon of all who saw, theory is therefore this, that God made Thy look obedience, and thy smile a law." the thunder, but that the lightning What is the distinction between the made itself. But Mr. Robert Montgomery's me
soul orgies and the raging havoc which taphysics are not at present our game; does Fright go behind Rebellion, and
the foul orgies are to picture? Why He proceeds to set forth the fearful
Murder before? effects of Atheism.
Why should not
Murder fall behind Fright? Or why " Then, blood-stain'd Murder, bare thy hide- should not all the three walk abreast?
And thou, Rebellion, welter in thy storm: We have read of a hero who had
* Amazement in his van, with flight com
bined, the time!"
And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude Mr. Robert Montgomery is fond of behind." personification, and belongs, we need Gray, we suspect, could have given a not say, to that school of poets who reason for disposing the allegorical athold that nothing more is necessary to tendants of Edward thus. But to pro& personification in poetry than to ceed, “Flower of Austria” is stolen begin a word with a capital letter. from Byron. “ Dropp'd” is false EnMurder may, without impropriety, bare glish. “ Perish'd in the storm” means her arm, as she did long ago, in Mr. nothing at all; and “thy look obediCampbell's Pleasures of Hope. But ence means the very reverse of what what possible motive Rebellion can Mr. Robert Montgomery intends to have for weltering in her storm, what
say. avenging crime may be, who its spirits
Our poet then proceeds to demonmay be, why they should burst from strate the immortality of the soul: their bonds, what their bonds may be,
" And shall the soul, the fount of reason, die, why they should battle with the time, When dust and darkness round its temple what the time may be, and what a battle lie? Detween the time and the spirits of
Did God breathe in it no ethereal fire, avenging crime would resemble, we
Dimless and quenchless, though the breath
expire? must confess ourselves quite unable to the soul is a fountain; and therefore understand. **And here let Memory turn her tearfulness lie round its temple, because an
it is not to die, though dust and darkglance On the dark horrors of tumultuous France, ethereal fire has been breathed into ita